The Best Salon Software Businesses Love and Endorse

Can you imagine going all your life without a single trip to the salon? Personal grooming services have mushroomed over the years and are now offered both in-stores as well as at home. All customers need to do is phone in or use an app to confirm appointments. These appointments are then recorded into a salon management software to make it easier to manage bookings. The best salon software helps businesses connect with, grow and delight their customers.

A salon software enables beauty and self-care experts to keep track of all appointments and prevents double bookings or schedule conflicts. It even lets businesses understand those services that are most, and least frequently used which lets businesses market and relaunch them.

In this post we’ll go into the salon software best suited for pop-up booths, small, medium and large-scale salons. Let’s start with defining salon software.

1. What is Salon Software?

what is salon management software

Salon software is an online tool designed to automate the day-to-day activities of a salon or spa. It enables salon managers or businesses to manage their daily schedules, staff and inventory with ease. You can edit existing bookings, create new appointments and set reminders and alerts. It makes use of automation to personalize services and notify customers of free slots, cashbacks, discounts and gift cards that they can cash in.

Appointment management is designed to give salon managers access to bookings, manage resources and staff and organize shifts and timeoffs. The platform also lets businesses reach out to clients for feedback on services and stores various payment options to simplify and reconcile transactions.

2. What are the Features of Salon Software?

what are the features of salon software

 

The core features of the best salon software include appointment management, marketing and lead generation, point of sale and reports.

The features you will find in most of the best salon software are

  1. Online scheduling
  2. Cancelation management
  3. Point-Of-Sale with integrated payment processing and suggestive selling
  4. Automated confirmations
  5. Reporting on client activities, booking histories and employee schedules.
  6. Inventory management
  7. Automated Email and Mass marketing capabilities
  8. Integrated eCommerce for selling salon products online.
  9. Built-in ticketing system that facilitates prompt and responsive customer service.

3. Why is Salon Management Software Important?

salon management system

 

Considering the hours you save (not to mention the tedium of manually reconciling records), businesses are now replacing manual paperwork with salon software. Besides preventing appointment overlaps, the best salon software even maps customer details to the services they request for regularly. The more personal the marketing, the easier it will be for salons to attract and retain their clientele.

The benefits of a salon software include:

  1. Filling up no-shows.
  2. Reassigning canceled appointments.
  3. Ensuring service personnel availability for requested services.
  4. Reduced queuing and wait-time.
  5. Increases customer satisfaction.

4. How Much Does Salon Software Cost?

how much does salon software cost

 

If you’re looking for a ballpark figure, salon software costs between $15 to $395 per month. The best salon software has pricing slabs based on the size of your business and number of users who’ll require access to the platform. There are monthly and annual packages. If you opt for yearly plans, it works out to be cheaper, not to mention that you won’t have to worry about missing a payment.
Phorest, for example, offers quotes based on the features that come with their plans which are broadly called Starter,Grow and Ultimate. The website does not list any particular pricing range, but instead offers prospects the option to book a demo. Feedback and review engines have mentioned that the starter plan costs $79 per month.

5. The Best Salon Software for Small Businesses

what is the best salon software

 

1.Timely

Timely

About:
Timely is a salon software launched by Andrew Schofield, Ryan Baker and William Berger in December 2011. It is headquartered in New Zealand with offices in Australia and the United Kingdom. Customers on Timely include Green Butterfly, Manscape and Stevie Vincent.

Timely Features at a glance:

  • Appointments
  • Client Management
  • Sales and Payments
  • Marketing
  • Inventory
  • Reports and analytics
  • TimelyPay

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Timely

  1. The TimelyPay app makes online payments easy for customers.
  2. The Facebook integration accepts bookings made via Facebook.
  3. Users report the customer support to be responsive and helpful in providing timely assistance. It’s also device-friendly, meaning you can access your calendar anywhere, anytime and on any device.
  4. It’s easy to generate email campaigns and maintain a customizable contacts database.

A few cons observed were that

  1. The booking process is lengthy and requests a lot of user information before revealing the price at the end. Some businesses report that clients prefer phoning in over using the tool app because it saves more time.
  2. The facility for daily financial reconciliation is missing.
  3. Email options for follow-ups and rebooking reminders are limited.

Pricing
Timely offers a 14-day free trial. The plans start from $15 (solo or Just-Me package), $30 for 2-7 member teams,$200 for 8-20 teams and custom pricing for 20+ staff.

2. Salonist

Salonist

About
Launched in 2016 in Singapore, Salonist offers optimized salon software in 60 countries and supports 8 languages.It is used by over 1000 small to medium clients worldwide, including Sketchers,DHL and Abila Beauty Salon.

Salonist Features at a glance:

  1. Payroll & Employee Management
  2. Appointment Management
  3. Customer management
  4. Reward/Loyalty System
  5. Salon Management
  6. Billing & Invoicing
  7. Branch and Location Management
  8. Prepaid and credit

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Salonist

  1. The API is device-compatible which offers customers options to access the app and make bookings from any device.
  2. End-to-end data security.
  3. It has live support with a very responsive customer service team.

The downside is that:

  • The Reports could be made better for advanced calculations and help in auditing aspects.

Price Salonist offers a 14 day free trial to check the fitment. The free version offers unlimited appointments, while the starter, business and enterprise cost $29, $69 and $129 respectively. These packages offer priority support, membership, package and expense management.

3. Rosy

Rosy

About
Rosy Salon Software was launched in 2009 by Floydware Software in the USA. It was one of the first cloud based softwares designed by Salon professionals for efficient business scheduling. Happy customers include Lux Lashes, Duke the Studio and TrenaKaye SkinSpa.

Rosy Salon Software Features at a Glance

  • Curbside check in- contactless check-in for customers from their car to alert staff.
  • Email Marketing / SMS Marketing
  • Inventory Control & Management
  • Appointment Management – with client images
  • Credit Card & Gift Card Processing
  • Client Management & Credit Control
  • Employee Management
  • Point of Sale (POS) option- Billing & Invoicing

Weighing the Pros & Cons of Rosy Salon software

  • The application is accessible on any device and sends out reminders automatically.
  • The placeholder for appointments changes colors as and when clients confirm, cancel or request rescheduling, meaning that you don’t have to repeatedly chase customers.
  • Reports are customizable and has a SWOT identifier for a stylist’s competencies.

A Few Downside include:

  • Some customers complain that the scheduling feature is difficult to use.
  • This is not a con if you have prior CRM experience or use other mail building and campaign creation tools, but the email Builder within the CRM could evolve better. The software handles automated emails once it has been set up.

Price: Rosy’s plan starts at $29 per month. There’s the option to pick the number of employees who will need the software.

4. Mindbody

Mindbody

About
Mindbody was founded in 2001 in California,U.S. This is the best salon software for small businesses that offer beauty spa and wellness treatments. It caters to over 35 million customers in over 130 countries & territories worldwide.

Mindbody Features at a Glance:

  • Financial, inventory and employee Management
  • Point of Sale (POS)- Billing & Invoicing
  • Time & Expense Monitoring
  • Client Management
  • eCommerce Management- social media integrations
  • Marketing Management
  • Workflows Management

Weighing the Pros & Cons for Mindbody

  • It has an API – so it can be seamlessly integrated.
  • The business intelligence suite helps you analyze customer data and improve or revise your marketing tactics.
  • There’s a livestream option for Yoga and wellness classes. Mindbody is the first of its kind to offer workout sessions besides salon management.
    One downside to Mindbody’s salon software is that it’s a bit expensive, and some users have reported the customer service to plummet from its initial responsiveness and helpfulness.

Pricing
Mindbody salon software’s Price Slabs divide the packages into Starter, Pro and Accelerate which costs $72, $121 and $190 respectively.

5. Acuity Scheduling

Acuity Scheduling

About
Acuity Scheduling is a Squarespace product offering and is an online salon management assistant.

Acuity Features At a Glance

  • Appointment Scheduling
  • Client Information Organizer
  • Social media calendar sharing
  • HIPAA compliance
  • Custom reminder mail and texting
  • Two-way API integration

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Acuity

  1. It’s a simple organizer that is easy to set up.
  2. The tool sends out text message notifications when appointments are booked/rescheduled/canceled. The mobile app sees to it that customers never miss your reminders.
  3. Two way API integration with Google Calendar avoids double bookings

There’s just one minor flaw in Accuity which is that its mobile responsiveness could be improved. Users report that the calendar function doesn’t resize to fit based on the device width being used,i.e. From mobile to desktop, or vice versa.

Pricing

Pricing plans are categorized as Emerging, Growing and Powerhouse. These each cost $14, $23 and $45 per month.

6. And the Winner Is

Salonist !This Singapore-based software has it all covered for a smaller segment of Salons. It is cost-effective and provides excellent customer support, even for startups to get on with the game.

6. Salon software for Mid-sized Businesses

1. Meevo 2

Meevo 2

  • About
    Meevo 2 is a recent entrant to the array of cloud-based salon software available in the market. It is designed for all types and sizes of salons, and is based in Lombard, USA. Meevo was developed by Millennium Systems International and is used by the Florida Spa Association, Intercoiffure and iSpa.

    Meevo 2 Features at a Glance

    • Appointment management
    • Before & After Picture Gallery
    • Client Database management & profiling
    • Customer Mobile Apps & Surveys
    • Email Marketing
    • Gift Card & membership Management
    • Point of Sale (POS)

    Weighing the Pros & Cons of Meevo Salon Software

    • It has adequate customer support to set up and train the staff on the usage.
    • Ease of use web interface with Pop-ups that give you all client data.
    • A smart center and Dashboard.

    Downside includes

    • Printing reports comes out to be cumbersome.
    • Filters can be made better to sort the data.

    Pricing
    Meevo salon software’s pricing for Solo, Grow, Pro and Powerhouse are $47 / month, $ 97/ month, $197/month and $ 297/month

    2. Vagaro

Vagaro

  • About
    Launched in 2009 by Fred Helou in California, USA., Vagaro is a web-based solution for all sizes of Salon and wellness businesses. It helps in carrying marketing campaigns, fixing appointments, and conducting all services via the application.

    Vagaro Features at a Glance

    • Appointment Scheduling
    • Client & employee Management
    • Email & social media Marketing
    • Inventory Management
    • Loyalty & gift card Program
    • Payroll & Commissions
    • Point of Sale (POS)

    Weighing the Pros & Cons of Vagaro Salon Software

    • This web-based application offers users access from Multiple locations and
    • Booth rentals as a unique feature to vagaro
    • Users report the tool’s marketing automation to be helpful in expanding the business.

    Some downsides include

    • Difficulty in booking multiple services at once.
    • Navigation is not easy, with many customers reporting that they tend to get lost once they’re in.

    Pricing
    Vagaro offers a free trial period and post that it costs USD 25/ month/user.

    3. Zenoti

Zenoti

  • About
    Founded in 2010 by brothers Sudheer and Dheeraj Koneru, Zenoti is an all-in-one enterprise management software exclusively made for Spas, Salons, popularly used in over 50 countries. Engineered for reliability and scalability, the cloud-based enterprise-level software Zenoti has a centralized platform that provides access across multiple locations. Clients include Boardroom Salon For Men,Gene Juarez and Tricoci Salon & Spa.

    Zenoti Features at a Glance

    • Inventory & Locker management
    • Custom& Ad hoc reporting
    • Calendar management with reminders
    • HIPAA compliance
    • Sales statistics, analytics & reports
    • Automate- Task scheduling
    • Activity dashboard with Drag & drop interface
    • Loyalty program & gift card systems with POS
    • Social network and Email marketing

    Weighing the Pros & Cons of Zenoti

    • Digital consultation forms are very innovative and helpful for businesses.
    • Centralized inventory checking makes it easy to manage.
    • Marketing activities are easy as uploading offers and sending promotional messages are simple.

    Downside includes

    • Reporting packages could be useful
    • There is scope for improvement in the marketing feature, particularly in targeting a demographic section.
      Pricing
      Zenoti works completely on a subscription model; contact Zenoti for prices.

    4. Phorest

Phorest

  • About
    Founded in 2002 in Dublin Ireland, by Ronan Perceval, Phorest is a comprehensive cloud-based salon management tool. It’s used by over 7000 salons.

    Phorest Features at a Glance

    • TreatCard Loyalty Program that rewards clients & increases retention.
    • Salon-branded App & Online Bookings: Allows users to book appointments – 24/7
    • Email Marketing: sort & send by client type & service history
    • SMS Appointment Reminders that cut down “no-shows” by 70%
    • Reviews: get vital feedback from clients – review on every appointment
    • Selfie rewards: clients can share a selfie for extra loyalty points
    • Phorest Go: view, change & manage bookings on any device
    • Automate: & personalized thank you/birthday emails to client

    Weighing the Pros & Cons of Phorest

    • The support of reports is very commendable.
    • Users can access software across devices.
    • Loyalty schemes on social media are good.
    • Online bookings are direct.

    Downside includes:

    • Integrations with merchant services units could be an issue with some specific customers, but customers can solve it with the help of customer support.
    • Social media review integration could be helpful to promote better.
    • Employee handling, such as new employee addition in a new category, takes time- could improvise this feature.

    Pricing
    Phorest has different plans to suit customer needs. Contact the Phorest team to know more.

    5. Fresha

Fresha

  • About
    Fresha (formerly,Shedul) was launched in 2015 by William Zeqiri and Nick Miller. It is one of the best salon software that’s cloud-based and has a free version. It is well suited for med-spas, health clinics, Salons, massage centers, and wellness centers.

    Fresha Features at a Glance

    • Calendar-based scheduling
    • Powerful and flexible
    • Online bookings & Activity dashboard
    • Automatic reminders & Custom messages
    • Built-in POS
    • Invoicing
    • Receipts, taxes, calculations

    Weighing the Pros & Cons of Fresha

    • Shedul has Robust appointment scheduling with calendar displays.
    • Available in free and premium options so small organizations or freelancers can benefit from the free version.
    • Reliable and secure, and widely used

    The cons observed are:

    • User experience could be made better.
    • A mobile app could make it more accessible.

    Price: Free Free Free!

    6. And the Winner is

    Phorest. It was a choice between Phorest and Fresha, with the latter being free. But after careful deliberation over the facilities available, we think Phorest is best suited to mid-sized businesses. Besides which, Phorest is also committed to volunteering and fundraising, and operates on strong ethics.

    7. The Best Salon Software for Large Establishments

best salon software

best salon software

  • 1. Booker Spa

Booker Spa

  • About
    Founded in 2010, Booker is another Mindbody offering that serves over 10,000 high end salons and spas. It is an online 24/7 booking software that has earned over USD. 25 million in subscriptions and payment revenues as of 2017. Booker Spa’s clients include Jbe Beauty, Barbers of the lowcountry and Oak Haven.

    Booker Spa Features At a Glance

    • Booker Marketing Network: Allows booking on partner websites
    • Social media integrations & email promotions
    • Customized gift certificates & booking packages
    • Integrated point-of-sale (POS) system
    • Special offers, loyalty rewards programs & membership plans
    • Built-in CRM with Appointment reminders to clients
    • Customer feedback surveys
    • 3rd party API integration
    • 2-Way SMS Texting

    Weighing the Pros & Cons of Booker Spa

    • Scheduling staff and juggling appointments are straightforward.
    • Training videos for each feature make it easy to learn.
    • It has various tools, including time-clock, inventory management, etc., and easily compatible with other devices.

    Downside includes:

    • Since it’s web-based software, you’ll need steady connectivity to enter, access and modify appointments.
    • Adding special deals or offers needs to be made easier.

    Pricing
    Booker Spa Software comes in 3 monthly subscription-based packages:
    Essential $129: Manages schedule and streamline everyday tasks.
    Accelerate $195: carry out email campaigns and send text confirmations to clients.
    Ultimate $395: Grow your business with advanced marketing tools, automation & analytics.

    2. Insight Spa

Insight Spa

  • About
    Founded by Ajay Aggarwal in 1995, Insight Spa serves over 25,000 users in 28 countries. Insight spa is a cloud-based software in use by clients such as the Michael Anthony Salon.

    Insight Spa Features at a Glance

    • Appointment booking & reminders
    • Client management & Inventory management
    • Employee management
    • Shift scheduling
    • Loyalty program & Gift card system
    • Social marketing & Email marketing
    • API Integrations across devices

    Weighing the Pros & Cons of Insight Spa

    • It comes in bold colors and easy to use.
    • It is an excellent value for money as you can access it across devices.
    • Good customer support
    • Has both cloud version and the installed version

    Downside includes:

    • Too many features which most enterprises may not fully use.
    • SMS bundle costs extra and may burn a hole if not cautious.
    • Errors while generating reports which need fixing.

    Price: Insight Spa’s pricing tiers are intended for all types of customers and are as follows;
    Solo edition – USD 35/month (for single employee)
    Partner edition – USD 55/month (for 2-3 employees)
    Growth edition – USD 70/month (for 4-6 employees)
    Small business edition – USD 85/month (for 7–12 employees)
    Enterprise edition – USD 125/month (Unlimited employees)

    3. FlexiSalon ERP

FlexiSalon ERP

  • About
    Founded by Softmark in 1993, FlexiSalon ERP has a rich history of innovation in the salon industry. It comprises a wholesome package to grow your beauty business. Clients using FlexiSalon ERP include Sarla’s, nVi and Mudd Salon & Day Spa.

    FlexiSalon Features at a Glance

    • Email Marketing / SMS Marketing
    • Inventory Management
    • Reminders
    • Appointment Management
    • Credit Card & Gift Card Processing
    • Client Management & Credit Control
    • Online Booking

    Weighing the Pros & Cons of Flexi Salon ERP:

    • From wastage and consumption tracking to employee management, the tool lets you monitor activities across the enterprise.
    • Quick, friendly and helpful customer support.

    Downside includes:

    As a unified software, allied devices compatibility needs checking as Printer, and biometric devices can request for access too.

    Pricing
    Flexi Salon is a product of the company – Softmark. Since there is no free trial version, contact Softmark to get detailed pricing.

    4. eLite Spa

eLite Spa

  • About
    The eLite Spa was founded by Claire Hardwick in 2006, although the company’s history dates back to 1986. It is a simplified salon management system to streamline salon activities, improve productivity and boost sales. Customers include Myra and company, Oasis Day Spa & Salon and Fusion Spa.

    eLite Spa Features at a Glance

    • E-mail & SMS Marketing
    • Inventory Administration
    • Appointment Management
    • Referral schemes integration & Loyalty Management
    • Membership handling
    • Employee Management
    • Point of Sale (POS) & Cash Flow monitoring

    Weighing the Pros & Cons of eLite Spa

    • Reports and bookkeeping activities are hassle-free.
    • Users can carry out tracking clients and gift card status with this tool.

    Downside includes:

    Scope of overall improvement like user experience, reports, etc., needs to be intuitive in the application.

    Pricing
    eLite Spa’s pricing starts from USD 89 per month without a free trial version

    5. And the Winner Is

    Insight Spa.With both cloud and the downloadable version, large salons can use whichever works best for them. Ease of access via multi-location and varying price range all make it fit the big brand just right.

    8. What is the Best Salon Software?

    Our five picks to treat yourself or a loved one to a Spa day would be
    Rosy Salon Software
    Acuity Scheduling
    Fresha
    Timely and
    Insight Spa
    While Acuity is great for basic scheduling and appointment management, Rosy’s interface, customer support and features make it one of the best salon software there is for beauty, wellness and grooming services.

    When selecting tools for your business, think long-term and go for one that offers a trial period. The learning curve should be easy so that your staff can also familiarize themselves with how the tool’s features work. The best salon software is one that streamlines schedules for customers and employees alike, reconciles payments and enables you to know what your customers like (or dislike).

    Which one are you thinking of getting?


Aakash Gupta
Written by
Aakash Gupta

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