Beauty salons are more popular today than ever. Despite the popularity of at-home skin and hair care solutions, people regularly visit beauty salons to have their hair and nails taken care of by trained professionals. In fact, as of October 2022, there are over 900,000 beauty salons in the United States.
This booming business generates over $56.2 billion in annual sales in the United States, with the skincare industry generating an estimated $11 billion in revenue so far this year. With the growing popularity and awareness of hair, skin and beauty treatments, these numbers are expected to increase even further in the coming years.
Just like the beauty salon industry, the US e-commerce and digital marketing scene is also booming. As of May 2022, salon apps attract more than 30% of the directly revenue-generating customer base. That's why it's important for salons to offer apps that allow customers to explore services and pricing and book appointments digitally.
Some salons also offer in-home care for people in need and schedule appointments through these apps. This has kept many businesses going during the tough times caused by the COVID-19 shutdown.
By the end of this article, you will understand how a beauty salon app can help you achieve your business goals. We can help your salon business reach new heights with some innovative ideas that are roadmaps to success.
What will you learn in this post
- Beauty salon market trends
- Some popular salon apps and what they offer
- The importance of a hairdressing app
- Must-have features for a beauty salon app.
- Considerations before creating a lounge app
- Important Steps When Creating an App for a Salon
- The costs and benefits of investing in a salon app
Beauty salon market trends
Beauty salons have always been popular in the United States. Despite a downturn during the 2008 financial crisis and a minor setback during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the salon industry ran as smooth and strong as the wind.
Afterpolitical, the salon industry had a market cap of over $69 billion in 2019. The industry was hit temporarily by the pandemic in 2019 and 2020, but quickly recovered the following year. From 2022 it is theglobal beauty salon industryis estimated at nearly $140 billion.
The beauty salon industry uses various marketing methods to get closer to its customer base. One such method is the use of mobile apps, a practice that is on the rise. Since people use their smartphones regularly, an app for your salon puts you in close contact with potential clients, making it easy to capture leads.
The 3 best apps for beauty salons
There are many beauty salon apps in the US market. Some are local and others offer services in different parts of the country. Here are some of the best salon apps to get inspired.
1. Treat well
Treatwell is a salon app that serves as a marketplace for salons. Users can find various salons near them and make an appointment for the desired service after reading reviews from clients who have visited the listed salons. Lounges are sorted by rating and popularity, providing users with a streamlined process for choosing their best fit.
Booking an appointment is easy with Treatwell as users can bookmark salons to visit in the future. There are also appointment scheduling, payment options and a notification system that reminds the user of appointments, discounts and special offers from nearby salons.
2. It was leaking
Colavo is a salon management app that focuses on the business side of the industry. With over 100,000 downloads from the Google Play Store, ColavoSalon is highly rated by salon owners across the US. The app offers important functions such as appointment scheduling, appointment management, sales and pricing records.
With a wide range of features and the inclusion of all the services that most salons offer, ColavoSalon is rated 4 out of 5 stars by its users. They proudly claim they have been used by nearly 100,000 salons across the US, which is 10% of the current market.
Fresha is another popular salon app that allows users to easily schedule beauty appointments at local salons. Besides being intuitive and easy to use, Fresha also has the added benefit of allowing its users to make last minute bookings quickly and easily. The app includes salons and spas and can help users select the best property based on search filters, user reviews, location, availability and pricing.
Fresha has over 100,000 active users in the US and is loved by customers and business owners alike. Two separate apps for clients and business owners mean that Fresha offers complete solutions for the salon market, from scheduling appointments to managing sales and keeping records.
Is it worth making an app for a beauty salon?
Before investing in any business upgrade, a small business owner should always assess all the risks and gains that can be gained after implementing new upgrades and investments. Investing in a salon app is one of the best business decisions a salon owner can make in 2022 as it enhances business leadership and helps grow active customer base while providing much-needed brand exposure.
Reach a wider audience
A digital platform like a website or app for your salon means you naturally reach audiences that weren't yours to begin with. People are constantly surfing the internet and always looking for “the best option”. By creating a mobile salon app and investing in a strong advertising strategy, you, as a salon owner, have the opportunity to expand your local reach and ultimately attract customers who will engage with your app and book services that meet your needs. to your needs.
Nowadays people tend to minimize human interaction as much as possible. Whether it's because of your personality, health issues, or general continence, if it's possible through an app, most people wouldn't bother doing this in person. The same applies to scheduling appointments and purchasing health and skin care products. A salon app bridges the gap between the service and the customer, allowing them to browse services, book appointments and read peer reviews, making a salon app even more attractive to a variety of customers.
Using a salon app with business management functionality not only makes it easier for the client to schedule appointments, but it also simplifies the process for business owners as they can track sales, manage payments, and manage appointments. There are many ways a salon owner can benefit from this, including gaining valuable time to grow their business. A mobile app also allows business owners to focus more on customer needs and market demands as many routine tasks can be efficiently managed through app automation.
Essential features of a beauty salon app
There are some absolutely essential features in a beauty salon app that make it attractive and useful for the customer. If the app has what people need on a daily basis to simplify the entire salon experience, then they are in for a treat. An app with an intuitive and user-friendly interface, for example, will keep people coming back for its convenience and usefulness. This is how most e-commerce and social media apps leverage the market and this could apply to the salon industry as well.
The most important part of any salon app is an appointment management system. If a potential customer visits your app and likes the services presented, they should be able to book an appointment through the app. Having to call or come visit to do this completely defeats the purpose of having a mobile app in the first place.
Booking appointments also ensures that the client is interested in the service and the salon owner can call or text the client to reschedule a future appointment if they don't show up the first time. In addition, based on the number of bookings and inquiries, the entrepreneur can keep up with current trends and which services to focus on.
Another important aspect of a salon app is the ability to make in-app payments. When people book an appointment for a service, they should be given the opportunity to prepay for the service they are interested in. This makes it easier for them to validate their decisions and also helps to avoid unnecessary human interactions.
Furthermore, humans are naturally impulsive organisms. We tend to buy things when we're in a good mood and invest in ideas when they sound good to our ears. An appointment booking system with an in-app payment system means that while people are browsing they can instantly buy or pay for all the services and products each business is built on. To take advantage of this, the app must have an integrated payment gateway that works with companies like PayPal and Verified By Visa to allow for easy and secure transactions for both parties.
Notifying clients of their upcoming appointments and schedule changes is another important aspect of a salon app. This helps remind customers of their reservations and appointments, making them feel valued. Service reminder texts, discount and sales notifications, and feedback requests make the app more interactive with the customer, which can increase its usage, popularity, and overall store revenue.
People lead busy lives and a notification system can also serve as a reminder to ensure clients don't miss appointments despite their busy schedules. This helps both the company and the customer, in their own way, to achieve their goals.
Another important feature that makes a successful beauty salon app is the integration of maps and a navigation system. People who book appointments through the app don't always know the location of the salon, as some are reluctant to ask for directions, preferring not to go to the store.
Integrating your city's digital maps with the salon properly marked ensures that those interested in the salon's services will have no difficulty finding the store. Also, listing the salon on Google Maps helps people find the salon while they're in the area looking for a quick manicure.
Under the hood: technical considerations
Designing and developing an app takes a lot of work. Regardless of the type of business, at its core the application must have a framework with essential functions that make it efficient. Maintaining a proper database and integrating the application across multiple platforms are some of the key requirements that differentiate an application from the rest.
These technical issues must be resolved before starting application design and development. While not available outdoors, these technical considerations best serve the application. Some of the most important technical aspects to consider are:
Cross platform versus native
There are two different approaches to developing a mobile app. The first is a cross-platform approach, which means that the app runs on all platforms and operating systems, including Android, iOS, and Windows.
On the other hand, a native application is something that is designed and works only on a single operating system. Developers use Java to develop native apps on Android while iOS uses the help of another programming language called Flutter.
Before deciding which option suits your business, you should weigh the pros and cons of these two app designs.
Native apps are easy to build and highly integrated with device hardware. Since they are designed for a single operating system, these apps can take full advantage of the device they are running on. Apple Maps on an iPhone is the best example of this application. Also, these apps are more secure and the UI can be smoother than cross-platform apps.
On the other hand, a cross-platform application gives you the ability to run a single application on multiple platforms. These apps are based on cloud technology and are not heavily tied to the hardware of the device they are running on. However, these apps are easy to update and inexpensive because a single development team can build these cross-platform apps without having to hire a separate team to build the app for different operating systems.
Having multiple payment partners is always a great way to market an app. Working with multiple payment processing gateways and allowing users to pay within the app makes the app immersive. When people can order or book an appointment at their fingertips, they want to come back to the app again and again if they want the same product or service again.
Severalpayment processing partnerIn the US, they are used and trusted by millions of users and business owners. Companies like Stripe, Clover, and Apple Pay are among the best in the business. Also, e-wallets and credit card providers like PayPal, Visa and MasterCard allow users to make payments through their network, which is useful for most people.
Having multiple payment partners not only gives customers a variety of options to choose from how they want to pay, it also adds an extra layer of security and a sense of security for customers. In a way, when a business is integrated with PayPal, Apple Pay, and Verified By Visa, it's a good sign that the business can be trusted. Also, there is little risk of the transaction not going through, as most people are familiar with these payment providers and are trusted by everyone, including businesses and the government.
All applications must maintain a database for the proper functioning of the program. Databases are tables that hold user records and other information native to the app that help the app deliver appropriate content to the user whenever the user visits the app.
A beauty salon app can store valuable data such as usernames, contact details, age, services used, credit card information and location. However, ensuring that this data is not misused or shared should be a top priority for both the business owner and the app developer.
There are many ways that developers can make their data and application as secure as possible. In addition to using cryptographic techniques to transfer data, developers must also secure data in transit from the user's device to the server by using a VPN or SSL tunnel on its way to the server. Likewise, multiple layers of authentication and authorization help ensure that users are also protected from misuse.
Developers prefer to store sensitive data such as credit card information and social security numbers locally on the user's device, eliminating the need to protect the information during transmission to the server. This prevents sensitive information from leaking in the event of a hacker attack on the application's data center. Software giants like Google and Apple have set security standards for third-party apps sold on their Android and iPhone marketplace to make apps even safer for users.
Building an MVP
When developing an application for any line of business, the developer must first research the market. You need to identify and understand the key issues you want the app to solve. Rather than trying to make a cool, flashy app that packs a punch, the focus should always be on making things as compact as possible.
This is a problem addressed by the concept of Minimum Viable Product. An MVP is an app design that focuses solely on a specific purpose that makes it attractive to users. When creating a beauty salon app, it's important to remember that the main idea behind the app is to attract customers, which is possible by letting them choose services and book appointments for them. Everything else like cards and payment integration are plugins that make the experience seamless and easy for users. The idea behind MVP is to reduce development costs and resolve immediate issues through the app, leaving room to collect user feedback and comments that allow the app to be updated and improved over time.
Apps are supposed to solve problems, not create them. When a user uses an app, they are probably using it for a specific purpose, for example B. streaming music via Spotify and videos via YouTube. When an app tries to push the limits and do everything, it ends up becoming a mess. Therefore, focusing on an MVP is always crucial for successful application development.
4 steps to develop a beauty salon app
Application development requires careful planning and study of the business and the market. Both the app developer and the business owner must consider many aspects that would make their app a favorite among users. It's important that the app is as easy to use as possible. Also, a proper marketing strategy needs to be implemented to launch and promote the app to ensure maximum exposure. With proper planning, a beauty salon app would help the business owner capitalize on a large slice of the market that has yet to be tapped.
In addition to research and development, general aspects of application management should also be considered in order to avoid obstacles on the way to public release of the application.
Every successful project starts with the right research. Studying the business, understanding the market and identifying the challenges facing the industry are important steps in the research phase of application development. Developers should always analyze the application's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) to assess all pros, cons, and potential challenges.
In addition to researching your customer demographics and determining the characteristics you need, it's essential to conduct a competitive analysis. They should also take the time to understand the customer's needs and verify that existing applications meet those needs. That way, you can build an app that solves that particular problem that attracts a large user base and benefits your business. Companies hire business analysts to carry out this phase of application development to ensure they are extracting all usable market intelligence.
Any decent developer will design apps with the target audience in mind, because an app is only useful if it's easy to use, intuitive, and appealing to its users. A salon app isn't considered great if you can use it to make an appointment for a pedicure; It's only worth it if the app allows you to complete this task in just a few steps.
There are people from 15 to 70 years old who regularly visit beauty salons. People in these age groups have different levels of knowledge about modern technology. Therefore, a user-friendly interface design ensures that the average app user has the best possible user experience. This is considered to be one of the most important parts of app development as most people judge a book by its cover. So if an app looks bright, has simple features, and is easy to use, people are likely to want to use it for a long time.
3. Develop and test
The next development step is the actual development of the mobile app. This is done based on reports created by the business analytics team and UI/UX designers. As discussed above, development can take different but identical roadmaps depending on the platform the application is to run on.
The backend development team prepares the server side of the application and links it to the UI/UX provided by the design team. Once the app is ready with all the necessary features and functionality, it is sent to a team of quality reviewers and beta testers to verify that all the features are working correctly and if there are any bugs that may cause problems with the application working. . application. . Once the test team is satisfied, the app can be released.
4. Deliver and wait
Application development and release is only the first part of the application development project; starting and holding it is a whole new challenge. After completing the first three steps of app development, the app is released for public use. This starts collecting user feedback and allows developers to learn about public demand.
Applications are software, and software must prove itself if it wants to stay in business. For this reason, gathering audience feedback is critical to creating better updates.
After releasing the app on Google Play Store or Apple Store, developers must keep an eye on audience satisfaction, user ratings and ratings. It is very important to monitor these statistics and use them to the benefit of the salon. So, once an app is released, it needs regular maintenance and updates to make sure it's as useful as it was when it was released. Bug fixes, feature additions, and improvements to your UI/UX should be done regularly.
Development costs for the beauty salon app
IT industry products are highly modular. When determining the cost of a project, several factors play a role. Developing a similar application with two different companies can cost different amounts, depending on the skill and quality of the development team and the timeframe of the project. Also, the price depends a lot on the number of features and services you want the app to have, and salon apps are no different.
A proper salon management app with an appointment management system, in-app purchases with multiple payment partners, and other necessary features can cost anywhere from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It all depends on the services and features you want to include in your beauty salon app.
For example, a simple app development project lasting three to six months and covering some basic functionality can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000. However, if you develop premium features and integrations, both the duration and cost of the project can increase, which can push the price to around $200,000. This cost is also affected by the number of hours developers spend on the project and their hourly rates.
Launching a new app is always a challenging task. Application developers and owners don't know how they will fare in the early stages. Therefore, it is considered good practice for any small business to start small and then grow over time.
When an application launches with the expectation of thousands of monthly active users, but that number soon increases to tens of thousands of monthly active users, this becomes an issue in terms of data management, server-side processing, and handling. of user. To solve this problem, the developers leave room for scalability while designing and developing the application, as the upgrade benefits both users and business owners.
There are many factors involved in sizing an application, including sizing servers and storage, updating the database, and optimizing application responsiveness. Most developers use application development technology that allows for easy scalability. Node.js, for example, is very popular as a backend framework because of its versatility and scalability.
However, this upgrade comes at a cost as developers have to spend additional hours to extend the project at the customer's request. However, this is still more financially sound than breaking the bank to release an app that fails due to poor market judgment and decisions.
Idea Maker's experience in app development for beauty salons
With nearly a decade of experience in the software and application development industry, Idea Maker has the knowledge, skills and creativity to solve any challenge companies face in the digital age. From software-as-a-service delivery to web and mobile application development, Idea Maker brings years of industry experience to the area that best serves you.
We design and develop ERP management systems, portfolios, e-commerce websites and business websites for schools, real estate, medical and tourism industries, stores and salons.
Pink Avenue is a rare example of a salon management application that we have recently developed and delivered to the client. The app consists of several features including an appointment management system, live card integration and payment processing. The cross-platform app also offers discount notifications, event reminders, and a dedicated dashboard for customers, landlords, and employees.
Idea Maker works across the industry to help you find solutions to your business challenges. From developing a strong digital presence to increasing market capitalization, we can guide your business to success every step of the way. With our passion for exceeding expectations, Idea Maker is your partner for digital supremacy in the salon industry. After all, what's the point of developing an app if it doesn't increase the popularity of your beauty salon?
plan aFinancial helpContact us today to receive a free business assessment from our expert analysts and get a head start on your salon app project. It's never too late to start an innovation.