App of the Day
Ecommerce February 20, 2014

Lettuce App Review

When Raad Mobrem and Frank Jones founded Venice, CA-based Lettuce, Inc.—an order and inventory management platform—they attempted to bridge the gap between commerce and transportation that would make the impractical nature of modern order management software obsolete. That dream shared by the founders has successfully made life easier for small businesses dealing with inventory in transit. Their easy-to-use mobile sales app allows businesses to capture, track and process orders anywhere in real time creating less confusion and headache for those who use the app.

Lettuce is simply innovative due to the problem it solves. Product-based companies struggle with the time-consuming task of manually keeping track of inventory numbers and ever changing customer orders. But powerful desktop softwares are no perfect solution, as they do not allow mobility. The key asset for the Lettuce mobile app is ability to capture orders anywhere, enabling sales reps and entrepreneurs to showcase their products and sell them on the go as well as events without WiFi being necessary.

Combined with a comprehensive analytics suite web app to help users study data and make smart business decisions, free customer service with friendly representatives, and integration with many popular e-commerce and account systems, Lettuce may be the ultimate solution for small business owners.

Pricing and Availability

The web app is accessible on any operating system and browser, and the mobile app is available for iOS on the iPad. Prices are split up into three tiers—$39 a month, $89 a month or $179 a month—to meet the needs and size of any business. Lettuce also has a light tier that’s available for customers who are new or growing (have processed less than 100 orders). Customers who fall under this category are eligible to receive tier 2 features for the tier 1 price ($39).

First impressions

The interface of the app is wonderfully simple with real-time updates at the user’s disposal. Orders are broken into two areas B2C (Business to Consumer) or B2B (Business to Business). Lettuce also has the ability to customize the processing for orders based on each individual order, which allows users to change strategies when needed. As the world of inventory is ever changing, the feature of custom processing is extremely important and can make-or-break any inventory app’s practical usability.

What it does well

The app is easy to navigate. To access order details and any other actions associated with the order, the user only has to click a specific order to see all the relevant information. Unlike complicated inventory systems that sometimes require days of training, anyone with moderate technological ability can pick up the app with ease. Automation of tasks such shipping labels, packing slips, invoices and shipping calculation just makes life easier.

New users of the app will notice that adjusting inventory details is intuitive. Users can configure custom shipping options, change commissions, and add or subtract products associated with each order. The analytics within Lettuce help businesses crunch data and make smarter business decisions. For example, Lettuce tracks best selling customers and products, which in turn helps prioritize efforts.

It is worth noting that their integrations with popular programs—such as Shopify, Quickbooks and Stripe—and the United States Post Service, UPS and FedEx saves even more time for users of the app.

What we would like to see in future updates

There is not much to complain about when it comes to Lettuce but one thing we would like to see in the future is the mobile app being available on more devices. Currently the mobile app is only compatible with iOS on iPads only. We would love to see the mobile app being accessible on a plethora of devices such as Androids, iPhones, and other tablets, though we wouldn’t be surprised if device compatibility is already planned.

The verdict

Although in the future we would love to see the mobile app available on a wider variety of devices, that’s being nit-picky. Lettuce is by all means awesome—the intuitive interface mixed with excellent analytics leaves us utterly impressed and we’re sure you’ll think same.

Interview with Lettuce

Q. What moved you to pursue to build Lettuce? What does it do different than other products?

Our founders were originally running a dog toy company that was born out of a class project in college. While running the dog toy company they experienced the inefficiencies of running an inventory-based business first-hand:

  • Taking orders on pen & paper
  • Showcasing wholesale products on paper line sheets
  • Keeping track of inventory on color coded excel spreadsheets

They felt the same frustrations other small businesses owners did and so they built a tool to help them streamline all of these processes. Frank Jones, Lettuce's CTO, built an iPad app to capture orders and the guys started taking this iPad to trade shows. What was amazing was other business owners would come up to them and ask them where they could download the app.

This was when they realized there was a massive opportunity for an order & inventory management solution made for small businesses, and decided to pursue it full-time.

The fact that these guys ate their own dog food and tested the product on their own company first means they deeply understand the problem they're trying to solve. Even to this day, all of our product decisions are based on a "user centric" model where we really think deeply about what would make sense for our customers & help make their businesses more efficient.

Q. What has been the most challenging experience in building Lettuce?

Analytics. Getting deeper insight into the business across the entire funnel. We quickly learned an out of the box solution was not going to work for us and we'd need to work cross functionally (across sales, marketing and development) to get key metrics.

Getting insight into our business directly affects our customers—if we see someone is not using a particular feature we released or if people aren't attracted to a specific pricing tier then we adjust and test to see what people really want. But first you have to have the systems in place to even see metrics around whatever it is you're testing.

Q. What has been a major influence for the design or idea behind Lettuce?

Our goal is to make Lettuce extremely beautiful and very easy to use. We think deeply about user experience and design and our main objective is to make Lettuce blend into the workflow of a typical small business. For example, the learning curve for getting setup and using Lettuce is very low compared to major inventory management systems and we pulled a lot of inspiration from the on-boarding process of other successful apps like Dropbox, Zendesk and Square.

Q. Who is this app for?

Any product-based business. We grow with our customers and our pricing model reflects that. Some of our customers process less than 100 orders a month and others process more than 20,000.

The main thing to remember is inventory management isn't something you can delay because accounting, proper inventory counts, timely order processing, etc. are all extremely important to running your business efficiently. For example, customers completely rely on Lettuce to get their invoices into Quickbooks properly for their accounting. This is hours of manual work that they don't have to do by hand. While at first it might seem like an additional operating cost, the way you should really think about Lettuce is an investment.

Q. Who would be a better spokesperson for Lettuce: Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, or a Roswell Alien?

For sure Sasquatch. Make him a massive, walking billboard for Lettuce ;).

Q. What is in store for the future for Lettuce?

Integrating into more e-commerce systems. Many of our customers don't just sell on Shopify but other sales channels as well so we really want to deliver integrations to them in the coming year that'll make their lives much easier.

Thank you Nima Patel and the Lettuce team for the interview. @nimapt @lettuceapps

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