Lightspeed eCommerce, Inventory & POS Case Study

We digitized inventory from multiple suppliers, set up dual location POS and launched an eCommerce shop. Eric Reynolds wrote this Lightspeed eCommerce case study to help anyone who seeks a similar system.

Lightspeed eCommerce Case Study

Here are notes from my work helping an SMB choose their inventory management, POS, service sales, and eCommerce shopping cart system.

I built their website in 2011 and created a custom client portal in 2020.

An inventory and POS system requires accounting software integration, payment provider setup, and business process change, at the least. The in-house accounting software is Quickbooks, and Lightspeed has native integration; API isn’t necessary though an option.

The transition from hybrid inventory management of paper and digital is more than categorizing, counting items, or even supplier management.

  • Suppliers deliver or ship to a location.
  • Production or sales pulls from inventory.

Inventory hybrid is A non-centralized, unsharable, paper, Excel, Quickbooks, MS Access, or spreadsheet, non-SQL database system.

  • Hybrid is challenging to improve. The result is often chaos and a “we’ll get to it” attitude about digitization, much like all automation.

Table of Contents

Case Study Overview

The work and optimization is ongoing. Below are general topics covered on this page and others.

  • Selecting the Lightspeed Platform
  • Creating Product Items
  • Inventory set up
  • Sales: POS,  DTC and card not present
  • Quotes prior to sales
  • Shopping Cart Set Up
  • Shipping Set up: Carriers, Real-Time calc
  • Payment provider integration
  • Service sales and Work Orders
  • Admin config: taxes, API, pricing levels

Selecting the Lightspeed Platform

The four main requirements were

  • Inventory control
    • Multi: location, supplier and tied to eCom
  • Point of Sale POS along with service sales
    • Cash, check, register, scanners, card not present
  • eCommerce cart
    • Custom config and features on level with Shopify, BigCommerce and Squareup 
  • Integration with Quickbooks
    • Native support, without API coding and managing a custom automation system.

Sub requirements were

  • Use on a subdomain:
  • SLAs. Tech support availability. Uptime. CDN, Cloudflare DNS.
  • Real-time shipping calculation. Currently done using EasyPost with the carrier USP.
  • Business owner prefers fewer interfaces. Will accept functionality limits for easy of use. This is worth considering. There’s a time and cost for the tech and business processes required to sync heterogeneous systems.  

Alternative eCommerce, inventory & POS Platforms

Other platforms considered didn’t compare for lack of the four main requirements. None had them all. You could get either inventory control or shopping cart but not together.

  • Vend. Then integrate with Shopify or BigCommerce
  •  Quickbooks Webgility
  • Heartland payment systems

We’re keeping track of the platforms.

  • Zoho inventory looks interesting.
  • iVendRetail has a Magento POS integration.

Inventory Set Up

The SKU import process starts with creating an Item (product) and ensuring stakeholders approve attributes. I highly suggest not starting with a bulk SKU import. Begin with one item from one supplier in one category type.

Create suppliers, vendors and get to know how purchase orders work.

You’ll have to do a day zero inventory count.

POS Items could have these fields

  • Title
  • UPC
  • EAN
  • SKU
  • Category
  • Brand
  • MSRP
  • Online
  • Cost
  • Vendor

Sales: POS, DTC and card not present

Customers call to make payments. They walk into the showroom and pay with cash, check and card.

We scan items and operate a cash register, managed by Lightspeed.

We could easily integrate any one of multiple payment providers.

eCommerce, online payments are set up.

The entire POS, card not present and online ordering is some of the best I’ve seen and only fall short of 7 figure brands and Amazon.

Quotes prior to sales

  • The sales system is a process.
  • The sales system also has branches. There a straight product sales.
  • We offer service so we use the Workorder or Work order functionality.
  • We also use the Quote functionality because our sales process is consultative. Customers can take days, weeks or months to decide and make modifications.
Lightspeed ecommerce case study quote process

Service and Work Orders

eCommerce Lightspeed Case Study Work Order

The company sells a product and has service only customers. Many product sales have service line items such as installation, custom builds or repairs.

Many sales take days, weeks or months for the customer to decide on the right options. The system allows for this with both sales and work orders.

Choose Lightspeed SaaS if you need multi-location, vendor, supplier, inventory management. Customer to quote to direct to sale and card not present sales, scanner POS and cash register.  Service work orders and custom sales, quote and work order process. Full eCommerce integration with custom themes, categories, pages and much more.

Full customization capabilities and a translations system allowing you to edit shopping cart content like headers and titles and Add to Cart text.

Good enough chat support and phone support that I avoid. I use the chat for proof and it’s given me much better results.

You’ll have to work to set up, configure and maintain this inventory, POS and eCommerce shopping cart system.