Online Appointment Scheduling Software: Vagaro vs. Acuity Scheduling

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Many businesses are seeing the value of installing scheduling software into their websites, apps, and social media presence. With more people online, it’s a lot faster for clients to book online rather than the old method of paper records. This is why it’s necessary for businesses to find the right online appointment scheduling software for their business.

So, between two popular software providers, Vagaro and Acuity Scheduling, which one is better? Well, both business scheduling software programs come with their own advantages, so it’s important to consider what matters for your business interests and which one can give you the best value for your money. In this article, we’ll compare the two scheduling apps and help you weigh out all your options.

Vagaro vs. Acuity Scheduling

Vagaro offers scheduling and management software to salons, spas, and fitness centers. Aside from online client bookings, appointment setting, intake forms, and other custom forms, Vagaro provides multiple solutions for businesses trying to create an effective online presence. Businesses can use Vagaro Merchant Services for marketing, website building, live streaming, inventory tracking reports, analytical tools, billing and invoices, contactless payments, payroll software, and other additional services.

Acuity Scheduling is a product of Squarespace that offers multiple scheduling features. Clients can view your available appointment slots, schedule upcoming appointments, and fill in intake forms. Acuity Scheduling can be used on various websites (even those not hosted by Squarespace) and can be paired with other third-party apps and software.

Comparing Vagaro vs. Acuity Scheduling

 VagaroAcuity Scheduling
PricingStarts at $25 per month30-day free trial periodNo credit card requiredFree account availableSubscription-basedStarts at $14 per month7-day free trial periodNo credit card requiredFree account availableSubscription-based
List of Features and ServicesOffers a wide range of advanced features for businesses that fall under beauty and wellness, including:Pay deskLivestreamOnline storeOnline bookingCustomer trackingMarketing campaignsWebsite builderMembershipsProduct inventory trackingPayrollAn online booking platform that manages your schedule by allowing your clients to see your schedule block of available times.Can manage multiple locationsAllows clients to fill up intake forms and other necessary informationCan work with other third-party apps and websites hosted on various platforms, providing a combined solution for your business, though at an additional cost.
Customer SizeFreelancersSmall businesses and startupsMid size businessesLarge businessesFreelancersSmall businesses and startupsMid size businesses
CompatibilityWeb-based platformiOS appsAndroid appsWeb-based platformiOS appsAndroid apps
Customer ServicePhoneOnline chat supportEmailSupport articlesEmail customer support available Monday to Friday, 7am to 8pm, EST.Acuity Certified Experts provide hands-on help through calls and videoconferencingSupport articles

Which One Should You Choose?

Choose Vagaro If…Choose Acuity Scheduling If…
You’re running a business in the wellness and beauty industry. Vagaro is specifically designed for salon, wellness, and fitness center owners, providing more key advanced features relevant to your operations.

You’re looking for an all-in-one business solution. Vagaro Merchant Services also offers powerful features that can improve your auxiliary operations, including website builders, payroll, membership, marketing, and payment processing through both credit card transactions and contactless payments. These access to features and add-on services may benefit you if you’re looking to upgrade more than just scheduling. Acuity Scheduling, on the other hand, requires other third-party apps to get similar additional features.

You want to streamline bookings from social platforms. Vagaro works alongside popular social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. If a user is interested in booking you when they view your social media accounts, they can easily tap a button that can take them to your booking page.
You’re a small to medium business. Acuity Scheduling is more affordable than Vagaro, making it the more practical solution if you have less than a thousand users. If you already have a website, marketing plan, and other advanced features and are only looking for booking software, it might be impractical getting Vagaro because its higher price might not be justified since you may not need its additional business tools.  

You prefer customizability. Acuity works with more third-party apps and other Squarespace products. This can give you control to customize your scheduling page, though you may have to hire someone to do this if you aren’t sure how to do this.

You’re a medical or wellness business that needs HIPAA-compliant software. Medical and wellness companies can’t just get any scheduling apps on the market; your software has to be HIPAA-compliant. Acuity Scheduling’s Powerhouse plan allows you to sign a BAA for HIPAA compliance and keep your client list highly confidential.

Benefits of Operating with Business Scheduling Software

An illustration of a man surrounded by hands holding bills, calculators, folders, phones, and folders

Gone are the days where most of your customers or clients are walk-ins that have to wait long times for service or paper booking systems with a high risk of error. Business scheduling software is changing the way businesses and service providers operate by providing the following benefits.

  • Fewer errors compared to paper records. Paper records are more susceptible for double bookings. When this happens and your business isn’t equipped to handle the extra booking, this can result in lost revenue and unhappy customers. There’s also the risk of getting the wrong date booked, which can result in logistical issues, wasted time, reduced productivity, and lost resources.
  • Reduced cases of no-shows. There are a number of reasons why clients end up not showing for their appointment: some forget their appointment, others may have had an error when booking, and some simply have a habit of absenteeism. Paper bookings did little to fix this, and businesses had to manually call their client if they were running late. This can spell wasted time and revenue since that appointment slot could have been given to another client that could have shown up.

    Business scheduling software, however, can reduce these cases. Client bookings appear on their Google Calendar or their mobile phone’s calendar. Notifications and reminders are sent via email address days or hours before the appointment to remind clients. It’s also possible for clients to easily reschedule in case they cannot make their appointment. This software also reduces the chance of error as it automatically shows your business’ free time.
  •  Measure employee productivity. Calendar management is a good way to measure whether your business is under- or over-staffed based on whether or not your team of service professionals can handle the number of reservations during business days. This can help you with employee scheduling, ensuring your employees are productive, and whether it would be profitable to hire additional staff.
  • Data security and privacy. Storing digital information is a lot more secure than having paper records of your client list stored in a physical location. Through business scheduling software, every client profile is stored in secure clouds – some even providing the higher level of security required by medical organizations and businesses that fall under the HIPAA standards.
  • Helps your business make better decisions. Aside from analytical tools and other specialized tools, business scheduling software gives you a better picture of what your business operations look like: from what time you’re most busy, clients with a record of absenteeism, and other observations. This can help you improve calendar management and better decisions to improve your profitability. For example, if many clients are opting for weekend appointments, it might be profitable to open up more slots for the weekend or find ways to cater to more clients during that timeframe.
  • Streamline the process for your clients. In the past, users that take note of your business online would have to call or email to book an appointment. This can take time and some back and forth for both of you to find a common time. With business scheduling software, you can easily display all your available times and allow clients to choose which time works best for you.

Improve Your Business’ Booking System

Vagaro and Acuity Scheduling are both excellent options for scheduling software with their own advantages. But to get the most out of your subscription, choose scheduling apps that your business can benefit from the most. If you don’t mind paying for more and can benefit from multiple business solutions, Vagaro is more than just an online booking software and can help you build your online presence more effectively. On the other hand, Acuity Scheduling offers more flexibility and the ability to use other third-party apps – perfect for the business that wants a more affordable scheduling option.

Calysta is the all-in-one EMR solution for aesthetic practices, aesthetic physicians, and dermatologists. Rather than using multiple software and apps to manage the auxiliary operations of your business, you can have one software that caters to your needs so you can put all your focus into the main operations and provide your clients with top-quality service. Try Calysta today with a free 1-month trial.

Learn More: Online Appointment Scheduling Software: Vagaro vs. Square Appointments

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