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Expo Notes: LightSpeed's Show & Tell feature has retail appeal

Spend a few moments with LightSpeed for iPad, as I did at last week's Macworld | iWorld show, and you come away impressed with the app's flexibility. Sure, businesses can use the point-of-sale app to track inventory, take payments, and perform other retail tasks. But the iPad version of LightSpeed also offers a feature that showcases your products for customers, giving them an expanded look at what you have to sell.

LightSpeed for iPad actually hit the App Store in mid-December, joining Xsilva Systems's point-of-sale offerings for the iPhone and Mac. But last week's Macworld | iWorld provided a place for Xsilva to showcase the app in action.

Xsilva touts the iPad version of LightSpeed as an interactive sales tool that "elevates" the shopping experience. Retailers can use the mobile app to create new invoices, scan barcodes, or add customer profiles, whether they're in a store or at an off-site event (a weekend-long Mac and iOS show, for example). The app also processes credit card swipes with the addition of supported hardware--LightSpeed supports the iDynamo credit card swipe and the Ingenico i6580 terminal for wirelessly processing transactions--and it accepts on-screen signatures for payments as well.

The feature that caught my eye, however, was LightSpeed for iPad's Show & Tell capability. With Show & Tell, a retailer can display product images and details splashed across a stylized backdrop. Xsilva says it's a great way to show off inventory that's not close at hand, helping sales reps better connect with customers. I could also see how a retailer might use to the Show & Tell feature in LightSpeed for iPad to set up a self-service kiosk on a showroom floor.

LightSpeed for iPad is a free download, but you'll need to run LightSpeed Server on your Mac with one user license per iPad client. A license starts at $749 for a single user. You can test drive the iPad app by downloading a 30-day demo of the Mac product.

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