The Hamilton Spectator

Lightspeed exploring new AI features

Technology could help forecast sales, write descriptio­ns


The newly returned head of Lightspeed Commerce Inc. says the company is exploring how it can use generative artificial intelligen­ce to help its customers.

Dax Dasilva, chief executive of the Montreal-based technology company, says AI could be helpful for merchants wanting to write product descriptio­ns if they have high volumes of merchandis­e.

He also sees it as potentiall­y useful for sellers looking to forecast how much they need to purchase for their next season, a task he called “labour-intensive.”

“It requires a lot of attention by the business owner who has less and less time because they have to be great online, great in-store or in-restaurant,” he said Wednesday at the CIX Summit held at the Design Exchange in Toronto.

“You have so many factors, but AI can help with that process.”

Lightspeed’s interest in AI is in tandem with several other sectors that have been experiment­ing with how the technology can deliver efficiency and cost savings to their businesses and customers.

Dasilva’s mention of the technology is notable because it comes as he is charting a new path for Lightspeed, which he founded in 2005.

Dasilva served as its CEO for the bulk of its history but became executive chair when he turned the reins of the company over to JP Chauvetin February 2022. Dasilva returned to the CEO role in February this year, when Chauvet departed the company.

Now that he’s back in the top job, Dasilva has been focused on profitabil­ity and boosting Lightspeed’s share price, which he has said hasn’t budged much since he took the company public in 2019.

Part of Dasilva’s return has meant hearing from shareholde­rs.

“One of our top shareholde­rs said to me, ‘I want to see Lightspeed be a real business. It can’t be growth at all costs with large losses just to capture market share forever. When is this company going to have a balance of growth and profitabil­ity?’ ” Dasilva said.

Before the company took on venture capital and “supercharg­ed everything to grow faster,” Dasilva said Lightspeed was profitable.

Now, he acknowledg­ed it needs to have “good discipline,” find efficienci­es and “not just pursue growth without considerin­g the operations.”

But, he warned, “there’s only so much you can do in the shortterm.”

So far, Lightspeed has shifted its sales summit from an in-person affair to a virtual event to help rein in expenses.

It has also changed its work from home policies, so it can reduce some of the days it provides food to staff in its offices.

Now, all employees are required to be in the office three days a week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada