All salons and small businesses need specific equipment and software to function smoothly. But even within the salon world, different businesses may need different software solutions. A salon booking system is especially important in your industry because your business depends on appointments.
Choosing the right tool to help you with managing the whole booking process is critical. Because of that, we’re comparing two popular solutions: Vagaro vs Square appointments. You’ll be able to decide which one is better for you after reading our in-depth comparison packed with up-to-date information in 2024.
Remember, buying the appointment management software that works for you is an important decision. This article analyzes all the important factors of appointment management software with a focus on how Vagaro and Square Appointments compare.
Vagaro vs. Square for Salons: Overview
Before we dive deeper into the specifics and details of both Vagaro and Square, let’s see how they compare at first look.
Founded in the US in 2010, Vagaro combines appointment management software with POS hardware. This delivers a perfect solution, with all the features necessary for a growing beauty salon.
It allows you to capture customer information while they make a booking. This is possible thanks to the straightforward drag-and-drop calendar. Vagaro sends automated messages to your customers, reminding them of upcoming appointments. Having this information in one centralized location is a great aid to your business.
Vagaro can act as your credit card processing system, as well as your go-to email marketing tool. All of these features add to the overall all-in-one feel that this application offers.
Square Appointments also combines POS systems with scheduling software. This creates a great space to control the retail aspects of your company.
It also provides a variety of integrations. That allows Square to assist companies of different sizes and needs.
Square has expanded to create its small business ecosystem. As a result, they now offer many other applications. Square Appointments is only one small part of the Square brand.
With Square, it’s easy to book appointments. You can sync them with your calendar too, so you can view your appointments wherever you are. You will be able to manage your clients and set up automated reminders so that they stay informed.
One of the main points of argument in Vagaro vs Square is that of pricing. Square has a free POS system, whereas Vagaro starts at $25 a month.
Yet, Square charges extra for each add-on that you choose. That includes items such as marketing campaigns and loyalty programs. On the other hand, Vagaro is an all-in-one tool, so there are no hidden costs. But more on pricing comparison later.
Who Benefits from Square Appointments and Vagaro?
Vagaro and Square Appointments both have their own primary users and develop the tool to fit their needs. Assessing who can benefit the most from each tool will give you an idea of whether Square or Vagaro is a better fit for YOU.
Who can take the most advantage of Vagaro?
Vagaro works well for people who need more than an appointment scheduling solution. If you are expanding your salon and need more advanced features, then Vagaro is for you.
Of course, it is possible to obtain all the desired features by using multiple systems. But this can end up being very complicated and unnecessary.
Who can take the most advantage of Square Appointments?
Square focuses on assisting small businesses. These often have difficulties with traditional merchant services.
In line with this, Square comes with many features that meet the needs of small businesses. There are also options to use other software as well.
So, Square is great for smaller businesses, while Vagaro is best for growing salons, spas, and fitness centers. Hence, each software’s strong suit is particular to its target audience.
Square vs. Vagaro: Online Appointment Scheduling
Online appointment scheduling is the most important element of appointment management software.
It makes a complicated process simple by creating a single link. When your customers click on the link, they can see when you’re available. Let’s see how Vagaro and Square compare when it comes to this important feature.
Vagaro online appointment scheduling
Vagaro is well suited for salons. Its calendar allows clients to book appointments through sites like Yelp or Facebook.
It is also the perfect tool for email-based marketing campaigns. In addition, it also creates business reports. You can use these for your sales reports and for your client’s information.
Vagaro also has an option for connecting to Google Calendar.
Square Appointments online appointment scheduling
Square Appointments offers a different gamut of free tools to use. These can range from online terminals that enable customers to pay with their phones, templates for possible contracts, and even sales analytics.
Square Appointments also allows you to utilize different hardware. These can be for tasks ranging from e-commerce to marketing.
The app’s flexibility lets you combine many different tools into one application. The Square Appointments app makes contacting clients simple thanks to Square Messaging. Here you can review client information and send them an email or text message about any appointment changes.
It is similar to Whatsapp Business or Facebook Messenger. So, if you have used these tools, you will have no trouble with Square Messaging.
Vagaro vs. Square Appointments: Marketing Functionality
Marketing is very important for appointment-based businesses. Your focus should be on obtaining repeat customers, as they will provide recurring revenue. Recurring appointments can give you a regular income that you can rely on.
So let’s pit Vagaro vs. Square Appointments to see whose marketing functions are better. That way, you can see which software is best for you to promote your business.
Vagaro marketing funcionality
Vagaro’s marketing tools are a part of their overall package, so there is no additional cost. You can send out emails, build websites, and even send out customer rewards or daily deals.
These features help to build customer satisfaction, all while you gain customer feedback.
Square Appointments marketing functionality
This affordable system comes with great options for both renters and individuals alike. They also offer a full-blown POS system.
In fact, their business management system leaves very little to be desired. That is a definite plus.
Square Appointments is free, but that isn’t the true power of Square. The true power lies within all the marketing and business tools that the Square Suite owns. The easy integration of these powerful features is worth the added cost.
Also available is Square’s Marketing subscription. This is separate from Square Appointments but is still a very important feature. This subscription allows you to create email marketing campaigns. You can create text message campaigns too with the Square Text Message Marketing subscription.
Square vs Vagaro: Which Has a Better POS System?
Vagaro has three POS systems using its dual-screen pay desk. The owner can view one screen while the client can view the other, allowing them to see what you’re charging.
Clients can tip, sign, and pay on this as well. You can even add a fancy home screen displaying deals or images of you working.
It supports Wi-Fi, external keyboards, peripherals, and Google. Vagaro Merchant Services performs many functions.
Square Appointments POS
The focus on appointments is evident in this POS system.
Usually, POS systems focus on the product grid, with other features being a side point. Instead, Square focuses the majority of its screen space on the calendar.
Square Appointments is compatible with PC, iOS, and Android.
It’s worth noting that, unless you want to enter card transactions manually, it might be best to invest in a card reader. Not only is it faster, but it also costs less if your customers swipe, dip, or tap their cards.
Key Features of Vagaro vs. Square Appointments
Next in this comparison of Vagaro vs. Square Appointments is a breakdown of the key features of each.
- Dedicated booking website
- Straightforward, drag-and-drop calendar
- Booking widget for website integration
- Advanced client data (with images)
- Advanced inventory management (with stock alerts)
- Free subscription for individuals
- SMS & email reminders
- Individuals only pay credit card transaction fees (2.6% + $0.1) when they accept payments through the platform
- iOS & Android App
- Live streaming classes and consultations
- Website Builder
- Customer tracking
- Online store
- Scheduling recurring rent & fees
Square Appointments features
- Create a booking website
- Drag-and-drop appointment schedule
- Color appointments for an easy overview
- Store necessary information about clients
- Notify the client ahead of the appointment or after the appointment. You can also send notification of any changes to the appointment
- Notify responsible staff of new appointments or changes to existing ones
- Set up categories and product/service variations to effectively manage a large inventory
- Manage the checkout via a web interface, iPad app, iPhone app, Android app, or Square Hardware
- Supports of all types of payments
- iOS & Android App
- Seamless integration with all tools from Square
- Staff management
- Client management
- Retail and inventory management
Pros and Cons: Vagaro vs Square Appointments
These software providers are both good and deserve equal consideration. They both offer tools for staff management, inventory management, employee management, and even entire business management. Let’s see their pros and cons in these areas.
- Simple software setup and integration. This makes it easy to get going, even with little experience or technical skill.
- Online booking and automatic reminders. These help to reduce the number of missed appointments and the admin involved.
- Automated appointment management. The software automates the process on a day-to-day basis.
- Points of Sale allow you to reach out to potential customers. You can offer gift certificates and coupons, redeemable through the web or mobile applications.
- Vagaro handles all the management and promotional tasks regardless of business size. The email marketing feature lets you launch campaigns and connect with customers using a personalized approach.
- Some users have complained about glitches in migrating from previous platforms.
- The booking system has some bugs, especially when managing multiple bookings.
- Reporting features could be more streamlined.
- Pricing can be too complex, with the great possibility of hidden charges.
- Vagaro is only available in selected countries, including the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.
- Free option. A free service that has as many features as Square Appointments is worth considering.
- Easy to use. As with all Square products, the interface is intuitive and user-friendly.
- Square integration. Square Appointments is part of Square’s larger suite of products.
- Mobile-friendly. This can be especially helpful for business owners who operate from multiple locations.
- Cost of paid plans. Some competitors offer more affordable monthly plans for businesses with many employees.
- Limited specialty features. Other products might offer more powerful or customizable features.
- Reliance on Square. If you use other tools that don’t work well with Square, or if you don’t want to use Square for payment processing, then this option may not work for your business.
Vagaro vs Square Pricing
Vagaro starts out at $30 a month for individuals and for one location. If you compare this to Square’s pricing, it’s much cheaper.
However, there is no free option. It’s also important to keep in mind that for each employee you add, there is an extra $10 fee.
Payment processing costs 1.29% + £0.20 per chip, tap, and typed-in transaction.
Square Appointments pricing
On the other hand, Square is completely free for individuals with basic needs! The only things you pay for are add-ons and transaction fees.
Again, it’s worth taking note of the pricing for those add-ons.
Square’s Plus plan costs $29 a month per location, while the Premium plan costs $69 monthly per location. This is a big price tag, although you do get many tools for that price.
Square vs Vagaro: Which One to Choose?
Choosing between the two often depends on the specific needs of your business. Consider factors such as the range of features you require, your budget, existing software integrations, and the overall user experience that aligns best with your business model. Some businesses might prefer the all-in-one approach provided by Square, while others might appreciate Vagaro’s extensive feature set and customization options.
Factors to consider when choosing between Vagaro and Square:
- Business type
Consider the nature of your business and whether one platform is more aligned with your industry.
Evaluate the specific features offered by each platform and how well they meet your requirements.
Compare the pricing structures of both Square and Vagaro to ensure they align with your budget.
- Ease of use
Consider the user-friendliness of each platform, especially if you or your staff are not tech-savvy.
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