It’s common to hear the term point of sale or see its acronym POS in many businesses. But what is a salon point of sale exactly, and what does it mean or do?
The point of sale or point of purchase is when and where a service or retail transaction is completed. At the salon point of sale, the front desk typically calculates the amount owed by the client and indicates that amount and the options for payment. The payment is processed, a receipt generated and printed (or emailed), the service/retail ticket is closed out and recorded in the client’s log for future reference. In a salon, this process is usually accomplished using salon software with a point of sale feature.
Salon Point of Sale Software Must-Haves
For your salon, point of sale (POS) software should be easy to use and fit naturally within your business’s workflow. You want the ability to access client information and check customers in and out quickly and easily.
You also want a POS system that doesn’t require bulky equipment or a server that you have to tuck away in your office. That’s why a cloud-based system is suggested. That way, you can check someone in or out and process payments, run a cash drawer, even generate receipts on any device from anywhere in your business.
For larger salons, it may make more sense to keep your POS operations centered around the front desk or pay desk and process transactions in a compartmentalized way. However, with cloud-based POS, anyone, including solo artists or independent service providers, can perform the same check-in and check-out process on their tablets or phones from anywhere in the salon and beyond. For service providers who sometimes work off-site, like for weddings or other events, the mobile aspect of a salon point of sale can be beneficial.
Now that you have a better understanding of what a salon point of sale system is and its primary functions, let’s dive into some ways the feature can help you run your business more effectively.
The Checkout Process
Just tap or click on the scheduled appointment, and a ticket is opened. Then tab again at checkout, run a total, take the payment, and generate a receipt as needed. You can also have a helpful product recommendation remind you to suggest retail. Don’t forget to make sure clients have booked their next appointment after the transaction is complete. Simple enough!
Use Integrated Payment Processing
Integrated payment systems go beyond credit card processing – they work by streamlining the payment acceptance process and integrating automatic payment acceptance.
Without an integrated payments system, you have to save your credit card receipts throughout the day and manually reconcile them, which takes time and effort. And when you come up with a ticket total for each client, you have to manually add that amount into your payment processing terminal or device.
Instead of reconciling invoices or manually processing payments, integrated payment processing systems automatically process and post payments. As a result, you don’t have to enter the same payment information into different systems manually. Your payments go through as soon as they are processed at the time of the transaction itself. That can mean real-time payment updates and lag time reduction resulting in faster deposits into your account. Such a system can improve your cash flow and help you streamline your operations with timely payments.
Gather Client Data
The Client Log lives with the salon point of sale system and records the client’s past services and product purchases, future appointments, memberships, packages, gift cards, notes, and formulas.
To maximize the potential value of your client data, be sure to keep their information up to date. The system will automatically add purchase history and store appointments. What you want to stay on top of is the client contact information and color formulations, preferences, notes, etc. Make it part of your salon workflow to automatically update client data, like formulation changes, special requests, etc., right away.
How to keep your salon point of sale client list up to date:
- Add an appointment note, so the person checking out the client knows to ask the clients if their data is current.
- Send out a reminder every year or two asking clients to update their information.
- Send a mass email using the merge field function to populate each clients’ address, phone number, etc.
- Use online client scheduling whenever possible; that way, your clients automatically keep it up for you.
Some salon point of sale systems have the means to reward client loyalty, encourage referrals, and influence desired behaviors, like booking online, pre-booking appointments, or filling in a cancellation. The system tracks rewards points in the client log to be redeemed later for more services, products, or to gift to others. The whole idea is to encourage frequent client visits, increased spending, and customer loyalty through a rewards and referral program.
Great opportunities to reward clients:
- When a client sends a referral
- For specific milestones: 1 year, 5, 10, 15+ years as a client
- Give points for booking online
- When clients pre-book their appointments before leaving the salon
- A bonus for certain packages or memberships
- Product purchases (in salon or online)
- When a client books (and keeps) an appointment during designated slow times
- When a client fills a cancellation
Manage Your Inventory
If your salon sells retail, a POS system that integrates seamlessly with your inventory will be helpful. A great inventory management system will help track your retail sales and identify sales trends, plus recommend products when clients checkout. Look for a system with suggestive selling where the software automatically recommends retail products to clients based on their past purchases and current or upcoming services.
An excellent salon point of sale system can even help keep your salon shelves stocked with automatic ordering. You can reduce costs and be ready for every retail sale by setting your reordering parameters.
Another handy feature, mass updates, allows you to add all salon inventory information at one time. You just set the on-hand quantities and target quantities, or what you want to keep on your shelves, and you’re in business. The inventory management feature should keep continuous, accurate track of every product in your salon and adjust the inventory figures each time you make a sale, process a return, or receive a product shipment.
Salon point of sale software offers the ability to track sales and commissions. Ultimately, you want quick and easy access to your information at any time and to have multiple reporting options.
To get this access in digestible doses, run any one of several types of reports. Typically reports are broken down into sales reports, inventory reports, performance reports, financial reports, and general reports. Use reports to track your service and retail sales and monitor employee performance to set goals and identify any areas that may need improvement.
Here are a few more commonly used reports:
Inventory Level Report – Use to measure the value of the inventory on your salon shelves at a given time.
Sales Analysis – A report by employee for a given period; this report is a great way to identify employee sales performance to reward top sellers and improve those underperforming.
Total Sheet – The ultimate end-of-the-day, for-everything report where you can see it all. This report breaks everything down by sales, payment types, employee tickets, and more. This report is also used to balance credit cards and check amounts at the end of the day.
You may also find some of these other popular reports helpful.
Use Your Data
A robust POS system will keep track of all of your data for you. That way, you have access to anything you need to know about any client, sale, service, product, employee, or track record at your fingertips.
Why is this important?
- Easily accessible data will make checking in and out a snap and help you segment client lists for targeted marketing efforts.
- You can use your data to stay in touch with clients and keep your chairs filled. Having concise and up-to-date data is valuable to your business because you can now market to your client list. If you keep your clients informed and engaged, they will be more likely to go for add-on services, buy more retail, memberships, and packages, and even recommend others.
- Help keep clients who have not been in the salon for a while from slipping through the cracks. Through automated communications, you can thank new clients, send birthday wishes, send appointment reminders, and drive back any clients that have gone missing from the salon. Such a system will help your clients feel special without added work for your staff.
If you own or manage a salon, adding a salon point of sale system is a great decision. A good salon point of sale system uses the latest technology and is designed to help you manage your day-to-day business. Its primary function is to process payments and manage schedules, but a good POS can also track sales, run reports, maintain your database of customers, and help you prepare for taxes.
Looking for a great Salon POS? Check out Rosy’s features and benefits!