Salon software helps salon owners and independent styling professionals manage day-to-day business operations. Among other things, the software automates:
This guide can help potential buyers find the best salon software for their needs. Here’s what we’ll cover:
Professionals working in the salon industry are often so occupied with helping customers that, at times, it can be difficult for them to manage multiple customer appointments. This problem is exacerbated during peak hours.
That’s where salon management software can help. A salon management solution helps salon professionals manage their appointments and easily reschedule appointments or take requests for new ones, which can help maximize the efficiency and profitability of their business.
Most salon management software solutions come with some or all of the following capabilities:
|Appointment management||Enables users to book, reschedule or follow up on appointments on the fly by using an intuitive drag and drop interface. Certain solutions allow users to confirm appointments via SMS text messaging.|
|Marketing campaigns||Allows users to execute SMS or email-based marketing campaigns to help bring customers back to the salon. These campaigns can include promotional packages, membership programs and loyalty cards or gift coupons.|
|Billing and POS processing||Enables users to generate bills and process payments through multiple methods, including cash, debit and credit cards or electronic wallets. The feature also allows customers to redeem gift coupons or services using a POS (point-of-sale) solution.|
|Reporting||Generates reports on customer satisfaction by stylist or service categories, effectiveness of marketing campaigns, tracks staff performance and evaluates revenue trends.|
|Customer management||Allows users to capture useful information about customers that help in supporting marketing campaigns. It includes features such as capturing customer feedback, segmenting and categorizing customers and tracking customer spend.|
|Staff management||Enables business owners to track key employee metrics, such as customer satisfaction and retention, employee availability and employee schedules.|
Salon owners can realize multiple benefits as a result of adopting salon management software, including:
Centralizing customer information. Keeping a track of customer information is vital for salon owners since this data can be used to generate targeted campaigns to increase customer loyalty. Salon management systems offer centralized storage of customer data, including customer contact details, important dates, service history, membership information and loyalty points and gift voucher usage details. This software also allows for the scheduled backup of customer data.
Streamlining appointments. Styling professionals often find it challenging to manage customer appointments during peak hours. Without the right software in place, they can risk double-booking appointments, which can lead to lost customers. Salon management software enables easy appointment scheduling, single-touch rescheduling and the ability to confirm appointments with customers so time isn't wasted.
Choosing the right salon or spa software depends on the size of the business. Consider the following buyer types:
Small businesses and individual professionals. Small businesses typically operate in individual capacities or as small establishments with five employees or less. For businesses where managing daily appointments is the top priority, a salon management solution that focuses primarily on appointment management will typically suffice. For those businesses with employees that are constantly on the go, a web-based solution may be ideal, particularly one that has a mobile app or is mobile-friendly.
Midsize businesses. As businesses grow in size and volume, it becomes especially important to be able to capture customer data. This data can be analyzed and segmented further to generate targeted marketing campaigns that focus on customer loyalty and retention. An ideal solution for these types of businesses should have the ability to offer customer management and marketing campaign management features, in addition to an appointment scheduling feature.
Large enterprises. Large enterprises require software that help them perform multiple tasks from the same interface. These tasks include tracking inventory, creating work-orders with the vendor to replenish stocks, POS billing and gift card management, employee attendance tracking, trainings management and extensive reporting capabilities. For these types of businesses, a modular salon management solution that gives them the option to pick and choose modules according to their company's needs is an ideal solution .Cloud-based solutions may be preferred because they often have lower maintenance costs than on-premise solutions.
Booth rental model. Some salon and spa professionals are shifting focus towards a booth rental model, where owners of a salon provide all of the necessary equipment and products, and third-party professionals can pay to rent out a booth in which to conduct their business. These third-party professionals then pay periodic rent to the owners for the use of their premises, typically like a serviced office. The booth rental model offers far-reaching benefits to all the stakeholders in the model’s value chain: It helps booth owners earn regular income without incurring marketing or training expenditures, and styling professionals get to set their own business terms and choose their preferred product line(s) without heavy capital expenditures. The customers eventually benefit by having convenient access to their favorite stylist.
Predictive purchasing. Salon enterprises can capture a good chunk of customer data through software, but most salon management systems do not feature advanced big data analytics capabilities that can predict consumer buyer behavior and help personalize client experience and deals to drive sales. As such, several vendors have started to integrate their salon management systems with analytics tools that study buying behaviors and compare it with larger datasets to predict buying patterns.
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