Despite being quite new compared to other, traditional appointment scheduling methods, online booking platforms are here to take over the world, and soon maybe even your nail salon.
The estimated value of the appointment scheduling software market in 2026 is 546.31 million dollars. In addition, the compound annual growth rate of this market is predicted to be 15.1%.
With the value it holds, and with the rate at which it grows, it’s fair to say that more and more companies will be opting for online booking platforms in the future. And this applies for sectors like health and wellness, gym and sports, education and counselling, and, of course, spas and beauty salons – like nail salons like yours.
In fact, spas and beauty salons belong to one of the most popular services for online booking worldwide.
If your nail salon doesn’t offer online booking yet, we’re here to tell you why you need to set it up ASAP and how to do it quickly in just 3 steps.
Why does your nail salon need an online booking system?
Online booking is very convenient – not only for your customers , but also for you as a nail salon owner, receptionist or a nail technician.
Have you ever had to ignore a phone call because you were doing your customer’s nails, and when you called back it turned out the potential customer had already booked an appointment elsewhere?
With online booking, you’ll never miss a potential booking again.
Online booking can replace pretty much any other booking method: in-person, SMS, e-mail, telephone and more.
All your customers need is access to the Internet and they can book manicures and pedicures with you at their convenience – when they want to and how they want to.
All of it happens without your involvement as well. This way, you can really focus on working wonders with your clients’ nails while your calendar is getting all booked up on its own.
How to set your nail salon up for success with an online booking system in 3 simple steps?
Getting your nail salon started with online booking may sound like a complicated process.
Terms like configuring payment systems, implementing integrations and creating subscription models can scare people off very quickly – especially if you’ve never come across it before.
But, luckily for you, beginning your journey with online booking software is as easy as ABC!
Don’t worry about having to hire any programmers or software developers – there are far more user-friendly and efficient solutions out there today that you’ll be able to set up in minutes – literally.
Get to know your customers
First things first, you need to understand who your customers are before you dive into your search for an online booking platform.
As a nail tech, you’ll probably agree that most of your customers are women – this is predictable. There’s actually an interesting finding in regards to it as well. Research shows that 88% of appointments booked by women are in fact with spas and beauty salons.
You can take advantage of this fact by making a little step towards your customers and offering them to book their next nail appointment with you from the comfort of their sofa, a bus or a queue in the supermarket.
However, what we really mean by understanding who your customers are is thinking about whether or not your customers will use your new booking strategy.
Depending on where your nail salon is located and what other services you offer (e.g. whether there are other beauty treatments attracting various age groups like haircuts, laser hair removal, face treatments, massages), your salon may attract various customers of all ages.
The key question here is: how old are your customers and will they want and know how to use your online booking platform?
With older generations, let’s say Baby Boomers, it may be a bit difficult to implement highly digitalized solutions since such people usually tend to prefer traditional ways of doing things.
In a rare and extreme situation where most of your customers are from the older generation, online booking probably won’t do you much good.
But don’t worry – the age of your customers is most likely very varied, with most people being familiar with and willing to try out time-saving, digitized solutions.
While it’s worth taking into account all your customers, sometimes segmentation and focusing specifically on particular age groups is totally fine!
You should also think about whether or not your beauty salon will actually benefit from an online booking platform.
Are you located in a large city, where you often get completely new customers and you’re usually pretty much all booked up weeks in advance? Or perhaps you have a little salon based in a small village, with the same loyal customers for years? Is managing bookings a time-consuming process for you?
It’s important that you evaluate how an online booking platform can also help your beauty business and not just be a nice addition for a few of your already loyal customers.
Find a reliable platform
Once you’ve decided if you and your customers will in fact benefit from implementing an online booking platform, you may begin searching for a solid piece of software.
Some of the things that you may want to take into consideration when you’re on hunt for the best solution tailored to your business are:
Bottom line is very important for most businesses and keeping an eye on your spendings can often save you loads of money.
When you’re trying to pick a good platform for your reservations, do some research in advance and find out the average prices, as well as what you can get for them.
It’s always good to have a budget in mind and stick to it, but at the same time, try not to be too strict with it. Sometimes paying even as little as a few dollars more can get you a much better tool that will significantly outperform all of the other options.
However, it doesn’t mean that the more expensive a tool is, the better features it offers – do keep this in mind.
Research from 2019 shows that the price range for appointment booking software varies from 0 to 150 dollars.
Another significant aspect is how you’re going to pay for your platform. By all means – avoid fixed contracts.
Today’s world of software, tools and paid platforms is based on subscription models that offer plenty of flexibility to the users. Pay monthly, annually, or don’t pay at all for the free versions.
No matter how costly your subscription plan will be, try to find a solution that will offer you flexibility in terms of commitment – you never know when we might go into another lockdown and places like beauty salons will have to be closed for another couple of weeks or, even worse, months.
Go for a solution that will be easy to opt out from when things don’t go the way you want them to.
Next, we have features. Do some research and get an initial understanding of the features that are out there. Then, think which ones will benefit your business and find a tool offering them – nothing less, nothing more.
Examples of possible features include:
- a landing page builder,
- a website builder,
- integration with Facebook Messenger,
- automatic invoicing system,
- a subscription model for customers,
- SMS, email and push notifications,
- a mobile app,
All these features are useful and could take your reservation system to the next level – it’s for you to decide which ones you’ll actually use.
Finally, you may also want to check out the reviews of a potential tool that you’re looking into.
Reviews are a good way to check how satisfied current and previous users are with a solution.
And while usually you get a chance to test things out on your own with free trial periods and free demo versions of tools, sometimes it’s better to avoid wasting your time trying out a solution and, instead, just briefly checking out the reviews.
They can tell you really a lot about a tool, its functionality, features, interface and more.
One word of warning here: sometimes, there are little gems hidden somewhere out there in the sea of software solutions that may not necessarily have a very impressive number of reviews – don’t ignore them.
We’ve also prepared a few additional questions you may want to ask your potential tool provider to evaluate whether or not their solution will be beneficial for you:
- Do you have a trial period?
- Can I unsubscribe anytime?
- Can I change my subscription plan anytime?
- When can I add or remove packages from my plan?
- What happens after the contract period ends?
With price, your desired features and reviews from past users in mind – you’re pretty much on the best track to find that “one and only” for your nail salon.
Set everything up
Lastly, it’s time to set your solution up and you’re pretty much ready to begin your journey with smarter, easier and faster reservation methods.
This is when picking a little better solution than others may come in handy. Why? Simply because chances are you will have access to professional technical support – which will make the whole implementation process a literal piece of cake.
When setting up your solution, try looking for guides from your providers on how to do it most quickly and effectively.
Once that is done, you’re all set up and can start taking advantage of things like:
- automating invoicing,
- a booking calendar that is open 24/7,
- attractive integrations,
and more. Easy, right?
The benefits of having an online booking platform
Here are some more benefits of implementing an online booking platform to your current appointment scheduling strategy. If these won’t convince you, we don’t know what will!
You save time and your business is open around the clock
An online booking platform can significantly reduce your time spent on managing bookings – that’s because it works on it’s own while you’re focusing on more important things.
With calendars available 24/7/365, automatic invoicing and more, your customers can book their next manicure or pedicure with you whenever they want to – and they don’t need you for it at all.
You get an increased number of bookings
Thanks to various integrations like with Facebook Messenger, Google Calendar, email and even SMS, you’re ultimately putting your business ‘out there’ in many places at once. This makes your business more visible to potential customers.
You get paid quicker and learn valuable information about your customers
Thanks to automatic payments in advance, you get paid for your appointments with your customers before they even happen.
This is great for two reasons: you get your money faster and you also reduce the number of cancelled bookings. Once people pay for an appointment, they’re less likely to unexpectedly cancel on you and waste your time.
Moreover, booking platforms allow you to gather insightful data about your customers so that you can learn who your most valuable customers are.
This will allow you to create strong relationships with them – which can further contribute to building their loyalty and drive repeat purchase.
Get started easily with Calendesk
If you’re convinced that online booking is a good fit for your business, you can get started with a reliable solution like Calendesk now.
Calendesk is the ultimate, powerful and highly intuitive online booking platform which allows its users to perform actions like:
- accept bookings,
- handle payments,
- generate landing pages,
- and just save your customers like a true pro.
Just like you can professionally work wonders with people’s nails, you can also professionally manage their bookings – and the best thing is that it all happens automatically!
Don’t waste your time and go take a look at Calendesk now – the sign up is free, there’s a completely free plan available for you to test the tool out and you can cancel your plan anytime (which may make us sad because we put a lot of love and energy to make our tool great!).
Other than that, we hope you enjoyed this article. Feel free to read more about online booking systems and good luck with setting up your nail salon online booking!