One of the most important aspects of a successful salon or spa business is an exceptional client experience. Many factors contribute to good customer service, and one of these is salon software that provides outstanding functionality beneficial to both you and your clientele. You’ll want to choose a program that allows you to effectively manage appointments, collect payments, provide stellar customer service, and ensure repeat bookings in the future.
In this article, we compare three of the most popular platforms on the market – Vagaro vs Acuity vs GlossGenius. With our guide, you can decide on the salon software that will help you meet your goals and scale your business.
Vagaro emerged in 2009 as an affordable solution for salons and spas that needed a better method than pen and paper to manage their bookings. The idea came to founder Fred Helou during a trip to Korea, when he wanted to schedule a haircut back in the United States without paying long-distance calling fees.
Ten years later, Vagaro got its humble beginnings with the first server located in the closet of Fred’s guest bedroom. Since then, Vagaro has emerged as a key player in the salon software industry, helping everyone from independent salon professionals to large salons and spas manage and grow their businesses.
For smaller businesses that don't need many seats, Vagaro is a user-friendly, reasonably priced option with a variety of features. Salon and spa professionals can create a custom website with service offerings, staff biographies, brand images and videos, and business hours – all managed and hosted by Vagaro. Meanwhile, customers can easily schedule appointments with their preferred providers through the website or mobile app. Automated email or SMS reminders of their appointments help keep clients on track and reduce no-shows for busy professionals.
With Vagaro, salon and spa pros can manage client information regarding previous bookings, favorite services, and other details. In time, you’ll build a database for future marketing efforts while collecting user reviews from happy clients, helping you build your brand. You’re also able to manage your team with built-in staff attendance and payroll processing tools.
Vagaro also makes it easy to increase your revenue with point-of-sale features that enable the sales of gift certificates, packages, and products online and through the mobile app. Integrated email marketing features enable you to send promotional and informational messages to clients, furthering your reach.
It’s not uncommon for Vagaro users to report having difficulties with payment processing, including a complex checkout process, slow load times, glitches, and even downtime. Some users say Vagaro lacks customization on SMS messages, loyalty programs, reporting tools, and other features. These factors alone may push you to seek out more reliable options when it comes to Vagaro vs Acuity vs GlossGenius.
Related Reads: Vagaro vs Mindbody: Which Is Best for Salons?
Free trial and free account available. Plans start at $25 per user per month.
It isn’t just salons and spas that use Acuity Scheduling – businesses of all kinds rely on the online appointment scheduling software to manage their clients, appointments, payment processing, and other daily tasks. Acuity is ideal for salon and spa professionals looking to automate everything from payments to reminders, freeing up their time to run their small businesses.
More than a scheduling tool, Acuity offers an end-to-end solution that’s user-friendly, intuitive, and easy for clients to use.
Many clients like Acuity’s simple self-scheduling tools that enable guests to book appointments at their desired times. You’re able to offer unlimited services and appointments for one flat monthly rate. The app also includes integrations with popular third-party apps such as Stripe, Square, Zapier, PayPal, Google Analytics, and CRM tools. This makes it easy to continue using your favorite platforms, send out marketing messages, and manage your pipeline while taking advantage of Acuity’s scheduling tools.
Automated appointment confirmations, reminders, and follow-up emails help to reduce missed appointments. You can also embed the scheduler into your website, or build a website using Squarespace tools and templates. Acuity syncs with your Google Calendar, iCloud, Outlook, Exchange, and Office 365; check-out add-ons and built-in tipping tools help you increase your revenue effortlessly.
While the basic plan starts at $16 per month, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher tier to utilize more advanced options such as SMS reminders, subscriptions, memberships, and gift certificates. Although Acuity offers robust scheduling functionality, including video conferencing capabilities, you wouldn’t necessarily need all of these advanced features as a salon or spa pro who sees clients in person. And while you can export appointments into a spreadsheet to calculate payroll, Acuity isn’t designed for easy payroll processing and team management.
Free trial available. Pricing starts at $16 per month for a single user and location.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one salon and spa software app, GlossGenius is an excellent option for solo professionals and small teams. Launched in 2017 and headquartered in New York City, the app serves over 40,000 beauty and wellness entrepreneurs and oversees more than $2 billion in transaction activity annually. As an industry-best booking, invoicing, and payment solution, GlossGenius is on the cutting edge of salon and spa software.
Whether you’re a seasoned hairstylist or an up-and-coming esthetician, GlossGenius provides you with all the tools you need to provide a positive client experience. Stylish, user-friendly, and pleasing to the eye, the software makes it easy for clients to schedule appointments and manage their bookings. With GlossGenius, you’re empowered to be the creative entrepreneur you are rather than spend hours on administrative tasks.
GlossGenius users quickly become raving fans once they start using the software. Ease of use, white-glove customer support available 24/7, and a range of features tip the scales in favor of GlossGenius vs Vagaro or Acuity. The app features simple online booking, appointment reminders, and notifications for clients, providing an excellent experience for anyone using the app to schedule and manage their appointments.
As a GlossGenius user, you’ll benefit from seamless client management tools and gorgeous branding that includes a beautiful, customized website. Real-time reporting and analytics tools make it easy to identify areas where you’re doing well as well as opportunities to improve your operations. Many professionals report seeing a 90% rebooking rate and 30% growth within just one year of incorporating the software into their businesses.
The free, fully customizable website feature sets GlossGenius apart as a leader in the salon software space. There is no additional cost to set up a stunning website with your branding, complete with booking functionality, text and email marketing tools, built-in client reminders, and stylish card readers that match your brand’s aesthetic. Industry-low pricing and payment processing fees, unlimited email and SMS messaging, and team management tools make GlossGenius a no-brainer for any salon or spa pro looking to build, grow, and scale.
It’s also easy to manage back-office tasks with GlossGenius, including booking and client management software, inventory, communications, and team management. Plus, you can add unlimited team members with defined roles and permissions, helping to keep everyone aligned on the app. One dashboard gives you all the tools and features you need to manage your salon or spa business from end to end.
Independent professionals and smaller operations with limited users find GlossGenius meets all of their needs and then some. But, if you have a larger enterprise and multiple locations, the software may be more limited in its features and functionality (at the moment).
As far as features go, the free website builder is a favorite for many pros, but some users prefer to build a fully customized website rather than take advantage of GlossGenius’ easy-to-use tools. If you consider that GlossGenius can help you get up and running quickly, you might find that taking website development off your plate is the best way to begin scaling your operations.
Starts at just $24 per month with low, flat-rate payment processing fees. There are no added costs to bring more employees onto the platform.
With Vagaro, salons can show their available time slots for the day, the week, or the entire month, allowing clients to schedule their desired time through the app or website. Additionally, you can use the app to notify clients via SMS and email of forthcoming appointments and to confirm their appointments.
Acuity users mention the software’s ease of use, simplicity, and ability to automate follow-up reminders and confirmations. If you like the option to integrate with calendar tools, you might enjoy Acuity’s ability to sync with your Google calendar. However, other users report having difficulty blocking off appointment times.
Bookings are quick, easy, and stylish on the GlossGenius app and desktop version. You can easily sync contacts from your phone with the app, a useful feature for anyone who is used to booking appointments with their clients via SMS. With its low monthly cost of $24 for all features, no matter the size of your team, GlossGenius is the best appointment booking tool when considering Vagaro vs Acuity vs GlossGenius.
Vagaro’s integrated POS feature allows for the sales of gift certificates, products, and packages via the app and website. An integrated dual screen shows customers a complete breakdown of their bill and allows them to tip, sign, and pay – so there’s no need to hand over your device during the checkout process.
Acuity Scheduling does not provide POS hardware. You will need to integrate with a POS solution if you wish to offer point-of-sale options.
When comparing Vagaro vs. Acuity vs. GlossGenius, you’ll find that GlossGenius offers the most complete POS solution for salons and spas. A stunning user interface, personalized card reader, easy navigation, easy online client booking, contactless payments, and inventory management make GlossGenius the clear choice for POS solutions. Plus, a low 2.6% processing fee makes GlossGenius the most affordable option for small salon and spa owners. You’ll also gain access to free same-day transfers for free.
When it comes to Vagaro vs Acuity vs GlossGenius, GlossGenius is our pick for marketing your salon or spa business. A stunning website, unlimited email and SMS features, and other marketing tools help you stay engaged with your clients. You can also send automatic reminders for rebookings, helping you continue nurturing clients and encouraging repeat appointments. We’ve found that the combination of marketing tools and ease of sharing on social media allows business owners to increase bookings by up to 35%. Modern, chic, and easy to use, GlossGenius is the best choice for any pro looking to gain an edge over the competition.
Our guide to salon software above leads us to choose GlossGenius as the best all-around solution for salon and spa professionals. As you compare Vagaro vs. Acuity vs. GlossGenius for your salon software needs, we think you’ll come to the same conclusion. You’ll reduce administrative and operational headaches, stay better connected with your clients, and have the ability to tap into customer support with a team of real humans who are invested in your success.
Although you have many options for salon software, not all of them provide such excellent client care and user experiences for both you and your clients. If you’re looking for software that will set you apart as a go-to pro, you simply can’t go wrong with GlossGenius.
To learn more about GlossGenius and give your business the glow-up it needs, start your free, 14-day trial! Try out all of the features for two full weeks (no credit card required), and see for yourself why GlossGenius is the best solution.