Setting up Matrices

eosdeosd Member Posts: 3

We are a new user to Lightspeed, migrating from another POS. We have experimented with policies to set up matrices. We are a specialized apparel retailer. Our initial strategy was to set up a matrix for each vendor item so a matrix would be for example, a shirt with Color and Size attributes. We want to add images of products though and this would be either adding a specific color item at the matrix level, or adding images to each color/size item meaning a lot of duplicated images.

So, we decided to create a matrix for each vendor item/color with only size attributes which means we can associate the relevant color to the matrix. The issue I have is it's less intuitive and there's a lot more matrices. I suppose this would create an issue if we want to add the ecomm feature which we are thinking about, but there's another issue for that decision.

I'm torn since within Lightspeed retail, it seems that all management of inventory is done at an item level (POS search, PO creation). You can't select a matrix then select attributes (like we're used to with our old POS). Lightspeed's search is very good so in the end it doesn't seem to matter. The item names are about the same and the search capability is the same with either matrix setup. So the matrix setup doesn't seem to matter. The only value I can see is to support the ecomm feature, exceptionalities to make it easier to change matrix wide attributes like price.

Does anyone have any thoughts here ? It would be very useful if you could add a matrix to a PO and then select the attributes but Lightspeed doesn't seem to work that way.

As for the ecomm feature, I guess it needs a matrix and attributes to drive the web site. Attributes show up in the web site. Our complication is that our web site sells decorated items eg a logo for a specific organization with specific color choices of standard products. For ecomm to work for us, we'd need a matrix with color, size and maybe logo, Or we'd have a logo product with color/size attributes so the customer doesn't actually have to choose a logo - it's a standard part of that product. The issue then becomes inventory management. We need to manage inventory at a "blank" level no matter the logo used. We have this issue with the commerce system we use today and we had this issue with our old system but we are thinking there must be a better solution with Lightspeed but have't found it yet. Perhaps this becomes a tangent discussion but we have experimented with assemblies. In conceptual terms, we would build assemblies for each logo'd product eg shirt with logo1 and shirt with logo 2, using the same base products. I think we could create base items and then assemblies for each logo version of the base product, then create a "logo product matrix" of the applicable logo versions of the same product.

This doesn't seem to completely solve the inventory problem since it seems you still have to manage inventory at the item level. I mean that if you sell an assembly, inventory is still managed at the assembly level and so we'd have to manually "create" assemblies that would then move inventory from the base product to the assembly. Not perfect but better than we have now which is basically to manually reenter online orders into the retail system.

Perhaps your eyes are now rolling into your head but I'd appreciate feedback on

1) Matrix setup strategies

2) Experience with managing inventory using assemblies.

6 comments

  • JoeyJoey Administrator, Moderator, Lightspeed Staff Posts: 243 moderator

    Hi @eosd

    Here is my recommendation from an eCom perspective, the Matrices should be created based on the physical products you have in stock. If this means shirt X with different colors and sizes then the matrix should contains these two attributes, size and color. If shirts have pre-printed logos, each logo'd shirt should be it's own matrix. But if the logo will be printed on the shirt it should remain the same matrix.

    That being said, within eCom you can create custom fields where the shopper can choose if they want a customization. You can use a third party app to allow customers to upload their logo.

    One thing to keep in mind is that for now you can only upload 12 images per product. So any product in eCom can only contain 12 images , even if the matrix and it's items in Retail can hold more. This is important if you have more then 12 colors per matrix.

    I hope this clarifies the eCom side of things!

    eCom Support Team
    Lightspeed HQ
  • VanessaDVanessaD Moderator, Lightspeed Staff Posts: 93 moderator

    ​Hey @eosd !


    Thanks for reaching out. I can confirm that currently, matrices in Lightspeed are not items, so they cannot be selected based off of the matrix itself.


    There is, however a workaround we can suggest, which is to search for the basic matrix description when searching for items, which will open an item-search page, including all the items with this shared description (and display a list of all available attribute options).


    From there, you can click the checkboxes on the left-hand side and add all items applicable to said matrix product to your PO. (seen below)


    Hope this helps!

    ———


    If you have any further questions Please do not hesitate to contact LightSpeed support or check out our Support Page.


    Cheers!


    Vanessa D.

    Lightspeed Retail Support

    866-932-1801 ext. 2 (Toll-Free)

    514-907-1801 ext. 2 (Montreal)

  • eosdeosd Member Posts: 3

    Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.

    For the PO, I understand your suggestion. Unless I misunderstand though, this will search the item text in any case, not display the items in a selectable matrix. So, it won't matter if the item is "shirt navy small" (color/size attribute) vs "shirt - navy small" (size only attribute), since the search is pretty good and we have rational descriptions. I don't understand yet how items are ordered in a search result but I don't see that matters, items searched don't seem to be in the same order as specified in the matrix. For example if I order the matrix in increasing size, the search doesn't show them that way. I guess I'm just trying to understand why a particular matrix setup is better than another (excluding ecomm). I suppose one thing would be that it's easier for naming consistency if a matrix has more attributes.

    For ecomm. I understand your rationale and it makes sense. Our need is a little in the middle and a little more complex. For a particular school, they will have a defined subset of colors and a defined logo so having a personalization option would make them specify when they really have no choice. Similar with the color, if they only have one color choice, I don't want to give them a color choice for colors they cannot have and I don't want to make them choose a color if they have no choice. So, the only thing I can see is to create a matrix for the specific item with the options that are allowed with a presumption of the decoration for that matrix. (Unless - can you have a single attribute that is automatically selected ? - they can only have white and that is an option but the customer doesn't have to choose it to add it to the basket). This leaves me with how to manage inventory of all the customized products and the base product.

    I have been looking at assemblies and need to spend more time but my thought is to create base items -create a matrix with all attributes that creates the base items. Then, I create assembly items choosing the applicable colors and a specific logo. Last, group these items into a new matrix for a specific school and then assign the items to applicable attributes and to the ecomm system.

    To manage inventory, I was hoping that LS would pull inventory from the item in the assembly but I don't think that works - it looks like you have to "create" an assembly which moves inventory manually. This would be much better than we have today which is to replicate an online order in LS. Another solution I've seen from LS is to create mfg returns for the items sold online and is probably better yet. But, creating an assembly could be more easily worked into our production process and might actually be helpful. SO, the main question here - if I create a matrix out of assembled items can I assign that as an ecomm product ? Kind of thinking out loud here.

    Appreciate thoughts.

  • JoeyJoey Administrator, Moderator, Lightspeed Staff Posts: 243 moderator

    In my opinion working with assemblies is going to make it much more complicated than needed.

    The two options using matrices are:

    1 - You can create a three attribute matrix in Retail for Logo, Color and Size. Only create the products for the color & logo options that are available:

    Within eCom this will look like:

    Note that eCom will still show all the colors by default in the dropdown but we have apps and certain themes that filter this out and make it look nice.

    2 - The second option is to create a color-size matrix for each logo. This will create a product for each logo in eCom. You can then assign these similar products to the same category to organize them.

    eCom Support Team
    Lightspeed HQ
  • VanessaDVanessaD Moderator, Lightspeed Staff Posts: 93 moderator

    Hey @eosd

    Item searches will always show results in alphanumerical order, so if you have a list of items from XS, S, M, L, XL and XXL (by example) and search for a basic matrix descriptions, your items will appear as L first, then M, then S, XL, XS and XXL since L = 12, M= 13, S=19 etc.


    If you wanted to format your Matrix Attributes to reflect this, you could always put a 1 in front of Small, so 1Small, 2Medium, 3Large etc.


    This forces the sizes to appear in order since we're forcing the alphanumeric system to find the items in the right order.

    ———


    If you have any further questions Please do not hesitate to contact LightSpeed support or check out our Support Page.


    Cheers!


    Vanessa D.

    Lightspeed Retail Support

    866-932-1801 ext. 2 (Toll-Free)

    514-907-1801 ext. 2 (Montreal)

  • eosdeosd Member Posts: 3

    Thanks again to the both of you. Understand the sort sequence, we'll look at adding a sequence number.

    Also understand the matrix setup for ecomm. It's more or less how we do it today on the other platform and I see how that could translate to ecomm.

    My challenge (which we knew coming in) is inventory management. We need to manage inventory at the blank level which means some kind of manual intervention to adjust inventory for ecomm sales of school specific products. That's what I was thinking if the assembly would help.

Sign In or Register to comment.