Montreal-based point-of-sale and e-commerce software provider Lightspeed announced this week that its retail customers in Canada saw sales growth of more than six times the industry average last year. The revelation comes after Lightspeed compiled data from more than 3,000 Lightspeed retail locations as part of a year-end review following tremendous growth for Lightspeed itself after a successful IPO in 2019.
In Canada, retailers and other businesses utilizing Lightspeed’s platforms saw an average of 10.3% growth in year-over-year gross transaction volume between January and October of 2019 when compared to the same time period in 2018. That’s considerably higher than the industry average that Statistics Canada pegged, which was about 1.5% between 2018 and 2019. Growth insights were obtained as part of Lightspeed’s 2019 Year in Review.
It’s an impressive statistic at a time when retail is seeing a shift in Canada — international brands continue to enter the market while consumer shopping habits change. Lightspeed’s suite of products target independent retailers and restaurants and has expanded beyond the point-of-sale technology that Lightspeed became known for when the company was founded in Montreal in 2005.
“The 2019 Retail Year in Review demonstrates how Lightspeed is helping retailers outperform their peers across a range of industries using our innovative cloud-based technology,” said Dax Dasilva, CEO and Founder of Lightspeed. “It also reveals the degree to which Lightspeed has become an indispensable tool for small and medium sized businesses in 2019 and showcases the strong prospects for retailers’ continued growth in 2020 as they remain agile and competitive in the evolving retail industry.”
Lightspeed’s cloud-based tools aim to create efficiencies for retailers with an expanding assortment of products aimed to help independent retailers function optimally. Mr. Dasilva explained in an interview how his company’s products assist retailers with data and analytics, inventory management and capital investment, seasonal trends, and store staffing. Lightspeed also launched a loyalty platform last year called Lightspeed Loyalty which helps retailers and small businesses engage with customers and keep them coming back.
“Given the growth seen with Lightspeed’s client base, the ‘retail apocalypse’ narrative isn’t accurate,” said Mr. Dasilva. “Retailers utilizing Lightspeed technology are seeing growth in all channels and our platforms are helping continue to drive success”.
Lightspeed’s cloud-based platforms are used by small and medium-sized businesses in more than 100 countries globally, and new businesses are adopting the technology quickly. As part of the 2019 Year in Review, Lightspeed surveyed about 10,000 US-based small and medium sized businesses using its platforms. Remarkably, US-based businesses powered by Lightspeed saw year-over-year growth of 13.8%, compared to an industry average of about 3% in the country.
In North America, sporting goods and health and beauty retailers utilizing Lightspeed’s products saw tremendous gains in particular. For sporting goods retailers, Lightspeed customers saw the number of transactions per merchant increase by over 22% in 2019, which is indicative of how service offerings are attracting new customers while retaining a loyal client base. Health and beauty retailers powered by Lightspeed platforms saw an overall sales increase last year of 24% over the year prior — the massive rise of beauty influencers is said to have been partly responsible for the strong growth.
Small and medium-sized businesses utilizing Lightspeed’s platforms often see growth exceeding 20%, and the continued growth thereafter in excess of 10% in Canada reflects the strength of Lightspeed’s suite of products, according to Mr. Dasilva. Businesses may start with Lightspeed’s powerful point-of-sale technology before adopting other platforms such as Lightspeed Analytics and Lightspeed Loyalty.
Lightspeed’s technologies also address the direct-to-consumer trend, which is taking hold in Canada and abroad. Now more than ever, brands are seeking to engage with consumers through dedicated physical stores as well as with online channels such as ecommerce and social media.
“I spend a lot of time speaking with various small and medium-sized entrepreneurs around the world. Their feedback is that with today’s open dialogue between brands and customers, direct-to-consumer isn’t an anomaly anymore but a crucial element to a company’s success,” said Mr. Dasilva. He noted how brands can seamlessly present a blended in-store and online customer experience — physical stores have become brand experience centres, and the online and social media presence allows for an exchange both with local customers as well as with a global audience. “These important touchpoints work together to showcase products in new and captivating ways, tell stories, collect feedback and ultimately sell,” he said.
Lightspeed continues to grow its operations as well as its suite of products targeting small and medium sized businesses. The company, which launched a highly anticipated IPO last year on the TSX, has seen considerable gains in its share price while also seeing rapid adoption from retailers and restaurants globally. Lightspeed now employs more than 900 people in its 14 offices around the world and is poised for future growth as it secures more business clients and expands its offerings geared towards creating efficiencies.