Clover Station vs. ShopKeep Lightspeed POS
Update: ShopKeep by Lightspeed became Lightspeed POS in 2020.
Wondering how these two POS systems compare? Read on to see the similarities and differences between the Clover Station and Shopkeep.
Both Shopkeep and Clover offer merchants a chance to upgrade their computer based POS systems in favor of modern tablet based systems, which offer new operating systems and business management tools. Shopkeep uses an iPad, while Clover uses its own tablet manufactured specifically for the system.
The main difference between the two is that Shopkeep is an app that users download to their ipad and then open to run all of their POS functions. Clover is a standalone POS, meaning that once it turns on it operates only as a POS, but does give merchants access to the Clover App Market.
- Shopkeep $1,208-$1,508 (depending on iPad purchased) + $49/month subscription fee
- $399-$699 iPad Air
- $809 iPad enclosure, cash drawer, receipt printer, and credit card reader
- Clover $999
- Included in price: tablet and station, receipt printer, and cash drawer
Clover and Shopkeep are both able to be used with a multitude of different credit card processing companies, which means it’s up to merchants to make sure they are getting a good deal with whichever processing company they choose.
Additionally, Shopkeep does have its own payment solution, Shopkeep Payments, which is credit card processing through Shopkeep. They do not have any published rates, but again merchants just need to be sure they are getting a good deal. In my experience, companies that add payment processing on as an additional service are not able to offer as competitive deals as companies that specialize in payment processing.
Both of these POS systems allow merchants to be mobile while using them. Clover offers its Clover Mobile machine, while Shopkeep offers a handheld case for an iPad mini. With Shopkeep, since the POS is an iPad app its mobility is as mobile as an iPad can be, meaning users can purchase their mobile case which features a hand strap on the back to bring the iPad more easily. One thing to remember, if you’re using a second iPad as another mobile register you will have to pay an additional $49/mo as a subscription for a second register.
With Clover, users would purchase the Clover Mobile machine and then use it as another register. It also features a bar code scanner for mobile inventory management. Unlike Shopkeep, there is not an additional subscription fee to use the Clover Mobile, rather users purchase it outright and then own it.
One of the best, if not the best, aspect of updating your POS to one of these modern tablet based POS systems is the all in one management tools each one has to offer. Whether its reporting analytics or staff management, Clover and Shopkeep offer users simple tools to run their businesses more easily.
Shopkeep offers users features designed by their application engineers to make business simpler. Shopkeep allows access to reporting tools, inventory management, staff management, as well as, integration with Mail chimp and Qucikbooks. Their tools are beautifully designed and very simple to use, but these features do not come free. Shopkeep charges merchants $49/month per register to use the app along with its reporting features. In addition, only the features Shopkeep has engineered into the app are available to merchants.
Clover offers very similar reporting features as Shopkeep, like management tools and integration with popular software, but the method in which the features are available is different. Clover offers an app market to users so that they can pick and choose which business management apps they need. The Clover App Market is very similar to the Apple App Store, meaning some apps are free, some apps are paid, some are designed by Clover and some apps are designed by third party developers. Unlike the Shopkeep app, merchants are not limited to only the apps Clover has designed, but instead third party developers can contribute even more apps to the market and potentially fill a gap.
Clover in white and Shopkeep in black, both of these POS systems offer a sleek and modern look to your business. Clover’s cash drawer and receipt printer are both made only for the the Clover Station so they match exactly with each other and the other elements of the station. Shopkeep uses third party manufactured printers and cash drawers, which match in color but are not designed specifically for its system.
In addition to the standard iPad housing, Shopkeep offers other colors and finishes, which can be purchased for an additional cost. The different housings allow merchants to choose an iPad housing that matches the aesthetic of their business.
Both of these POS systems offer merchants more accessories to help make running your business easier. From bar code scanners to extra kitchen printers, both Clover and Shopkeep allow merchants to purchase the extra hardware they need. This means that if you get started with the base model and business grows requiring extra accessories these POS systems are able to accommodate the growth of all different business types.