Your salon or spa thrives on delivering exceptional customer experiences and extraordinary results. It’s all about matching the right style or the right type of service to the customer. Did you know that the same strategy is also the best way to select technology for your business? Point of Sale (POS) software designed specifically for salons and spas has the right features to help your business grow and outshine the competition — it’s a “style” that will work for you.
It’s important to understand that the best salon POS system is more than a cash register. It’s a total salon management system that empowers you with the tools and visibility you need to run a profitable business. Salon POS software streamlines workflows, saves time, and reduces operational costs. At the same time, it helps you pamper customers with the personalized service they crave.
Whether you operate a hair salon, barber shop, nail salon, health and wellness spa, tanning salon, or pet grooming business, you need POS software that can support your unique style of business.
Top 10 Salon POS System Features
To help you find a POS system that’s right for you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 must-have POS features for salons, spas, and similar businesses. You can use this list to evaluate your business for areas that could use a touch-up when it comes to efficiency and also as a checklist when you search for the perfect point of sale solution.
1. Appointment management
Are you still using a paper appointment book? A salon POS system gives you a more efficient way to manage appointments, eliminating the risks of double booking and the extra steps it takes to re-enter information into employee schedules. An appointment management feature that your stylists can access online ensures your staff will be notified of last-minute additions and always be ready when customers arrive for service.
State-of-the-art salon and spa POS systems will also enable email and text reminders, so your staff won’t have to spend time on the phone confirming bookings. Also, appointment management with a salon POS system will help you assign walk-ins evenly across all stylists and minimize wait times for customers.
2. Online booking
Research shows that 40 percent of consumers prefer scheduling appointments during non-business hours. That could translate into a loss of thousands of dollars worth of services each year if you don’t offer online appointment scheduling.
With online booking, customers can schedule appointments when it’s convenient for them. They may even come in for services more often because they can schedule appointments at their leisure. Also, when online booking integrates with appointment management, you get the added benefit of a real-time view of your calendar and potential revenues, which you can access anytime, anywhere.
3. Customer relationship management
Other types of businesses are just beginning to understand the importance of customer engagement and personalized service, but that’s something this industry has recognized for years. Cookie-cutter customer interaction is not acceptable in your business. Service must be tailored to specific details such as style, length, color, cut, and design.
The best salon POS systems will let you store data on each customer, so you can consistently provide the best services, experiences, and results they want. Advanced POS systems will also allow you to upload a photo so you can more readily duplicate a style or remember clients by name.
4. Customer loyalty program
The relationships you build with your customers are a key driver in repeat business. According to data from Bizrate and Forrester Research, only providing points and loyalty rewards aren't enough to win customer loyalty. You need to find ways to engage customers by appealing to their emotions.
Your salon POS system should include a customer loyalty program that allows you to reward loyal customers. However, it should also benefit your business by collecting data that you can use to understand your customers better, tailor services to their preferences, and market more effectively.
For instance, if you find certain customers are coming in on a regular basis (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) you can create a membership program with special offers around their preferred services.
5. Email marketing
Email continues to be a valuable tool for engaging customers and driving revenue. In fact, for every dollar spent on email marketing, the ROI is $44.
Modern salon POS systems make it easy to compose, design, and send emails. Whether you’re sending an email to your entire contact list or targeting a specific segment, such as customers that would respond to a special on children’s haircuts or a girls night out promotion.
6. Real-time reporting
With a salon or spa POS system, you never have to be in the dark about your business or make a decision without backing it up with data. Log in from any device to keep a close watch on costs, profitability, inventory, or schedules.
Advanced POS systems will give you the option to pull reports to track key performance indicators (KPIs) showing progress toward specific business goals like sales by stylist, cross-selling by stylist, and top customers. Your POS system may also integrate with your accounting software for added efficiency and accuracy.
7. Inventory management
As a salon owner, not only do you need to track supplies you use to provide services, but also inventory items such as hair products, makeup, men’s grooming products, and accessories for retail sale.
Your salon POS system helps you keep everything organized and up to date — in real-time. You can also set reorder reminders when stock is running low. Additionally, your inventory management feature can help you identify and eliminate sources of shrinkage to improve the profitability of your operation.
8. Employee management
Whether stylists are employees of your business or they rent space from you, your POS system needs to be able to track their appointments, generate schedules, and provide you with a clear picture of the revenue each stylist or chair brings in.
Trade in your paper-based system and let your salon management software generate labor reports, administer commissions, and track booth rental fees. Hassle-free employee management can even create a positive working environment that helps you retain top talent. Gallup research found that 59 percent of employees are less likely to look for a different job when they’re “engaged and thriving” in their current role.
9. Credit card processing
Very few business operations in the health and beauty industry today are successfully operating on a cash-only basis — you need to accept other types of payments as well. Customers will appreciate the convenience of using a credit or debit card, especially if they’re tempted to add services or products and don’t have enough cash on hand.
Your POS system should include integrated payment processing to give your salon or spa the ability to accept credit cards with ease. And remember, it should be PCI-compliant and EMV-ready to keep customer payment data — and your business — safe from data breaches and card fraud.
10. Customer support
The last feature on our top ten list has to do more with the POS system provider than the POS system itself. The solution you choose should be backed by excellent customer service, from installation and training to ongoing support.
Your business caters to customers by operating during evenings and weekends — your POS provider should do the same. You may also want to find a provider that can monitor your POS system and provide routine maintenance remotely to help minimize downtime.
It’s wise to learn as much as you can about the POS provider’s experience in your niche. Working with someone who understands your business, the challenges you face, and the type of POS system that is the best fit for your style of business. Look for customer testimonials and request references so you can go into a partnership with a POS provider with your eyes wide open.
Don’t Forget the Basics
Although the best salon POS system will be designed to handle the unique aspects of your business, it should also have some essential features that are common to all good POS systems:
- Ease of use: A POS system will have little value if it’s too complicated for your staff to use correctly or if it requires an excessive amount of training time.
- Scalability: Ensure the system you choose can easily scale up — or down — with your business or the number of stylists working in your facility.
- Cost: POS systems cost more than the initial “sticker” price — you will have additional fees. Make sure you understand the total cost of the system and that it fits within your budget.
Strategically choosing the best salon POS system for your business results in ROI in the form of loyal customers, streamlined operations, and employee retention — as well as a healthier bottom line. Is your POS system the right style for your business or is it time for a technology makeover?