To ace the game of salon management, you’ve got to employ the right artillery. Balancing a string of client bookings, managing resources, and cutting down on wait times, while keeping a steady flow of profit? Not exactly a cakewalk. But that’s where a hair salon booking system enters the picture, giving you a tighter rein on your operations and bolstering efficiency.
Say you’re pondering over getting rid of that traditional salon appointment book, or perhaps you’re itching to give a new booking app a shot, or you might just be curious about the available salon software landscape.
Here, we’ll delve into some of the top-performing salon booking apps that 2023 has to offer to help you choose the best hair salon booking system for your needs.
Why Should You Use a Hair Salon Booking System?
At its core, a top-notch appointment booking software aims to declutter the task of managing your hair salon’s client bookings.
What’s on the table? Automated reminders, real-time availability updates, calendar syncing, you name it! All these features are geared towards making scheduling a breeze and keeping double bookings at bay. Once you incorporate appointment booking software into your operations, you’ll notice your salon’s workflow becoming smoother, and the booking process for your clients will be as easy as pie.
This software isn’t just a boon for salon owners, stylists, or therapists – it’s a lifesaver for your clients too! Booking apps put the power of managing appointment slots into your clients’ hands. All they have to do is log in, choose a slot from your available list, and key in their information. If you’re running a small-scale or mobile operation and lack reception staff, this method is a godsend.
What To Look For in a Hair Salon Booking System?
When it comes to salon software, the ultimate fit is one that effortlessly caters to your day-to-day requirements and is a breeze for your staff to navigate.
- Remember, deploying salon software comes with a price tag. This could mean monthly or yearly subscriptions, or perhaps an all-in-one upfront payment. Crunch the numbers to see whether it’s a financially sound decision for your current and future scenario, especially keeping in mind any contract obligations.
- The platform you choose should offer essential features like appointment scheduling, and automated text and email reminders, all aimed at reducing the likelihood of no-shows.
- The importance of a strong, personal bond with your clients in the salon world is undeniable. Even though booking apps are a brilliant avenue for attracting new clients, they can potentially miss out on preserving that crucial touchpoint you have with your clients.
- If client loyalty is your mainstay, you’ll need to pull out all the stops to ensure your new app-based clientele keeps coming back for more. Considering the cut-throat competition from an array of hair, beauty, and barbershops on the app, many may try to woo your clients away with tempting discounts and deals.
- Give thought to the software’s scalability – can it cope with a growing number of clients, staff, and services as your salon spreads its wings?
- Check if the salon management software can play well with other tools or systems that are already a part of your operations or that you intend to bring on board in the future.
- Lastly, keep an eye on the degree of customer support and training the software provider extends.
The Best Hair Salon Booking Systems in 2023
Imagine a booking software, floating in the cloud, that gives you complete control over your appointments, clients, staff, inventory, and payments from wherever you’re stationed.
That’s Trafft for you! This hair salon booking system lets you whip up a customized online booking page where your clients can reserve their services, pick their preferred stylist, and make payments online.
On top of that, it comes packed with automated reminders, confirmations, and follow-ups to bring down no-shows and pump up client loyalty. With Trafft in your toolkit, you can deliver a smooth and handy booking experience to your clients. Be it a branded booking website or a booking widget on your existing site or social media pages, it’s got you covered.
You’re free to accept online payments, deposits, and tips, and dole out automated reminders and confirmations to cut down on no-shows and cancellations.
But that’s not all.
Trafft doubles as a business growth catalyst, showering you with valuable insights, reports, and analytics on your performance, revenue, and customer satisfaction. Plus, it lets you tap into its marketing tools to whip up and deliver promotions, coupons, and newsletters to your clients.
What makes it tick
- The interface is straightforward and a joy to navigate and operate – even if you have zero experience in the realm of software-assisted appointment scheduling, you’ll have no trouble using Trafft.
- You can embed its customizable online booking portal into your salon’s website, offering your customers the convenience of scheduling appointments at their preferred time.
- With Trafft in hand, managing and allocating resources such as stylists, rooms, and equipment to optimize your salon’s scheduling is a walk in the park.
- It’s gentle on your pocket with pricing plans crafted for small businesses.
- Known for its proactive customer support team, help is just a call away with Trafft.
Cost and value
Trafft offers a spread of four pricing plans:
Freebie: A plan that’s free of charge and includes unlimited appointments, five users, and a selection of five custom features.
Starter: This plan comes at a price tag of $29 per month, bundling ten users, an Android mobile app, and a slew of additional custom features. You get a spread of features and integrations to choose from, such as Google Calendar, Zoom, Stripe, PayPal, etc.
Scaling: At $69 per month, this plan includes unlimited custom features and supports 15 users. Plus, it features the Trafft Branding Removal option.
Enterprise: Priced at $250 per month, this plan rolls out the red carpet with unlimited services, 50+ users, and an endless array of custom features or integrations.
Kick things off with a free trial and then settle on a plan that’s in sync with your salon size and budget.
And the best part?
You can bow out at any time without having to pay any fees or being tied down by contracts.
Without a doubt, Trafft is the hair salon booking system you need.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at the competing products and see for yourself why Trafft is the best.
Say hello to Booker by MindBody. It’s an all-in-one digital platform that consolidates online booking, marketing, and payments. With Booker, your clients can schedule, book, and make payments straight from your website, without bouncing off to a different webpage. Now, that’s handy!
It’s armed with an extensive set of features designed to put salon management at your fingertips. You can schedule appointments, manage your clients and staff, oversee your inventory, run your point of sale (POS) system, harness marketing tools, and dive into reports and analytics. Plus, it’s got online booking powers, a total winner for drawing in new customers and making life easier for your current clients.
Hold on, it gets better! Booker buddies up with Facebook, allowing your clients to book directly on your Facebook page. Plus, it opens the gates to marketing features, including social media promotions and discounts. And let’s not forget the payment dashboard. It lets you juggle payroll, commissions, client information, and more with ease.
Highlights of Booker
- It’s easy to use and comes with helpful videos to guide you through the setup and usage.
- It’s packed with robust features that can take care of diverse aspects of spa and salon operations.
- You can add widgets to your website for online booking and gift certificates.
- Booker’s mobile app lets salon owners and staff run their businesses on the fly.
- It’s got a solid point-of-sale system that can process payments, track gift certificates, and spit out reports.
Where it could do better
- It’s more in its element in the business world, so it might not have the customization needed for school districts or sites.
- There might be a few hiccups with performance, availability, and scalability.
- It might not play nice with some other software or platforms.
- The price tag of Booker might be a bit steep, especially for smaller salons or businesses tightening their belt.
How much does it cost?
Booker gives you a choice of three pricing tiers.
- Essential: This is the starting tier, costing $129 per month. It’s perfect if you just want to manage schedules and have a straightforward payment method.
- Accelerate: The next step up, it comes in at $269 per month. It packs in everything from the Essential tier, plus marketing tools and retention features.
- Ultimate: The top of the heap, it carries a price tag of $429 per month. It gives you the keys to custom mobile apps, detailed analytics, and more. So if you’re looking to bring out the big guns, this one’s for you.
Stepping onto the scene as Fresha, the platform previously known as Shedul, comes fully loaded to streamline appointments, pump up sales, and keep customers coming back for more. Not just for salons, Fresha is loved by businesses in the beauty, health, and wellness industries, earning its stripes as a top-rated software solution.
Fresha is all about being user-friendly. It lets customers book appointments via the app, social media, or your business website. Plus, folks can find your business in their area by taking a stroll through the Fresha marketplace.
As for your side of things, Fresha is designed to take care of business. You can manage appointments, process payments, keep an eye on inventory, put together marketing campaigns, and watch over analytics from a live dashboard. Fresha isn’t one to put a cap on things, either. It offers unlimited appointment bookings, team members, locations, and reporting.
Why Fresha’s a big hit
- It’s friendly on the budget as there are no monthly subscription fees or upfront costs.
- It’s a magnet for attracting new clients to give your services a spin.
- It lets you collect verified reviews from genuine clients.
- It offers automated marketing, like personalized client messages through SMS or email.
- It’s a perfect match for all salon services, from nail salons and beauty salons to barbershops, spas, and hair salons.
- Run your salon from your phone, as it’s compatible with both iOS and Android.
- Fresha’s a big name worldwide, with a user base in 120 countries!
Where Fresha could use a tune-up
- It’s missing some must-have integrations, like accounting and messaging tools.
- Customer support could do with a boost, as it’s limited to email.
- Fresha takes a 20% new client fee for appointments made through the platform.
- Blast campaign emails can add some extra charges.
- It lacks phone support.
How much will it set you back?
Fresha’s free to use, but there’s a 20% one-time fee when a new customer books an appointment through the Fresha marketplace or app. A small transaction fee also applies to all payments made using the “Send” link or Fresha credit card terminal. The fees can change depending on where you are.
That new client fee won’t apply to your existing clients that are already on your Fresha Partner account, or to any clients who book an appointment or buy a product through your business website or social media pages via the dedicated URL.
Get ready for a walk in the park with SimplyBook.me, the online salon appointment scheduling software that makes it effortless for customers to lock in their services.
This software is like the ultimate salon concierge – it takes in customer preferences, personalizes the service, and presents the best pricing. Users keep flocking to this hair salon scheduling software for its customizable features and its ability to scale with business growth.
Within the software, marketing tools stand at the ready to help you craft email campaigns and social media banners. Services are tidily categorized, and customers can hone in on exactly what they need with advanced search and filtering options. Paying and booking services is a snap. When the appointment is in the books, customers receive a confirmation notification from the beauty salon scheduling software.
On top of that, SimplyBook.me works well with others. It’s got built-in integrations with platforms like WordPress, social media, and most popular payment processors.
What makes SimplyBook.me shine
- It’s buds with Google – it’s integrated with Google Calendar, Google Business, AdWords, Analytics, and more.
- You’ll get a customizable booking website stocked with a range of templates and booking widgets.
- It’s armed with in-take forms to capture visitor details, which you can later use to promote offers and discounts.
- Users can sell products, and offer discounts, gift cards, and packages to reward loyal clients.
- You can whip up invoices on the spot for each payment made through the software.
Where SimplyBook.me could step up its game
- SMS credits are a no-show in all of the plans.
- Plans don’t come with unlimited bookings. Any bookings made over the set limit for your plan come with extra charges.
- You’re out of luck if you’re looking for phone support.
Here’s the damage
SimplyBook.me lays out its pricing plans like so:
Free: All yours at no cost, including 50 bookings per month and 1 custom feature.
Basic: Toss in $8.25 per month for 100 bookings per month and 3 custom features.
Standard: $24.90 per month gets you 500 bookings per month and 8 custom features.
Premium: For $49.90 per month, you’ll get 2000 bookings per month and unlimited custom features.
Whether you’re hunting for a budget-friendly appointment scheduler or a fully decked out POS system and business management system, Square Appointments has your back.
Sure, it’s free for individuals, making it a top choice for booth renters and individual stylists. But don’t let that fool you. The real strength of Square Appointments lies in its compatibility with the whole gamut of Square’s marketing and business tools.
So, even if an appointment scheduler is all you need for now, you can stick with Square as you grow. You can tag on their professional POS unit, payroll tool, the Square marketing suite, and even a website and online store using Square Online. With such solid support across the board, Square is an excellent fit for any size salon or spa business.
Square Appointments: Thumbs up
- If you’re already on the Square team, payment processing is built in, which really streamlines your business management.
- Free subscription for individuals.
- Individuals only fork over a credit card transaction fee (2.6% + $0.1) when accepting payments through the platform.
- You’ll get a dedicated booking website.
- It comes with a booking widget for website integration.
- Sends out SMS & Email Reminders.
Where Square Appointments could do better
- Larger salons with complex operations or specific needs might not find Square Appointments as suitable.
- The software might not offer the level of customization needed to match your salon’s unique brand look and feel.
- While Square Appointments meshes well with other Square products and services, it might not play as nicely with third-party systems or tools.
How Square Appointments weighs on your wallet
Square Appointments is free for individuals, though Square takes 2.75% per tap, dip, or swipe. If you’re working with 2-5 employees, you’ll pay $29 per month and 2.5% +10 cents per tap, dip, or swipe. With 6-10 employees, the cost bumps up to $69 per month and 2.5% +10 cents per tap, dip, or swipe.
What if your salon’s appointment booking wasn’t just a way to get your clients in the chair but also a key player in your salon management? Daysmart Salon, the cool kid once known as Salon Iris, got you covered. It’s got an app that’s your one-stop shop for appointment scheduling and running your salon like a well-oiled machine.
Imagine getting essential appointment booking tools bundled with your plan. Yep, you heard that right! Online booking options for your clients (they can book right off their socials, how cool is that?) plus easy manual booking for you. No need to stress about forgetting to remind your clients either – Daysmart Salon’s got your back with text and email reminders.
But hold on, there’s more! Daysmart Salon isn’t just about booking. It’s about running your whole business. The Deluxe plan upwards, they’re throwing in marketing, payroll, an employee timeclock, and inventory management. With the higher-tier plans, you get even more salon management features. We’re talking advanced pay rules, budgeting, and extra marketing.
- Daysmart Salon is the MVP of business management with staff management, inventory, payroll, and marketing.
- It’s got a client database to make tracking and managing client info and purchase histories a breeze.
- Two-way texting and personalized email campaigns? Yes, please!
- Set up account permissions and schedules for your staff.
- It even handles payment processing, thanks to a collab with CardConnect.
- The Quickbooks connector feature requires an additional subscription.
- No free plans here, but they do offer a free trial.
- Only supports English.
- No “Book Now” feature for Facebook, but Instagram’s got it.
Basic: This is the plan for you if you’re a small business or an individual just testing the waters. It’s $29 a month.
Deluxe: At $69 a month, this plan includes 3 users and 3 custom features. It also has a branded booking website and a client app.
Premier: This plan, costing $129 a month, is for medium to large-sized businesses or individuals who need more users and features than the deluxe plan. It includes unlimited users and 8 custom features.
Platinum: This is the big one. At $249 a month, it’s for large businesses or individuals who need more users and features than the premier plan. It includes unlimited users and unlimited custom features.
Ever wish running a successful business was as simple as snapping your fingers? With Timely, it’s pretty close. They’ve got features that not only streamline your business management but also enhance the client experience and drive revenue growth. Online bookings, digital consultations, client communication tools – they’ve got it all.
There’s a lot to love about Timely’s salon scheduling software. Not only do you get easy access to online booking, but you can also manage your clients and offer a personalized experience, send automated reminders, sell products, track your performance, manage cash, set up a free website, and so much more! And yes, there’s an IOS app, so you can run your business from anywhere.
- Timely’s support team is legendary – they’ve won a Stevie Award for customer service.
- One fixed monthly fee.
- Packages kick off at an affordable £12 a month.
- Desktops, iOS, Android – they’ve got all bases covered.
- Do you want to try it before you buy it? They offer a free trial.
- Part-time employees are charged the same as full-timers.
- The entry-level plan does not include client intake forms and data imports.
Schedule package: If you’re just starting your salon, this one’s for you. It’s $15 per month per bookable staff member and you get access to booking features.
Schedule & Sell package: This one’s only $5 more per month per bookable staff member. You get the same features as the Schedule package plus everything to manage the retail part of your store.
The Works package: This package gives you everything, but it’s best for those with 10-20 staff members. It’s priced at $199 per month.
HoneyBook is stepping up the game for salon booking systems. Its features turn salon management into a breeze. It gives you a clear view of all your staff activities, no matter how many branches you have. And, it even throws in performance analysis reports. So you can tell who’s smashing their targets.
It’s not going to break the bank either. With affordable price tags and a free trial for a month, you can take it for a test drive before you sign up for the real deal.
Scheduling your team? Easy. You can line up stylists based on the appointments booked through the salon marketplace software. And you bet, clients can spread the love on Facebook, Instagram, and more.
HoneyBook is so much more than a salon appointment scheduling software. It’s your productivity boost, your reliable partner in your salon business.
The good stuff
- A breeze to use, with an intuitive interface.
- Kiss time-wasting goodbye. Automates tasks and streamlines processes so you can get paid faster.
- Dazzling customization options for documents and forms.
- Plays well with Gmail, QuickBooks, Calendly, and Zapier.
- Connect and create magic with a community of professionals.
The not-so-good stuff
- Could run into issues with performance, availability, and scaling up.
- Might not play nice with WordPress or Squarespace.
- Some features, like reporting or scheduling, could be better.
- Subscription-based pricing. It offers variety, but it might cost more than other salon management software.
The cost of HoneyBook
Three flavors of pricing with HoneyBook. The Starter plan is yours for $12.80 per month (billed annually). You get unlimited clients, projects, invoices, payments, and more. Level up with the Essentials plan at $25.60 per month (annually). You get all the Starter goodies, plus more. You can even remove the “Powered by HoneyBook” branding from your stuff. Need to power up? The Premium plan is $52.80 per month (annually). Perfect for big businesses or folks who need extra efficiency and support.
Managing your work schedule just got easier with Schedulicity. It’s an online scheduling app that’s got your back. Just add your services, and you’re good to go. Your dashboard is your BFF. It shows your upcoming appointments and lets you edit or add new ones on the fly.
You can also manage your client profiles without breaking a sweat. And did I mention the marketing tools? We’re talking about custom email templates and Instagram Book buttons to help you flaunt your salon services. Schedulicity combines features and fair pricing to deliver a reliable salon appointment management solution.
The good stuff
- An all-in-one platform, from marketing to payment processing.
- Process payments at a low rate of 2.5% + 15¢ per transaction.
- Got a free plan for you.
- User-friendly interface.
- Unlimited email and phone support.
The not-so-good stuff
- Payments are made by text. No traditional point-of-sale system.
- The free plan only works if you have fewer than 10 appointments per month.
- No staff management or payroll facilities.
- No custom website or self-branded app.
Pricing starts at $34.99 per month for solo providers. It goes up by $10 per month for each additional provider up to five. Got more than five providers? Different services come at different prices. Schedulicity features are available on an activated account. That includes email and text reminders for clients, personalized email marketing, automated marketing tools, and more. Schedulicity also throws in a 14-day free trial. The payment processing rate is 2.5% + 15¢ across the board.
FAQ about the Best Hair Salon Booking System
What features should the best hair salon booking system have?
Well, first and foremost, the booking system should be user-friendly. That’s non-negotiable. It should have features like online booking, SMS and email reminders, and the ability to sync with the stylist’s calendar.
Furthermore, it’d be great if it included client management tools, analytics, inventory management, and maybe even a point-of-sale system. All these are critical for seamless operations, don’t you think?
Can it integrate with my salon’s website and social media platforms?
Oh, absolutely! These days, it’s all about integration. The best hair salon booking systems will let you embed a booking widget directly into your website and even your Facebook page.
This way, clients can book their appointments right there without being redirected elsewhere. A fantastic way to make things more convenient and increase bookings, I reckon.
What about no-shows and late cancellations?
Now, we all know how annoying those can be. A good salon booking system should help you with this by offering automated reminders via email and text.
Some even let you customize cancellation policies and charge fees for no-shows or late cancellations. Just what the doctor ordered, I tell you!
How secure is customer information?
In this day and age, security is paramount. Top-notch salon booking systems offer high levels of data security. Encrypted transmissions, secure data storage, and GDPR compliance are some of the things you should look out for. It’s all about building trust with your clients.
Can I use it on multiple devices?
Why, yes indeed! The best salon booking systems are designed to be used across multiple devices – smartphones, tablets, and computers. You should be able to manage your bookings, even when you’re on the go. Freedom and flexibility, just what we need in the 21st century!
How much does a good salon booking system cost?
Now, that’s a bit of a tricky question. The cost can vary based on the features and functionalities offered. You can find systems with basic features starting from $10-$20 per month, while those with advanced features may go up to $100 or more.
It’s all about finding the right balance between cost and needs.
Does the booking system offer support and training?
Most reputable booking systems do offer extensive support and training to help you get started and resolve any issues. This might include video tutorials, articles, live chat, or even phone support. No one wants to be left hanging in the lurch, right?
Can the system handle gift cards and promotions?
Now, that’s what I call a smart question! A good booking system should indeed be able to handle gift cards and promotions. This feature lets you boost your sales, attract new customers, and reward your loyal ones. Win-win-win!
Can I track inventory with the booking system?
Inventory tracking is a pretty handy feature, and many advanced salon booking systems offer this. It helps keep an eye on your product stocks and alerts you when it’s time to reorder. No more last-minute supply run panic!
Is there a trial period or a demo to test out the system?
Most salon booking systems do offer a free trial or a demo so you can get a feel of how it works before making a commitment. It’s always a good idea to test drive before you buy, right?
So, What’s the Best Hair Salon Booking System Out There?
After digging into all the options, we have to say that all the appointment solutions on our list have a lot to offer.
However, our vote goes to Trafft.
You know what really matters? Making it easy for clients to book their appointments and helping salons run smoothly. Well, Trafft nails it on both counts. It has this awesome package of features that covers everything – setting up appointments, keeping track of clients, managing the staff schedule, and letting your customers book online. It’s all there, and it works like a charm.
So, long story short, if you’re hunting for the best way to manage bookings at your hair salon, Trafft’s got your back. It’s like they’ve wrapped up all the good stuff into one neat package. Smooth bookings, tech smarts, and wallet-friendly – that’s the name of the game with Trafft.