Our recommendation for the best salon POS system is Square POS because it’s user-friendly and intuitive and offers several excellent features, like automated messaging tools and social media integration, to help you grow your business. Start your 30-day free trial today!
Beauticians, hairdressers, aestheticians, manicurists, and massage therapists need a full-fledged, professional system to organize and manage their services. They have drastically different requirements compared to your standard retailers and restaurateurs.
A salon point-of-sale (POS) system is purpose-built to simplify and streamline salon operations. Alongside traditional features like client transaction management and sales and customer data handling, you get several industry-specific features like online booking, appointment scheduling, and membership billing.
When choosing a salon POS system, consider your salon’s specific needs. Here are my top six recommendations to help you narrow down your choices.
The Top 6 Best Salon POS Systems
After reviewing some of the most highly recommended vendors in the market, I found Square POS to be the best salon POS system for most. It also offers specialized features (for example, automated messaging tools, social media integration, and pre-payment and no-show options) that can actively help your business grow. Start your 30-day free trial today!
- Square POS — Best for Multi-Service Salons
- Fresha — Best for Affordability
- Vagaro — Best for Versatility
- DaySmart Salon — Best for Customizability
- Clover — Best for Salon Franchisees and Chains
- Acuity Scheduling — Best for Solo Artists
Keep reading to know why these vendors made it on the list.
Match Your Scenario to the Right Salon POS Solution
Before exploring the best POS systems for salons, consider whether you really need one. To offer you the most suitable recommendation, here are potential scenarios where getting a POS makes sense for your salon:
- You want better inventory management
- You want quick payments and invoicing
- You want to reduce costs
- You want to simplify appointment scheduling
1. You want better inventory management
Best option: Square POS
Square POS is undoubtedly the best POS system when it comes to inventory management. It allows you to manage inventory in bulk, provides daily updates on your stock levels, and facilitates barcode label (GTIN and SKU) scanning. You can also import/export inventory with CSV or Excel spreadsheets.
Another great choice: Fresha
Fresha is another excellent POS system when it comes to efficient inventory management.
It sends you low-stock notifications so you never run out of stock, and also offers an automated service that lets you re-order whatever you need with just a few clicks. Get an accurate snapshot of your inventory using the stocktake tool that helps you sort through and count your physical stock, as well as compare stock information.
If inventory management is a priority for you, make sure to look for:
- Updates and notifications: does the software keep you informed of your inventory levels in real time?
- Ordering and re-ordering: how easy is it to refill your stock, especially on short notice?
- Organization: does the software include scanning and tracking systems so you always know where different items are?
2. You want quick payments and invoicing
Best option: Square POS
Square POS is one of the many software tools under the Square umbrella.
You can easily integrate it with Square Payments and Square Invoices, Square’s payment processing and invoicing software, respectively, that’s built to save time and help you get paid faster.
Another great choice: DaySmart Salon
Although not as streamlined as Square POS, DaySmart Salon also does a great job to accelerate payments and invoicing. The POS system offers integrated payments, with tons of useful features like cancellation fees, online deposit, and tipping.
If you feel the need for speed, look for features like:
- Form integrations: how quickly can invoices and receipts be sent and received?
- Pricing variations: does the software give you flexibility to include tips, add-ons, upsells, etc.?
- Turnaround time: how quickly are payments processed and how many steps does it take?
3. You want to reduce costs
Best option: Fresha
While POS systems in general help you reduce your operating costs, Fresha maximizes your savings. In addition to affordable plans, it offers salon-specific features that keep you on top of daily operations by letting you track sales and inventory history and manage invoices to streamline business finances.
Another great choice: Acuity Scheduling
If you go solo, you can also consider Acuity Scheduling’s free plan that’s perfect to meet any single user’s needs. You get a calendar, along with access to features like client self-scheduling and unlimited client services and appointments.
If you need to save money at your salon, find POS software that addresses:
- Streamlining: how does the software save you time in taking payments and managing finances?
- Number of users: can you use the software as an individual or small team, or do you need a certain number of employees?
- Customer capacity: can you book unlimited client appointments, or are you limited to a certain number?
4. You want to simplify appointment scheduling
Best option: Vagaro
Vagaro lets you create a custom booking website—or integrate a booking widget into your existing website—to simplify appointment scheduling. Clients can directly book a service with no involvement from you.
Another great choice: Acuity Scheduling
Choosing Acuity Scheduling also makes sense for streamlined appointment scheduling, considering it is essentially a calendar/scheduling tool. Moreover, it also supports online booking and prepayments—and integrates with various payment processors and apps.
If you just need things to be simple, you want software with:
- Easy setup and integration: how simply and quickly can you install your booking and payment links into your website?
- Hands-off automation: does the software take care of things like confirming appointments and sending reminders for you?
- Simple payment options: can customers prepay, purchase packages, and/or pay on-site without hassles for them OR for you?
Salon POS System Company Reviews
After factoring in what salon owners look for, I’ve identified six POS systems that check off the basics like anytime-anywhere access, smart scheduling, and inventory tracking—and then some. Here’s a detailed breakdown of each option.
Square POS — Best for Multi-Service Salons
Square POS is a cloud-based POS system and one of the many tools that are part of the larger Square multiverse. As one would expect from the Square brand, its POS is one of the most streamlined and capable solutions available today that lets you track inventory, manage appointments, and accept payments—all in one place.
If you offer multiple services, Square POS lets you create different service items and add them to your register. Customers can then easily book the service they need, and you can keep track of what you’re selling.
You also get access to several top-rated sales tools that let you sell products, memberships, and gift certificates online and in person. It also tracks inventory, allows for billing, and offers program discounts. Other features like automated messaging tools and prepayment and no-show protection ensure Square POS adequately meets (and exceeds) your needs.
What Makes Square POS Great
As a salon POS software, Square POS provides an excellent mix of both free and paid features.
A free online booking site allows clients to schedule appointments with you and your staff, while Square Assistant sends automatic reminders and rescheduling options to prevent no-shows. Other features include recurring appointments, inventory and resource tracking, and customizable appointment cancellation fee charges.
Despite being incredibly feature-rich, Square POS retains its user-friendliness and simplicity. You don’t have to worry about a steep learning curve, and nearly anyone on your team (that you want) can work the system with ease.
In terms of pricing, the software is free to use, and you only have to pay when accepting payments. Processing fees start at 2.6%, plus 10 cents per transaction.
Fresha — Best for Affordability
Formerly known as Schedul, Fresha is a salon- and spa-specific POS and booking software that takes the guesswork out of setting appointments with your clients. Potential clients can book services themselves while you and your stylists focus on servicing those present in your salon.
But what sets it apart from other salon POS systems is its affordability.
For starters, Fresha is subscription-free. You don’t have to pay a monthly fee to use it for appointments, POS, or inventory management. This feature doesn’t make the software free—you’ll have to pay a 20% new-client fee (which doesn’t apply to repeat customers or customers who book directly to your website or social page) and standard payment processing charges. But it does save a lot of monthly overhead compared to others on this list.
Being a cloud-based solution, Fresha doesn’t have a POS hardware requirement other than a card reader. You can run the system using your Android or iOS device.
The only issue is the slow customer support. Fresha only offers support via email between 7 AM to 7 PM, which may make things difficult when your system goes down during a busy day.
What Makes Fresha Great
Over 50,000 beauty businesses and 250,000 therapists and stylists rely on Fresha to run their salon business, and it’s easy to see why. The flexible POS software comes with full retail sales capabilities, analytics, inventory tracking, and marketing tools and is free for unlimited team members.
Create client files to track sales history and manage upcoming appointments, and track your invoices, inventory, and receipts to streamline business finances. You can also use the easy-to-use activity dashboard to see real-time updates of daily operations.
Fresha charges 2.19% plus 20 cents per transaction.
Vagaro — Best for Versatility
Vagaro makes a great choice of salon POS system for several business types, including massage therapists, personal trainers, medical spas, and fitness experts. Adding to its versatility is its excellent set of features for customer management, appointment scheduling, and payment processing, among others.
What’s more, Vagaro runs seamlessly on any device—a web browser, on your phone, or on dedicated pay desk hardware.
Clients can book appointments through Facebook, Yelp, or Vagaro (web and app). Creating a custom booking website or integrating a booking widget into your existing website is another option. Vagaro also offers a specific SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, plan) notes format that is ideal for medical spa employees, massage therapists, and personal trainers.
While Vagaro doesn’t offer a free plan and has expensive hardware, you still get a great deal in terms of functionality and reliability.
What Makes Vagaro Great
Vagaro’s payroll functionality is quite impressive. From time clocks to hourly pay to commission tracking, you get it all. It also lets you access pay stubs and payroll history at the click of s button.
Vagaro’s calendar feature is another one of its USPs. It’s super user-friendly and allows you to extend or reschedule appointments with drag-and-drop blocks. Set up personal time to prevent overlapping, and use the recurring booking feature for repeat customers.
Vagaro doesn’t charge money for online bookings or new-customer fees, but it does for bookable calendars starting from $25 per month. Transactional processing fees start from 2.2% plus 19 cents.
DaySmart Salon — Best for Customizability
DaySmart Salon offers a wide range of salon-specific features that make it an ideal POS system for salons and spas. Formerly known as Salon Iris, it gives you the freedom to edit and add more features to your website based on your needs and preferences, using customizable or editable booking pages and widgets.
A teleconsultation function enables clients to schedule virtual appointments and private lessons, while automated marketing lets you organize recurring marketing campaigns to boost revenue.
The Salon POS system also offers integrated payments, along with related features like cancellation fees, membership billing, online deposit, and tipping feature. Every transaction is PCI/PA-DSS validated to ensure superior payment security.
Note that DaySmart Salon doesn’t offer a free plan. It’s also the most expensive salon POS system on our list, but you get a 14-day trial to test-drive features before making a commitment.
What Makes DaySmart Salon Great
DaySmart Salon makes appointment scheduling simple and convenient.
Set up automatic reminders for clients using email or text, and use color-coded appointment blocks to keep up with your daily schedule. Customers can also book their appointments directly, thanks to a customizable landing page.
A walk-in customer kiosk is another handy feature that allows walk-in customers to sign in and take the next available slot if you and your staff are busy with customers.
DaySmart Salon offers four plans:
- Basic – $29 per month
- Deluxe – $69 per month
- Premium – $129 per month
- Platinum – $249 per month
Clover — Best for Salon Franchisees and Chains
Clover is an all-in-one POS system loaded with features salon owners are sure to find helpful.
If you own a salon franchisee or operate in multiple locations, you’ll find Clover’s built-in credit card processing ability (hassle-free online payments to customers), inventory management (product organization and tracking across all locations), and extensive third-party integrations (more convenient processes) useful.
This salon POS system also informs you whenever a customer arrives and checks in and offers win-back promotions to ensure repeat business. The employee management feature allows you to manage employee shifts, track performance metrics, and promptly process payroll.
Choose among a range of Clover’s physical hardware, including Clover Go (a mobile card reader), Clover Flex (a handheld POS device), Clover Mini (compact countertop register), and Clover Station (countertop register that comes with a cash drawer and receipt printer).
What Makes Clover Great
Clover offers built-in CRM tools, like rewards and discounts, promotional tools, and customer profiles detailing buying history, to efficiently manage customers and build long-term relationships. You can also request private feedback with digital receipts to improve salon services.
You can also use Clover’s comprehensive App Market to further customize your POS system to better meet your unique requirements. Choose from hundreds of third-party business management apps that integrate with the software to enhance functionality.
Clover has vague pricing that depends on where you buy it and how many integrations you use. Currently, you have three options:
- Starter – $50 per month for hardware and software
- Standard – $90 per month for hardware and software
- Advanced – $130 per month for hardware and software
A 90-day trial period is also available, which compared to other salon POS systems is quite generous.
Acuity Scheduling — Best for Solo Artists
Acuity Scheduling provides online booking, appointment scheduling, and set-up prepayments—and integrates with various payment processors and apps to streamline salon work.
While these are standard features that will benefit any salon owner, Acuity Scheduling will make a particularly excellent option for solo artists.
The company offers unlimited free trials for solo use. Under its Freebie plan, you get a calendar for one person at a single location, along with access to all the necessary features like client self-scheduling and unlimited client services and appointments.
The caveat here is the lack of integrations, customizations, or the ability to directly accept payments and deposits. But if you have the budget, you can offset these issues. Integrate the POS system with payment processors and choose from unlimited design customization options for an on-brand feel.
What Makes Acuity Scheduling Great
As a POS, Acuity Scheduling gives you an overview of your cancellations, appointments, no-shows, revenue earned, staff reports, and other important metrics to keep you on top of your business. It also allows integrations with other apps to enhance the system’s functionalities, which ultimately results in a powerful setup for both you and your clients.
Other useful features include on-demand specialized consultant assistance, drag-and-drop features, and a loyalty program set up with gift cards and other rewards.
Acuity Scheduling currently offers three plans:
- Emerging – $15 per month
- Growing – $25 per month
- Powerhouse – $50 per month
You can start a 7-day trial for any of the plans to get a better feel of how the POS system works.
Quick Sprout Salon POS Systems Related Content
Here are a few additional guides you can refer to, to choose the best salon POS system:
Salon POS Systems Related Top Lists
The Top Salon POS Systems in Summary
Here you have it—my top six recommendations offer modern functionality and user-friendly systems at affordable prices to help you grow your business.
While you can choose any vendor you think makes a better fit, I recommend Square POS as the best salon POS system because of its superior sales tools and salon-specific features like automated messaging tools and no-show protection that actively help you run your salon smoothly and more efficiently.