How Digital Platforms Are Easing Spas’ and Salons’ Top Pain Points

Digital innovation can help the beauty and wellness service industry rebound from the pandemic, improve the customer experience and increase revenue streams.

As salons and spas across the country recover from the pandemic’s impact, an industry insider explains how digital systems are improving the customer experience and helping to attract and retain customers. 

Although the beauty services industry is rebounding from the pandemic, spas and salons still face significant pain points. Fortunately, some of the biggest challenges — from staffing shortages to scheduling issues — can be addressed with a straightforward solution, according to Jason Foodman, CEO and president at Rosy Salon Software, the first cloud-based salon software offered as a subscription.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Foodman explained that integrated digital payment and scheduling platforms can help beauty service companies improve the customer experience and business efficiency in a variety of ways.

At a high level, bundling payments and scheduling into a single digital platform helps spas and salons focus more on what matters — their customers. One of the top pain points service providers currently face is a lack of adequate staff to handle their customer needs — with a report finding that more than half of hair and beauty service companies have unfilled vacancies — leading many providers to look for ways to save time and become more efficient with fewer personnel. 

“By moving scheduling, payments, confirmations, etc., into an integrated digital process, it takes less time to complete tasks,” said Foodman. 

He explained that digital platforms make it easy for customers to book appointments online and receive automated confirmation and reminders about upcoming services. Then, when customers do arrive for their appointments, these platforms can support deskless check-in and checkout at the establishment. These capabilities reduce the need for staff to handle such tasks while also increasing the likelihood of clients showing up. 

Digital platforms’ payment capabilities also play an important role in promoting efficiency. For example, these platforms can come with optional card-on-file features, which speed up the payment process while also supporting deskless check-in and checkout. 

At the same time, these platforms can support digital tipping, from a dedicated iPad, for instance, which makes tipping service providers fast and easy, he said. Further, companies can leverage digital payment platforms to limit the negative impact of no-shows.

“No-shows are an ever-present problem that can result in significant losses for the business,” Foodman said. … Integrated payments solutions with “features such as card-on-file and deposits can help salons curb the problem and reclaim costs, therefore directly and positively affecting the business’s bottom line.”

Companies can also use solutions like the one Rosy offers its clients to tamp down on walkouts.

“To keep clients from skipping out without paying for services, the business should consider holding a credit card on file, even taking deposits, before scheduling an appointment,” he said. “There’s also the option of running a pre-authorization before starting the service to confirm the card’s validity.” 

If it seems as if digital platforms with all this functionality are specifically tailored to address the unique needs of spas and salons, that is because — at least in the case of Rosy — they are. The company’s founder, Foodman explained, was a former salon and spa owner dissatisfied with the available software at the time. He thus set out to design his own solution that better met the industry’s needs — and this process remains ongoing. 

“The software will continue to evolve, driven by industry trends, along with our customers’ input and feedback,” Foodman concluded.