Understanding the Features and Development Costs of an On-Demand Beauty Service Mobile App

October 12, 2022

Beauty and personal care, even after the past few years of pandemics and wars, continues to flourish. According to Toptal, the beauty industry in the US was worth $532.43 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow to $805.61 billion by 2023, and one of the biggest reasons for this increase is the fact that 70% of salon and spa appointments are now booked online from mobile devices. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the what an on-demand beauty app is, what’s required to develop a solution, and some of the cost considerations you must examine before jumping in. Let’s get started!
 

What is an On-Demand Beauty Service App?

On-demand beauty service apps are becoming increasingly popular in the beauty industry, allowing customers to book appointments with different spas and salons, including hair removal, waxing, manicures and pedicures, facials, and more, all from their smart phone. These apps are great for busy people who want to look their best but don’t have time to search for a salon or sit on hold for 10 minutes when calling to book an appointment.
 

Points to Consider when Deciding to Develop an On-Demand Beauty Service Mobile App

The US beauty industry is growing exponentially, and customers have more options than ever. According to IBISWorld, there are currently about 904,700 Hair Salon businesses across the nation, as of 2022. Additionally, women in the US spend upwards of $3,756 on beauty products each year

Let’s consider some of the benefits customers receive when using an on-demand beauty service app

Convenience: With just a few taps on your smartphone, users can easily book appointments at salons and spas providing the services they need. They can also book appointments at any time, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Scaling: You can expand your client base by offering online appointment scheduling services at a fraction of the cost — without adding any staff! 

Flexibility: On-demand beauty services give customers more control over when and where they go for appointments. For example, if you offer makeovers or makeup application sessions at home or work, clients can schedule them at a time that is most convenient for them.   

Types of Business Models for On-Demand Beauty Apps

There are several business models that can be used for on-demand beauty service apps, including subscription-based and aggregator models.

Let’s look at the most common types of on-demand beauty service models. 

Subscription Model: This is the most common model for on-demand beauty services. Customers can sign up for monthly subscriptions that provide access to services at a discounted price. 

Self-owned: The most common model is self-owned salons. This type of business model is usually for those who have their own salon and want to expand their business by using the latest technology in the beauty services industry.

Aggregator Model: In the aggregator model, the platform brings together dozens or even hundreds of salons with different services. This helps consumers find almost every possible type of service from a single platform, and you can earn service fees from each side of the transaction.

Features of an On-Demand Beauty Service App

While every on-demand beauty service app has its own unique features, let’s discuss some of the must-haves that you’re on-demand beauty app must include.

Consumer Module

#1 Sign Up

Customer sign-up process must be quick and easy. You want to ensure that you’re collecting as much information about your customers as possible without complicating the sign-up process. You should allow customers to register through Facebook, phone numbers, or email. 

#2 Selecting Services and Stylists

Within a beauty service app, customers want to choose from a range of services and stylists. They also demand an opportunity to communicate directly with stylists and see their profiles, so they can make informed decisions about who to hire.

#3 Loyalty Program

A loyalty program is one of the most powerful tools to retain customers, increase revenue and improve the customer experience.

Loyalty program help:

✅ Retain your existing customers by giving them incentives to continue using the app.
✅ Increase revenue by encouraging more users to make more purchases through your app.
✅ Improve the customer experience by providing a personalized experience based on their preferences and past purchases.

#4 Multiple Payment Options

It is essential to offer multiple payment options, so customers don’t abandon their shopping carts and walk away because you don’t support their preferred method. 

You should offer the following methods:

✅ Credit cards
✅ Debit cards
✅ Mobile wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.)
✅ Cash (when visiting the salon in person)

#5 Easy Cancellation

There should be a way for customers to cancel their appointments at any time. In addition, cancellation options should be readily accessible to the customer, regardless of the reasons they choose to cancel.

#6 Ratings and Feedback

When running any type of online business, you will want to track the satisfaction level among customers. One way to do this is letting them rate their experience through an on-demand beauty service app.

Using this approach, you can identify problem areas and improve your services accordingly. For instance, if customers are complaining about a particular stylist or salon, it may be time for disciplinary action or even termination. Another advantage of ratings and feedback is allowing potential customers to better understand a salon’s services, then make an informed decision. 

#7 Appointment Reminders

It's important to remind customers of their appointments, especially if you're asking them to make an appointment that will not occur for at least 24 hours from the time that book an appointment.  As a customer-centric business, you should send your customers reminders in advance via email and SMS. You can also consider sending push notifications to remind them of their appointment.

#8 In-app Chat with Providers

Customers often have questions before booking beauty services, especially when it’s with a salon or spa they’ve never been to before. Therefore, it is crucial to offer an in-app chat or live customer support option so customers can voice their concerns before booking. This also helps reduce cancellations.
 

Consumer Facing Services

List Your Salon

Allow salon owners or freelance makeup artists to list their salon and service on your mobile platform. You should also permit them to upload their pricing, create combo packages, stylist details (experience and customers) so customers know what to expect. 

Appointments

Salons should be able to take customer appointments directly through the mobile app. You can offer a calendar view that shows customers when the salon is available for booking. This will prevent overbooking and ensure every user gets the service at their preferred time. 

Submit Ratings and Reviews

Customers should be able to view the ratings of stylists so Salons can improve their services. Salon’s and stylists should also be able to respond to reviews, when appropriate. 

Custom Offers and Discounts

Salons usually run offers and promotions during the holiday season to attract more customers. Therefore, letting them run custom offers easily via the app is essential. 
 

Admin Panel

Manage Salons, Stylists, and Users

As an administrator, you want to manage the salons, stylists, and users registered on your app. This will enable you to remove those who don’t follow your terms and conditions. 

Report Generation

You will also want to know how many bookings happen on your app, their value, and earnings for your salon(s). This means custom generated reporting is a must-have in an on-demand beauty app. 

Manage Payments

You should be able to accept payments from customers and pass them on to the salons. This feature also allows you to refund customers for canceled bookings with ease.


Cost of On-Demand Beauty Service App Development

The cost of on-demand beauty service app development depends on many factors, such as the feature sets, design, complexity level, third-party integrations, etc. However, based on our experience, the average cost of on-demand beauty service app development is between $25,000 and $500,000.

Here’s some of the factors affecting the cost of on-demand beauty service mobile app development

1. The number of features in the app: This is the most important factor affecting the project deliverable stack, and therein its costs, of any type on-demand beauty service mobile app development. The more complex the feature set, the higher the cost. 

2. Platform: If you want your mobile app to run across different OS platforms like iOS, Android, or Windows Phone, then you will need a development company capable of delivering all three. Minimally, iOS and Android are must-have platforms. 

3. Third-party integration(s): The cost of any third-party integrations depends on the type of integration, the company you are dealing with and the volume of traffic to your mobile app. For example, suppose you want to integrate your app with a payment gateway or a social media platform. In that case, the cost will be different than integrating it with a loyalty program or marketing automation platform.
 

How Can Phoenix Bizz Help You with Your On-Demand Beauty Service App Development?

PhoenixBizz has been designing and developing mobile and web-based application systems since 2004. We’ve began developing mobile app solutions in 2011, just two short years after the launch of the Apple Store, then in 2012 for the Google Play Store, and to date, we have designed and developed over $22MM in solutions for companies coast-to-coast, and across numerous business segments. Give us a call to learn more about our recently completed projects, read recent letters of recommendation, and to discuss how we can serve both your project and your company.

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