Industry • Best Practice
Selecting a Salon POS System: 7 Key Considerations
Aug.06,2021By Boulevard Staff
Salon POS systems play a critical role in both client experiences and business operations, so investing in a powerful platform is important.
Most beauty brands go above and beyond to offer their clients incredible experiences. That effort starts before customers ever step foot into a salon; the interactions clients have on your website and your booking platform serve as an introduction to your brand and open the door to what they can expect from your business. The moments leading to their departure are equally as important. That’s why salon POS systems are absolutely critical.
In this article, we’ll examine seven key considerations that salon owners and operational managers should weigh in order to select the perfect POS system.
Why is your salon POS system so important?
Your POS system is a key moment in the salon experience. Imagine a client has just had a dreamy visit at your salon, benefitting from the top-notch services, beautiful amenities, and unparalleled customer service you offer. Then, when it comes time to leave, the client is forced to go through a payment process that’s unwieldy, inconvenient, and slow. Despite how perfect their in-salon experience was, that client ends up walking out the door with a bad taste in their mouth, and that’s the last thing they’ll remember about your business.
Losing a client because your POS isn’t up to snuff is simply unnecessary. Implementing a system that eliminates friction and even delights customers with elegance and simplicity is crucial; when that final interaction is a dream, the client leaves feeling positive about their visit, and will carry that association out into the world with them.
Selecting the right salon POS also has a measurable impact on salon operations. A great system can help salon businesses reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase both employee and customer satisfaction at the same time.
7 key considerations when selecting a salon POS system
Ease of use
Yes, the usability of your POS system influences customers’ experiences when it’s time to check out of your salon. But intuitive and easy to use salon technology also enables your staff to focus on what really matters, like excellent services and in-person interactions. Implementing a beautiful and easy to use POS system will also cut down on training time, since it will make it easier for employees to get up to speed and become comfortable with the tech elements of your business.
You’ve worked hard to develop your brand, from the look and feel of the visuals you use to the physical experiences that clients have in your salon. Make sure your POS system allows you to customize your digital interactions too, by applying your brand colors, logo, etc. Instead of creating a jarring effect with soulless tech at the end of the salon experience, custom branding will show clients that you’ve thought of everything and will remind them that the care and attention you provide even includes beautiful payment processes.
POS systems that require a heavy hardware lift are out of the question for most salons. There’s no room for an office full of servers and dedicated devices, hard-wired machines break up the physical flow of in-person salon experiences, and hardware that isn’t both multipurpose and fully mobile can lead to an inflexible and inefficient mess of cords. Instead, look for a cloud-based POS system that allows you to access your data and process payments anytime, anywhere, and on any device, without needing an IT overhaul.
At its core, an effective salon POS system needs to make payment processing as smooth and convenient as possible. While you may not need a feature-packed tech platform to collect cash from clients, most businesses also accept credit and debit payments. In the digital age, any salon POS systems should offer compliant, secure, and frictionless payment processing options (bonus points if they support card-free payments). Your POS should also integrate with your vendor and partner accounts to make it easier to keep your back office books in order and manage your accounts payable.
Tracking & reporting
With a POS system that offers real-time sales reporting, owners and operational managers can have a finger on the pulse of their salons at all times. Whether checking in on business progress remotely, managing multiple locations or franchises, or just confirming inventory behind the counter, salon tracking and reporting capabilities empower salon staff to make data-backed business decisions that improve profitability. If your POS system offers more advanced tracking features, you should also be able to run reports to identify your most in-demand stylists, best-selling products, and even most loyal customers.
Many salon POS systems also include customer relationship management features. Combining your POS system with salon management capabilities makes good business sense because it gives you total oversight into the client-side experience and the business side of each interaction, without having to log-in to a new system or switch to a different device. Quick access to customer details at the point of sale — like preferred pronouns, frequent payment methods, favorite products, or the need to book a follow-up appointment — leaves clients feeling supported and understood, while also increasing revenue opportunities for the salon. Integrating client relationship management with your POS system should also unlock loyalty benefits and rewards programs, encouraging clients to become frequent customers and refer your salon to others.
Today’s most powerful POS systems are designed to go above and beyond payment processing. But if you choose to opt for a POS system that focuses exclusively on payments, make sure that it integrates directly with the software tools you use to manage scheduling, offer online bookings, and collect client details.
At Boulevard, we created an all-in-one payment platform that covers everything from refunds and merchant payouts to cardless POS and flawless checkout experiences. And with Boulevard Duo, you can seamlessly connect your smart card reader with your Boulevard dashboard to get the most out of all the features Boulevard offers. Check in clients for their appointments, alert staff when their clients have arrived, welcome walk-ins with fully digital forms, and collect contactless payments and gratuities for technicians, all in one place.
Boulevard was built to help your business achieve profitability at scale without losing an inch of sanity. See for yourself! Get a free demo today.