Top 5 Fresha Alternatives & Competitors for Salons & Spas 2024

Editorial note: We're committed to providing correct and up-to-date software reviews that help guide you to the solutions that best fits your needs. The Salon Business is a subsidiary of Mangomint (a salon and spa software we love). However, any opinions shared are solely based on our editors' first-hand experience using the tools we review. Learn more...

Considering Fresha as your next salon and spa software but looking for better or cheaper alternatives?

You’re in the right place.

Today, we’ll take a look at Fresha and its best alternatives so you can make your decision with confidence and skip all the FOMO.

Fresha (previously known as Shedul) burst onto the scene in 2015, offering a subscription-free model, only charging fees when the software starts generating revenue. This appealing model has attracted many solo entrepreneurs for its flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

It’s the only 100% subscription-free salon booking system, so for individual stylists or new salons that need to keep fixed costs low, this is a really attractive option.

Fresha gives you a lot of the advanced features you’d normally need to pay for – like free SMS, built-in no-show protection, and marketing automation (e.g. like client birthday emails).

They also offer a substantial salon client marketplace that allows you to promote your business and get discovered by new clients. Since they don’t charge subscription fees, this is where they earn their money back. When you market your salon or spa on the platform and get a new client, they’ll charge you a significant percentage of the appointment.

But there are a handful of reasons I might not recommend Fresha for your business in particular.

We had a lot to say about Fresha in our full review, so if you want the full details of our experience testing it out, check that article out.

But for the sake of today’s look at the best alternatives to Fresha, I’ll share the areas where competitors one-up this modern salon management software and where Fresha truly shines.

There are good reasons why you may want to consider the handful of alternatives I’ll share with you today. I’ll summarize some of the most important ones and give an overview of each alternative below.

Let’s dive in!

Fresha logo above the word "Alternatives"

Why Consider Fresha Alternatives?

Some of the reasons you may want to choose an alternative to Fresha are:

  1. You’ve outgrown the platform: As your business grows, so will your demand for better support and system flexibility. While Fresha is a great solution for solo business owners and small teams, it is not the best option for larger teams, especially those with multiple locations.
  2. You need branding and customization tools: Fresha is rather rigid when it comes to customization and branding. While its templates and tools look nice out of the box, you won’t be able to customize it to nearly the degree that other paid platforms offer.
  3. You don’t like being locked into a closed ecosystem: While Fresha has extensive features, it boxes you into working with its tools rather than supporting ones you may already use. Fresha works best as a complete system on their platform, so if you already have an established website and other marketing solutions, other options might give you more control and flexibility.

As with any system, there are pros and cons. Let’s dive into my top recommended Fresha alternatives and see how they stack up.

Fresha Alternatives

We’ll start with a quick summary of my recommended Fresha alternatives. Following this, I’ll dive into each one in a bit more depth.

#1

Mangomint

Who is it for

The highest-rated software for salons & spas. Designed for businesses with a team who want the best design experience, smart automations, and the flexibility to integrate with other systems.

Average price

Note

Assumes you run a business with a mid-size team and have activated the more common add-ons. What you will pay will be lower or higher than this. See the separate section about pricing for full details.

$245 per month

Supported countries

U.S. and Canada

Overall score

Note

The overall score considers ease of use, customer service, features, user ratings, and cost. Scores are determined solely by our editorial team.

4.9
4.1
Ease of use
5.0
5.0
Customer service
5.0
2.0
Capterra user score
5.0
4.8
G2 user score
4.8
4.2
#2

GlossGenius

Who is it for

For independent professionals who want to start accepting payments and get appointment scheduling, a website and marketing up fast without compromising on the experience of their brand

Average price

Note

Assumes you run a business with a mid-size team and have activated the more common add-ons. What you will pay will be lower or higher than this. See the separate section about pricing for full details.

$48 per month

Supported countries

U.S.

Overall score

Note

The overall score considers ease of use, customer service, features, user ratings, and cost. Scores are determined solely by our editorial team.

4.4
4.1
Ease of use
5.0
5.0
Customer service
3.0
2.0
Capterra user score
4.6
4.8
G2 user score
5.0
4.2
#3

Square Appointments

Who is it for

For solopreneurs or small teams in any type of local service business (salon, spa, fitness, repair, cleaning, and professional services) who want access to Square’s broad range of products.

Average price

Note

Assumes you run a business with a mid-size team and have activated the more common add-ons. What you will pay will be lower or higher than this. See the separate section about pricing for full details.

$45 per month

Supported countries

U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, the UK, Ireland, France and Spain.

Overall score

Note

The overall score considers ease of use, customer service, features, user ratings, and cost. Scores are determined solely by our editorial team.

4.0
4.1
Ease of use
4.0
5.0
Customer service
3.0
2.0
Capterra user score
4.4
4.8
G2 user score
4.3
4.2
#4

Booker

Who is it for

For the new and growing business with funds to spare that needs integrated marketing tools and must have a first-party online marketplace to drive new client acquisition.

Average price

Note

Assumes you run a business with a mid-size team and have activated the more common add-ons. What you will pay will be lower or higher than this. See the separate section about pricing for full details.

$450 per month

Supported countries

Available almost worldwide

Overall score

Note

The overall score considers ease of use, customer service, features, user ratings, and cost. Scores are determined solely by our editorial team.

3.4
4.1
Ease of use
4.0
5.0
Customer service
3.5
2.0
Capterra user score
4.1
4.8
G2 user score
4.2
#5

Vagaro

Who is it for

For cost conscious solopreneurs or smaller teams who are looking for an all-in-one software, with a lot of features, to support their salon, spa, or fitness business.

Average price

Note

Assumes you run a business with a mid-size team and have activated the more common add-ons. What you will pay will be lower or higher than this. See the separate section about pricing for full details.

$120 per month

Supported countries

U.S., Canada, Australia, and the UK

Overall score

Note

The overall score considers ease of use, customer service, features, user ratings, and cost. Scores are determined solely by our editorial team.

4.1
4.1
Ease of use
3.0
5.0
Customer service
3.0
2.0
Capterra user score
4.7
4.8
G2 user score
4.4
4.2

Alternative #1: Mangomint | The Highest Rated Sofware for Salons and Spas

While Fresha appeals to startup salons and solopreneurs on a budget, Mangomint impresses with its razor-sharp focus on creating a seamless, intuitive experience.

Mangomint is purpose-built for salons and spas with teams, offering deeper, more advanced features designed for collaborative environments and clever innovations on classic features to make your day-to-day more efficient.

Fresha’s most important point of differentiation is its large client marketplace that businesses can use to draw in new clients and offer promotions.

While Mangomint has chosen to forego a client marketplace, it packs in some clever tools that Fresha lacks.

With their vastly expanded feature set, Mangomint has innovated on core feature offerings (I’m a huge fan of their Express Booking feature) while continuing to uphold its core tenets of reliability and exceptional customer support.

So, if you’re a solo entrepreneur just starting out and you’re attracted by Fresha’s free tier, it could be a great fit. But if you run a team-based salon or spa and want a premium, highly tailored experience, Mangomint is tough to beat.

Mangomint At a Glance

Mangomint is the most modern and well-designed salon and spa software platform in the United States & Canada.

It’s the platform with the most buzz around right now that beats all competitors on user review websites.

Every little detail of this software has been designed to perfection – making it incredibly intuitive and easy to use. It also offers intelligent automations that reduces time spent managing your appointments and business operations.

Mangomint’s vision is to make salon software invisible—so smart and easy to use that it essentially disappears into your day-to-day operations. And boy, is this software a pleasure to use for both you and your clients, which is why it is now, in 2023, my #1 recommendation.

Pros and Cons

  • Modern, easy-to-use, interface
  • Smart automations that help cut down on time spent managing business operations
  • Open data ownership and no contracts (you’re not locked into anything)
  • Can integrate with any other platform that allow for integrations
  • Highest-rated customer service on the market
  • Not for solopreneurs. Only teams.
  • Higher entry-level price than most other salon & spa software
  • Only available in the United States & Canada

Alternative #2: GlossGenius | The Easy-to-Use Alternative for Independent Professionals

If you’re a solo business owner who cares about aesthetics and ease of use, you’re going to want to consider GlossGenius. Their mobile-first approach and stellar app design are top notch in terms of mobile functionality and user experience.

Since GlossGenius is a mobile-focused salon software, you can handle the majority of business functions directly in the mobile app, but the flipside of this is that you have fewer features overall in comparison to Fresha.

Both GlossGenius and Fresha are easy-to-use platforms designed with non-technical individuals in mind. So easy that, in both cases, it comes with an expense of flexibility. You can’t really adapt much on either of these platforms.

Unfortunately, both these systems lack a booking widget to integrate into your existing website. Instead, you’ll need to link to your GlossGenius or Fresha pages. If a booking widget is essential to you, then you will probably want to read about other alternatives on my top salon and spa software list.

GlossGenius doesn’t have a free option like Fresha does, but it is very modestly priced compared to the rest of the spa and salon software market, so both offer great value for money.

GlossGenius At a Glance

GlossGenius is an all-in-one appointment, payment, and marketing app for salon and spa professionals in the USA.

It offers rich support for independent professionals. Teams can also use the app but it’s primarily designed for solopreneurs.

Here you manage your total business out of an easy-to-use, beautifully designed, mobile app.

In my opinion, it’s the design and premium beauty experience that GlossGenius delivers that makes this tool truly unique. You can even adapt the design of their credit card reader to fit your brand.

Pros and Cons

  • Interface design that signals beauty (and not tech)
  • Intuitive features that are easy-to-use
  • Professional looking website in just a few clicks
  • Integrated payments with beautiful hardware
  • Affordable and transparent flat fee pricing
  • Limited flexibility (you need to follow pre-defined standards)
  • Can only be managed via app (only calendar can be accessed in web browser)
  • There is little team support in case you start to hire so you will likely have to switch later
  • No booking widget to integrate on existing website (need to link to your GlossGenius website)

Alternative #3: Square Appointments  | The Complete POS & Appointment Software with a Subscription-Free Plan for Individuals

Square Appointments and Square’s offer as a whole makes it a compelling competitor to Fresha.

They serve a similar group of business owners – solopreneurs or smaller teams – and both offer a lot of features with a free option.

However, these solutions offer more than free tools for independent stylists and therapists.

Fresha is dedicated to salon and spa businesses, while a broader range of customers uses Square. With Square, you can, therefore, activate different apps, Square Appointments being one, but there are other solutions available to you with Square.

The complexity of Square is, however, a bit more involved. Square is built for any schedule-based business, so you need to puzzle together the apps you want to use as you get set up.

All these solutions combined make Square‘s offerings richer than Fresha’s. But it also means a bigger learning curve to get the system to the place you want it. Fresha just works out of the box.

Square Appointments At a Glance

Square Appointments is a cloud-based appointment scheduling software for salons, spas and really any other local service businesses.

It integrates with the full suite of local business solutions from Square which makes it one of the most complete business management solutions on the market.

At the same time, it is free for individuals and has therefore quickly become one of the most popular platforms for one-person businesses like beauty booth renters and individual professionals.

Pros and Cons

  • Free for individuals
  • Well-designed, easy to use, interface
  • Integration with the full suite of Square applications for endless possibilities
  • Robust core business management (inventory, reports, and client data)
  • Limited flexibility when designing online booking page, booking widget, e-mails and other aspects that you may want to adapt
  • It gets a bit expensive for the growing team that expands with more locations
  • Only available in the U.S. and Canada at the moment

Alternative #4: Booker | The Most Established Salon Software With the Best New Client Marketplace

Like Fresha, Booker is a salon and spa management software and a marketplace. In fact, it shares the same marketplace as its sister software, Mindbody.

Booker streamlines scheduling, payment collection, and marketing campaigns. The platform does come with monthly subscription fees but enables robust business management capabilities. Of the two apps, Booker offers greater complexity and customization for established salons looking to scale operations.

That’s not to say it’s all roses.

The Booker apps on desktop and mobile feel outdated compared to Fresha and many other newer software options on the market. The menu system is notoriously clunky and can make navigating settings a bit of a pain.

Booker wins out for built-in marketing and advanced team management needs, and its marketplace is considerably larger than Fresha’s.

Then there’s price. Booker is considerably more expensive than Fresha, hands down. For businesses on a budget, Fresha offers a much more attractive option. For larger and growing businesses, however, Booker’s large feature set and tailor-made features might make more sense.

Booker At a Glance

Booker by Mindbody, is a subscription-based salon and spa software that has existed in some form since 2007. Booker is headquartered in San Luis Obispo CA, and is available nearly worldwide.

Booker’s strengths lie in its new client acquisition opportunities and integrated marketing capabilities.

While Booker’s lowest-tier plans are relatively affordable compared to the competition, they lack many of the noteworthy features that make Booker an attractive option, putting them somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to price-to-feature comparisons.

Pros and Cons

  • Straightforward pricing
  • Enhanced new client acquisition opportunities through MindBody Explore marketplace
  • Integrated email marketing suite (on higher-tier plans)
  • No free trial
  • Must commit to a minimum 12-month contract before ever using the software
  • US-based customer support only available to Ultimate and Ultimate Plus plans (outsourced on Starter and Accelerate plans)

Alternative #5: Vagaro | The Feature-rich and Affordable Salon Software

Vagaro needs to be mentioned in the alternative comparison conversation. It is rich in features and has an established client marketplace that competes with Fresha’s.

The client acquisition opportunities offered by both marketplaces are highly valuable, especially if your area is not overly saturated by other businesses competing with you on the platform.

There are some areas that Vagaro takes the lead over Fresha, though.

Vagaro offers tools like a website builder, waitlist, and integrated booking widget that can be embedded on your site, all major pluses that Fresha doesn’t currently have an answer for.

Vagaro also has integrated payroll processing, a major bonus for salon owners with a team.

While Vagaro doesn’t have a free plan, it does come in at a very affordable price that will attract business owners on a budget.

Vagaro At a Glance

Vagaro, headquartered in the US, is one of the most popular salon software options. It is a complete system for salons, spas, barbershops, health, and fitness businesses.

It’s one of the most feature-rich platforms on the market and comes with POS, online appointment scheduling, email/SMS marketing, credit card processing, subscription payments, video streaming, website builder, eCommerce, payroll, hardware, and advanced business reporting just to name a few.

Despite the large amount of built-in features, it’s one of the cheapest platforms on the market. So if you want to spend as little as possible for as much as possible, Vagaro could be the right platform for you.

Pros and Cons

  • Rich in features
  • Affordable price
  • Client marketplace that could help you attract more new clients
  • Integrations with other software (QuickBook, Xerox, Facebook, Zoom)
  • Pages could load faster, and you may find some glitches as you use it
  • Clients need to create a Vagaro account when booking, which some find annoying
  • There is a slight learning curve in the beginning, as a lot of features

Choosing the best Fresha alternative

I hope this list was helpful in determining if any of these Fresha alternatives are a better fit for you.

If it’s top-notch customer support and life-hack-level innovative features you’re looking for, Mangomint offers the best features and support for businesses with more than a couple of stylists or estheticians.

If you run a new or growing salon or spa, are on a budget, and want access to a large client marketplace, Vagaro is a great choice.

If you want a robust ecosystem of apps available for no monthly cost, Square Appointments is your perfect Fresha alternative.

If you’re a solopreneur looking for software you can run from your phone and need to keep your subscription cost low, GlossGenius is likely your best option.

If you run a chain or franchise business and need support for multiple locations with complex management needs, consider Booker for its tailor-made management and marketing tools.

Still unsure which software is the best for you? That’s OK! We’ve reviewed a whole bunch more.

Check out our list of the best salon software in 2024 right now and see how each competitor stacks up in our in-depth comparisons!

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