Vagaro vs. Square Appointments: The Ultimate Comparison 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. Vagaro Pro – A clash of two of the best salon and spa software options on the market today.

Which one of these two booking and client management software giants is right for your business?

I’m not surprised that you are asking this question.

Both platforms have been around for 10+ years and are among the most used platforms in the salon and spa industry today. At the same time, there are a lot of similarities between these two platforms, which makes it hard to decide between them.

But today, we’re going to iron out any question marks.

I’ll be breaking down the key differences between Vagaro and Square so that you can decide which platform is right for you.

Vagaro vs Square Appointments

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

Vagaro

Square Appointments

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

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
$45 per month

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.
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.

Ease of use

3
4

Customer Service

3
3

Countries

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

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

Key features

  • A client marketplace where they can browse and find your business
  • Very comprehensive marketing suite.
  • Vagaro branded POS hardware
  • Support for classes (as also used by fitness businesses)
  • 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

A Double-Click on Each System: Square Appointments vs. Vagaro

Let’s cover what these systems are and the pros and cons of each.

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

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

How do They Compare? Strengths and Weaknesses

There are a lot of similarities between Square Appointments and Vagaro. First, they go after the same market of salon and spa businesses. That is the smaller business or solopreneur looking for affordable software to run their business.

What sets them apart from other alternatives on the market is the sheer number of features they offer. It’s quite impressive how Vagaro has fit so many features into the platform. At the same time, Square’s universe of marketing, website, payroll, and POS features is arguably even more impressive.

Compared to other Salon and Spa software platforms, Square and Vagaro support industries beyond salons and spas. Square Appointments has a very diverse set of users and Vagaro also caters to gyms and fitness businesses.

But let’s double-click on this and review how they compare the different aspects of the software.

Vagaro vs Square Appointments

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

Vagaro

Square Appointments

Ease of use

3
4

Design

3
4

Customer service

3
3

Pricing

5
4

Calendar and appointment management

5
4

Online booking

5
3

Point of sale and check out

4
5

Client data

5
5

Client communication

4
4

Inventory management

4
5

Team Management

3
5

Payroll

4
5

Marketing support

5
4

3rd party integrations

3
5

Mobile and tablet apps

4
5

Let’s Talk Features: Square Appointments vs. Vagaro

I think it’s clear by now that feature volume is a strength of both these platforms.

Vagaro does have a leg up on Square when it comes to detailed, salon & spa-specific support. For example, with Vagaro, you can adapt the length of the service based on which team member it is booked with.

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.

Note that just the volume of features doesn’t tell you if the software is right for you or not. Thus, use the table below to understand if something you really need is there or not. You probably still want to explore how the feature is delivered, as that may still differ.

In my list of the best salon and spa software this year, I also compare how the features are delivered inside Square and Vagaro Pro.

Vagaro vs Square Appointments

Vagaro and Square share a lot of features and the offer is strong with either one. Let's go through a detailed list of features and what they support.

Vagaro Square Appointments
Online Booking Vagaro Square Appointments
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?

Note

Very limited: Change accent color but all else is Vagaro standard.

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

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

Even if these two platforms offer many features, you’ll likely need to integrate your business with other systems. You might not know that right now, but as your business grows, I’m sure you’ll bump into the need for specific support unavailable on the platform.

This is why platforms designed for the bigger salon or spa business typically have a lot of integrations or even allow for custom integrations to be created. Given Square and Vagaro are for smaller businesses, I still think they do a pretty good job here.

Vagaro vs Square Appointments

Square, with its App Marketplace, is certainly the strongest when it comes to integrations. But Vagaro do offer a few important native integrations as well.

Vagaro Square Appointments
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

  • Gusto
  • Quickbooks
  • Zoom
  • Xero

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

  • Quickbooks
  • Jotform
  • Wix
  • WooCommerce

Pricing: Square Appointments vs. Vagaro

Vagaro and Square offer very affordable pricing.

You can tell that they have positioned themselves for the smaller business with limited capacity to invest in software.

If you are looking for a feature-rich platform but are constrained financially, these are two good options for you.

However, I don’t think that looking at software cost alone is the right way to go. You need to consider the total value the platform provides – how it will help you save costs and grow. The right choice of software can make a big difference to your business and should create much more value for you than what you pay.

I do feel Vagaro’s pricing model is more transparent than Square. It’s frankly a bit hard to understand precisely what you’ll pay with Square as many factors impact the final cost.

But I have tried to make this as straightforward as possible. Let’s compare the pricing of these two systems below.

Vagaro vs Square Appointments Pricing

Vagaro has a transparent pricing model where it is fairly easy to calculate what you will pay before signing up. I found Square's pricing a little bit harder to understand. But below is a summary of the charges to expect. Average price assumes a single location team (5 service providers) and use of a few common add-ons.

Vagaro Square Appointments
Average Price
$120 per month
$45 per month
Trial Options
30 day free trial
Free base tier plan
Minimum contract length
Cancel any time
Cancel any time
Plans
  • Monthly subscription fee starts at $25 for individuals
  • $10 for every additional user
  • Everyone after the 7th user is free
  • Multi-location businesses require Vagaro’s enterprise platform with personalized prizing.
  • 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
Plans
  • Monthly subscription fee starts at $25 for individuals
  • $10 for every additional user
  • Everyone after the 7th user is free
  • Multi-location businesses require Vagaro’s enterprise platform with personalized prizing.
  • 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
Add-ons
  • Automated text marketing: $20/month
  • Website builder: $10/month
  • Forms: $10/month
  • Cloud storage: $10/month
  • Check-in app: $10/month
  • Additional visibility at the Vagaro client marketplace: $10/month
  • Branded app: $200/month
  • SMS marketing: $20/mo for 500 sms and they offer plans up to $400/mo for 20,000 sms.
  • Email marketing: 1000 emails/mo are included in your plan. If you need more, you pay $10/mo for 5 000 emails up to $90/mo for 100 000 emails.
  • Email marketing: $15/month
  • SMS marketing: $10/month
  • Square loyalty: $45/month
  • Square Payroll: $35 + $6 per user/month
Add-ons
  • Automated text marketing: $20/month
  • Website builder: $10/month
  • Forms: $10/month
  • Cloud storage: $10/month
  • Check-in app: $10/month
  • Additional visibility at the Vagaro client marketplace: $10/month
  • Branded app: $200/month
  • SMS marketing: $20/mo for 500 sms and they offer plans up to $400/mo for 20,000 sms.
  • Email marketing: 1000 emails/mo are included in your plan. If you need more, you pay $10/mo for 5 000 emails up to $90/mo for 100 000 emails.
  • Email marketing: $15/month
  • SMS marketing: $10/month
  • Square loyalty: $45/month
  • Square Payroll: $35 + $6 per user/month
Credit card fees
  • Small merchants (less than $4000/month): 2.75% per swipe, 3.5% + $0.15 per keyed-in transaction.
  • Multiple merchants (less than $4000/month): 2.5% + $0.10 per swipe, 3.5% +$0.15 per keyed-in transaction.
  • Large merchants (more than $4000/month): 2.2% + $0.19 per swipe, 3% + $0.19 per keyed-in transaction. Monthly cost $10.
  • 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
Credit card fees
  • Small merchants (less than $4000/month): 2.75% per swipe, 3.5% + $0.15 per keyed-in transaction.
  • Multiple merchants (less than $4000/month): 2.5% + $0.10 per swipe, 3.5% +$0.15 per keyed-in transaction.
  • Large merchants (more than $4000/month): 2.2% + $0.19 per swipe, 3% + $0.19 per keyed-in transaction. Monthly cost $10.
  • 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

What do Other Users Think of These Platforms?

So you’ve heard what I say about these two systems. But you shouldn’t only trust me.. 🙂 Below is a summary of how these platforms are rated by their users.

Vagaro vs Square Appointments

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

Vagaro Square Appointments
4.7
4.4
4.4
4.3
4.5
4.9
4.4
4.7

What Alternatives Should You Consider?

Square and Vagaro are two good alternatives for many businesses. However, I would consider the platforms below before signing up for either.

Mangomint is the highest-rated software for salons and spas that I recommended to businesses with a team (3+ employees).

GlossGenius is my recommended alternative for independent professionals.

Mangomint vs GlossGenius

A quick comparison of the two Square Appointments and Vagaro 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 Vagaro Pro has helped you decide on the platform that is right for you.

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

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