Running a salon business is no easy feat. There are many different things you need to think about, from managing appointments, finding more clients, accepting payments, doing your taxes, and other miscellaneous tasks that come with being a salon owner.
But at the core of your business is the ability to serve your clients. And this means that you need to provide a seamless way for people to book appointments with you. The easier you make it for clients to receive your services, the better your client experience will be. And with a great client experience comes repeat clients.
But, with so many clients to book, reschedule, and manage, it can be difficult to stay organized and efficient. That's where appointment booking apps come to play. These apps can help streamline your booking process, improve your customer experience, and ultimately, help you grow your salon business.
In this blog post, we'll be taking a closer look at the seven best appointment booking apps for salons. We'll discuss the benefits of using appointment booking apps, how they work, and what factors you should consider when choosing an app for your salon. Then, we'll dive into the top apps on the market, providing a detailed overview of each app, including pricing, features, and user reviews. Whether you're a new salon owner or a seasoned professional, this post will help you find the perfect appointment booking app to fit your business needs.
Whether you’re an independent salon owner, or you have a full staff of employees, your time is precious. You have clients to attend to, staff to manage, and a business to run. One of the most significant benefits of using an appointment booking app is that it can help you save time and streamline your entire booking process.
Not only that, but many online booking apps, like GlossGenius, have a built- in client management system. This allows you to send appointment reminders, through SMS or email reminders, to clients before their appointment date so you can decrease the number of no-show clients.
Here are some of the benefits of using a salon appointment scheduling app:
Long story short, an appointment booking app is your best friend when it comes to improving your client relationships and acquiring more clients. Before we dive into our top picks for the best apps, let’s quickly go over how these platforms actually work.
Most booking and scheduling software give you a custom calendar that you can send to clients to view open time slots that they can book. Some of these platforms give you a generic landing page that you can put on your website, while others offer you a custom website where clients can view your services, purchase, and book directly in one place.
When looking for an appointment booking app, you need to make sure it has the right features for the type of business you are running. Here are some key features you should consider:
Okay, now that we know what features make a great appointment booking app, let’s go over some of the best platforms for online appointment scheduling on the market today.
Here are our top picks for the best appointment booking software:
Okay, let’s dive deeper into each one.
Female-founded in 2016, GlossGenius has quickly become one of the most popular salon software on the market, processing over $2B in annualized transaction activity for salon and spa owners across the U.S.
GlossGenius’ CEO, Danielle Cohen-Shohet, designed the platform to help salon owners with everything from online booking to managing payments, and helping salons market themselves online to get more clients. Today, GlossGenius helps over 50,000 independent salons set up their online booking page, send client notifications, process payments both online and through a physical credit card reader.
Key features of GlossGenius as an appointment scheduling software:
GlossGenius also offers different paid plans for each stage of your salon business. The GlossGenius Standard plan costs just $24 per month and includes all the essential features you need to get up and running. The GlossGenius Gold plan offers everything in the Standard plan, as well as advanced features such as client waitlist, liability waivers, and a smart form builder called Genius Form, for $48 per month.
Square is a popular online scheduling platform designed for businesses of all types. From salons, fitness studios, to coffee shops, many in-person businesses rely on Square to process their payments.
It’s important to note that Square is very much focused on payments first. So if you’re looking for a robust booking system designed specifically for salons or spas, it might be worth looking into an alternative. But, if you want a simple booking system that can process payments, Square Appointments can be a viable option.
Here are some of the pros of using Square:
Here are some of the cons of using Square:
Square also offers a broad range of pricing plans. Their pricing starts at 2.6% + 10¢ per transaction for their "Pay as you go" plan, which includes basic features like online booking and payment processing. They also offer a "Plus" plan for $29+ per month, which includes more advanced features like staff management, marketing, and analytics.
Acuity Scheduling is an appointment scheduling software that enables clients to book appointments, make payments, and fill out intake forms online. It was initially founded in 2006, but was later acquired by Squarespace (a popular website building platform). Acuity is a great platform for small to medium sized salon businesses looking for an affordable booking solution.
Just like GlossGenius, Acuity gives you the ability to accept payments online and share your calendar availability with potential clients. But if you want a salon software that gives you more than just appointment scheduling, it might be worth looking into an alternative. Regardless, Acuity is a great platform if all you need is the ability to let clients book appointments with you.
Here are some of the pros of Acuity:
Here are some of the cons of using Acuity:
Acuity Scheduling offers four pricing plans, starting from the "Emerging" plan ($20/month) that allows for one calendar and one appointment type. The other plans are "Growing" ($34/month) and "Powerhouse Player" ($61/month). The higher-tier plans come with additional features, such as class scheduling, custom branding, and custom reporting.
Related Reads: Acuity vs GlossGenius vs Vagaro: Which Is Best?
Mindbody is a wellness platform that was founded in 2001, catering to clients looking for salon, spa, fitness, and beauty and wellness services. For business owners, the platform offers Mindbody Business – a comprehensive salon software solution that allows them to manage their operations. Similar to GlossGenius, Mindbody Business offers much more than a simple online booking platform.
Some of its key features include appointment scheduling, a branded mobile app (for iOS and Android), AI customer support, payment management, and various marketing tools. This suite of capabilities enables businesses to streamline their operations, while also expanding their reach and customer base.
Here are some of the pros of using Mindbody:
Here are some of the cons of using Mindbody:
Mindbody has custom pricing plans which are not public on their website. Because of this, Mindbody does lean more on the enterprise side and is probably better suited for larger businesses.
Fresha is an appointment scheduling software that caters to the beauty and wellness industry. Similar to Vagaro and Mindbody, Fresha also has a services marketplace that can help businesses expand their customer base. Fresha offers many of the same features as other salon software solutions, including appointment scheduling, a POS system, inventory management, and a marketplace.
Fresha's basic features, such as appointment scheduling, client email notifications, and inventory management, are free to use. However, if you want access to their marketplace, better marketing and texting features, and automated notifications, you will have to pay per use. This pricing model can be attractive for new beauty professionals, but as your business grows, so will your monthly bill. While the Fresha marketplace can help you find new clients, it also means you'll be competing on price and location with other businesses on the platform.
Here are some of the pros of using Fresha:
Here are some of the cons of using Fresha:
Overall, Fresha is a solid platform for salons and spas that are just starting out and want to test the waters. Its mobile application and marketplace can be useful tools for expanding your business, but the pay-per-use model may become costly as your business grows.
Created in 2009, Vagaro is a marketplace designed to help people find salons and spas in their local neighborhoods so they could book appointments online. In addition to being a marketplace, Vagaro offers salon owners a suite of software tools designed to help with the back end of their business, such as online booking, payments, notifications, and customer tracking.
Vagaro is a good option for hair salons or wellness spas who are looking for a platform with similar features to GlossGenius. However, it's important to note that Vagaro uses an add-on model where you need to pay to unlock certain features, which can add up quickly.
Here are some of the pros of using Vagaro:
Here are some of the cons of using Vagaro:
Vagaro's pricing starts at $25 per month for individual business owners with no employees. But if you have multiple team members or want to grow your business, Vagaro charges an additional $10 per user per month, which can become expensive.
Related Reads: 10 Best Vagaro Alternatives for Salons and Spas
Booksy is an all-in-one booking and management software specifically designed for beauty and wellness businesses. It was founded in 2013 and has since grown into a popular salon and spa software solution.
Booksy has a wide range of features, just like GlossGenius, such as online booking, online payments, marketing tools, and client management (CRM). But, if you’re looking for a custom salon website and a mobile app to manage your business, it might be worth looking into an alternative.
Here are some of the pros of using Booksy:
Here are some of the cons of using Booksy:
Overall, Booksy is a solid option for small businesses looking for a comprehensive salon and spa booking software. But, the limited customization around client reminders and reviews can make you want to look for an alternative.
In conclusion, using an appointment booking app can be extremely beneficial for salon owners, as it can save time, improve organization, and enhance the customer experience. By reducing no-shows and cancellations, appointment booking apps can ultimately increase revenue for your salon business.
When choosing an appointment booking app, consider features such as automated reminders, staff management, payment processing, and reporting and analytics. Our top picks for the best appointment booking apps for salons include GlossGenius, Square, Acuity Scheduling, Mindbody, Fresha, Vagaro, and Booksy. By implementing an appointment booking app into your salon business, you can streamline your booking process, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately grow your business.
If you’re ready to start booking more appointments, be sure to start your free trial with GlossGenius!