The Best Salon Software for 2024
Everyone is online. And if your salon still only makes reservations manually, by phone or email, then let’s face it. You’re working too hard.
Imagine customized scheduling based on service provider preference and fewer client no-shows. Consider how much easier your salon could run with comprehensive management software.
Luckily for you, we’re here to unpack the top salon software options for 2024, dissect their pros and cons, and discover which salon software is a perfect fit for your needs.
What is Salon Software?
Salon software is a comprehensive business management system specifically designed with salons, spas, and barbershops in mind. It streamlines many aspects of daily salon operations, such as appointment scheduling, inventory management, employee tracking, communication with customers, and client relationship management.
Increasing demand from consumers for personalized services and enhanced client experiences in salons means that this software is no longer a luxury but rather an essential tool for salon owners and managers to enhance productivity, improve customer satisfaction, and stay ahead of the competition.
Top Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Salon Software
When migrating online for the first time, or even transitioning to a new solution, choosing the right salon software can feel overwhelming. Salon owners must consider many factors when deciding what’s right for their salon. A few factors to keep in mind throughout your search are the software’s capability for appointment scheduling, business management, client communication, and overall growth. Let’s unpack each of these factors separately.
First, we’ll look at scheduling capabilities to streamline the check-in experience for clients and your staff.
Appointment Scheduling Capabilities
Customized Online Scheduling Website
Being able to build a customized online scheduling website with minimal effort is a game changer for salon owners. This empowers your clients to book appointments with ease and skip calling the salon. In fact, research shows that 67% of clients prefer the convenience of online booking. The best salon software offers user-friendly interfaces where clients can select their services, preferred stylists, and available time slots. And, of course, this feature is not just great for you. It also reduces the workload of your front desk staff and minimizes scheduling conflicts.
Online Digital Forms and Waivers
Is collecting client information slowing down service consultations? Salon software can take that off your plate with online digital forms and waivers that streamline the consultation process for both staff and clients. Clients can complete necessary forms, such as consent forms or health questionnaires, from their smartphones or computers prior to their appointment. With this, they can breeze into the spa and go straight to their service.
Walk-in Kiosk Manager
Got a spot open in a stylist’s schedule? No problem. Salon software with a walk-in kiosk manager feature can facilitate the management of walk-in clients without someone having to watch the front desk all day. Walk-in clients can request an appointment and snag an open slot. This greatly reduces long lines at the front desk and means that no client is turned away. Plus, this simple feature can improve the overall client experience and lead to increased walk-in business.
Next, you’ll want to look at management options for things like client management, bookkeeping, and mobile app access.
Messy stylist notebooks with client information are a thing of the past. With the effective client management tools available through today’s salon software, you can maintain comprehensive client profiles without the hassle of pen, paper, or wasted time. The best salon software will store client preferences, appointment history, color formulas, and product purchase records, so you can even recommend new products between appointments. This feature creates a highly personalized experience, fostering client loyalty and many repeat visits.
Bookkeeping and Report Management
The bookkeeping of a client-facing business is not typically a favorite task of salon owners. However, the ability to manage bookkeeping and generate detailed reports is crucial for tracking your salon’s financial health. Luckily, salon management software can take all those pesky numbers off your plate with features that simplify income and expense tracking, allowing you to monitor profitability and budget while making informed financial decisions for your business.
Mobile App Access
Mobile app access means you’ve got a built-in mobile office to take care of your scheduling, appointments, and even check-out on the go. Most stylists aren’t in the studio 9 to 5 every day, but having a mobile app means they can check in on appointments, update client profiles, or access reports while away from the salon.
Once you’ve determined your management needs, consider the software’s communication options.
No more no-shows! Appointment reminders are essential for keeping your salon’s schedule organized. This feature can send automated reminders via text or email so clients never miss their appointments. Plus, you don’t have to remember to call or text clients the day before to remind them yourself.
Communication features like text marketing allow salon owners and stylists to engage with clients through promotional campaigns, exclusive offers, and event announcements. You can even send your client a birthday message with a coupon! Text marketing reaches clients directly and, if done well, builds client loyalty so they don’t stray to other salons.
When in doubt, over-communicate. Email marketing is an incredible tool for nurturing customer relationships, allowing you to send personalized emails with promotions, newsletters, and updates. Like text marketing, effective email marketing boosts customer retention and encourages repeat business.
Beyond simple text marketing, some salon software systems also offer a two-way texting feature. This provides seamless communication between your salon and clients without stylists having to give out their personal numbers. Clients can respond to appointment confirmations, make inquiries, or request changes, all directly within the software platform.
One of the main goals of implementing salon software is to make your life easier, so your business can grow. Consider, then, what tools for growth are already integrated into your chosen salon software.
Integrated Credit Card Processing
Salon software should ultimately help you grow, so integrated credit card processing is a must. After an appointment, clients are ready to show off their new look and spend minimal time checking out and rebooking. Salon software with integrated credit card processing streamlines payment acceptance and enhances the client checkout experience. This salon software feature should support multiple payment methods and provide secure and efficient transactions in order to be reliable.
Reputation is the name of the game, and new clients will always Google a new salon before requesting an appointment. Software solutions with reputation management tools can help your salon maintain a positive five-star online image by enabling you to collect and manage client reviews and ratings. Building a strong online reputation attracts new clients and builds trust in your community.
Social Media Integration
Today, you have to be on social media to show off your stylists’ skills. But you don’t have to hire a social media manager to do this effectively. A comprehensive salon app will include simple social media integration that streamlines the process of booking, allowing followers to book directly from your Facebook or Instagram profile. You can also share images or promotions in your posts so followers can book from your profile page. This feature couples nicely with online reputation management by utilizing social media to enhance your online presence and engagement with clients.
These features, when considered carefully in your salon software selection, can lead to more efficiency, client satisfaction, and overall growth of your salon.
Top Benefits of Implementing Salon Software
Salon owners know they’ve got to keep pace with technology in order to keep their business afloat. In 2024, adopting the right technology can boost your business big time. Salon software has taken the beauty and wellness industry by storm as a powerful tool to help salons of all sizes simplify and improve operations by automating tasks, streamlining processes, and providing valuable insights.
Here are some of the many benefits of salon management software.
- Improved Client Experience.
The heart of a successful salon is its clients – the community. With that said, one of the biggest and most obvious benefits of salon software is an improved client experience. Salon software allows clients to conveniently select services, choose their preferred service provider, book an appointment, and even pay a deposit. This user-friendly option reduces work for your staff. Plus, they can ensure their preferred stylist is available through a user-friendly interface that also reduces the work of your staff. Even more, salon software stores client information and purchase history, which can be used to provide a more luxurious and personalized experience.
- Enhanced Salon Efficiency.
Salons, as a place of pampering, should feel relaxed, not business-like. Clients like to visit with stylists, and stylists usually prefer to focus on what they do best – making their clients look and feel fabulous. With salon software, stylists can continue to focus on what’s important, while the technology will keep your salon running efficiently. Salon software helps by automating tasks such as inventory management, employee scheduling, and maintaining customer communication – so your stylists don’t have to! Plus, while stylists are busy offering high-end customer service and making their guests feel pampered, the software can focus on tracking employee productivity, identifying popular services, and analyzing sales data to improve your overall business.
- Streamlined Appointment Management.
A huge challenge in the salon industry is time-consuming phone call confirmations, client no-shows, and scheduling miscommunications. But appointment reminders sent through salon software help minimize this struggle by texting and/or emailing clients ahead of time, keeping your salon’s books filled.
- Better Financial Tracking and Reporting.
Stylists are creative, and, to put it gently, financial tracking and reporting are, well, dull. This is why salon owners love having software to track finances and generate reports for them. Bookkeeping and reporting features in salon software help monitor the financial health of your salon without stressing you out over dollars and cents. Because all businesses have to maintain a bottom line, salon software simplifies the tracking of income and expenses, enabling you to monitor profitability, budget effectively, and make informed financial decisions.
- Effective Marketing and Communication.
No matter how well you foster community in your business, client turnover can be a real challenge. The right software can help salons market their businesses and communicate with their clients by sending email marketing campaigns, sharing last-minute openings by text, and managing customer loyalty programs. It can also collect customer feedback to improve the client experience and develop new products and services.
Types of Salon Software
Not all salon software is created equal. Many different types of salon software are available, each tailored to meet specific salon needs.
The most common types of salon software include:
- Appointment Scheduling Software.
This software helps salons manage scheduling by allowing clients to book online—as well as send reminders to clients to reduce no-shows and cancellations. Salon scheduling solutions typically include features like customized online scheduling websites, mobile app capabilities, and automated appointment reminders.
- Point of Sale (POS) Software.
POS software is used primarily to process payments and manage inventory but can also be used to track sales data and generate reports. As POS software centers around transaction processing, it’s especially adept at client checkouts, retail sales, and payment processing. Many modern POS systems can also manage inventory and track product sales, which can also be a handy feature for salons.
- Marketing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software.
CRM software manages customer relationships and markets the salon’s business. Since this software focuses on marketing and client relationship management, it allows salon owners to create targeted marketing campaigns, track client interactions, and collect and manage customer reviews. An effective CRM tool helps build and maintain a positive online reputation.
- Comprehensive Salon Management Suites.
A salon software suite, like DaySmart Salon, combines all of the features of different types of salon software into one seamless solution. This can be a great option for salons since this software integrates various salon software types into a single platform. These suites – we’ll explore some of our favorites further down – offer appointment scheduling, point of sale, marketing, and CRM tools all in one, providing a holistic solution for salon management.
How to Select the Best Salon Software for You
Choosing the right salon software for your business requires careful consideration. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:
- Identify Your Salon’s Specific Needs.
What are the most important features to you? What are your budget constraints? Operational requirements and challenges? Every salon is unique, and your choice of software should reflect your salon’s specific needs.
- Consider Your Budget.
Salon software can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars each year. It’s no secret that budget constraints can be a significant factor when choosing software. And yet, while you should stay mindful of cost, sometimes investing in a more feature-rich solution can lead to better long-term results.
- Look for User-Friendliness and Training.
Adopting new software is a significant transition for your salon. So, the software should be easy to use for both you and your staff to minimize the learning curve. Be sure to choose a software solution that offers adequate training and support to keep team morale high during the adjustment.
- Seek Vendor Reputation and Support.
New software solutions come and go quickly these days. In 2024, it’s best to choose a software vendor with a good reputation that offers excellent customer support so you can rely on using the software for years to come. Don’t be shy when it comes to reading reviews, asking for references, and inquiring about their customer support services.
- Ensure Data Security and Compliance.
You’re dealing with sensitive information like home addresses and credit card details, so your salon software solution should be secure and compliant with all applicable regulations. Data security is of utmost importance since your clients’ trust in your salon relies on safeguarding their data.
The Best Salon Software of 2024
Now that you’re pumped up on all the efficiency and growth that salon software can bring to your business, it’s time to review the software solutions themselves.
Let’s look at the best salon software available in 2024:
Easy to use, affordable, and comprehensive, DaySmart Salon one of the best options for salons in 2024. Daysmart offers a salon software platform with robust features, including online booking, appointment scheduling, point-of-sale, inventory management, CRM, employee management, and reporting. It’s also known for its excellent customer support. Aside from a few imperative integrated software options offered, DaySmart Salon offers an all-in-one solution, preventing the need for additional integrations, which can become costly.
Pricing: DaySmart Salon offers affordable monthly plans starting at $29/month.
Acuity is also an easy-to-use and affordable salon software option that offers features like online booking, appointment scheduling, point-of-sale, inventory management, CRM, employee management, and reporting. However, users report that it can be buggy at times, and some features require additional fees.
Pricing: Acuity offers affordable monthly plans starting at $16/month. Some features, such as payment processing and gift certificates, require additional fees.
Fresha is free, which can be a great option for your first-ever salon software. Plus, it’s easy to use and still offers many of the features needed, like online booking, appointment scheduling, point-of-sale, inventory management, CRM, employee management, and reporting. However, it does not offer 24/7 customer support, and some features require additional fees.
Pricing: Fresha offers a free monthly plan with unlimited usage and no subscription fees. Optional paid features include payment processing, marketplace fees, automated notifications, and marketing services.
Boulevard is another salon software option that offers online booking, appointment scheduling, point-of-sale, inventory management, CRM, employee management, and reporting. And although it also has powerful reporting tools and well-respected customer support, it can be expensive for small businesses.
Pricing: Boulevard offers more expensive monthly plans starting at $175/month.
Meevo is an affordable salon software option that includes online booking, appointment scheduling, point-of-sale, inventory management, CRM, employee management, and reporting. While it does include customer support, reviewers note that Meevo only has limited integration with other software for such a high price tag.
Pricing: Meevo offers affordable monthly plans starting at $139/month.
Phorest boasts a wide range of features, including online booking, appointment scheduling, point-of-sale, inventory management, CRM, employee management, and reporting. While it offers powerful integrations with other software and good customer support, it can be expensive for small businesses.
Pricing: Phorest does not offer a free trial or membership. Inquire about pricing to learn more.
Gloss Genius is an easy-to-use and affordable salon software platform offering comprehensive features, including online booking, appointment scheduling, point-of-sale, inventory management, CRM, employee management, reporting, and customer support.
Pricing: Gloss Genius offers a free trial and affordable monthly plans starting at $24/month.
Rosy is an affordable salon software platform that offers features such as online booking, appointment scheduling, point-of-sale, inventory management, CRM, employee management, and reporting. Plus, it’s highly customizable and offers affordable monthly plans.Pricing: Rosy offers a one-month free trial and affordable monthly plans starting at $37/month.
|DaySmart Salon (formerly |
|Online booking, appointment scheduling, point-of-sale, inventory management, CRM, employee management, reporting||Easy to use, affordable, good customer support||Integration with other software still in progress||Monthly plans start at $29/month|
|Acuity||Online booking, appointment scheduling, point-of-sale, inventory management, CRM, employee management, reporting||Easy to use, affordable, comprehensive features||Can be buggy at times, some features require additional fees||Monthly plans start at $16/month|
|Fresha||Online booking, appointment scheduling, point-of-sale, inventory management, CRM, employee management, reporting||Easy to use, affordable, comprehensive features||No 24/7 customer support, some features require additional fees||Monthly plans start at $0/month|
|Boulevard||Comprehensive features, powerful reporting tools, good customer support||Can be expensive for small businesses||Monthly plans start at $175/month|
|Meevo||Easy to use, affordable, good customer support||Limited integrations with other software||Monthly plans start at $139/month|
|Phorest||Comprehensive features, powerful integrations with other software, good customer support||Can be expensive for small businesses||Prices by inquiry only|
|Gloss Genius||Easy to use, affordable, good customer support||Limited integrations with other software||Monthly plans start at $24/month|
|Rosy||Easy to use, affordable, customizable||Limited integrations with other software||Monthly plans start at $37/month|
Implementing salon software can be an invaluable asset for all sizes of salons. Saving time, money, and resources by automating tasks, streamlining processes, and providing valuable insights allows salon software to revolutionize your salon operations completely.
But don’t jump into anything too quickly, as adopting new software can be time-consuming, and you don’t want to start from scratch if you choose the wrong solution for your salon. By considering your salon’s unique needs and budget, you can select the right software that automates processes, supports your business growth, and also enhances the daily lives of your stylists and clients.
Schedule a demo with DaySmart Salon today to see if our software is right for you.