Salon owners face a unique mix of challenges. They must provide the same level of service finesse as seen in fine dining, but must also manage a mix of supporting products in the same way as the retail sector. The POS technology used in a salon setting must be an intricate mix of multiple business types. We have compiled some key comparisons to help guide you through determining exactly what point of sale system will best suit your salon business model.
Staff Managed Booking vs. Online Booking
Managing customer appointments can be nightmarish in many salon settings. Like restaurants, bookings are made with a specific time period in mind. But when that time period gets exceeded, a backlog begins to form, leaving customers waiting patiently for the services they have so diligently scheduled. A staff-driven booking system can work, but relies on their respective training and ability to recognize when an appointment may need a little more time than usual.
A top-notch salon booking system will use online booking automation and seamlessly integrate it into your POS system. Times can be assigned to all items in your online catalog, helping to reduce the risk of appointments running long. Staff availability can be posted for further customer booking convenience. And, time slots can be configured to show as unavailable to customers so you can accept walk-ins or emergency appointments.
Spreadsheet Inventory vs. Data-Driven Inventory
An oft-used yet mismanaged piece of the salon operational puzzle is the management of salon-based products. With inventory often being manually counted and inputted into spreadsheets, products that are growing dust bunnies and just no longer sell are harder to identify. This leaves you short of the products that excite your clientele and heavy on the items that belong in clearance or garbage bin.
Today’s salon POS systems are built to alleviate the guesswork and inaccuracies that have traditionally plagued salon inventory efforts, instead of replacing these with sales-driven metrics. This means that sales and inventory data can be harvested and viewed through easy-to-create custom reports, giving you the ability to thoroughly examine inventory trends and make proactive changes at the early stages of changes in styles and products.
Traditional POS Hardware vs. Mobile POS Tools
Just as your stylists’ skills are reliant on the tools of their trade, so is a health business model reliant on the business tools you use. Maintaining a computer at the front desk, a receipt printer, and a bar code scanner for inventory used to be all that was needed. But recently, more businesses, including salons, have seen a need to respond to a customer-induced shift from the stalwart desktop and stationary systems to those that are mobile and flexible.
The case for cloud-based POS systems goes beyond even the benefits offered by online booking or sales data management. These POS tool benefits extend to your staff as well through the ability to deploy tablets that work to improve the customer experience. These allow virtual terminals to be used while the customer is still in the chair, and can offer some next-level customer service attributes, such as looking up hairstyles online or placing a special order for a requested product.
POS Payment Terminals vs. Virtual Terminals
The traditional payment terminal has been a proven, valuable asset for many small business owners. Capable of ringing up sales quickly, most owners do not see the reason why their tried-and-true POS payment terminal would ever need replacing. But that was pre-COVID and before contactless and safety quickly hardened into new modes of thinking to keep staff and customers safe in every interaction that takes place.
Virtual terminals have been quickly taking the small business world by storm through their unique ability to contribute to a contactless customer experience. Additionally, virtual payment terminals expand the types of payment you can accept, including digital wallets or even online payment portals such as PayPal. These features present customers with broader control over their salon experience and add new business elements that reduce operating costs and broaden the reach of your brand.
Determine What Point of Sale System You Need
Building the point of sale solution which checks all of the boxes specific to your salon starts with engaging a flexible POS partner. Your partner must be able to provide only the features that you need, minimizing your costs while offering a better opportunity to maximize the ROI. An ideal POS partner will work to understand where your business has been, and where you would like it to go so that its technology recommendations are a driving force behind your future success.
Choosing talech as your POS partner gives you more than cutting-edge technology at your fingertips. You gain a business partner that leverages its years of small business experience to mold the tools you need to perfectly fit your business strategy. This ensures that your business and technology strategies fully complement the other, putting success in reach. Contact us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.
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