Square Appointments vs. Mindbody: Which is Best for Salons?

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. Mindbody – While both of these options might be in the running for your next salon or spa software, they couldn’t be more different.

Which will you choose? Well, that depends on your size and your budget.

In this comprehensive comparison, I will share with you all the details you need to choose between Square Appointments and Mindbody.

Square Appointments is a straightforward scheduling and payment platform from the well-known financial services company, Square Inc. It’s particularly attractive to independent professionals and small salons thanks to its free plan for single users.

Mindbody, on the other hand, is a heavyweight in the wellness software world, with a history that dates back to the late 1990s. It has grown significantly over the years, offering a broad range of features that cater to businesses in the health, fitness, and wellness realms, especially those that host classes and need to manage complex schedules.

Square Appointments keeps things simple, which can be a big plus for those who favor a no-fuss approach. Mindbody offers a more comprehensive set of tools that can help businesses attract new customers and keep them coming back but it does so at a price premium.

Square Appointments vs Mindbody

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

Square Appointments

Mindbody

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
3.3

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
$450 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.
Salon, spa, and wellness businesses that place a focus on engagement through digital channels โ€” especially those who teach courses โ€” and want to be able to monetize that content directly through their booking platform.

Ease of use

4
3.0

Customer Service

3
3.5

Countries

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

Available in 130 countries

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
  • Two-way messaging available (only on Ultimate and Ultimate Plus)
  • AI chatbot feature to help with scheduling (only on Ultimate Plus)
  • Ability to create a custom branded app and sell classes online (additional costs apply)
  • Mindbody Explore Marketplace listing included with all subscriptions

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. Mindbody 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

Mindbody At a Glance

The company has been around in some capacity since 1998, when the company was initially founded as Hardbody Software, officially becoming Mindbody in 2001. Since then, Mindbody has exploded in popularity, raised hundreds of millions of dollars, and purchased several other companies, including Booker, Classpass, and FitMetrix. Mindbody is headquartered in San Luis Obispo CA, and is available nearly worldwide.

Mindbody’s strengths lie in its new client acquisition opportunities and integrated marketing and content monetization capabilities.

Just like its sister software, Booker, while Mindbody’s lower-tier plans are relatively affordable, they lack many of the noteworthy features that make Mindbody an attractive option, putting them somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to price-to-feature comparisons.

Pros and Cons

  • Enhanced new client acquisition opportunities through MindBody Marketplace
  • Integrated payments though MindBody Payments (US & Canada only)
  • Integrated email marketing suite (on Accelerate, Ultimate, and Ultimate Plus plans)
  • Ability to monetize educational classes and content
  • No free trial
  • Must commit to a minimum 12-month contract before ever using the software
  • Stateside customer support only available to Ultimate and Ultimate Plus plans
  • App interface and menus are clunky and outdated

How Do They Compare? Strengths and Weaknesses

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.

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

Mindbody, with its broad global reach and extensive feature set, is well-suited for larger businesses or those that offer classes and need advanced scheduling options. Despite its interface being less modern and potentially more complex to navigate, it handles all the basic functions a salon needs and provides a robust client marketplace that can help attract new clients and significantly boost bookings.

In terms of growth, Mindbody is more accommodating to larger teams and offers advanced marketing tools, though at a higher price point. Square Appointments is more cost-effective for smaller operations but can become pricey as you add more staff and require more features.

Square Appointments vs Mindbody

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

Square Appointments

Mindbody

Ease of use

4
3

Design

4
2

Customer service

3
3

Pricing

4
3

Calendar and appointment management

4
3

Online booking

3
4

Point of sale and check out

5
3

Client data

5
3

Client communication

4
4

Inventory management

5
3

Team Management

5
4

Payroll

5
4

Marketing support

4
5

3rd party integrations

5
4

Mobile and tablet apps

5
3

Let’s Talk Features

Square Appointments and Mindbody both offer a robust set of features for salon business management, but they each have different focal points that cater to specific needs.

With Square Appointments, business owners get a user-friendly interface that covers the essentials such as scheduling, payments, and client management. While its features are comprehensive, customization is not its strong suit, so businesses looking to heavily brand their booking experiences might find it a bit limiting.

On the plus side, Square’s platform allows for integrations with a variety of other apps, which can enhance its functionality considerably. Likewise, Mindbody also allows for a ton of direct integrations via its Partner Store.

Mindbody stands out with its broad feature set, particularly with its premium subscriptions that include advanced tools like two-way messaging and an AI chatbot for scheduling. It also boasts a massive client marketplace, which is a significant asset for attracting new customers.

However, unlike Square Appointments, Mindbody does not have an integrated payroll feature, although it does offer integration with external payroll processors.

Square Appointments vs Mindbody

Mindbody offers more features than Square Appointments, but Square has better Payroll features.

Square Appointments Mindbody
Online Booking Square Appointments Mindbody
Website booking widget

Note

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

Note

Available on all plans except Starter plan

Branding control

Note

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

Note

Available on all plans except Starter plan

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?

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

Note

Included in Mindbodyโ€™s Ultimate software package. Optional add-on for lower-tier plans.

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?

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

As your business expands, the ability to integrate with other platforms becomes increasingly important. Having access to the right integrations can provide you with specialized features tailored to your growing needs.

Square Appointments integrates easily with a wide range of other platforms. It’s designed to work seamlessly with other Square products, which can cover various aspects of business management like sales, inventory, and employee management.

Additionally, Square Appointments supports integration with third-party apps, giving business owners the flexibility to connect with software that can enhance their operations, such as accounting tools or email marketing services.

Mindbody also offers a very comprehensive set of integration options, which is crucial for businesses looking to extend their capabilities beyond the core features of the platform.

In terms of the sheer number of integrations on offer, Mindbody wins handily in this category. However, keep in mind that even though its library of integrations is large, many options are likely not relevant to your business type, especially if you are a solopreneur.

Square Appointments vs Mindbody

These platforms both offer third-party integrations.

Square Appointments Mindbody
Custom integrations

Note

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

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
  • ADP
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Equifax
  • Groupon
  • Paychex
  • Vish
  • iCal
  • Google Calendar

Full list available in the Mindbody Partner Store.

Pricing

Both Square Appointments and Mindbody offer tiered pricing structures, but they approach their pricing models differently.

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.

As your business grows and your needs become more complex, Square’s pricing becomes more nuanced. There are different plans to consider, which can affect the overall cost based on the number of staff and the features you require.

Mindbody comes at a higher price point. While it does offer lower-tier plans that are relatively affordable, these plans lack some of the more advanced features that set Mindbody apart and actually make it an attractive option.

To truly take advantage of what Mindbody has to offer, such as its advanced client engagement tools, businesses are often steered towards the more premium Ultimate or Ultimate Plus plans. Mindbody does not offer a free trial and requires a 12-month minimum contract, which is an important consideration for businesses who don’t want to be locked in for the whole year.

If low cost is important to you, then you will be better off with Square or another alternative on my list of the best salon software of 2024.

Square Appointments vs Mindbody Pricing

Square is more attractively priced than Mindbody.

Square Appointments Mindbody
Average Price
$45 per month
$450 per month
Trial Options
Free base tier plan
No free trial
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
  • Starter: entry-level plan โ€“ $129 per month
  • Accelerate: mid-tier plan โ€“ $269 per month
  • Ultimate: most popular plan โ€“ $429 per month
  • Ultimate Plus: premium plan โ€“ $549 per month
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
  • Starter: entry-level plan โ€“ $129 per month
  • Accelerate: mid-tier plan โ€“ $269 per month
  • Ultimate: most popular plan โ€“ $429 per month
  • Ultimate Plus: premium plan โ€“ $549 per month
Add-ons
  • Email marketing: $15/month
  • SMS marketing: $10/month
  • Square loyalty: $45/month
  • Square Payroll: $35 + $6 per user/month
  • Branded mobile app
  • Messenger[ai]
  • FitMetrix
  • Branded web tools
  • Video on Demand
  • Live Stream
  • Insights
Add-ons
  • Email marketing: $15/month
  • SMS marketing: $10/month
  • Square loyalty: $45/month
  • Square Payroll: $35 + $6 per user/month
  • Branded mobile app
  • Messenger[ai]
  • FitMetrix
  • Branded web tools
  • Video on Demand
  • Live Stream
  • Insights
Credit card fees
  • In-person: 2.6% + 10 cents (2.5% + 10 cents on paid plans)
  • Online (card):ย 2.9% + 30 cents
  • Manually Keyed-In:ย 3.5% + 15 cents

Credit card processing rates through Mindbody Payments:

  • US:
    • In-person – Card-present (CP): 2.75% per transaction
    • Online or on-file: Card-not-present (CNP): 3.5% + .15 USD per transaction
  • Canada:
    • In-person – Card-present (CP): 2.39% + .10 CAD per transaction
    • Online or on-file: Card-not-present (CNP): 2.89% +ย .25 CAD per transaction
Credit card fees
  • In-person: 2.6% + 10 cents (2.5% + 10 cents on paid plans)
  • Online (card):ย 2.9% + 30 cents
  • Manually Keyed-In:ย 3.5% + 15 cents

Credit card processing rates through Mindbody Payments:

  • US:
    • In-person – Card-present (CP): 2.75% per transaction
    • Online or on-file: Card-not-present (CNP): 3.5% + .15 USD per transaction
  • Canada:
    • In-person – Card-present (CP): 2.39% + .10 CAD per transaction
    • Online or on-file: Card-not-present (CNP): 2.89% +ย .25 CAD per transaction

What Do Users Think of These Platforms?

To read more about our experience testing these software suites, we invite you to explore our comprehensive reviews of Square Appointments and Mindbody. However, if you’re interested in hearing firsthand accounts from everyday business customers, take a look at the user review scores below.

Square Appointments vs Mindbody

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

Square Appointments Mindbody
4.4
4.0
4.3
3.6
4.9
4.6
4.7
4.3

What Alternatives Should You Consider?

Square Appointments and Mindbody are both good choices for very different business types. If you’re still not sure if either is the right choice for your business, take a look at these alternatives and see if they’re a better fit for you:

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 a great option and my recommended alternative for independent professionals.

Mangomint vs GlossGenius

A quick comparison of these two Square and Mindbody 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 (youโ€™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 was helpful in your search for the right salon and spa software for your business!

For more great software alternatives, please read my list of the best salon and spa software of 2024.

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