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If you run a salon or spa, it is necessary to note that you require a specialized point of sale system. Unlike some other businesses, you do much more than sell goods and receive payments. Standard retailers and restauranteurs have different needs compared to aestheticians, beauticians, massage therapists, and manicurists.
Salon service professionals need tools that can help schedule appointments and interact with customers in a more personal manner compared to the mechanic down the street. Luckily, POS manufacturers make POS solutions that are specially designed for med spas, hair salons, yoga studios, and similar businesses in the wellness realm.
Sit back, relax, and let us take you through the top POS system for salons.
Free with Additional Paid Features
No included hardware
24/7 Live Rep
Track daily sales, Analytics section, commission set up for staff
Salon owners who want all the top features
Free for individuals, $50 per month for 2-5 employees, $90 per month for 6-10 employees
iPad or iOS devices
24/7 Live Rep
Payment processing, Inventory management, easy client management, personal calendar sync
Salon owners who want a cloud-based solution
$25 per month starting out + $10 per additional user
Cash drawers, EMV readers, barcode scanners, pay desk
Support hours vary by day
Marketing emails, appointment booking, client documentation, automatic inventory adjustments, sales tracking
Salon owners seeking out the most advanced POS solution around
Ranges from $29 per month to $109 per month with different features
Pivoting display, barcode scanner, receipt printer, cash drawer
Support hours vary by day
Custom landing page for appointments, client and salon management, automatic stock alerts, at-a-glance dashboard, payment processing
Salon owners and individual stylists looking for reporting that is salon-specific
Free to $50 per month depending on features
Unlimited support via email
Personal calendar sync, client documentation, Basic reporting
Salon owners who want to use third-party integrations
Beyond payment processing, there is a slew of other things that salon or spa owners require from a POS system. A top-notch salon POS system should provide customer tracking, inventory management features, appointment booking, sales data analyzation, and employee management.
As we go through each of these salon POS systems, we will look at the price, how easy the systems are to use, how to book appointments through them, how to manage employees, inventory, and customer relationships, how to take advantage of data analysis, and how to use third-party integrations if necessary.
Shedul is one of the top choices for a salon POS system as it is completely free! Plus, it has everything that a beauty business might need to succeed.
Beyond scheduling appointments through the system, you can manage your clients’ information, set up booking online, track sales, and manage your inventory.
This particular solution includes reporting and invoicing as well.
As of now, you don’t have to pay a dime for Shedul. When you sign up, you get access to integrations and support, as well as all of the other standard features.
At some point, Shedul will start charging monthly fees, though if you sign up now, you get grandfathered in. This means you’ll never have to pay, even when the company does start charging!
The only major thing missing from the system is payment processing, though you can create invoicing and record transactions using Shedul. We often see salon owners utilizing the payment processing for Square in conjunction with Shedul.
Though Shedul is free, the feature list should not be underestimated. With the intuitive dashboard, you can glance over your client list, appointments, and tracking/sales data with ease. Considering the fact that you don’t have to pay anything, the management features are pretty exceptional.
The system includes a web and cloud-based app so that you can manage staff member appointments. If you want, you can add a link to your social media platform or website so that clients can make appointments through there.
When a client books an appointment, they automatically receive a confirmation email. Shedul even send a thank you email once the transaction is complete!
As for client management, you can either use manual entry or automation. You can take notes on your clients, including brand preference, skincare preference, hair color, preference, etc. You can also take down contact information on the POS system.
For inventory management, you can add your products and separate them by brand, category, and supplier. Shedul will track this inventory and put in for automatic re-orders when things go out of stock.
As of now, Shedul does not have any hardware or payment processing. You will need to find those somewhere else. Shedul doesn’t accept third-party integrations either, nor custom reports. However, for a free solution, it is one of the best around.
Square Appointments is a scheduling application first and foremost, though it excels as a POS solution too.
You can easily book clients online, sync up with your personal calendars, manage your clients, and set up automatic reminders or confirmation emails.
One reason we love it for small salons is that it is incredibly affordable. Plus, you can enjoy Square’s payment processing!
If you’re an individual stylist, you can get Square Appointments for free! All you will have to pay for is transaction fees through the company’s payment processor, as well as any add-on features. The cost for salons with two to five employees is $50 per month, as well as reduced transaction fees.
For salons with six to ten employees, the price bumps up to $90 per month. Square does custom pricing for salons with more than ten employees.
The cool thing is, whether you are running a solo venture you have several employees under your belt, Square Appointments provides all of the same features, including inventory management, sales reports, receipts and invoices, appointment booking, and payment processing.
Square Appointments has a scheduling interface that is very similar to Shedul. The way that Square wins, in this case, is that you have the ability to sync with your personal calendar. Any time that you have reserved for personal appointments or events will be blocked out so that you don’t double book.
With Square’s client management tools, you can easily collect client information and see their appointment history. You can add notes for your clients too, including favorite brands or birthdays. Clients can be imported with CSV files too, that way you don’t have to start your data entry from scratch.
The inventory management is pretty basic with Square. You can add your products and track how they are selling using provided reports and analytical data. Square will send you an email when items are low in inventory or out of stock. If you want better control over your inventory, you can add Square Retail.
It is worth noting that Square Appointments only works with iOS devices, so you will need to get yourself an iPad.
Vagaro is one of the top POS solutions on the market. The great thing about Vagaro is that it can be used on just about any device.
It provides users with the ability to track customer information, book appointments with a drag-and-drop calendar, and send automatic notifications to clients.
Vagaro can also be used as a payment processor and the company provides email marketing as well. This system is excellent for those seeking out an all-in-one solution.
In terms of pricing, Vagaro starts off at $25 per month for individuals.
Compared to Square, you get a much better deal. However, it does not have a free option. There is an extra $10 per user fee for added staff members. You do get access to the same features regardless of how many employees you have.
It is important to note that Vagaro was made specifically for salon owners. It comes with an easy-to-use appointment calendar, which allows you to set up online booking through Yelp or Facebook. You can use Vagaro to run sales reports, send out marketing emails, and track client information.
The calendar is one of the most stand-out features available on Vagaro. You can use it to extend or reschedule appointments with drag-and-drop blocks. It is one of the most user-friendly calendar systems around. You can set up personal time to deter any overlapping and use recurring booking functionality for repeat customers.
The client management portion of Vagaro allows you to track customer information, including transaction history, contact details, and other preferences. The built-in customer forms can be used to fill out surveys, liability waivers, and anything else you can think of! These forms will then be saved to the customer profile, which Vagaro creates.
The inventory management tools are also top-notch. With Vagaro, you can import your inventory for free, saving a ton of time in manual data entry. The salon system allows users to create purchase orders and send orders out to suppliers. It will automatically adjust stock when products are received or sold.
Vagaro is one of the best all-in-one solutions for salons and perfect for those who want a robust system.
#4 Salon Iris
Salon Iris might just be one of the top salon POS systems on the market today, as it offers features that are salon-specific.
From reminders and appointment scheduling to social media booking to integrated payment processing, Salon Iris is a true all-in-one point of sale solution.
Salon Iris offers a variety of financial packages for individuals, small salons, and major storefronts.
The pricing starts off at $25 per month and moves up to $109 per month.
Custom pricing is available for much larger salons as well.
The Salon Iris Calendar makes adding appointments easy.
You can use the color-coded appointment blocks to quickly check your own appointments and set up automatic reminders for clients using text or email. Customers can easily book appointments online using Salon Iris too. Salon Iris creates a customizable landing page where your clients can go to access the portal. You can set this up in a way that correlates with your branding.
The client management system is divided into two parts, including the salon side and the client-side. Customers can manage appointments, update contact information, store credit cards for recurring bookings or prepayment, using the client-side. On the salon side, employees can write down products, color formulas, and other client preferences, to prepare for future appointments.
Higher price tiers include loyalty programs. Here you can create custom loyalty points for services and products. The inventory management system is similar to Square and Shedul in many ways. You can track your taxes, appointments, sales, clients, and much more. At a glance, you’ll see your graphs, booking percentages, product sales, and appointments. These features will allow to get a better idea of the growth that your salon is seeing.
While Salon Iris is one of the more robust choices on this list and is geared towards salon-specific needs, you will end up spending around $59 to $100 per month to take advantage of all of the features, making it one of the more expensive choices.
Acuity allows salon spa owners to provide online booking, schedule appointments and set up prepayments.
There is a wide variety of payment processors and applications that can be integrated with Acuity as well, making it an excellent choice for those who want a customized POS solution.
Acuity is different than the majority of salon POS solutions in that it provides a free option for individual stylists who only need the ability to schedule. Individuals can upgrade to $15 per month for advanced features.
As the business grows and more features are needed, the prices move up to $25 and $50 per month.
Acuity is similar to most POS solutions in that you can set appointments on your own. Clients will be able to book their open appointments, check available time slots on your website, and receive automatic email reminders. Text reminders can be used in the higher tiers for reducing lost revenue from no-shows. You can sync your personal calendar with Acuity so that you don’t accidentally double book.
Acuity makes client management easy thanks to the fact that you can import your existing data with a CSV file. Contact information and other preferences can be added to each client profile. You can also attack any intake forms that clients have submitted. Past and upcoming client appointments will appear in the system.
The POS features are pretty basic with Acuity. You’ll be able to see an overview of your cancellations, no-shows, appointments, staff reports, revenue, etc. You can integrate payment processing through Stripe or Square to accept payments with ease.
It is worth noting that Acuity does not come with inventory management features. You will have to use the add-on function to work around this.
To simplify operations for your salon, you will want to get a salon POS system that utilized service-based features. Salon POS systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The benefits that you reap from your POS system will depend on the features that you get. Here are some of the best salon POS features to look out for:
Appointment scheduling is probably one of the most important features in your salon software. Look for online appointment scheduling that can integrate with your POS.
Commissions can be assigned to employees as they book customers and make sales. Creating an easy-to-use commissions system for your POS is great for time management and employee management.
A staff scheduling system is another employee management feature that allows you to line your staff up with any online booking or appointment scheduling.
Pre-authorizations are there to make sure that your customers have sufficient funds to pay for your salon services before you provide them. Bars will often use pre-authorization systems to make sure customers have funds before they start buying drinks.
Pre-payment allows salons and spas to collect a downpayment from customers prior to appointment scheduling. This helps reduce no-shows and gets rid of lost business.
If your employees book appointments outside of the salon or spa, this feature ensures that they get paid from their customers.
Loyalty programs typically come with a variety of features. Salons and spas can use loyalty programs to provide repeat customers with discounts, gift cards, or other types of rewards.
Running a salon or spa is not easy work. You'll always have to deal with messy appointment scheduling, canceled bookings, and worst of all, mean customers.
However, with a decent salon POS system, you can make running your business or businesses much easier.
Don't rely on old-school methods of business management with outdated management software, unreliable card processing, or manual appointment scheduling.
Instead, get yourself one of the best salon POS systems that the market has to offer and let it do all of the hard work for you. Any of the salon POS systems that we mentioned in this article will do. It all comes down to what features you need for your POS system and for your business.
If you can get a free trial for your chosen salon POS system, we highly recommend doing so. That way you can try the POS system out for a bit to see if it fits well with your business needs. There is no "best salon" POS system out there, however, a great point of sale system should make your business run more efficiently. POS systems have the ability to generate better relationships between customers and businesses, improve overall sales with loyalty program offerings, and improve business efficiency with various POS software features, including credit card processing, scheduling, and more.
Make sure that you do your research and you will be well on your way to finding the best salon POS system for all of your salon business needs!