Must-Have Salon Software Features

When choosing the perfect software for a salon, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. With endless options, knowing what features that your business needs is the easiest way to narrow down your search. Whether you’re focusing on strengthening your client relationships or you need a more organized way to collect your data, there is a way to make it happen with the right software. To eliminate some struggle, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are must-have features as well as our top three salon software recommendations: Envision Salon and Spa Software, Phorest Salon Software, and Meevo 2 Salon and Spa Software.

Must-Have Features

 Cloud-based software 

With cloud software, you will have more storage on your hard drive because you are functioning from an internet utility service rather than a locally-installed application. Because of this, you’ll also be able to access your software anywhere rather than being confined to your salon. This means that many software functions will be mobile-friendly.

 POS system  

Getting more clients into your salon is definitely a reason to upgrade your salon software, but it’s also important to consider how your staff is processing payments/transactions and if there is a more effective way to do it. Consider the mobility of your software’s POS (point of sale) system. Can it be processed from a mobile phone or tablet? How well does it integrate with the rest of your front desk operations?

 Online appointment booking 

In short, having the ability to book appointments online increases organization for your salon, increases availability/accessibility for your clients, and overall increases your revenue with little to no extra effort–aka, if you’re looking to make money while you sleep, this is the way. For more online booking, check out our blog that is dedicated entirely to this (link).

 Comprehensive reports 

Reports are crucial for long-term results in your salon. Whether you are collecting payroll/commission for your salon staff or you are monitoring your return on marketing investments (ROI) and inventory adjustments, having comprehensive reporting of all aspects in your salon is necessary for making smarter business decisions.

 Automated SMS/email notifications for appointments 

Just like the online booking feature, having software that sends automated notifications to your clients, SMS or by email, is beneficial for a number of reasons. Reminding your clients of their appointments and confirming their bookings can be a difficult and timely manual task, but having a software feature that automatically does it for you can save your salon staff time and energy.

 Mobile apps 

As already listed, online appointment booking is one of the main must-have features. That being said, this is only the case if your online booking is mobile-friendly. It’s important to make sure that whatever software you choose, it includes a mobile application that makes this feature available to everyone no matter what device they are using. Likewise, different mobile apps offer different services. While some apps are strictly for appointment booking, others also offer mobile check-in and special loyalty rewards.

Software Recommendations

Envision, Phorest, and Meevo 2 all offer a variation of these essential features and are our personal recommendations for top salon software. While all three are similar in nature, they each have unique features that set them apart from each other. We’ve broken down some of our favorites.

Envision Spa & Salon Software


This is a free app for salon clients to book appointments, receive/redeem special offers, check-in with no contact, write reviews, and more. What sets it apart from the rest is that it can be customized to fit your business–your color scheme and logo can be easily added to make it your own.

Envision Cloud Check-in

This is Envision’s second app, and it is just as it sounds. While your front desk staff is juggling a million tasks and your clients aren’t in the mood to wait around, this is intended to run as a “check-in” station on a tablet for clients to check themselves into your salon with little to no interaction.

 Phorest Salon Software

Phorest Go

This is an app dedicated to mobile appointments. Through Phorest’s booking app, clients can choose what services they want (prices are shown for each option), what stylist they wish to have (if there is a preference), and when they want the service done (both date and time). The app is even optimized to factor in your stylist’s working days and breaks so that appointments are only scheduled back-to-back, with no gaps and unnecessary time wasted.

Meevo Salon and Spa Software

Online prepay and appointment deposits

This software gives clients the option of paying for their appointment online ahead of time to both speed up the checkout process and further promote a contactless experience. Similar to online prepay, if you are having trouble with clients canceling their appointments, Meevo 2 software gives salons the option to ask for an appointment deposit with the online booking feature, helping to eliminate the issue.


Clients also have the option of paying for their service on their own devices during the checkout process. This is another contactless experience where they receive a text or email with a self-pay link where they can view the transaction details, pay for the service, and add a tip.

3 Takeaways for Your Salon

  1. It’s important to know what features your salon really needs when choosing the perfect salon software, as there are endless options to choose from.
  2. The main areas of focus when choosing the best salon software are whether or not it is cloud-based, the POS system, online appointment booking, comprehensive reports, automated SMS/email notifications, and mobile apps.
  3. Envision, Phorest, and Meevo 2 are our three top recommendations for salon software.

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