Kickstarting Salon App Development for Your Beauty Business (And How to Grow in Challenging Times)

When your dreams start crumbling, the first thing you do is to try fixing them up. Alina was trying to do the same when COVID-19 induced lockdown hit New York.

She had invested her life savings to start a salon in NY with a hope to make it big. But just six months down the line, when she had just started to breakeven, COVID-19 happened. And she had to shut shop.

Now, she would have quit if one day she wouldn’t have stumbled upon the idea of salon app development for her on-demand beauty & salon business.

There are hundreds of stories, a lot like her that made small businesses take a long leap of faith, just to protect their business. And technology has turned out to be a boon for such businesses.

We’ve been vocal about usage of technologies to disrupt industry segments in our blogs. From on-demand marketplace to Uber for haircuts, we’ve covered several ideas in our blogs regularly.

But this blog is much more than that, as we don’t just want to talk about technology but how to grow your beauty business by building an on-demand salon app.

Open a World of Opportunities with an On-demand Salon App

Customers have always been wary of hygiene standards in salons and other grooming/beauty services.

COVID-19 has pushed the concern to the next level.

Now, people are skeptical of stepping out, leave alone the prospect of going to salons for just a casual makeover.

Change in Sales in the Beauty Industry in 2020 (Compared to 2019)


( Source: McKinsey )

Clearly, beauty, makeover and grooming are not on the top of mind of the consumers. If the situation doesn’t improve, the industry will experience a severe downfall.

Your Best Bet: Launch Your Own On-demand Salon App

Almost all the players are trying to leverage on-demand, at-home beauty service concepts by developing your own branded ios and android app for customers.

As a salon owner, you’ve got several options, at present:

1. Halt operations and wait for things to normalize

Which would be financially straining and might compel you to stop your business completely

2. Get listed on on-demand marketplace apps

A good option in case you are running on a shoestring budget, but you will have to pay commissions for every order request they bring to you.

SEE ALSO : How to launch your own marketplace like Uber for barber?

3. Launch your own on-demand beauty and salon app

Take charge and digitize your operations by launching your own mobile app. This way you can control everything from branding to marketing, pricing to your services and more.

Clearly, launching your own on-demand salon app is your best bet in the current scenario.

But how to start, how to ideate, what will be the cost of launching an on-demand app for salons? You must have several questions. Let’s start from the beginning.

Finalizing the App Idea & Features

You’ve decided to call the shots on the current situation. You know you need an app.

But what will your app do? How will you service your customers? How will you monetize your app and most importantly, how will it grow your business?

Well, all these should be covered in a high-level app concept plan that outlines the idea, workflow and the features you would need in your app.

As your app would compete with other marketplace-based apps like Uber for haircuts, you need to stand out and create a branded experience.

Your potential and existing customers should associate with your app and your app should inspire loyalty.

As your app would service clients exclusively, you should focus more on personalized experience while planning the features.

Features That Would Improve Proposition & Personalized User Experience for Customers

  • Sign up/Log in
  • Preferred Services
  • Wallet for Quick Payments
  • Book an Appointment with Usual Stylist
  • Quick Chat with Stylist
  • On-demand at-home Service Request
  • Personalized Beauty & Styling Tips
  • Loyalty & Referral Program
  • Discounted Long-term Subscription Plans

Must-have Common Features for On-demand Salon & Beauty Apps

Sign Up & Login
Find Salon
Service Menu Card
Review Stylish Profile
Book an Appointment
Buy Online Product
Pay Online
Personalised Profiles
My Order
Reviews & Ratings
Sign Up & Login
Add/Update Services
Upcoming & Completed Orders
Set Pricing & Availability
Booking Calendar
Chat with Customers
Earning Reports
Approve/Add New Service Providers
Review & Rating Management
Booking Management
Payment Gateway Management
CRM & Promotions Management

The Cost of On-Demand Salon App Development for Your Beauty Startup or Hair Salon

A lot of players are offering salon app development solutions for on-demand beauty startups, at present. Before you reach out to a professional, you need to make sure you have a clear idea and an end-goal in mind.

The reason why clarity is important? Because the cost of salon app development will directly depend on the depth of features you require, your business idea and how you plan to leverage your mobile app.

If you’re looking for a basic beauty salon app where your customers can book appointments online, check out your services and pay online, it would cost you anywhere between $3,000 to $10,000 USD.

Mind you, the more complex your app model, the higher will be the cost. Hence, it is always better to perform market research, outline your idea and get in touch with a professional salon app development company before you get started.

The Growth Scope Post App Development: Multiple Revenue Streams & Marketing

Let’s say, you managed to get support from an expert. You’ve got everything under control- from app development to your idea. But do you realize you need more than that. Confused?

Well, you will need a revenue generation model for your app.

Yes! You might be thinking, the customers who pay you for services will be your revenue generators. But when you have an app, there are several other possibilities too:

  • 1. Sales from upsells/cross-sells within the app
  • 2. Monetization due to ads within the app
  • 3. Short-term per-use based loyalty program
  • 4. Membership plans for long-term app users

While discussing the scope of app development, you can discuss the revenue streams with the development team and finalize the features.

Now, let’s get on to the marketing part.

Well, you know your app would require users. And being an existing salon, your existing customers will be the first users.

But that’s not it, you can attract more users organically by running smart marketing campaigns like:

  • Incentivized referral programs for existing customers: They invite their friends, family and loved ones for extra discounts.
  • App marketing through influencers: Connecting with social media influencers for higher reach organically.
  • Cross-promotion: Associating with beauty brands and hair product labels for exclusive deals for their users.

With a few mix and match strategies along with a traditional marketing approach, your ‘just-offline’ business would soon start flying online.

Wrapping Up

Well, you know now that an app isn’t just for a tech startup or an eCommerce website. You can also leverage the mobile app revolution for business growth in post-COVID world.

While you’re at it, why don’t you check out how we helped Hitta Salong through our beauty salon app development solutions.

And if you’re also keen on building an app for your salon or beauty business, let's connect and get started today!

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