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Salon software automates and manages salon and spa operations, often offering easy integration with cash registers, barcode readers, and other point of sale hardware. Hair salons, tanning salons, beauty parlours, nail salons, massage therapists, and day spas use these systems to add efficiency and value to a variety of business processes, including appointment scheduling, client management and marketing, employee data, commission calculations, inventory management, payroll, and more.
The benefits of salon software
- Automate and streamline your appointment-booking process: A salon system lets businesses offer appointment-booking online, and can reduce no-shows by sending automated reminders and alerts about upcoming appointments to clients.
- Make more from your in-store inventory: A salon system can track inventory and order new products automatically when stock levels are low. They can also maintain accurate client profiles and purchase histories to facilitate product up-selling with greater success.
- Bring in more clients with targeted marketing: Salon software can automate marketing campaigns and communicate with clients via email or on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
Typical features of salon software
- Appointment scheduling: Lets clients book appointments through an online calendar that tracks and manages available/reserved slots.
- Client profiles: Record client information and feedback to track things like stylist preference and product purchase history.
- Employee management: Tracks employee schedules, availability, and performance.
- Inventory management: Track and manage product quantities, and determine when to reorder at a glance.
- Point of sale (POS): Accept and process financial transactions, and feed sales data straight into your system.
The salon software directory lets you filter by feature(s) to only view options that met your business needs, which can help you narrow your software shortlist.
Considerations when purchasing a salon system
- The level of training and technical support your salon software requires: Some software companies offer unlimited training and support, while others charge a flat fee or usage fee. If your business and/or employees require technical training and support, evaluate vendor offerings to ensure they offer such services during your business hours.
- Pricing structures: Carefully review vendor pricing structures, as some salon systems charge by stylist/user, computer, or location. Others charge monthly fees, while still others require a one-time licensing fee. Determine your budget, and build a shortlist accordingly.
- Think beyond your immediate needs: Salon software offers more than just day-to-day operational assistance; it can also help you work strategically and plan for long-term growth. Some salon systems help in creating marketing campaigns around client discounts, or remind customers about follow-up appointments at predetermined times. Determine your salon's long-term goals, and look for software that will help you meet them.
Relevant salon software trends
- AI-based conversational user interfaces replacing appointment-booking calls: A conversational user interface gives you the ability to use natural language when trying to do something with a computer or software system. Some salon systems are already using AI-driven conversational user interfaces to help clients book and manage appointments via text, without involving a stylist or employee. This is an advanced way to save time and eliminate the back-and-forth of rescheduling. According to Capterra research, 68% of small and medium-sized businesses are using or plan to use conversational user interfaces within the next one to two years.
- Visual-based social media marketing takes over: Social media platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram are beginning to dominate the salon marketing space. With their appealing, visual-focused setup, these tools are virtually purpose-built to help salon and spa owners showcase their services, products, and client results. In the near future, look for deeper integration of these social channels into salon software, including metrics to help you measure the performance of each platform.