Stylists take a break at the photo booth at MINDBODY. Not all of the activity at America’s Beauty Show occurred on the runway, in the classroom or behind the different manufacturers’ cash registers. There also was a great exchange of information and education within the technology-focused booths, and since SALON TODAY strives to keep a finger on the pulse of technology, I stopped by as many as possible to get a quick, tech soundbite update:
(Follow along visually, at the end of this blog is a slideshow of each stop!)
First, I stopped by SalonBooker’s booth and introduced myself to sales executive Kelsey Dowd and Elise Lapi. They shared with me how thousands of salon professionals are using SalonBooker to provide online booking to clients. In addition, they say the system’s marketing programs which help salons develop customized emails, thank you notes and birthday cards are a real time saver. And an online gift card function helps salons increase revenue and drive more sales either online or through Facebook. “Our web-based system means users can manage their business through their phones at any time,” they said.
Next, I dropped by MINDBODY’s playful booth where owners and stylists were scooping up bright orange sunglasses and posing together in the carnival-inspired photobooth. Salon Program Manager Elizabeth Lachcik was excited to tell me about the new MINDBODY POS App which brings the all the capabilities of the software right to the service provider’s chair. When used with a Smartphone or a tablet and MINDBODY's mobile swiper, a stylist can book a client’s next appointment, swipe her credit card and have the client sign with her finger. “This is the year of mobile and tablets, and we believe this is the future of technology,” she said.
At Millennium, I met with Bob Maconi, vice president of enterprise sales and the owner of Elysium Salon and Spa, and immediately we dived into a conversation about the growth of online booking. Millennium’s online offerings have advanced to the point that it allows salons to customize it with their own photos and graphics and Maconi encourages Millennium users to increase usage by gifting clients who book online with loyalty points in the salon’s reward program. “I’ve seen salons get up to 35 percent of their clients to book online and that provides quite a bit of relief to a busy front desk,” he says. Maconi went on to talk about how Millennium’s integration with programs, such as Demandforce, Constant Contact and GoLoyal, are helping salons fill last-minute, un-booked real-estate and boost their productivity.