Square Appointments vs. Boulevard: Which is the Best Salon and Spa Software in 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...

Square Appointments vs. Boulevard – While both of these options might be in the running for your next salon or spa software, they are quite different.

Deciding on the right salon software can feel like navigating through a maze of glossy features and enticing promises.

But when the options are as distinct as Square Appointments and Boulevard, the choice becomes a reflection of your business needs and aspirations.

For those in the beauty and wellness industry, Square Appointments is a name that echoes familiarity and reliability. It’s a comprehensive, cloud-based scheduling solution that is popular among a diverse clientele, from the solo beauty expert to a salon with a modest team.

Square Appointments‘ appeal is further sweetened by a no-cost entry plan for individuals and solopreneurs, making it a go-to for those just starting or maintaining a lean business model.

In contrast, Boulevard targets the high-end market segment. Since its inception, Boulevard has carved out a niche among upscale salons and spas looking for more than just functionality: a software experience that aligns with the luxury of their services.

Boulevard’s design-forward approach and tailored feature set mirror the expectations of an industry that prides itself on providing premium client experiences, but do they deliver?

In this comparison of Square Appointments vs. Boulevard, we will explore how these two solutions stack up against each other and break down all the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.

Square Appointments vs Boulevard

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

Square Appointments

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.

4.0
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.

$45 per month
$425 per month

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.
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

4
4.5

Customer Service

3
5.0

Countries

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

U.S.

Key features

  • Large amount of native integrations with other apps
  • Comprehensive, easy-to-use, marketing tools
  • Best looking POS hardware on the market
  • Free, sophisticated, website builder and online store
  • 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 the basics of these systems and the pros and cons of each in this Square Appointments vs. Boulevard guide.

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

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

Square Appointments and Boulevard have distinct brand identities that shape their features.

Square Appointments offers a user-friendly experience with essential tools for managing inventory, reports, and client information. It’s an ideal choice for small businesses or individuals due to its free plan for single users and its compatibility across various devices, including a free app.

Square Appointments also has a broad set of connected tools and features through the Square ecosystem, making it very versatile.

However, when it comes to customization and design options, Square Appointments falls a bit short, in my opinion.

Boulevard, on the other hand, focuses more on simplicity through an elegant, app-based platform intentionally designed for high-end salons and spas. Features are straightforward to use without a harsh learning curve, but the level of customization available in the menu system and via reports is impressive if you choose to go deeper.

Square Appointments vs Boulevard

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

Square Appointments

Boulevard

Ease of use

4
4

Design

4
4

Customer service

3
5

Pricing

4
3

Calendar and appointment management

4
4

Online booking

3
5

Point of sale and check out

5
4

Client data

5
5

Client communication

4
5

Inventory management

5
4

Team Management

5
3

Payroll

5
3

Marketing support

4
5

3rd party integrations

5
4

Mobile and tablet apps

5
3

Let’s Talk Features

When it comes to must-have functionality like appointment scheduling, payments, SMS messaging, and calendars, both platforms deliver.

The main advantages Boulevard touts are its patented Precision Scheduling technology for optimized online booking and its Front Desk View that accompanies the calendar screen, making seeing all your appointments at a glance super convenient.

Square Appointments offers better inventory management and greater flexibility to integrate with the Square platform.

Square Appointments vs Boulevard

Boulevard offers more features than Square Appointments. Square has fantastic ecommerce and sales features.

Square Appointments Boulevard
Online Booking Square Appointments 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

Note

Clients can confirm appointments by replying to SMS

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
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

Both competitors have great support for integrations.

Square Appointments shines when it comes to expanding capabilities by integrating with other apps. It offers easy connections to both Square’s suite of business products as well as various third-party platforms. This makes it straightforward to add on specific features as your salon grows.

When it comes to out-of-the-box integrations, Boulevard offers a ton of value for commonly used apps like Shopify, Facebook, Instagram, and more. This allows for convenient synchronization without any custom development work.

Square Appointments vs Boulevard

These platforms both offer third-party integrations.

Square Appointments 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

The Square App Marketplace offer a lot of integrations. Some popular examples are:

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

Pricing

Square Appointments appeals to independent professionals and small businesses with its free plan for individuals, making it an accessible choice for those just starting out.

Boulevard has the higher entry pricing of the two options. However, just like many other major competitors, their basic plan also omits many of their best features. Ultimately, you will need to spring for a mid-tier or premium plan to get the most value for your money.

If low cost is important to you, then you will be better off with Square or another low-cost alternative on my top salon and spa software list.

Square Appointments vs Boulevard Pricing

Square is more attractively priced than Boulevard.

Square Appointments Boulevard
Average Price
$45 per month
$425 per month
Trial Options
Free base tier plan
Must request trial via a demo call
Minimum contract length
Cancel any time
12 months
Plans
  • Free: $0/month (only very essential features)
  • Plus: $29 per location (includes core features like client notifications and cancellation policy)
  • Premium: $69 per location (includes more sophisticated features like resource management).
  • Unlimited calendars on all plans
  • 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
  • Free: $0/month (only very essential features)
  • Plus: $29 per location (includes core features like client notifications and cancellation policy)
  • Premium: $69 per location (includes more sophisticated features like resource management).
  • Unlimited calendars on all plans
  • 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
  • Email marketing: $15/month
  • SMS marketing: $10/month
  • Square loyalty: $45/month
  • Square Payroll: $35 + $6 per user/month
  • 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
  • Email marketing: $15/month
  • SMS marketing: $10/month
  • Square loyalty: $45/month
  • Square Payroll: $35 + $6 per user/month
  • 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
  • In-person: 2.6% + 10 cents (2.5% + 10 cents on paid plans)
  • Online (card): 2.9% + 30 cents
  • Manually Keyed-In: 3.5% + 15 cents

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
  • In-person: 2.6% + 10 cents (2.5% + 10 cents on paid plans)
  • Online (card): 2.9% + 30 cents
  • Manually Keyed-In: 3.5% + 15 cents

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?

You’ve heard my thoughts on Square Appointments and Boulevard. For a more comprehensive view of the true app experience, here’s a summary of user ratings for these two platforms on popular review sites.

Square Appointments vs Boulevard

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

Square Appointments Boulevard
4.4
4.6
4.3
4.1
4.9
3.5
4.7
2.1

What Alternatives Should You Consider?

Square Appointments and Boulevard are both good choices for a range of businesses. If you’re still unsure if either is the right fit for you, check out these great alternatives:

Mangomint is the highest-rated software for salons and spas. If you have a team and you want the best customer service in the industry, I highly recommend you give them a try.

GlossGenius is my recommended alternative to Square for independent professionals on a tight budget.

Mangomint vs GlossGenius

A quick comparison of the two Square and Boulevard 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 of Square Appointments and Boulevard has helped you in your quest for the right salon and spa software.

For more top-tier software alternatives, don’t miss my list of the best salon and spa software right now.

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