fbpx

5 Best Spa & Salon POS Systems (2021 Software Update)

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Learn more...

Are you trying to find the right point of sale system for your salon or spa business?

Then you’ve landed in the right place.

You see, hair salons, nails salon, beauty salons, barbershops, and spas have specific requirements when it comes to POS software. Although salon POS hardware may look similar to other businesses (screen/ iPad support, credit card reader etc.), a salon cash register should not only manage salon inventory but also sync up with scheduled appointments and client data.

Some of the top POS systems have understood this and developed specific pos systems for salons and spas. Using such salon and spa point of sale system will save you a lot of headaches and give you access to powerful tools that can help you grow your salon business.

This is why I’ve spent the last weeks turning all stones on the best point of sale systems to figure out which one is the best salon pos.

In this article, I’ll take you through an overview of the top point of sale systems for beauty salons and spas. I’ll then dive deeper into the specific features that make them the best so that you can see how they will fit your salon or spa business.

Are you ready?

The Best Spa and Salon POS (Point of Sale System) 2021

Let’s dive straight into the result of my study with a list of the best salon pos systems in 2021.


1. Square POS: Winner in all categories!

Card processor available in US, Canada, UK, Japan and Australia

Overall Score: 5/5

The Square POS system is, hands down, the best POS for salons and spas. Square goes way beyond the requirements of a POS system to deliver features that are designed to help salon businesses grow.

Despite being incredibly feature-rich, it’s clear that Square has made simplicity and ease-of-use a priority. Their sleek design and super-intuitive interface make it a breeze to use.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Square POS is subscription free! As Square is also a card payment provider, they earn their money on credit card transactions and will therefore not charge you for using their POS (you still pay for the sophisticated hardware of course).

The only reason I would consider another option is if your country is not yet supported (only the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and Japan today) or if you’re looking for a super-specific feature that only can be provided by another POS.

Square POS for Salons

Key Features

  • Free subscription
  • Only pay credit card transaction fee
  • Fully integrated with salon appointments and client data
  • Works on Apple devices (e.g. iPad) and Android platforms
  • Beautiful, minimalistic, hardware design that fits all salons & spas

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use
  • A rich selection of hardware (including mobile credit card readers, complete cashier terminals)
  • Accept payments wherever your client is (perfect for mobile salons)
  • Get access to Square’s broad selection of business tools (website builder, loyalty program, email marketing, payroll, and much more)

2. Vagaro POS: Best Salon Specialised POS & All-in-One Salon Software

Card processor available in US, Canada, UK, Australia

Overall Score: 4.5/5

Vagaro is the specialised, all-in-one, system for salons and health and fitness businesses. The Vagaro system comes with an enormous amount of features for salons where POS is only one of the many tools you get.

You can run Vagaro in a web browser, your phone, or on the dedicated pay desk hardware. The pay desk is beautifully designed and will fit the interior of all beauty destinations.

Despite the great amount of features you get, Vagaro is keeping their pricing at very affordable rates. You can start using Vagaro for as low as $25/month and simply add the features and hardware your business needs.

This is really for you who want a powerful business management system where you manage everything in one place.

Vagaro is available in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.

Key Features

  • Fully integrated with salon appointments and client data
  • Works on Apple devices (e.g. iPad) and Android platforms
  • Beautiful hardware design that fits all salons & spas
  • Payments and card processing integrated
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use
  • A broad selection of hardware
  • Accept payments wherever your client is (perfect for mobile salons)
  • Access to all tools you need to run your salon business (beyond POS)
  • Get visible on the Vagaro client marketplace




3. Fresha: Subscription Free Alternativ

See available Fresha countries further down

Overall Score: 4/5

Fresha is an all-in-one solution for salon which includes point of sale. The strength of Fresha is that it’s the only 100% subscription free all-in-one salon software that gives you access to appointment management and marketing tools without any monthly fee.

The POS solution offered is simple, easy-to-use, and has the basic functionality you will need. It does not offer any POS hardware (other than a card reader) so you will rely on your iOS or Android device to run the system on.

I’m including it in this list as it is subscription free and comes with a lot of other features relevant for salons. It’s also available in many more countries than Square and Vagaro which makes this an relevant POS option for individual stylists and salons on a budget who want to avoid a monthly subscription and, most likely, doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of the other POS systems listed here.

This is what the check out experience looks like in the Fresha POS web browser view.

Key Features

  • Free subscription
  • Only pay credit card transaction fee and for acquiring clients on the Fresha marketplace
  • Fully integrated with salon appointments and client data
  • Works on Apple devices (e.g. iPad), Android platforms, and web browser

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use
  • Get visible on the Fresha client marketplace
  • Get access to business and marketing tools available for free within Fresha

Fresha Countries

Fresha Pay is available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Polan, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States.

You can still use Fresha Worldwide but you won’t be able to process card payments within the platform outside the listed countries.

For up-to-date country list, visit the Fresha Partner website.


4. Salon Iris

Overall Score: 4/5

As the name suggests, Salon Iris was built for salons and has been dedicated to supporting beauty professionals since 1999. There are many salon specific software solutions on the market but the Salon Iris shines with a richer point of sale experience than any other salon software on the market.

When you sign up for Salon Iris you get full support for your salon (email marketing, website, payroll etc.) – far beyond just the POS. Having everything in one solution makes things easy but it also comes with a compromise on some features where dedicated solutions offer a better experience.

Salon Iris hair salon POS

Key Features

  • Affordable pricing starting at $29/month
  • Fully integrated with salon appointments and client data

  • Works on Apple devices (e.g. iPad) and Android platforms
  • Dedicated hardware available

5. Lightspeed

Overall Score: 3.5/5

Lightspeed is a powerful cloud-based POS system. Its beautiful and intuitive interface makes it really easy to use and good choice salons and spas.

I love how they have powered the platform with strong integration capabilities which makes it possible to use with a lot of other specialized tools. In fact, for a salon or spa business, this is crucial as the tool itself does not come with appointment management but integrates with other solutions (like Booxi).

Compared to other options in this list, Lightspeed has a strong global presence and is supported in most countries. This makes it a good alternative to Square with limited geographical support.

Lightspeed POS for hairdressers and salon owners

Key Features

  • Strong integration with other tools (including Booxi for appointments)
  • Rich online store

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use
  • Global availability

6. Vend

Overall Score: 3/5

Vend POS is well known, powerful, and easy to use point of sale system. They have been around for 10+ years and shipped with all you can expect from a leading POS system. It integrates with the Timely appointment scheduling platform to also allow salon bookings to be managed directly in the POS system.

Vend Salon POS for Hairdressers and Salon Owners

Key Features

  • Global, award-winning, customer support
  • Integration support with other tools (like Timely for bookings)

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use

Salon and Spa POS Comparison Table

It can be overwhelming with all the different featured offered by the point of sale software listed here so to help you make an informed decision I’ve summarized and overview of all the features below.

Scroll right to see full table →
SquareVagaroFreshaSalon IrisLightsp.Vend
Key Facts



PriceFree$25Free$29-$109 (/month)$69-229 (/month)$99-129 (/month)
Supported CountriesGlobal Cloud Access.   Payments & Hardware in US, Canada, UK, Australia, JapanGlobal Cloud Access.   Payments & Hardware in US, Canada, UK, AustraliaGlobal Cloud Access.
See supported countries for payments.
Global Cloud Access. 
Only U.S. Hardware
GlobalGlobal
Service AppointmentYesYesYesYesVia Booxi IntegrationVia Timely Integration
Dedicated HardwareYesYesNoYesYes3rd Party






Platforms




Web/ CloudYesYesYesYesYesYes
iPad AppYesYesYesYesYesYes
iPhone AppYesYesYesYesYesYes
MacWeb BrowserWeb BrowserWeb BrowserWeb BrowserWeb BrowserWeb Browser
Android AppYesYesYesYesYesYes
PCWeb BrowserWeb BrowserWeb BrowserYesWeb BrowserWeb Browser





Payments



Credit CardYesYesYesYesYesYes
CashYesYesYesYesYesYes
Gift CardsYesYesYesYesYesYes






Online StoreYesYesNoNoYesVia Integration






Products



ServicesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Retail ProductsYesYesYesYesYes
MembershipsYesYesNoYesVia Vinstream IntegrationNo
PackagesYesYesYesYesYes






Reporting



Business RerportingYesYesYesYesYesYes
QuickBooks IntegrationYesYesNoYesYesYes





Additional Features



Website BuilderYesYesNoYesYesNo
Loyalty ProgramYesYesNoYesYesYes
Email MarketingYesYesYesYesVia IntegrationVia Integration
SMSYesYesYesYesYesVia Integration
PayrollYesYesNoYesVia IntegrationVia Integration
Team ManagementYesYesYesYesVia IntegrationVia Integration
Start using Square for FreeStart Free Vagaro TrialStart using Fresha for FreeStart Free Salon Iris TrialStart Free Lightspeed TrialStart Free Vend Trial

Overview of the Salon POS Software Recommended

There are many good point of sale solutions on the market. They all do the things you would expect from a POS and salon computer system. They help you process payment, manage your inventory, create receipts etc.

This is a given.

But most solutions go beyond this with additional features to support local businesses. And this is where the tools create their unique position in the market. It becomes clear that some are focusing more on retail stores, others on restaurants, and the ones I’ve chosen to list here have really gone the extra mile with dedicated salon solutions.

What’s of particular interest for a salon business is the appointment scheduling support and how well that is integrated with the POS. Having client and appointment data linked to your POS makes it much easier for you to maintain, track, and grow your salon business.

This was a key requirement for me when researching the best solution and all of the ones listed here have a solution to manage this. Thus, what you ultimately need to consider beyond this is the ease-of-use, additional features (like marketing support), and price to decide what’s right for you.

The Different Salon POS Alternatives

All the solutions listed here are good point of sale platforms that will work with your hair salon, nail salon, or spa. But the way you’ll use them will vary.

Vagaro and Salon Iris were built for salons from start and has all the features built into the core product. This makes things easy for you – everything is there in one place. However, it’s challenging to be the expert in all areas which means that some features are limited and the interface a bit clunky at times.

Vagaro is the most powerful all-in-one salon software I’ve used and will be a good option if you want the simplicity of managing your total business in one place.

Lightspeed and Vend are big players when it comes to POS systems. They all have advanced features to make the POS experience the best. However, they do not come with built-in support for appointment scheduling but rely on third-party tools that integrate with their system to manage appointments. Lightspeed integrates with Booxi and Vend with Timely.

This makes it possible to manage your data in one place while using specialized tools for POS and salon bookings. However, it also means that some more technical know-how is needed to learn the platforms and make them talk to each other. It’s not difficult but something to be prepared for.

And then there is Square.

The more I use it, the more I love it.

Square offers much more than POS. This is just one of the products in the Square family. They have an awesome appointment scheduler (read my full review of Square Appointments here), the best credit card processor, eCommerce platform, and a whole suite of marketing tools that are designed to help salons, spas, and other local businesses grow.

And the best part: they all integrate seamlessly with each other. You’re really getting full business support when you join the Square family with specialized tools that still integrate as if it was one product.

Even if Square offers pretty much all you need out of the box, they also have a market place with integrations so that you can make square work with your existing systems (including solutions like Quickbooks).

I hope this gives you a bit better understanding of how the different tools work and why I’ve chosen to focus on those in the review. My main recommendations would be Square or Vagaro as they give you access to a strong POS solution as well as all you need to run your salon business.

Time to Move to Action

All the point of sale systems listed will work as your hair salon pos, nail salon pos, barbershop pos, or spa pos.

If you’re still not sure what solution is right for you, start a free Square account and play with the tool. This is the most affordable POS system and the only way they make money from you is when you make credit card transactions (which you will pay for whatever solution you use).

In fact, you even get a free mobile credit card reader so you can get going without purchasing any new hardware 🙂

Did you find this post helpful? Share it with your friends!