Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small comission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Learn more..

Picking the right salon software is crucial to the success of your salon business.

But you know that.

You’ve probably already research salon software alternatives at various salon software comparison and review websites.

But you’re still equally confused.

At least that’s how I felt when I first wanted to find the best salon software for me.

The market for salon software has boomed in the last years. It’s insane.

There are hundreds of salon appointment software and salon management software out there.

But what’s the best salon software for you?

I browsed many user rating websites and manufacturer sites when researching this, but it didn’t really help me.

I just got more confused.

What one user finds good or bad might not at all be relevant for you. And if you read a manufacturer’s website, they will for sure try to sell their solution to you but not always giving the full picture.

This is why I decided to finally bring some clarity to this.

I spent weeks going through all the salon software with the highest user ratings. I’ve documented all the features and finally, in this article, I’m pulling it all together in a simple overview for you.

I wish I had found a post like this when I first started. It will save you many hours of researching and testing salon software to find what’s right for you.

This is what you’ll get in this article today:

  • My shortlist of the best salon software for 2020
  • A clarification of the different types of salon software available.
  • A feature-by-feature review and comparison of the best salon software solutions right now. 

Are you ready?

The Best Salon Software 2020

1. Square Appointments: The Best Free Salon Appointment Software (US & Canada Only)

If you’re looking for a free appointment scheduler with minimalistic design that is easy to use and functional, look not further. Square Appointments comes with all the features you need to manage your appointment book effectively.

It’s the ideal for the booth renter or individual stylist as it’s free to use for individuals. It also integrates with all other Square products (like POS system, credit card reader, and marketing suite) which combined makes a complete solution also for the large salon business.

Key Features

  • Dedicated booking website
  • Booking widget for website integration
  • SMS & Email Reminders
  • Seamless integration with all tools from Square
  • Easy-to-use, drag and drop calendar
  • Advanced client data (with images)
  • Advanced inventory management (with stock alerts)
  • iOS & Android App 

2. Versum Salon Software: The Best Value-for-Money Alternative 

Are you looking for a complete salon software solution at an affordable price? Versum offers rich salon operations and marketing support at highly competitive rates. On top of that:

Get 50% discount on the standard rates when you sign up with The Salon Business. 

It’s ideal for the small to medium size salon that wants a comprehensive salon software solution, with advanced features, but still want to stay on a small budget.

Key Features

  • Online booking website
  • SMS & email reminders
  • Email marketing
  • Advanced client loyalty program
  • Advance business reporting
  • Available worldwide with UK based phone support
  • Easy-to-use
  • Advanced client data (with images)
  • Advanced inventory management (with stock alerts)
  • iOS & Android App
  • Pricing starts at €29/month

3. Salon Iris Software – The Most Feature Rich Salon Software

Do you want complete and advanced support for your salon business with the simplicity of managing everything in one place? Then Salon Iris is for you.

Out of all Salon Software, Salon Iris has been around the longest (since 1999) and has continuously added and improved features based on the needs of salons. The platform is feature-rich and they are the only dedicated salon software that also offers a physical POS system and credit card reader solution. 

Salon Iris is for all types of salons and they offer a separate, simpler, plan for individuals but also advanced packages for the bigger salon or chain of salons. 

Key Features

  • Physical POS system 
  • Highly customizable booking website & widget
  • SMS & email reminders
  • Email marketing
  • Advanced client loyalty program
  • Advance business reporting
  • Available worldwide with U.S. based support
  • Drag and drop, color coded, calendar
  • Advanced client data (with images)
  • Advanced inventory management (with stock alerts)
  • Sophisticated payroll support 
  • iOS App, Android App
  • Pricing starts at $29/month

4. Acuity Scheduling – The Most Advanced Appointment Scheduler

Do you want the absolute best booking experience for your clients? Then it is Acuity Scheduling you’re looking for.

You can customize everything with Acuity. You don’t have to compromise anywhere. Brand your booking page or website widget as you like. Acuity is the the most flexible appointment scheduler on the market and it allows you to integrate bookings with a full suite of third party software which, together, becomes a powerful salon software setup for you. 

Acuity is for any size salon that wants the ultimate scheduling experience and is ready to invest the time (or money) to configure the platform to work as you want. It’s not difficult to use. But to get the full benefit of the platform, you’ll want to configure it to work with other platforms and design it to fit your brand. 

Key Features

  • Fully customizable website booking widget 
  • Fully customizable SMS & email reminders
  • Integrates with all leading software for marketing, accounting, and POS directly or via Zapier.
  • Available worldwide
  • Drag and drop, easy-to-use, calendar
  • Packages and gift cards
  • Network of specialized consultants who can help with advanced setups
  • Advanced appointment reporting
  • Free for individuals 

Finding the Best Salon Software for You

Now you have my top list of salon software.

Even if I tried to give a snapshot of each one above, you may still be wondering which one is really right for you. And this is what the remaining part of this salon software guide will help you find out.

It’s quite a long guide.

I really wanted to capture all here and leave no stone unturned. But I don’t expect you to read all of it. I have included a table of content here so that you can jump to the part that is most relevant for you. 

But I really recommend you read the next section before you start jumping around as that’s where I cover some of the core principles behind how to choose the best salon software. 

Let’s get to it. 

What is Salon Software?

Salon software is a suite of software tools designed to help assist salons in running and growing their business. Features span across client & appointment management, salon marketing, point of sale (POS), salon business operation management, and salon business reporting. Some salon software covers all features (referred to as “All-in-One” Salon Software) while others are only focused on client and appointment management (referred to as “Appointment Software”) and rely on specialized tools for the additional features needed by a salon. 

What’s the Benefit of an All-in-One Salon Software?

The benefit of using an All-in-One Salon Software (like Versum or Salon Iris) is that you can manage your total salon business in one place. This makes an All-in-One Salon Software generally easier to use than a combined solution.

You don’t need to worry about making sure different software can “talk” to each other. For example, if you want to send out an email from Salon Iris to all your clients, you just create the email in Salon Iris and the system will automatically have access to all your client data.

Another benefit of using and All-in-One Salon Software is that once you learn how to navigate the system, you don’t need to relearn a new system when you want to activate a new feature. You’re already familiar with the platform and how it works.

What’s the Benefit of Appointment Software + Specialized Tools?

There are several reasons why you may not want to go for an All-in-One Salon Software and instead choose an Appointment Software (like Square Appointments or Acuity Scheduling) + specialized tools.

Firstly, you may not need all the features that comes with an All-in-One Salon Software. Let’s say you’re a booth renter or individual stylists. Then you probably won’t need stock management, payroll or team management features. All you need is likely just a way for clients to book you and a simple way for you to manage appointments. So why pay for features you don’t need?

Secondly, it is difficult, if not impossible, to an expert at everything. An All-in-One Salon Software tries to master appointment management, email marketing, website building, reputation management, accounting, business reporting, POS, payroll and more. 

This is not an easy task.

“Jack of all trades,
master of none,
though ofttimes better than master of one”

If you go with an All-in-One Salon Software, you need to be prepared to compromise on some quality, functionality, or customization features. If you go with an Appointment Software and specialized tools for the additional features you need, you’ll also be able to get the absolute best support for each feature.

But, again, it also means a bit more complexity to setup.

Which Model is Right for You?

Should you choose an All-in-One Salon Software (like Salon Iris or Versum) or should you go with an Appointment Software (like Square Appointments or Acuity Scheduling) and add specialized tools for the features you need?

It really comes down to a) if you need all the features of and All-in-One Salon Software and b) if you want something that is simple, and works out of the box, or if you are ready to work with a few different solutions that together make the perfect end result.

Salon Software Terminology

You’ll find different names used interchangeably to describe a salon software. Commonly used terminology is salon appointment software, salon booking software, salon marketing software, salon management software, salon point of sale (POS) system, and salon booking apps.

Most of the time, I hear people use these words to describe the same thing – a salon software.  

But they are actually very different things. As we dive into the list of features soon, you’ll see what I mean with that. 

You may also be familiar with Salon Marketplaces. There are specific salon appointment tools that exists to support visibility on their client marketplaces. Often time pricing of the salon software part is lower on those as they earn income by charging the client when they book with you. Some examples of salon marketplaces are Styleseat, Vagaro, Booksy, Mindbody, and Fresha (Shedul is the name for salon login).

This review does not include salon marketplaces (even if that’s something I maybe should write about in the future :))

Overview Comparison of the Top Salon Software 2020

I get it.

You’re a busy salon owner and may not have time to read through this full article to figure out which salon software is right for you. 

No hard feelings 🙂

Let me give you an overview of how you should consider when choosing between the four best salon software listed in this review.

Let’s start with the All-in-One Salon Software Versum and Salon Iris.

Salon Iris – The Most Advanced All-in-One Salon Software

Salon Iris is, from my experience, the most complete and feature-rich solution on the market. They are also the only provider that offers a hardware package with a POS system, receipt printer and card reader (note that hardware is only for U.S. salons).

Naturally, it’s not the cheapest solution on the market but you get a lot with it. As a reader of The Salon Business, you also get access to a discount code for Salon Iris.

The software gives you flexibility for customization that goes beyond other All-in-One Salon Software.

You can, for example, create a booking widget that you can add to your existing website and you can style it to fit in seamlessly with the rest of your website. That’s just one example but the same goes for emails and other functions.

Being feature-rich also means it takes a bit more time to learn than other options. But when you get a hang of it, you have a powerful all-in-one tool. 

→ Access your Salon Iris discount code here ←

Versum – The Best Value-for-Money All-in-One Salon Software

Versum is one of the most easy-to-use All-in-One Salon Software on the market. Although not as extensive as Salon Iris, it comes with a lot of features and shines in particular with its salon management tools and business reporting features.

It’s a bit less customizable than Salon Iris. If we take the online booking feature example again, with Versum you’re limited to their predefined mini booking website whereas with Salon Iris you can redesign it and even integrate it as part of your website.

The fact that it’s a little bit less flexible also makes it easier to use. And another big advantage is the price which starts at  €29/month and, as a reader of The Salon Business, you even get a 50% discount on the time period you sign up for.

This means you get A LOT of value for little money.

→ Access your Versum discount here ←

Salon Iris vs. Versum

It’s probably clear by now. But I’d recommend Salon Iris if you want the most advanced and rich solution in one place. If you’re conscious about budget or just want something that is super easy to use, I’d go for Versum.

 → Get your Salon Iris discount voucher here ←

→ Get your Versum discount here ← 

If you still feel you want to dig deeper, you can also read my in-depth review of Salon Iris here and Versum here

Square Appointments – The FREE Salon Appointment Scheduler

You don’t get more power for free than what Square offer. But you know what they say, nothing is really free in this world 🙂

Square is originally a card payment company that help small businesses, like your salon, accept card payments. And their idea (I think) is that if you start using their free appointment software, you’ll eventually also start using Square Payment where they then earn income from credit card transactions. 

The beauty with Square Appointments is firstly that you get a powerful appointment scheduler for free. But, more importantly, you also get an appointment scheduler that sits within a large ecosystem of free and paid solutions for small businesses. This makes it really easy for you to expand the support from Square as your business grow. 

In fact, Square Appointments is like a hybrid between a pure appointment scheduling software and an All-in-One Salon Software. When you start using Square Appointments, you also get access to their free POS system, free payment platform (only charged per transaction) and free team management features.

You can also activate their paid products like Square Payroll and Square Marketing. Suddenly you have a full featured solution for your salon.

→ Give Square Appointments a test drive here, it’s free ←

Acuity – The Most Advanced Salon Appointment Software

Now we’re getting to the advanced stuff for the salon owner that only can settle for the best.

Acuity equals customization and perfection. This is, hands down, the best appointment scheduler on the market I’ve seen. It allows you to configure the booking experience to be exactly as you want it and you get all the advanced appointment management features you can imagine.

On top of that, what makes Acuity unique is its ability to integrate with other software. Acuity is build to work with leading marketing services and business operation support systems. It also supports Zapier which means it can integrate with all major software solutions on the market. 

As you can tell, I’m getting a bit techy just talking about Acuity. And this is also what you need to be mindful of if you go with Acuity.

Although it’s really easy to use their interface, to leverage the full power of the software, you need to have some basic technical understanding. For sure, you can use their out of the box solution without customization and integrations, and you’ll be perfectly fine without technical knowledge. But if that’s what you’re going to do, you might as well use the free solution from Square.

Acuity also offers a free plan though. However, it’s very limited. All you can do with the free plan is to manage one calendar and enable online bookings for your clients. You’ll for example not get basic features like appointment notifications and reminders. For that, you need to at least sign up for their first level paid plan at $15/month. 

But if you want the best, Acuity is your partner.

→ Try Acuity for free here ←

Square Appointments vs. Acuity Scheduling

There are three things you should consider when choosing between Square Appointments and Acuity Scheduling: location, cost, and customization.

  • Location: Acuity works worldwide and equally well in all countries. Square Appointments is currently limited to the United States and Canada.
  • Cost: Square Appointments is free to use for individuals (even with some advanced features). Acuity is also free for individuals but only with very limited functionality so you probably will end up paying a minimum of $15/month. However, if you run a salon with a team, Acuity offers more attractive price plans. If you have a team of five, Acuity costs $25/month whereas Square would cost you $50/month.
  • Customization: Although Square Appointments is rich in features, you’ll not be able to change designs or customize much. You’ll need to stay with the out of the box solution. Acuity, on the other hand, allows you to customize everything to make it act exactly as you want. 

If you want to dig even deeper, you read my in-depth review of Square Appointments here

 → Start using Acuity for free here ←

→ Start using Square Appointments for free here (only US & Canada) ← 

Best Salon Software 2020 – Feature Review

The best salon software for your business will ultimately be determined based on the features the platform delivers.

But just reading a feature list does not give you the full story on how the software delivers the functionality.

To help guide you on the choice of salon software, I have therefore pulled together a list of the most important features and compared how the salon software I recommend here delivers it.

You can jump directly to the feature you’re most interested in using the links here. 

Best Salon Appointment Software/ Salon Booking Software

The most important part of a salon software is how well it helps you manage your calendar and client bookings. Let’s look at how the recommended salon software here deliver on this. 

Online Booking

The ways to accept online bookings vary across the platforms and so does the level of design customization ability. 

Square Appointments

With Square Appointments you can create a booking website or generate 3 types of widgets to embed on your website. You cannot customize design much but it’s simple to do. 

Acuity Scheduling

Acuity allow you to create a simple, clean, booking website. You also have several options to integrate the booking widget on your website or social media.

In order to integrate the booking widget on your website, you need to upgrade to a paid plan and if you want to customize the design of it, you need to upgrade to their largest plan. 

Versum

Versum allow you to create a minimalistic booking website for you clients that you can link to from your ordinary website but you cannot embed booking on your website (see example below)

Salon Iris

Salon Iris helps you create a highly customizable website using their website builder or embed you booking widget on an existing website (see example below)

Salon Appointment Book

The salon appointment calendar is very similar between all of the salon software and I would not see this as a judging factor when choosing salon software. 

Square Appointments

Square Appointments calendar is fast and easy. Drag-and-drop your appointments and switch between different calendar views. 

Acuity Scheduling

The Acuity calendar is easy to use. You can drag and drop appointments to change time and quickly update appointment information.

Each service can have it’s unique color code which makes it easy to get a view on the calendar.  

Versum

It’s easy to manage your calendar in Versum via web or mobile app. You can drag-and-drop appointments and manage multiple calendars in one. 

Salon Iris

The Salon Iris calendar is super easy to use, just drag-and-drop and click to add and appointments directly on the calendar. Color code your appointments for easy overview. 

Client Data Management

Managing client data and history is an important part of salon operations management. All the software I’m recommending here does a good job here and supports storing all the information you need. 

Square Appointments

Store all information you need, get quick view on past and upcoming appointments. You can store media files but Square Appointments doesn’t have specidfc before/ after image support.

Acuity Scheduling

You can easily browse clients, bulk edit or upload clients.

You get a simple and clear view for each client that also show you upcoming and past appointments in Acuity

Versum

Store images and other rich data about your clients and pull client level reports.

Salon Iris

Salon Iris is clearly built for salons with support for before and after pictures and note taking during appointment. 

Client Reminders

Reduce no-shows and stay in touch with your clients using automatic reminders and notifications. Supported by all recommended tools here. 

Square Appointments

Very rich notification and reminders support for both clients and employees. On top, you can have your clients reply and confirm bookings etc. via SMS which is a really helpful feature Square Appointments offer.

Acuity Scheduling

You get good support for SMS and email notifications and reminders with Acuity .

Their SMS service is worldwide and cost for messages are included in their larger paid plans.

Versum

Send SMS & Email reminders ahead of appointment and after to collect reviews. SMS works worldwide with Versum.

Salon Iris

Full support for customizable email and SMS reminders. Not all countries outside U.S. supported for SMS. Check with Salon Iris support if your country is supported.  

Best Salon Management Software

A good salon software should help you with more than just appointment management. It should help you manage your operations so that you can save time, money, and reduce costly mistakes. 

Let’s look at how the salon software I recommend here help you get more productive.  

Salon Payroll & Employee Management

The biggest expense a salon has is staff wages. But it’s also your most important asset and you of course want your team to be as productive and motivated as possible. The salon software I recommend here have different ways of supporting employee management. Below are some of the highlights of how the different salon software support payroll and employee management. 

Square Appointments

Square Appointments allows you to manage multiple staff schedules and system access as soon as you upgrade to their paid plan. 

You can get really advanced payroll support with Square but this is manage in another solution called Square Payroll which also comes at additional cost. 

Acuity Scheduling

You can setup multiple user logins and staff calendars. and control which calendars staff should be able to see.

You need to be on one of their premium plans to add staff though.  

There’s no further support for employees in Acuity.

However, the power of Acuity is that it integrates with almost all other software providers so you can get a separate payroll system that it can work with. 

Versum

Versum allows you to manage large teams of employees with unique access levels and schedules. 

Configure commission for specific employees, products, or services to help drive the behavior you want in your salon.  

You can also pull out detailed time reports to support payroll. 

Salon Iris

Salon Iris offer rich support for staff and large teams. 

Manage system access on employee level and setup commission profiles for groups of staff. 

You can also manage your full payroll within Salon Iris so you do no have to outsource it. 

Salon Business Reporting

“You get what you measure” – that’s an old saying but so true. If you’re serious about growing your salon business, you need to define business targets and have a good reporting system to help you track your progress.   

Square Appointments

When you sign up for Square Appointments , you also get free access to their reporting app. 

As shown in the list below, you’ll find several predefined reports available and you can also create custom salon business reports.

Acuity Scheduling

Acuity can provide good appointment-related reports, but not really more than that.

After all, Acuity is an appointment software (and a great one) but not an All-in-One Salon Software.

Versum

Business reporting is one of the key strengths of Versum. Despite being a lower cost option, it truly shines with sophisticated reporting and visually appealing graphs. 

There offer several predefined reports that allow you to look at your business performance in many ways. 

Salon Iris

Salon Iris have understood the importance of business reporting and you won’t be disappointed with the rich support they provide. 

Salon Iris comes with predefined reports that you can customize  to track your salon’s KPIs. 

Salon Inventory Management

Optimizing your inventory can help you save costs while also ensuring you have what you need in stock to avoid losing sales. All the software I recommend in this review offer good inventory support and you’ll get the support you need whichever you choose. 

Square Appointments

Square Appointments comes with the accompanying “Items” app where you manage your inventory of products and services.  

Acuity Scheduling

Acuity does not support inventory management. Instead, you can pick the solution of choice for this which (most likely) can integrate with Acuity

Versum

Store all the product information you need and setup notifications when you’re running out of stock on a product. 

Salon Iris

Get full inventory management support that syncs directly with product sales at checkout.  

Best Salon Marketing Software

You should expect more of your salon software than just support for salon operations. A good salons software will also help grow your business via effective salon marketing. Let’s go through how each solution supports your marketing efforts. 

Email & SMS Marketing

Even though email and SMS are old technologies that have been around for a while, they’re still the most effective ways for you to keep in touch with your clients (as well as potential new clients) at scale.  

Square Appointments

Square Appointments does not have email marketing built in (only appointment notifications). However, they have another Marketing products that integrates seamlessly with the appointment app.

This is a dedicated email marketing solution and which you need to pay a small fee for but you get a great solution.   

Acuity Scheduling

Acuity comes with rich functionality for email and sms notifications regarding appointments. However, it’s not an email or SMS marketing platform.

The power of Acuity is that it integrates with other email marketing providers so that you can get the best email marketing support through a third party. 

Versum

Versum offers highly sophisticated email and SMS marketing support despite being an All-in-One Salon Software (and not a specialized email marketing software).

You can access a library of basic promotional email templates and you can design SMS and email sequences that are tied to salon visits, birthdays or other time-based events.

You need to purchase the Versum marketing add-on to get access to the features.

Salon Iris

Salon Iris clearly understands the importance of email and sms marketing and have strong built in support for it in their All-in-One Salon Software.

You can automate emails based on events, design html emails and control it all from your mobile phone.

The support you get for emails with Salon Iris is not far from what you’d get with a specialized email service provider. 

Client Loyalty Program

“It’s always cheaper to retain a customer than it is to gain a new one”.

That was part of the basic course when I studied marketing. And it’s true. But we often forget this and just focus on bringing in new clients. However, a good salon software should help you retain clients and a good feature for this is a program that rewards your most loyal clients.   

Square Appointments

You do not have a loyalty program built in to Square Appointments.

Instead, Square offers a dedicated loyalty program that works with their suite of solutions. 

It’s a powerful and easy-to-use loyalty program but it comes at additional costs.  

Acuity Scheduling

Acuity does not offer its own loyalty program. Instead, it integrates with the best loyalty program platforms on the market.

This way you can get the absolute best for your salon but it would be provided by someone else. 

Versum 

Versum really shines when it comes to their loyalty program. It’s super rich. You can customize everything about it and setup the rewards exactly as you want. 

It is part of Versum’s add-on packages and comes with additional cost to activate in the system. 

Salon Iris

Salon Iris offers a loyalty program where you can configure how clients earn points as well as what the rewards are. 

However, the loyalty program is (for some reason I don’t get) only available in the large package with desktop version.  

 

Salon Website Builder

Your website is the hub of all your marketing. This is where you send new clients from your social media or other marketing efforts. It’s quite likely it’s also the first impression that a client has with you – so you want to get it right.

I’ll go through how each of the recommended tools here can assist you with creating your website. But the fact of the matter is that a website builder is a technically difficult solution to build. Thus, no All-in-One Salon Software on the market can deliver a really good solution. Instead, it’s more important to understand how your salon software integrates with other, specialized, website builders. This way you can create a good website (or have an agency build one for you) which enables online booking with your salon software in a seamless way. 

I have created a separate review for you that goes through the best website builders for salons here.  This is a good place to start if the website is the most important part for you.

Square Appointments

You can create a simple booking website in Square Appointments using their predefined layouts.

You can also generate a booking widget that you can add to your salon website independently on which platform you built it with. 

On top of that, Square have acquired one to the leading website builders Weebly so they offer this as an add on as well.

Weebly is in fact also one of the website builders I recommend here.   

Acuity Scheduling

Acuity will help you create a simple, clean, booking website for your salon.

If you sign up for their large plan, you can also customize the booking experience completely. 

However, the power, again, with Acuity is that it integrates with other software, including website builders.

They provide several options for how you can integrate their booking widget on your salon’s website.

Versum

Versum allow you to create a booking website to capture appointments. You can add a bit more details to the site about your salon which can be sufficient if you’re a small salon that just want to allow people to book with you.

However, it’s not really a website builder that allow you to create a full blown salon website.

Instead, you would probably want to create your website using one of the salon website builders I recommend here and then link to the Versum booking website from that one.  

Salon Iris

Out of all the All-in-One Salon Software I have tested,Salon Iris is the one that deliver the richest support for creating a full website. 

You get a selection of templates to choose from and you can customize a large part of the website to make it look as you want. 

But, as said before, I still think you should create your salon website with a dedicated website builder.

What’s great with Salon Iris is that you get a booking widget that you can customize the design of and add to any website builder for a seamless booking experience. 

Social Media & Reputation Management

Social media has become the place to market your salon. Most platforms are very visual which fits the beauty industry perfectly. Thus, you want to make sure your online booking is linked with your social media. On top, your salon software can help encourage your clients to leave online reviews of your salon which helps build your salons reputation.   

Square Appointments

Square Appointments integrates with Google so that your clients can book you directly on the search result page without leaving Google.

For other social platforms you can link directly to you booking widget for fast booking of appointments. 

The do not offer any reputation management support today. 

Acuity Scheduling

You can link directly from your social media to your Acuity booking page.

However, they do not provide further social media and reputations management support. 

Instead you’d use a dedicate provider for this purpose.  

Versum

Versum offers basic support for social media and reputation management. 

They show you how you can link to your booking page from your social media and they can also help you automate an message after the appointment to encourage people to leave a review. 

I would say this is rather basic. 

Salon Iris

Salon Iris enables your clients to book with you directly on your Facebook page. 

They also understand the importance of managing your reputation online and are partnering with a specialized reputation management service so that you can track reviews made about your salon directly inside the salon software.

As the reputation management service is from an external company, this features comes at additional cost.  

Best Salon Point of Sale (POS) System

A salon software wouldn’t be of much help if you cannot use it at check out so that you get paid. The software I recommend in this review manage the check our process differently. Let’s look at the point of sale support they offer to help you identify the best option for you.

Salon POS Hardware

All software I recommend in this review are cloud based and can be accessed via web browser of via mobile or tablet app. However, Salon Iris and Square Appointments also support you with hardware so that you can make your check out as effective as possible (and also look sleek and professional).

Square Appointments

Square have a menu of hardware that you can purchase to streamline your check out process. They all have the modern and minimalistic design that you experience across all square products.   

Acuity Scheduling

Acuity does not provide any POS hardware. However, you can integrate the platform with leading POS hardware solutions. 

You can also manage check out directly in the Acuity tablet or mobile app. 

 

Versum

Versum does not offer any hardware. You manage it all via web browser or app. 

Salon Iris

Salon Iris is the only All-in-One Salon Software I’ve come across that also offer physical hardware that integrates with the software. 

Payment Options

All the software I recommend here support a wide variety of payment options. However, this is of course where Square shines given payments is the core of their business. 

Square Appointments

Square of course shines when it comes to managing payments. After all, that’s the core of their business. 

The Square Payments software (which integrates with Square Appointments ) is free. You only pay per card transaction. You also get a free mobile card reader when you sign up.  

Acuity Scheduling

Acuity integrates with the leading payment providers – Stripe, Paypal, and Square.

It allows you to accept payments directly on the booking website or during check out where it supports all payment types. 

 

Versum

Versum can be setup to manage a wide range of payment options at check-out and the software can generate invoices if that’s how your customer prefers to pay. 

Versum does not offer any hardware for card transactions. 

Salon Iris

Salon Iris can manage all types of payments you’d like. They also partner with a credit card payment provider so that you can get a complete credit card payment solution that is full integrated in the Salon Iris check out process. 

Salon Booking Apps & Cloud Based Salon Software 

Being able to access your salon software when you’re on the go is an important feature. In particular if you’re a mobile stylist but also if you manage a large salon and want to be able to get a quick update on how your business is doing when you’re out and about. 

All the salon software i recommend here are cloud based. This means that all data is stored “in the cloud” and can be accessed wherever you are. On top, they all offer mobile apps to give you fast and smooth access.  

Square Appointments

Square Appointments is available on US & Canada Apple App Store and recently also for Android. Square Point of Sale app is however available globally.

You have full control of Square Appointments via the app. 

User Reviews:

  • Google (840+ reviews):  4.4 out of 5 rating.
  • Apple (47’000+ reviews): 4.9 out of 5 rating.

Acuity Scheduling

The app from Acuity is clean and easy to use and gives you full access to all features. It’s available worldwide for iOS and Android. 

User Reviews:

  • Google (1,400+ reviews):  3.7 out of 5 rating.
  • Apple (6’600+ reviews): 4.8 out of 5 rating.

Versum

Versum has native apps for iOS and Android which I find well designed and easy to use even if functionality is limited.

User Reviews:

  • Google (70+ reviews):  3.5 out of 5 rating.
  • Apple (7+ reviews): 3.0 out of 5 rating.

Salon Iris

Salon Iris offer apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. You can manage your full business in the app.

User Reviews:

  • Google (1,700+ reviews):  4.7 out of 5 rating.
  • Apple (3,300+ reviews): 4.9 out of 5 rating.

Summary & Conclusion

The right salon software can really be a game changer for your salon business.

In this review of the best salon software for 2020, I’ve really tried to go beyond just a list with user ratings (that you can find on other websites). Instead I wanted to go deep on the features and clarify what the different types of salon software are so that you can make an as informed decision as possible. 

→ Start using Square Appointments for free here (only US & Canada) ← 

→ Start using Acuity Scheduling for free here ← 

→ Claim your discount on Versum here ← 

→ Claim your discount on Salon Iris here ← 

I hope you found it helpful and that it can save you some time and money. If you did, I’d be so grateful if you wanted to share this guide using the social media buttons on this page. 

I’d also love to hear what you think. Did you find it helpful? Did I miss to cover something here?

Let me know in the comments box below. 

Did you find this post helpful? Share it with your friends!