Online Appointment Scheduling Software: Vagaro vs. Square Appointments

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Streamlining your business’ processes can improve productivity, increase performance, reduce lost revenue, and improve customer satisfaction. One process service providers and appointment-based businesses can improve is how they allow clients and customers to schedule appointments. With technological advancements, efficient business scheduling software can improve your client’s experience as soon as they decide to book an appointment.

Two popular appointment scheduling software we’ll be taking a look at today include Vagaro and Square Appointments and answer the question: Between Vagaro vs. Square Appointments, which one is better? Both are good options for many businesses of various industries and sizes, so it’s best to weigh your options and see which ones can give you the best value. 

Vagaro vs. Square Appointments

Vagaro software is an all-in-one salon software solution for businesses in the beauty, wellness, and fitness industries. Their online booking software caters to salons, barbershops, spas, and fitness centers. Their scheduling software allows clients to book from social platforms like Instagram and Facebook and then send automatic reminders through SMS, email, and push notifications to remind customers. On top of scheduling, Vagaro Merchant Services also provides a wide range of tools to run the auxiliary operations of your business, including additional features like product inventory management, employee payroll report, credit card processing, website building, marketing, invoices, and more.

Square Appointments is one of the products offered by Square. Square originally provided small to large businesses with hardware packages and payment processing options, allowing all businesses to handle credit card transactions and other forms of cashless or contactless payments. Since then, it’s expanded its products to provide businesses with more auxiliary business hardware and software, including advanced features like invoices, payment processing, product inventory tracking, marketing tools, loyalty programs, gift cards and gift certificates, website templates, payroll tool, and more.  

Comparing Vagaro vs. Square Appointments

 VagaroSquare Appointments
PricingMonthly subscription fee starts at $25 per month Free 30-day trial period No credit card required Free account available Subscription-basedStarts at no monthly flat rate, but an additional cost of 2.6% + 10 cents for the in-person payment processing fee. Monthly subscription payments start at $50 for two staff calendars, plus a 2.6% + 10 cents in-person processing fee. Custom pricing is available for over 10 staff calendars. One-month free trial period No credit card required Free account available Subscription-based
List of Features and ServicesCustomizable scheduling and website interface Clients can book from Instagram, Facebook, and Yelp for a streamlined booking process Live stream integration can be beneficial to businesses like a personal trainer and other fitness-related businesses that can provide remote services Offers email, text, and push notification automated reminders and confirmationsCan manage bookings and appointments for businesses with multiple locations Can charge customers with cancellation and no-show fees, reducing the lost revenue in case of no-shows. Schedules recurring appointments for clients that need multiple appointments without the hassle of booking several times.
Customer SizeFreelancers Small businesses and startups Mid size businesses Large businessesSmall businesses and startups Mid size businesses Large businesses
CompatibilityWeb-based platform iOS app Android appWeb-based platform iOS app Android app
Customer ServicePhone Online chat support Help centerOnline chat support Help center

Which One Should You Choose?

Choose Vagaro If…Choose Square Appointments If…
Your business under falls under wellness and beauty industry. Square Appointments caters to all types of businesses, but Vagaro understands the needs of this industry specifically and provides you with more relevant business tools that can improve your operations. 

Want more customizable options. Vagaro has a more customizable interface. While this might require a graphic designer or web developer to do it correctly, it can help make sure your scheduling software matches your business’ branding and booking needs. 

You can connect to other platforms. Vagaro can link up with Instagram and Facebook to streamline your clients’ experience and get them to book with just one click. Users on Yelp looking at user reviews and customer feedback can opt to book instantly. And you can link your software with Gusto, Xero, and Quickbooks to improve your accounting, payroll, and tax filing.
You want a more cost-effective solution. Unlike Vagaro and other scheduling software, Square Appointments charges relatively lower monthly payments because it earns from your in-person processing fees. Depending on the type of business you run and the tools you need, this could be a more cost-effective solution. On top of its pricing, Square Appointments can also charge customers cancellation and no-show fees, minimizing the lost revenue when a customer doesn’t show up for their appointment. 

You don’t have a POS that offers credit card processing and cashless payment yet. Square is known for its Square Register POS hardware and software that gives businesses the cost-effective and efficient option of managing credit card processing and accepts credit card payments and cashless payments. As these types of payments are becoming more popular, you might want to upgrade your system to cater to your customers’ needs for a combined solution that addresses scheduling and other areas of your operations. 

You want multiple forms of booking for multiple locations. Clients can book through an app or online through their mobile phone, or through your own devices in your business. Square Appointments also allow you to manage bookings for all your business locations.

Benefits of Operating with Online Scheduling Software

An illustration of a two people sitting at a computer. A cloud with an arrow inside connected to computers.

More businesses are seeing the benefits of replacing paper records with online scheduling software. By making your schedule and booking available online, you’re providing your business with the added advantages of the following:

  •  Fewer errors compared to paper records. Paper records are more susceptible to human error and limit how much can be done automatically. First, if you have multiple business locations to manage, you’ll need at least one person in each location to manage writing down bookings. Second, paper records can risk double bookings and date and time errors from your business’ end. This can result in wasted time, lost revenue, and unhappy customers.
  •  Reduced cases of no-shows. With paper records, it can be difficult for your business to constantly remind all your customers of their appointments. With scheduling apps, these reminders are automated and can be set to send client appointment notifications through various available methods. Some scheduling apps can also allow you to create cancellation policies and charge no-show fees for those who do not reschedule or cancel in time. This can help reduce the rate of no-shows while also freeing up appointment slots to other clients.
  •  Helps your business make better decisions. Business scheduling software can help you make better business decisions on top of your analytical tools and other specialized tools. Getting a better picture of what your business operations look like, your busiest times, and how many clients book appointments per week can help you find opportunities to grow your business. For example, can your business benefit from hiring extra staff? How long do typical customers book? Should you open up more slots at certain times where clients are frequently booking? Can you offer unlimited booking, or is the no-show rate so high on most business days that it’s in your business’s best interest to install a stricter scheduling policy? These are some of the questions you can ask when you have this data.  
  •  Improved customer satisfaction. Having a more efficient booking process can make your customers happier from the moment they book. They can easily book an appointment if they find you on social media or sites like Yelp that feature customer reviews. Rather than going back and forth looking for common free times, they can easily see all your business’ free periods and find an appointment slot that best works for them. Efficient scheduling can reduce the chance of overbooking, longer waiting times, and delays. For multiple appointments, you can use business scheduling apps to effortlessly book months in advance.

Improve Your Business Operations with the Right Scheduling Tool

Vagaro and Square Appointments are both good business scheduling software that can improve your operations’ efficiency and productivity. However, it’s important to research these two (or many other software providers you might be considering) to see which one gives you the best value.

For beauty and wellness businesses that want customization and expanded reach through various platforms, Vagaro is the way to go. On the other hand, business owners who want to adapt to cashless and credit card processing through various POS hardware while looking for more cost-effective solutions may want to consider Square Appointments.

Calysta is the all-in-one EMR solution for aesthetic practices and dermatologists. We cater specifically to businesses within our industry to provide relevant advanced features that can improve operations and increase customer satisfaction. Contact us today to learn more about our 30-day free trial period. 

Learn More: Online Scheduling Software: Vagaro vs. Mindbody

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