Top 5 Square Appointments 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 Square Appointments for your next salon and spa software but looking for better and cheaper alternatives?

You’ve come to the right place. We’ve got you covered.

Today, we’ll take a look at Square Appointments and its best alternatives so you can make your decision without all the FOMO.

Square Appointments, a subsidiary of the financial services giant Square, Inc., has changed the game for many with its user-friendly interface and seamless integrations designed to support appointment-based businesses.

Square has carved a respectable niche among solo salon business owners and small teams, especially with its enticing offer of a free basic plan for individuals running their businesses single-handedly.

If you’re a budget-conscious business owner running a solo business or operating with a small team, Square Appointments is an attractively priced and well-appointed software suite with many of the modern necessities: integrated payments and online booking, client data management capabilities, and even fully-integrated payroll.

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

We had a lot to say about Square 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 Square, I’ll share the areas where competitors one-up this modern salon management software and where Square Appointments 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!

Square Appointments logo above the word "Alternatives"

Why Consider Square Appointments Alternatives?

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

  1. You’ve outgrown the platform: As your business grows, so will your demand for better support and system flexibility. While Square Appointments is a great solution for solo business owners and small teams, it can get pricy for growing teams, especially those with multiple locations.
  2. Square Appointments isn’t available in your country: Square Appointments is currently only available in a handful of countries worldwide, so if you’re located outside these nations, you will need to look to other software options.
  3. You don’t like being locked into a closed ecosystem: While Square has a pretty extensive suite of applications, it boxes you into working with its tools rather than supporting ones you may already use – taking an Apple-like approach to hardware and software integration. This extends to payments as well, since you are required to use Square’s payment processing platform.

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

Square Appointments Alternatives

We’ll start with a quick summary of my recommended Square 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
4.0
Ease of use
5.0
4.0
Customer service
5.0
3.0
Capterra user score
5.0
4.4
G2 user score
4.8
4.3
#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
4.0
Ease of use
5.0
4.0
Customer service
3.0
3.0
Capterra user score
4.6
4.4
G2 user score
5.0
4.3
#3

Fresha

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.

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

Supported countries

Available in 22 languages in over 120 countries 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.

4.1
4.0
Ease of use
5.0
4.0
Customer service
2.0
3.0
Capterra user score
4.8
4.4
G2 user score
4.2
4.3
#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
4.0
Ease of use
4.0
4.0
Customer service
3.5
3.0
Capterra user score
4.1
4.4
G2 user score
4.3
#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
4.0
Ease of use
3.0
4.0
Customer service
3.0
3.0
Capterra user score
4.7
4.4
G2 user score
4.4
4.3

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

While Square Appointments 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.

It stands out for its speed, reliability, and the thoughtful placement of every element in its interface, which appeals to businesses that place a high value on efficiency and design.

Mangomint is the fastest and most well-designed platform currently available on the market.

With their vastly expanded feature set, the company has innovated on core feature offerings while continuing to uphold its core tenets of reliability and exceptional customer support.

Mangomint and Square are two of the very few salon and spa booking and management platforms to offer fully integrated first-party payroll processing.

Mangomint even one-ups Square Appointments at its own game when it comes to client data management, incorporating all touchpoints with each client (every email, text, picture, appointment, and transaction) into a convenient timeline that lives right in the client profile.

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 Square.

To be fair, both salon software suites are more than adequate for the average solopreneur, and both offer integrated payroll support for owners with small teams.

GlossGenius is a bit simpler to get set up than Square. Where Square has a chest-full of first-party apps that may need to be connected to accomplish all of the business functions you need, GlossGenius is a one-stop shop that only requires the one app.

GlossGenius doesn’t have a free option like Square 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: Fresha | The Subscription-Free Salon Software and Marketplace

In a lot of ways, Fresha and Square are very alike.

Both apps have a no-upfront-cost option for solo salon owners and smaller teams, and both offer limited customization options within their ecosystem.

Fresha is the more “locked down” software out of the two. It offers very little customization or integration capability. You can customize and integrate more with Square, even if it’s limited. But it is also for this exact reason that these two systems are so easy to use and look good right out of the box.

Fresha has one major advantage over Square though, and that’s its client marketplace.

This is an online destination where clients can browse businesses using Fresha. This massive online marketplace allows you to list and market your business to potential customers looking for your services. Just keep in mind that the more businesses in your area that use Fresha, the steeper the competition gets.

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.

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.

Whereas Square Appointments serves a large range of appointment-based businesses, Booker is tailor-made for spas and salons specifically and offers purpose-built features for those businesses.

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 Square and other newer software options on the market. The menu system can also feel clunky and bog down simple processes and settings.

Booker wins out for built-in marketing and advanced team management needs. But Square Appointments puts up a good fight with more flexible integrations with the Square eco-system.

Then there’s price. Booker is considerably more expensive than Square at every payment tier. For businesses on a budget, Square 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 Square simply does not offer.

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

Vagaro competes strongly with Square when it comes to payroll, featuring an all-in-one integrated payroll processing feature that allows you to pay your staff and cut checks via their partnership with Gusto.

Square, however, feels more robust, loads faster, and looks better. The quality of some of the features is also higher than Vagaro – like the fully-fledged online store and website builder you get for free from Square. This is lightyears ahead of the website builder from Vagaro.

Vagaro does come in at a higher average price point than Square, but I do feel Vagaro’s pricing model is more transparent. It’s frankly a bit hard to understand precisely what you’ll pay with Square, as many factors impact the final cost.

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 Square Appointments Alternative

I hope this list was helpful in determining if any of these Square 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, but you should also highly consider Fresha.

If you’re looking for a great low-monthly-cost choice as a solopreneur, 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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