Lightspeed launches new platform to make it easier to order products during a supply chain crisis

Lightspeed CO Jean Paul Chauvet said the purchase of NuORDER and its integration into the company’s new B2B platform as retailers deal with backlogs and manufacturing delays was a coincidence, but he admitted in an interview this week it was convenient.Christine Muschi/The Globe and Mail

Montreal’s Lightspeed Commerce Inc. LSPD-T launches new product ordering and data sharing platform it hopes will entice more retailers and brands to its services as they grapple with a crisis economy-wide supply chain.

The new platform is the latest in the company’s effort to consolidate the many offerings it has racked up since its IPO in 2019, after announcing one-stop-shop platforms for retailers and retailers in recent months. the restaurants.

Lightspeed bought Los Angeles-based product ordering company NuORDER Inc. last June, bringing with it 100,000 retailers and products from more than 3,000 brands. Lightspeed said this week that it has finished integrating NuORDER’s technology into a new platform called Lightspeed B2B, which will also share more product data – ranging from UPC codes to descriptive text and promotional videos – in the purpose of facilitating tedious ordering tasks. products and verify and enter product data into their sales systems.

Although CEO Jean Paul Chauvet said the purchase of NuORDER and its integration into Lightspeed’s new B2B platform as retailers around the world face manufacturing backlogs and delays was a coincidence, he said. admitted in an interview this week that it was convenient. “The timing works to our advantage,” Mr. Chauvet said.

But he said the company hopes centralizing product orders and data through Lightspeed’s point-of-sale software will be a big draw for retailers. The most common alternative, he said, “even for the biggest retailers – it’s all Excel sheets, pen and paper”.

Participating brands – including Tom Ford, Coach and Black Diamond – will also have access to real-time sales data to better understand what customers are buying and when, with a sort of granularity typically reserved for direct-to-consumer sales. Chauvet said he hopes brands will see this data as advantageous in developing pricing strategies or new product variations, such as new colors.

Analysts applauded the acquisition of NuORDER last year as it expanded Lightspeed’s supplier network while expanding its offerings for retailers. “This will improve the product ordering experience for retailers, while giving brands insight into the movement of their products,” wrote Todd Coupland, capital markets analyst at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce last June.

A report from short seller Spruce Point Capital Management last September, however, included an interview with an unnamed former NuORDER account manager who warned that the company had limited resources to grow and respond quickly to customer demands. Chauvet declined to comment on the report’s claims, but said integrating NuORDER saved Lightspeed “at least five years” of research and development time and costs.

Chauvet said Lightspeed B2B will first work with brands and stores selling luxury apparel and outdoor and sporting goods. These sectors, he said, have the greatest overlap between NuORDER brands and Lightspeed retailers. He said the company strongly believes this will help drive demand on both sides: “You’re going to see brands promoting Lightspeed in stores, and stores are going to want brands on Lightspeed.”

Christine Iksic, who has used Lightspeed services at her Pittsburgh outdoor gear retailer 3 Rivers Outdoor Co. since 2018, said she had long hoped for a service that would make ordering products and sharing data simple. “It always drove me crazy” to work with vendors to match UPC codes, prices and descriptions, she said in an interview. “We have so much data to clean now.”

While Lightspeed hails its B2B service as a panacea for such issues, and Ms. Iksic is “super excited” about it, she acknowledges that it won’t solve all ordering and data matching issues. “There will still be work to do,” she said, as each store has its own product classifications. Yet, she said, getting data to arrive correctly “is at the heart of e-commerce.”

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