Which one should you go for: Calendly or Acuity?
Calendly and Acuity Scheduling are the most well-known apps in the scheduling market. Though they are often pitted against each other , in our opinion, the apps are meant for different set of audiences. We will take a look at each app, then do a comparison, and derive our conclusions. If you would like to discuss it on an online meeting, you can book a call with us.
Acuity Scheduling is the most versatile scheduling tool in the market. They have the depth and breadth in features to address the needs of various functions and different industries.
While that is definitely a plus, Acuity’s UI is not able to present these features in a user-friendly way. There are pop-ups, long pages, hidden sub menus… some times discovering features is a task.
Calendly is the most popular and widely used appointment scheduler. Calendly has covered many use cases in appointment scheduling without overloading the user interface. Their biggest attraction is their minimalistic UI which inspires confidence that you can get automated appointment scheduling in a few minutes.
Almost everyone who wants to automate their scheduling! However, Calendly has a target audience – sales teams, consultants, and recruiters. The existing features and new developments are influenced by this.
Calendly has the following advantages:
- More integrations than other appointment scheduling apps.
- Setting up availability on Calendly is flexibile too.
- The pricing is reasonable and meets the benchmark of $1o per user
Service-based businesses: Calendly is not suitable for salon visits that involve multiple treatments. There is no cart-like feature you to add multiple treatments and book an appointment.
Classes: You cannot run classes with Calendly as they do not support recurring group appointments yet.
Meeting Polls: Calendly does not offer meeting polls. You will miss this if you are coming to Calendly from the Doodle scheduling world.
Branding and Customization: Calendly has only limited capabilities here.
- Limited branding options on the booking page
- No html editor for email notifications
- You cannot map the booking page to your domain
Pricing: Calendly can become expensive for teams larger than 5 members if you are on a tight budget for a scheduling tool.
Acuity is the best for:
Anyone who wants to automate their schedule, from sales teams to small businesses in the service industry.
Is Acuity good for salons?
While Acuity is definitely useful for the service industry, you may find it limiting if you are into specific verticals like salons. There are dedicated software for that industry and if your operations are fairly large you will find Acuity limiting. Acuity does not have payment terminal integration or an inventory module.
How about Acuity’s pricing?
Acuity’s pricing structure can be discouraging for some people. They follow a slab-wise pricing. The Emerging plan allows one staff, the Growing plan allows 6 and the Powerhouse allows 36. If you 7 staff, you have to upgrade from Growing to Powerhouse.
Compare Calendly and Acuity
|Features||Details||Acuity: Powerhouse plan||Calendly: Pro plan|
|$45 per calendar||$12/per user|
|Number of staff/locations||36||No location|
|Calendars||Calendar connections per user||Unlimited||6|
|Calendar integrations||Google, Office365, Outlook.com, iCloud, Exchange||Google Calendar, Office 365, Outlook and iCloud|
|Group events (for tours, webinars, classes, etc.)||Yes||Yes|
|Set max number of meetings||Yes||Yes|
|Offer unlimited services and appointments||Yes||Yes|
|Sharing||Personalized booking page link||Yes||Yes|
|Embed scheduler into your website||Yes||Yes|
|Brand your scheduler’s colors and copy||Yes||Yes|
|Removable vendor branding||Yes||Yes|
|Add links to event confirmation pages||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic time zone conversion for clients||Yes||Yes|
|Multiple time zones for your different staff/locations||Yes||No|
|Display your logo||Yes||Yes|
|Remove “Powered by” on your scheduler||Yes||Yes|
|Sign BAA for HIPAA compliance||Yes||No|
|Custom API & CSS for Developers||Yes||Yes|
|Accept payments and deposits through Stripe, Square, or PayPal||Yes||Yes|
|Vault credit cards for charging clients later||Yes||No|
|Color customization for booking page||Yes||Yes|
|Optionally let clients tip you||Yes||No|
|Offer coupons and vouchers for discounts||Yes||No|
|Copy and Paste Times||No||Yes|
|Chrome, iOS & Slack||No||Yes|
|Notifications and reminders||Automated event notifications||Yes||Yes|
|Customizable email notifications and reminders||Yes||Yes|
|Over 700 app integrations with Zapier||Yes||Yes|
|Microsoft Teams conferencing integration||Yes||Yes|
|Salesforce integration and support||No||Yes|
|Google Analytics integration||Yes||Yes|
|Zoom, Google Meet, GoToMeeting integrations for online meetings||Yes||Yes|
|QuickBooks and Freshbooks for invoicing and accounting||Yes||No|
|Pipedrive integration for sales/CRM||Yes||No|
|Facebook Pixel integration||Yes||Yes|
Calendly vs Acuity: Conclusion
Acuity focuses on small businesses in the service industry. Calendly has focused on making it easier for sales people to connect with their customers faster, update the CRM. They are providing plug-ins and integrations to work with the apps salespeople use daily. Additionally, they are good for recruiters and consultants.
Acuity has developed features that help businesses generate more revenue. They have Gift certificates, memberships, coupons. Also, they allow vaulting credit cards: those are important for businesses taking paid appointments. Calendly is better for free appointments even though they allow online payment.
The apps they compete with
Both apps compete with different set of apps. While Acuity will eventually have to face Mindbody, Fresha, and Phorest, Calendly is facing tougher competition from the likes of ChiliPiper.
Acuity is rich in features to cover any use case in scheduling while Calendly allows teams to go live with automated appointment scheduling in no time with their minimalistic UI.
On the pricing front, Acuity will get cheaper if you have more than 5 staff below which Calendly will be the cheaper option.
To wrap it up
If you are from sales, go with Calendly or its alternatives. If you are a service based business, go with Acuity. They are not alternatives in the true sense, they just do similar things for different audiences.