Music Inc Magazine May 2024

sales. We’ve been with them ever since.” However, for Sims Music in Columbia, South Carolina, its industry-specific POS provider wasn’t cutting it and thus the store switched to Lightspeed Retail in 2016. “We were very frustrated with its function- ality and difficulty of use at the time,” said Justin Sims, Sims Music’s general manager. “We were also trying to start selling online and needed something that would assist in making this possible, and Lightspeed did that.” For Mark Maxwell of Maxwell’s House of Music in Jeffersonville, Indiana, knowing when to switch POS systems was a little

more black and white. “My parents, Beverly and Marvin Max- well, started this business, and they originally wrote all their sales down on a piece of paper, and then entered them into our Peachtree accounting software. This was back in the 1980s,” Maxwell said. “My parents knew they had to get a system that helped them control inventory, [so] around 1985, they were at a NAMM show, where they had a meeting and demo with Tri-Tech. AIM did everything they needed, and, in my opinion, is still the best alternative for the retail side of my business.”

FEATURES TO LOOK FOR Cost, integrations and onboarding all play a key role when deciding which POS system provider to choose, however Kathryn Lyness of Tri-Tech — which is said to have some 1,000 MI retailer customers — said a POS system should also be adaptable to a business. “A music store’s point-of-sale (POS) sys- tem should adapt to the business’ current and future needs,” Lyness said. “[Retailers should] look for systems that handle rentals, repairs and other services. If your business has unique needs, choose a POS that inte- grates with custom solutions.” Harnois of Music Shop 360, which ser- vices some 400 indie MI retailers globally and experienced 100% growth during 2023, said the three most popular functions he sees MI retailers gravitating towards when selecting a POS system are the POS system’s integration with a store’s website and Reverb page, its automated marketing tools and its product vendor catalogs. “Our product vendor catalogs empower retailers to quickly add products with their images and descriptions to the system for in-store, website and Reverb sales,” Har- nois explained. “All of these are revenue drivers that continue to be the most im- portant factors.” The Acoustic Shoppe’s Chapman said Reverb integration was also important for his dealership when looking to get off the ground as an online retailer — as well as ease of use for his staff. “We needed a system with a user inter- face [that operated and looked] more like the modern web-based software that we’re all using on a daily basis,” Chapman said, adding that a cloud-based system was also a must. “[Choosing a] cloud-based POS system was very important because the ability to log into our POS system to run transac- tions remotely at events, check on inven- tory, contact customers or just check on the EOD report can’t be overstated. Having the software hosted locally is something that I could never see ourselves going back to.” Justin Sims of Sims Music agreed a cloud- based platform was an important factor when selecting Lightspeed for his dealership. “Instead of having to be on computers at the shop, we could now access all of our information from anywhere on our phones,” Sims said, adding that an easy-to-use inter- face for employees was also key. “Ease of use was also a big selling-point. With our older system, most of the employees who had been using it for years still couldn’t navigate the system properly. With Lightspeed, we’re

40 I MUSIC INC. I MAY 2024

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