Vagaro vs. Zenoti: Which is the Superior 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...

Vagaro vs. Zenoti: Clash of the titans of beauty and wellness software

Let the challenge begin!

Vagaro, headquartered in Dublin, California, seems like a fresh face in the world of salon and spa software but has actually been around since 2009.

Originally intended to sway businesses away from pen-and-paper booking with an affordable digital solution, Vagaro has come a long way since its founding, integrating a whole tool chest of features and a massive client marketplace.

Zenoti, originally founded as ManageMySpa in 2010, has become wildly popular and one of the more prominent names in the salon software world, raising hundreds of millions in funding, employing over 650 staff members, and powering more than 25,000 businesses.

Vagaro vs. Zenoti: The Basics

So, how do these teenage salon software companies stack up against each other in the mid-2020s?

If I had to narrow down “Vagaro vs Zenoti” into just a few words, I would describe it as a “battle for the biggest tool chest”.

If you are a cost-conscious solopreneur or have a small team, you might consider Vagaro an attractive option.

This all-in-one software company has many features to support your salon, spa, or fitness business: from POS, online appointment scheduling, advanced business reporting, email/SMS marketing, and credit card processing to subscription payments, eCommerce, payroll, a website builder, and even video streaming.

Zenoti is a solid pick for salon and spa owners with larger teams and bigger budgets who want highly detailed reporting and in-depth reputation management tools (and don’t mind a bit of a stiff and dated interface).

Zenoti rivals Vagaro with its massive suite of features that build on the blueprint established by businesses like Booker and Mindbody, and expand the customizability and capability of those features with control over even the most minute details.

Let’s take a closer look at these two platforms.

Vagaro vs Zenoti

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

Vagaro

Zenoti

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
3.6

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
$350 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.
Business owners who want a highly-detail-oriented piece of salon and spa software that offers deep data insights and great reporting and who need in-depth reputation management tools to build their brand online.

Ease of use

3
3.5

Customer Service

3
4.0

Countries

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

Available in nearly 50 countries worldwide

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)
  • Integrated email marketing suite
  • Two-way client messaging (via paid add-on feature: ezConnect)
  • Reputation management suite (via paid add-on feature: ezRepute)
  • Employee performance tracking (via paid add-on feature: ezPulse)

A Double-Click on Each System: Vagaro vs. Zenoti

Let’s cover what these systems are and the pros and cons of each in my Vagaro vs. Zenoti guide.

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

Zenoti At a Glance

Zenoti has existed in some form since 2010, when it was initially founded as ManageMySpa, officially becoming Zenoti in 2015.

Zenoti’s features build on the blueprint established by businesses like Booker and Mindbody, and expand the customizability and capability of those features with control over even the most minute details. The level of detail in data and reporting is a step ahead of some of the other big-name competitors in the industry, and its reputation management features are rather impressive.

That said, Zenoti also falls prey to some of the same mistakes that veteran salon software companies like Mindbody and Booker are still making.

Booker, Mindbody, and Zenoti all suffer from the uglies of bad, outdated user interface design, sporting plain, drab menu systems that tuck away important features in layers of nested menus and strip out crucial information (such as icon labels) you need to find the tools you need at a moment’s notice.

Likewise, Zenoti doesn’t list their fees online, hiding their monthly pricing behind a demo/sales call just as Mindbody does.

Pros and Cons

  • Can integrate with a large number of third-party applications via an open API
  • Integrated payments through Zenoti Payments
  • Custom reports
  • Help center and Zenoti University (training) available
  • No free trial
  • Pricing is not transparent + high starting cost (minimum $300)
  • Mobile app has low-to-mixed ratings
  • Requires a 12-month contract

How Do They Compare? Strengths and Weaknesses

Vagaro stands out for its balance of simplicity and affordability, and its broad feature set. For the price, there isn’t another software suite that offers anything close to the amount of features Vagaro does. Vagaro also offers a large client marketplace where businesses can create a listing and advertise to potential clients.

While Zenoti offers nearly the same suite of features as Vagaro, it’s much more expensive. What stands out with Zenoti are its robust reputation management features. The ability to monitor and manage reviews across over 200 platforms is really impressive, and for those who care about their brand and want to be in control of the conversation about it online, that toolset can be a great asset.

On the flip side, there are cons to both platforms.

A lack of quality mars the beauty of Vagaro’s many features. For starters, the website builder could use some polish. Pages need to be able to load faster, and in our testing, the experience was a bit buggy. And while Vagaro offers online booking, it requires clients to create a Vagaro account first.

Meanwhile, Zenoti is plagued by a high cost of entry, no free trial, and a mandatory 12-month contract. Additionally, the mobile app has a low-to-mixed rating on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Vagaro vs Zenoti

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

Vagaro

Zenoti

Ease of use

3
3

Design

3
2

Customer service

3
4

Pricing

5
2

Calendar and appointment management

5
3

Online booking

5
4

Point of sale and check out

4
3

Client data

5
4

Client communication

4
4

Inventory management

4
4

Team Management

3
4

Payroll

4
3

Marketing support

5
5

3rd party integrations

3
4

Mobile and tablet apps

4
2

Let’s Talk Features: Vagaro vs. Zenoti

Vagaro is feature-rich and can even support fitness businesses with classes, much like Mindbody does.

It also sports a massive client marketplace for beauty, wellness, and fitness businesses, a feature that Zenoti has intentionally foregone to avoid their customers cannibalizing each others’ business. Vagaro also offers an integrated payroll processing solution, which is pretty rare.

Both Vagaro and Zenoti have impressive email and SMS marketing tools, advanced business reporting features, and more.

Zenoti has some key paid add-on features, such as two-way client messaging, a robust reputation management suite, and employee performance tracking.

Vagaro vs Zenoti

Vagaro and Zenoti offer many features. Let's go through what these features are and where they differ.

Vagaro Zenoti
Online Booking Vagaro Zenoti
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?

Note

Not by default. Available through Zenoti Go add-on.

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?

Note

Not by default. Available through Zenoti Go add-on.

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?

Note

Available through ezConnect premium add-on for an additional fee

Two way SMS communication

Note

Available through ezConnect premium add-on for an additional fee

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?

Note

Can upload files to forms, but not client profiles

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

A plus for both Vagaro and Zenoti is the ability to integrate with other platforms. Here, Zenoti slightly outshines Vagaro.

Vagaro vs Zenoti

These platforms both offer third-party integration.

Vagaro Zenoti
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
  • Quickbooks
  • Xero
  • Smartkart
  • Wisely
  • Gantner
  • Gympass

Pricing: Vagaro vs. Zenoti

Surprisingly, despite all the built-in features, Vagaro remains one of the cheapest platforms to use in the marketplace.

Unfortunately, Zenoti doesn’t offer transparency in their fee structure. They claim not to provide traditional monthly plan pricing. On the demo call, we were shown a presentation with features and benefits before a “custom pricing” slide listing three “recommended package options.”

If price is important to you, Vagaro is the true value winner, and their pricing transparency is a major plus. For other salon and spa software suggestions, read my list of the top salon software of 2024.

Vagaro vs Zenoti Pricing

Vagaro is more attractively priced than Zenoti.

Vagaro Zenoti
Average Price
$120 per month
$350 per month
Trial Options
30 day free trial
No free trial
Minimum contract length
Cancel any time
12 months
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.

Zenoti doesn’t offer transparent pricing information on their website. These are the “recommended packages” they offered us as a potential salon client:

“Recommended Option #1” – $350 (per month, per location)

  • “Salon Core Package”
  • ezConnect (two-way SMS feature)
  • 7500 marketing emails
  • 1000 marketing texts

“Recommended Option #2” – $450 (per month, per location)

  • Everything in Option #1, plus
  • “Marketing Plus Package”
  • Custom-branded client-facing mobile app
  • ezRepute (review management feature)

“Recommended Option #3” – $500 (per month, per location)

  • Option #1, plus
  • Smartbot (AI powered chatbot feature)
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.

Zenoti doesn’t offer transparent pricing information on their website. These are the “recommended packages” they offered us as a potential salon client:

“Recommended Option #1” – $350 (per month, per location)

  • “Salon Core Package”
  • ezConnect (two-way SMS feature)
  • 7500 marketing emails
  • 1000 marketing texts

“Recommended Option #2” – $450 (per month, per location)

  • Everything in Option #1, plus
  • “Marketing Plus Package”
  • Custom-branded client-facing mobile app
  • ezRepute (review management feature)

“Recommended Option #3” – $500 (per month, per location)

  • Option #1, plus
  • Smartbot (AI powered chatbot feature)
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.
  • ezConnect – In-App Two-Way Text Messaging: $29 – $169 per month per location
  • ezRepute – Reputation Management Suite: $189 per month per location
  • Smart Bot (Web / IVR): $150 – $400 per month per location
  • ezPulse – Employee Performance Tracking Suite: $49 per month per location
  • Credits (Email & SMS Marketing Campaigns): $180 – $1500
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.
  • ezConnect – In-App Two-Way Text Messaging: $29 – $169 per month per location
  • ezRepute – Reputation Management Suite: $189 per month per location
  • Smart Bot (Web / IVR): $150 – $400 per month per location
  • ezPulse – Employee Performance Tracking Suite: $49 per month per location
  • Credits (Email & SMS Marketing Campaigns): $180 – $1500
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.

Credit card processing rates through Zenoti Payments:

  • Card Present
    • All cards except Amex: 2.45% + 10c
    • Amex:  2.95% + 10c
  • Card Not Present
    • All cards except Amex: 2.95% + 10c
    • Amex:  3.25% + $0.10
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.

Credit card processing rates through Zenoti Payments:

  • Card Present
    • All cards except Amex: 2.45% + 10c
    • Amex:  2.95% + 10c
  • Card Not Present
    • All cards except Amex: 2.95% + 10c
    • Amex:  3.25% + $0.10

What Do Users Think of These Platforms?

You’ve read what I think. Now, let’s look at what users have to say.

Vagaro vs Zenoti

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

Vagaro Zenoti
4.7
4.4
4.4
4.2
4.5
2.6
4.4
1.4

What Alternatives Should You Consider?

While either Vagaro or Zenoti are attractive options, there are some incredible alternatives that may be a better fit for your business.

Mangomint is the highest-rated software for salons and spas. If you have a team, I highly encourage you check out this option.

Boulevard is the luxury option for beauty and wellness businesses with several service providers who want flexible reporting options and need an all-in-one marketing suite.

Mangomint vs Boulevard

A quick comparison of the two Vagaro and Zenoti alternatives.

Mangomint

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.

4.9
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.

$245 per month
$425 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.
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

5
5.0

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
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Excellent online booking
  • Integrated email marketing suite
  • Highly detailed custom reports [on Premiere and above]

Conclusion

I hope this comparison between Vagaro and Zenoti helpful in your search for the perfect salon and spa software.

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

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