Today's salon and spa guests frequently use digital means to connect with and interact with their favorite beauty and wellness businesses. There's online booking, mobile payments, Zoom consultations, even smartphone filters to test new styles.
Tech-powered tools are more than an expectation for just about every guest. They’ve let us say goodbye to paper appointment books and endless phone calls on busy days – and provided new, innovative ways to boost your bottom line.
Here, we discuss four ways an online booking system can do just that – protect your business against revenue loss by driving more bookings, reducing no-shows, and optimizing your schedule.
Strategy #1: Card-on-file - Simplify checkouts and secure commitment
Some online booking systems give you the option to securely save a customer’s credit card details during the booking process. For a variety of reasons, saving a card within your salon or spa’s system is a win-win for your business and your guests.
Consider the following scenario: A client books a treatment at one of your locations but, on the day of the appointment, suddenly isn’t able to make it. If the online booking process had shown that customer a clear cancellation policy, along with a prompt to save a card on file, the guest would know they’d be charged a cancellation fee if they didn’t take a moment to reschedule. This incentive encourages that rescheduled visit – and avoids a no-show or late cancellation.
No-shows, of course, are a common industry pain point. As shown in The 2023 Beauty and Wellness Benchmark Report, the average no-show rate among barbershops and quick-service salons is as high as 2.9%. The card-on-file strategy helps you minimize those last-minute no-show gaps in your appointment book. When they do occur, you won’t be left empty-handed.
Storing cards on file also simplifies the checkout process for your guests. After the visit is over, payment is collected automatically upon checkout. Your guest doesn’t have to wait in line, dig through their purse, and recall their PIN.
Strategy #2: Abandoned cart reminders - Don’t leave potential sales on the table
Sometimes, customers will add services or items to their online shopping cart but fail to complete the booking or purchase. Abandoned cart reminders target those customers and encourage them to finish their transaction.
For instance, a potential guest may find and browse your website, and add a package of massage sessions to their cart. They then become distracted and close the browser without finalizing their booking or purchase – what's known as an “abandoned cart”. An abandoned cart reminder sent via email can be the gentle nudge they need to complete their booking.
These reminders not only help recapture lost revenue, but also serve as an opportunity to showcase your business's commitment to customer satisfaction. By providing a personalized message and a direct link to their cart -- still populated with their previous choices -- you can encourage clients to take the final step with your business.
Strategy #3: Dynamic pricing - Incentivize bookings at quiet times
You might be familiar with dynamic pricing, or surge pricing, from airlines or ride shares -- customers pay more (sometimes significantly more) during busier periods, but may also pay less when booking during traditionally quiet times. This pricing strategy is becoming more common in other industries and is surfacing at beauty and wellness businesses.
The benefit of dynamic pricing is twofold: Maximize revenue and minimize gaps in your appointment book. Guests who prefer to see your top stylist on a Saturday afternoon will likely be happy to pay a premium for that opportunity. Meanwhile, cost-conscious clients may appreciate an off-peak visit at a lower price.
The right online booking software should keep track of your pricing options without the need for front desk interference. If you’re looking to introduce this strategy, find a tool that includes the option of nudging guests towards slower days and less frequently booked timeslots. This encourages clients who have a flexible schedule to take advantage of lower pricing which, in turn, helps fill up those slots, improves your utilization and revenue per hour, and keeps your staff productive.
Strategy #4: Appointment reminders - Ensure no appointment is missed
Appointment reminders, sent automatically via your online booking tool, are another simple yet highly effective strategy to minimize no-shows and late cancellations. A timely reminder via email, SMS / text message, or a mobile app notification, can be the just what a guest needs to ensure they remember their appointment and confirm they can still attend, or reschedule if necessary.
Well-crafted appointment reminders can also cultivate a personal connection with your customers. A personalized message that highlights the benefits of their upcoming treatment not only serves as a reminder but also reinforces the value of the service – making it even less likely for clients to cancel or no-show. To maximize convenience, give your customers the options to confirm, reschedule, or cancel their appointment directly from the reminder.
Does your online booking system protect you against revenue loss?
Powering 25,000+ businesses worldwide, Zenoti is the complete software platform for the beauty and wellness industry.
Our industry-leading software system manages your bookings, sales, marketing, analytics, employee engagement, and inventory management – all in one place, accessible anywhere. Beyond the basics, Zenoti is designed to fuel your revenue growth and protect against loss:
- Secure card-on-file capabilities
- Abandoned cart reminders
- Automated pre- and post-visit messaging
- Flexible pricing for times, memberships, packages, and more
- AI-powered sales and marketing tools
Curious to find out more?