Salons are a service business and business processes in a salon are very different from that of a retail business. For example, you don't need an appointment up front to make a stop at the cake shop to buy some pastries. The Point of Sale Software you use at the salon should therefore be designed specifically for salons. Popular POSs in the market like Square, Clover, Vend, Revel are general purpose and their functionalities are limited compared to the needs of a salon.
A salon Point of Sale software should include the following functionalities:
It is important that the software you use also be the place where all your transactions take place. This way, your transactions are tied to other activities (e.g. appointments, check-ins, work-slips etc.) and it gets easy to create reports like daily sales report, staff commission report etc.
The Point of Sale system usually comprises of a computer or a tablet, a credit card terminal to accept credit card payments, cash drawer to manage cash and a receipt printer. If you sell a lot of products, the POS should have a barcode reader as well.
Salons are repeat businesses - majority of salon clients are regulars that will come back every few weeks. Rewarding frequent repeat visits is therefore very important to grow your clientele. Loyalty rewards program is very beneficial for a salon as it helps you grow your clientele faster and encourages clients to spend more.
Having a POS software with built-in loyalty program makes it easy to track rewards earnings and redemptions. Loyalty programs offered by Five Star and Belly, if not tied to your POS, are not going to be very effective. With POS integrated loyalty program, rewards are earned and recorded in the POS as clients pay for their services and when they have enough points to redeem for a reward, the reward can be seamlessly redeemed from the POS.
Allowing customers to pre-book appointments has a huge impact on customer experience. Traditionally, appointments had to be made in-person or over the phone and salons that took appointments spent several man-hours a day just booking appointments. This also meant appointments could only be booked during salons business hours.
Online self-scheduling, where clients can book appointments from the Internet at their own convenience, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is highly efficient. The booking feature is integrated with your employee schedule ensuring that stylists won’t be booked on days they are not available. The online appointment booking software even sends confirmations and reminders to your customers via text or email, to minimize missed appointments. Research shows that using SMS appointment reminders can reduce no-shows by up to 70%. This has a significant impact on salons revenue as an empty-chair is lost revenue.
Selling products at your salon is a great way to increase revenue but it comes along with the hassle of having to manage product inventory. Tracking inventory is very important to ensure product sales is profitable as theft and lost products can easily eat your profit margins. If you are using paper or Excel to manage your inventory, you should seriously consider getting a POS software with built-in inventory management solution.
One big advantage of having an inventory management built into your POS is that product stock levels are automatically updated with every sale. A good POS system will also send you alerts if you are running low on some items. This feature subsequently lets you create your own purchase orders for single or multiple items, reducing an extra step in the ordering process.
It also allows updating of product information. Once a sale is entered, these systems automatically update inventory and accounts receivable records. Most systems allow you to enter inventory codes either manually or automatically via a bar-code scanner. The systems call up the standard or sales price, compute the price at multiple quantities and provide a running total. Some POS also offer functionality of displaying the sales as per the employee. To be specific, inventory management lets you manage inventory, flag items for reorder, analyse sales patterns and issue purchase-orders to the vendor to replenish stocks.
Your POS software should collect and organize information about your customers - name, contact information, their visit history, preferences and notes. Organizing client information and making it accessible to salon staff is key to providing best experience possible for clients. A good customer experience means a growing clientele which results in growing revenue.
POS empowers centralized storage of customer data, including customer contact details, important dates, service history, membership information, loyalty points, and gift voucher usage details. Such storage can be shared across all locations. Lets say you want to know your most loyal or highest spending customers. POS with an efficient record management allows you see this in a few steps. Data accuracy and completeness is key to running targeted marketing. Want to send a promotion to customers that have not returned in 2 months? This can only be achieved if your software records every visit for every customer so having it customer records management integrated with POS is key.
No business can reach their full potential without marketing and salons are not an exception. Most businesses spend a good amount on marketing to new customers while spending a very small amount, or do not spend anything at all, on their existing or past customers. Studies show that money spent on marketing to your present or past clients leads to much better returns compared to new customers.
A good salon POS software collects customer contact information and allows you to run text or email marketing campaigns. A great POS solution automates the marketing so that you can define your marketing campaigns once and the system will take care of identifying the target audience as per you specifications and sending out the campaigns. You just need to oversee how the different campaigns are working and make adjustments as needed.
While email marketing campaigns were very effective 10 years ago, text message marketing is now taking over with increasing popularity of text messages. Studies suggest that text message open rates are almost 5 times the open rates compared to email messages. This means the POS solutions that have better text message marketing features are more desirable.
If you plan to accept appointments at your salon, you need to have staff scheduling functionality so that you can book an appointment for a staff only when the stylist is scheduled to work. If you change schedules frequently, you need a way to easily let your associates know their updated schedules. A good salon software allows you to create, publish and distribute staff schedules. The scheduling functionality should be integrated with online appointment booking so that clients can see when stylists are available and can book accordingly.
The POS software should also require staff to clock-in and clock-out so that the you have information about staff-punctuality as well as have data to analyze staff utilization. Also, with stylist information associated with each transaction, you can easily create commission reports for associates that are paid commission.
If your salon accepts walk-ins, you need to have a way to manage the wait list and have to set expectations about current wait times. A good POS software will allow customers to self check-in and will effectively communicate the current wait time per service provider. This allows the clients to make an informed decision by giving them the option of choosing a preferred service provider along the anticipated wait time.
Selling gift-cards at a salon is a great opportunity to increase revenue. First, you get paid upfront for a service you will have to provide in future. A good chunk of gift-cards never get redeemed - this is one of the few all-profit no-work scenario. Second, a gift-card can at times be a channel to acquire new customers for free. For example, one of your client may buy a gift card from you and gift it to her co-worker who has never been to your salon. The co-worker will potentially visit your salon to redeem the gift card. If the co-worker likes your service, she may turn into a life long customer.
A good POS provides an easy process to sell and redeem gift cards. Many gift card providers charge you a fee on top of the gift cards itself when you sell or redeem a gift card. This will eat into your profit and so you should look for providers that do not charge gift card fees.
You need a Point of Sale software for your salon because running a salon requires a number of tools we discussed above. Choosing a good salon POS software for your salon is about making sure the POS has all the features you need and that the POS is not too complicated to learn and manage. The features the POS provides should justify the cost of the POS.
At Growthzilla, we work hard to build one single platform for your salon that provides all the functions you need while being extremely easy to learn and use. Regarding cost of ownership, we guarantee 10% increase in your monthly revenue with our platform. We strongly believe that your POS should not cost you money, it should make you money.