Fresha vs. Boulevard: Features, Pricing and Reviews Compared

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...

Fresha vs. Boulevard – which salon and spa software is right for your business?

Choosing the right software is an important decision. Fresha and Boulevard are two popular options, each with unique features designed with a different user and business in mind.

Fresha burst onto the scene with an easy-to-use platform and free subscriptions to attract solopreneurs and small salons.

Boulevard positions itself as a sophisticated, luxury brand catering to high-end salons and spas that want a premium client experience.

In this comparison post, we’ll analyze each platform’s features, interfaces, pricing models, and who they are designed for.

Should you choose Fresha for its simplicity and free subscription? Or does Boulevard better align with your brand identity and business needs?

Read on for an in-depth examination of these two industry leaders to determine the best salon management software.

Fresha vs Boulevard

Let's kick off with an overview of the two platforms we're diving into today.

Fresha

Boulevard

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
4.3

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.

$80 per month
$425 per month

Who is it for

For the independent professional or business on a budget that want to avoid subscription fees and a big technical learning curve.
Established beauty and wellness businesses with several service providers who want flexible reporting options and need an all-in-one marketing suite baked right into the software

Ease of use

5
4.5

Customer Service

2
5.0

Countries

Available in 22 languages in over 120 countries worldwide

U.S.

Key features

  • FREE subscription with unlimited staff
  • Fresha marketplace where clients can discover your salon
  • Easy to use with a modern minimalistic design interface
  • Available in over 120 countries!
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Excellent online booking
  • Integrated email marketing suite
  • Highly detailed custom reports [on Premiere and above]

A Double-Click on Each System

Let’s cover what these systems are and the pros and cons of each in this Fresha vs. Boulevard head-to-head comparison.

Fresha At a Glance

Fresha (formerly known as Shedul) is the only subscription-free software for salons and spas with no trial period and no limits on usage. Fresha is headquartered in London, UK, but is available in 120 countries.

The strengths of Fresha lie in the ease of use, the subscription-free plan, and the continuous development of the platform.

It’s important to note that subscription-free is not the same as free. You’re paying for each transaction, and when new clients find you on the Fresha marketplace.

Pros and Cons

  • Free subscription for unlimited staff. Only usage-based pricing.
  • User-friendly and easy to learn
  • Available in many countries and languages
  • Limited options to customize the appearance (default designs look good, though)
  • Clients are required to create a Fresha account to book
  • Online booking cannot be integrated with your website (need to link out to your Fresha page)
  • Limited support for integration with other platforms. You’re locked into using the Fresha tools.

Boulevard At a Glance

Boulevard is an up-and-coming cloud-based beauty and wellness software that offers a strong toolset of core features like appointment booking and POS, as well as advanced marketing features and two-way messaging.

It natively integrates with over a dozen apps, including Quickbooks, Instagram, Shopify, and more.

It is quite a pricey option, however, coming in at a starting price of $175 for the lowest-tier plan, which we (and Boulevard themselves) don’t recommend as it lacks some of Boulevard’s best reporting, marketing, and inventory features.

Boulevard offers a free trial, but they require a 12-month minimum contract to sign up, so make sure you are 100% sure about your choice before signing up.

Pros and Cons

  • Client data that you can actually use to boost client retention and sales
  • Can integrate with a large number of third party applications
  • Precision Scheduling tech to fill the best gaps on the calendar first
  • Well designed & easily-searchable help center
  • High price-point across all plans
  • Essentials plan lacks many of the best features Boulevard offers
  • Boulevard Professional mobile app is buggy & has low ratings on iOS & Android
  • Marketing suite can’t differentiate between bookings from emails vs other factors (you may end up paying more)

How Do They Compare? Strengths and Weaknesses

Fresha and Boulevard aim for an intuitive user experience but take different approaches.

Fresha is extremely easy to use out of the box, with simple menus and booking flows designed for people with limited technical experience. However, there is little ability to customize the platform.

Boulevard offers a more polished, sophisticated interface tailored towards high-end brands. It may have a steeper learning curve but provides more customization capabilities.

A key strength of Boulevard is its Precision Scheduling technology that optimizes bookings. Fresha also provides booking options, but Fresha requires linking to an external page for booking, which is not as seamless.

Basic reporting and analytics are included in both Fresha and Boulevard, empowering data-driven decisions.

In summary, Boulevard excels at delivering a high-end brand experience, while Fresha focuses on no-frills ease of use.

Fresha vs Boulevard

Let's look at how these two platforms differ.

Fresha

Boulevard

Ease of use

5
4

Design

3
4

Customer service

2
5

Pricing

3
3

Calendar and appointment management

4
4

Online booking

2
5

Point of sale and check out

3
4

Client data

4
5

Client communication

3
5

Inventory management

5
4

Team Management

2
3

Payroll

2
3

Marketing support

4
5

3rd party integrations

1
4

Mobile and tablet apps

5
3

Let’s Talk Features: Fresha vs. Boulevard

I like Fresha for its simplicity. The platform is easy to use without any technical skills required. This makes it ideal for solopreneurs who want a straightforward system. However, there is very little customization possible.

Boulevard offers more advanced capabilities for sophisticated brands. The interface allows for branding and customization to craft a luxury experience. This comes at the cost of a steeper learning curve. So consider whether your priority is an off-the-shelf easy flow or a polished luxury interface.

Fresha vs Boulevard

Boulevard will be richer in features even if there are areas where Fresha outperforms.

Fresha Boulevard
Online Booking Fresha Boulevard
Website booking widget

Note

Can you integrate the entire online booking experience directly into your website?

Branding control

Note

Can you customize the look and feel of the booking experience to fit your brand?

No-show protection

Note

Can you store credit card details and charge deposits to reinforce your cancellation policy?

Service customization

Note

Can clients adapt their service when they book, and can this change the price and duration of the booked appointment?

Free from account creation

Note

Can clients book without having first to create an account with the software?

Integrated gift cards

Note

Can you sell digital gift cards as part of the booking process?

Calendar and Appointment Management
Customize notification messages

Note

Can you change the text sent to your clients as part of appointment reminders and other messages?

Customize notification timings

Note

Can you change when reminders and other messages go out to your clients?

Note

Full customization not available. Options are limited to: 2 Days Before, 1 Day Before, and Same Day.

Client waitlist management
Rooms and resource scheduling

Note

Can you manage equipment, rooms, and other resources required to complete a service?

Repeat appointments

Note

Can you schedule clients for recurring appointments?

Time block

Note

Can you block out time on your calendar?

Processing time

Note

Can you allow for double booking of service providers by accepting appointments during service processing time?

Duration and price by staff

Note

Can you adapt the price and time needed for a service based on who is performing the service?

Automated check-in

Note

Can clients check in to their appointments themselves?

Point of Sale/ Check out
Tablet compatible

Note

Can you run the POS on any tablet or do you need special hardware?

Dedicated POS hardware

Note

Does the system provider offer hardware to improve the check out expereince?

Self check out

Note

Can clients check out from their appointment themselves?

Route payments to renters

Note

If you have booth renters in your business, can you route payments directly to them?

Cards on file

Note

Can you store credit card details and charge the customer later?

Integrated payments

Note

Does the software offer a first-party payment processing solution?

Client Data & Communication
SMS Notification
Email Notificition
Dedicated business SMS number

Note

Do you get a business phone number that your messages and notifications are send from?

Two way SMS communication
Forms

Note

Can you create intake forms, store SOAP notes, and have clients sign your forms?

Client notes

Note

Can you store notes about clients on their profile?

Client files and images

Note

Can you store files and image on in the client’s profile?

Inventory and Product Types
Inventory tracking

Note

Will the system keep track of stock levels, notify you when it’s time to re-order?

Purchase orders

Note

Can the system create automatic purchase orders for you?

Note

Not available on Essentials plan.

Retail
Memberships
Packages
Gift cards
Team Support & Payroll
Fully integrated payroll

Note

Can you run payroll and cut paychecks directly through the software?

3rd party payroll integration

Note

Does the software allow you integrate and share data with a 3rd party payroll solution (e.g. Gusto, ADP, Paychex, etc)?

Payroll reports

Note

Fresha offer reports on staff commission, working hours, tips, and service and product sales by staff

Commission support

Note

Can you track and report on commission for service, retail, and other product types?

Multi-location support

Note

Does the system have specific support for businesses with multiple locations

Booth renter support

Note

Can the system help with rent collection, payments, and other booth renter management tasks.

Marketing Support
Email marketing
SMS marketing
Website builder
Client marketplace

Note

Does it offer a platform where potential clients can browse businesses using the software?

Add-on offers

Note

Can you promote service add-ons/upsells as part of the online booking flow?

Cloud & Mobile App Access
Full-featured mobile app

Note

Can you access all software features in the mobile app?

Web browser
iPad
iPhone
Android

Integrating with Other Platforms for Additional Features

Fresha deliberately focuses on providing an all-in-one salon management solution rather than integrating with other platforms. This allows for simplicity as all core features like booking, payments, and messaging are housed in one intuitive interface.

In contrast, seamless third-party integrations are a key strength of Boulevard’s offering. It includes direct integrations with popular apps like Shopify, Facebook, and Instagram Book Now. This modular approach gives salons the flexibility to augment Boulevard’s customized branding and booking capabilities.

Fresha vs Boulevard

These platforms do not offer integration support.

Fresha Boulevard
Custom integrations

Note

Does the platform allow you to create new integrations to support your business-specific needs?

Note

On Enterprise plan only.

Native integrations

Note

Built-in integrations that you can activate as needed

  • Reserve with Google
  • Green Circle
  • Okta SSO
  • Shopify
  • Facebook & Instagram Book Now
  • Zapier
  • Quickbooks Online
  • Reserve with Google

Pricing: Fresha vs. Boulevard

One of Fresha’s biggest selling points is its free subscription tier. This allows small salons to benefit from core features like online booking and calendar management at no cost. Fees only apply incrementally as revenue grows.

However, the free plan is very limited. To unlock more advanced capabilities like marketing tools, businesses must pay for add-ons.

Boulevard offers much more flexibility in its pricing structure. The entry-level plan is very affordable but lacks robust features. Mid-tier and premium plans unlock Boulevard’s best capabilities, like Precision Scheduling and custom branding, at a reasonable price.

Fresha is an excellent free starting point but requires paying for add-ons over time to access advanced salon management capacities. Boulevard gives you the power to choose the right plan for your needs and budget from the start.

Fresha vs Boulevard Pricing

It's not super easy to fully understand what you will be paying with any of these two. Fresha will depend on usage and Boulevard has a fairly complex pricing model.

Fresha Boulevard
Average Price
$80 per month
$425 per month
Trial Options
Free subscription
Must request trial via a demo call
Minimum contract length
Cancel any time
12 months
Plans
  • No fixed monthly charge
  • Marketplace new client fee: 20% (min $6 per new client). This only applies to new clients who book via the Fresha marketplace.
  • Essentials: entry-level plan – $175 per month
  • Premier: most popular plan – $325 per month
  • Prestige: upper-tier plan – $455 per month
  • Enterprise: custom plan for chains and franchises – pricing is custom
Plans
  • No fixed monthly charge
  • Marketplace new client fee: 20% (min $6 per new client). This only applies to new clients who book via the Fresha marketplace.
  • Essentials: entry-level plan – $175 per month
  • Premier: most popular plan – $325 per month
  • Prestige: upper-tier plan – $455 per month
  • Enterprise: custom plan for chains and franchises – pricing is custom
Add-ons
  • Automated notifications: $0.01 per text (50 included for free)
  • Email blast campaigns: $0.02 per email
  • Text blast campaigns: $0.02 per email
  • Insights (enhanced reporting): $9.95 per team member
  • Forms and Charts – $55 per month per location
  • Contact Center – Starting at $25 per month per location
  • QuickBooks Integration – $45 per month per location
  • Automated Email Campaigns – $2 per completed appointment
  • One-Time Blast Emails – specific # included with each plan, $0.01 per email thereafter
Add-ons
  • Automated notifications: $0.01 per text (50 included for free)
  • Email blast campaigns: $0.02 per email
  • Text blast campaigns: $0.02 per email
  • Insights (enhanced reporting): $9.95 per team member
  • Forms and Charts – $55 per month per location
  • Contact Center – Starting at $25 per month per location
  • QuickBooks Integration – $45 per month per location
  • Automated Email Campaigns – $2 per completed appointment
  • One-Time Blast Emails – specific # included with each plan, $0.01 per email thereafter
Credit card fees
  • Card: 2.19% + $0.20 per transaction
  • Tap to Pay: $0.10 per authorization

With “Offset” Feature

  • 3% charged to client, business charged 1%.

Without “Offset” Feature

  • In-person transactions: 2.6% + 10¢
  • Virtual transactions: 3.5% + 10¢
Credit card fees
  • Card: 2.19% + $0.20 per transaction
  • Tap to Pay: $0.10 per authorization

With “Offset” Feature

  • 3% charged to client, business charged 1%.

Without “Offset” Feature

  • In-person transactions: 2.6% + 10¢
  • Virtual transactions: 3.5% + 10¢

What Do Users Think of These Platforms?

While I’ve given my thoughts on these two systems, it’s important to remember not to rely solely on my opinion. To give you a more complete picture, here’s a summary of how users have rated these platforms.

Fresha vs Boulevard

Let's compare scores for these systems on the major user review sites.

Fresha Boulevard
4.8
4.6
4.2
4.1
4.1
3.5
4.2
2.1

What Fresha & Boulevard Alternatives Should You Consider?

Fresha and Boulevard are both great options for a variety of businesses. However, if you’re feeling a bit unsure, I highly recommend taking a look at the platforms listed below. They might just have what you’re looking for!

Mangomint is the highest-rated software for salons and spas. If you have a team, this is the alternative you should try.

GlossGenius is a popular alternative to Fresha, serving independent professionals on a budget.

Mangomint vs GlossGenius

A quick comparison of the two Boulevard and Fresha alternatives.

Mangomint

GlossGenius

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
4.4

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
$48 per month

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.
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

Ease of use

5
5

Customer Service

5
3

Countries

U.S. and Canada

U.S.

Key features

  • Modern, intuitive, and easy to use
  • 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 who allows for integrations
  • Highest-rated customer service on the market
  • Premium beauty-inspired interface design
  • Professional-looking website in just a few clicks
  • Integrated payment and card reader with customizable design
  • Affordable, transparent, flat fee pricing

Conclusion

I hope this comparison between Fresha and Boulevard was helpful in your search for the ideal salon software.

For more alternatives, I highly recommend you read my top list of the best salon and spa software.

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