Its been a long time since I have done a comparison between two applications. This post will compare the two applications Checkout and Lightspeed. Theses applications are both designed for shops. They are applications which are designed to help shop employees sell their products. I am interested in this type of product since they are always well built and do have a lot of features. These two products are priced differently for different markets, as you will see from this post. This review will be split up into different sections, installation, interface, ease of use, price and finally my recommendation.
Installation of programs on a Mac is designed to be easy. Steve Job’s envisioned a simple drag and drop into the applications folder and you are done. Checkout follows this principle, you drag the application into your applications folder and you are done. There is other customizations which you can perform, but that is the short of it.
Lightspeed is designed to be a more used in larger stores. As a result it does install the “server” side software onto your computer if you are only using it on one machine. The idea behind this is that you can set up a server and then connect computers into the server, to make sure everything is running off the same database. As a result you have run an installer if you are using it on a single machine.
Both pieces of software, I should point out, are designed to scale. You can set up servers to store your products using both applications, Lightspeed is more deliberate about this.
The two applications have a very similar interfaces. They are both split up into two sections. Inventory and Selling. Checkout app has an interface similar to the ones below.
The image on the left is the screen which shows you your current products as well as past orders and stock. The image on the right is the order interface which you use to sell products in your inventory.
Adding products to the applications is not simple on the face of it. You have to go to the “Stock Room” to add products and view their statistics. As well as this you can manage your suppliers and stock.
The Lightspeed interface is a higher calibre than Checkout. It uses more gradients and looks a lot better. The applications is really split into two.
You use the left hand screen shot for controlling your stock, products and other store actions. The right hand screen shot shows the order interface, which is full screen and very pretty. The Lightspeed program is designed for fully fledged shops. There are hundreds of options for controlling the products in stock as well as the prices, time sheets plus many other features.
Ease Of Use
Although Lightspeed application is more professional, I do find it harder to use. There is so many features and items which you have to mange insert and use it does become overwhelming. Saying that the order interface is very simple. Lots of big buttons. The order interface is full screen so it work really well with a touch screen monitor.
Checkout app is a lot simpler to use. It is designed to be a simple Mac application to help sell your products in your store. It doesn’t have many of Lightspeeds advance features, but it is simple to switch back and forth between ordering and selling products. Lightspeed has lots of options which require admin passwords. Although this does increase security, it does make it longer to user.
The different applications have different price tags as is probably apparent by the feature set. Checkout is priced at €329, which works at around $520. Update: The price in dollars is actually $399, the exchange rates ended up a bit of a squiffy price. Lightspeed works out at around $749. Both of these are one user licence. They are not cheap applications and as a result you will have to pay a lot.
Recommending these applications is hard. You could pay for the cheaper application, Checkout, and save some money. But Lightspeed is a very complete application and is designed for big shops. It has many features that Checkout app doesn’t have. I would buy Lightspeed if I had the money. It also has lots of addons and other products which work with Lightspeed. So you are buying a complete popular product.
These are both good applications. They show what you can do with a Mac, but you do need to invest a lot of time and effort in setting them up correctly. I would love to use these applications. All I need to do now is have a shop.
I have only scratched the surface with these applications and is designed as a basic review. They are so complex and detailed that they need a whole load of posts just to review them. As with any big purchase I recommend you really test them out and see if you could use them.