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LightSpeed turns iPad into a sales tool

The growth of iOS credit card readers has made it increasingly possible for merchants to get paid for sales they’ve just made. Now a new app aims to help iPad-wielding salespeople increase their in-store sales.

(Image Caption: LightSpeed for iPad lets businesses use the tablet to track inventory and ring up sales.)

LightSpeed for iPad was unveiled Wednesday by Xsilva Systems. It’s similar to Square Register, the iPad app that lets small merchants track inventory, ring up sales, and take credit cards for payment—but with a couple of key differences.

Most notably, the app encourages “upselling” with a feature that shows products related to the one being purchased by the customer. A salesperson can use the iPad to show a customer jewelry and accessories that go with the dress she just chose—without having to walk to different parts of the store to view those items. (See this video for a demonstration.)

Merchants will need more than a tablet to get started, however. LightSpeed for iPad is part of a broader ecosystem of products that includes a Mac-based point-of-sale system; the service requires the use of a Mac, in fact, to run the LightSpeed for Mac desktop application to administer the service within a store and to process returned and exchanged items.

LightSpeed appears to be targeting at more established merchants with the service. The iPad app is free to download—but to use the service, businesses will have to buy one “user license” per tablet. The cost of a single license? $749—though free 30-day demos are available. The app is compatible with devices running iOS 5.0 or later.

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