Salon Iris Review

To tell it short and sweet 

Salon Iris is a US-based salon management software. They are a subsidiary of DaySmart software owned by private equity firms. DaySmart was founded in 1999 by Mark and Christianna Jacksons, who remain on their board.

Salon Iris is a feature-rich salon software with a great user experience. It offers both installed and cloud versions of the software, which is unique among salon software.

Salon Iris is also unique in that they parent company, DaySmart, develops software for the service industry and therefore has deep knowledge about the vertical. They are also one of the pioneers in this sector since they have been there from 1999.

They have either built depth into their features or integrated with a specialized software maker to give a comprehensive solution. Their integration with DemandForce for reputation management, card readers in POS systems, are examples for this.

Apart from the essential features, they have a comprehensive online forms module to build custom forms which you can use on the booking page, emails, or as a standalone form.

In Staff management, they allow you to have booth renters as part of your salon. Booth renters can manage their sales and taxes from within your account itself. Also, Salon Iris is the only software that has considered Backbar into expenses. They allow you to include backbar in your expenses and commissions calculations.

How does SalonIris fare on the essential features of a salon management software? 

  1. Online appointment scheduling:
    • Salon Iris’s online appointment scheduling features shine the most in website customization. You can customize the theme, layout, and content to start with. There are multiple templates to choose from for the website.
    • It is possible to control the navigation of the website by adding pages, menu items, and their order. On the webpage you can add business information, hours, amenities, etc and make it informative as well
    • There are ways to manage the listing of services and employees like hide/show, order of the list, etc. You can enable Google Analytics tracking if needed. Also, connect to your social media accounts.
    • Additionally, there are a bunch of settings related to online bookings and clients. Under settings for bookings, you can set up windows for cancellation, last-minute bookings, and whether appointments need to be approved manually or automatically. For clients, you can configure if they need access to the client portal.
    • Here, under online bookings set up, you can configure client and staff notifications. An out-of-the pack option that Salon Iris gives in staff notification emails is a link for them to approve appointment requests.
    • Salon Iris also gives the option to create custom plug-ins for the website to add to your website and Facebook.
  1. Staff management
    • Salon Iris has an employee module where you can add, edit, and manage your employees. Here, you can define the permission levels of the staff including whether they need an account or if one of the staff is a booth renter who manages sales and taxes themselves. Also, you can mark employees against any services that they do not perform.
    • Salon Iris helps you manage employee compensation of various forms like wages, commissions, rates, tips and overtime. You can categorize employees into groups and assign rates for them, set up a commission profile based on percentage or value, choose if that commission is calculated on the selling price or the cost price, and also decide the rates for working overtime.
    • There are various built-in reports in Salon Iris about staff performance and their activity levels. These reports will help you make many important decisions about managing staff. Some of these reports are about employee sales, sales by employee category, tips, and hours clocked. The last one is useful for employees who are paid based on the hours they work with you.
    • In the roster/schedule module you can see each employee’s week against business hours. It gives flexibility to add multiple shifts per day or set up a complex roster for each week. It is also easy to set up a repeating schedule based on the roster you set up for a week.
    • You can set up roles and permissions for your staff, even go into minute permission levels like access to various modules. Similarly, you can enable/disable some settings for employees like notification emails. It is also possible to add certain employees who should be copied in email notifications.
  1. Sales promotions
    • Gift cards and Packages help you and the clients. You will be able to boost your sales without spending as much money as you do for new customers. The effort involved is less also.
    • In Salon Iris, you can create and sell both with ease. There are reports showing gift card usage, sales, and expiry dates. There is another option where clients can return expired gift cards so that you can reuse that. You can sell a gift card either from the POS or initiate a checkout from the gift card module itself.
    • In the Packages module, you can see the list, and filter them with criteria. Create new packages by including the necessary services and products.
  1. Point of Sale
    • The Checkout module allows you to do billing for clients. Salon Iris can take multiple forms of payment like credit card, cash, cheque, gift cards, etc. They integrate with certain card readers, cash drawers, and most printers. The credit card processing is through CardConnect or OpenEdge.
    • Salon Iris has a pricing plan for an all-in-one system which comes with an integrated POS. You get card reader, drawer, barcode reader along with it.
  1. Marketing
    • Salon Iris has a good email marketing module. You can send one-time email blasts and recurring campaigns. There are built-in templates that you can modify with html and by using variables. Similarly, there are built-in customer segments to which you can send these emails. Apart from using the templates, you can also create a campaign from the scratch.
  1. Locations
    • Salon Iris has not exposed any location or branch management features on their product user interface or on the help documentation. When we contacted their support team, they replied that they have the feature and asked us to consult their software team on how to implement it.
  1. Reporting
    • This is a strong module in Salon Iris. There are built-in reports about sales, employees, accounting, gift cards, products, services, and clients. Some of the interesting sales reports are about membership revenue and cost, sales by client city and demographics, and sales by hour of the day.
    • Some interesting reports about employees are their performance by the sales they make and the bookings they receive, the product returns that happen for each employee, and the clients that belong to each employee.
    • If you’re huge with gift cards, Salon Iris’ reports will give you great insight about sales, redemption, and how your luck is with gift cards.
    • Another set of reports are about clients. You can quickly see who spends the most, loyalty points balance, no-show report, and clients who have not returned in an interval.
  1. Client management
    • You can add, edit, and manage your client list from the clients module.  The module allows you to merge clients if there are duplicates. Salon Iris also has memberships and loyalty points to retain clients. Members will get discounts and special treatment. You can customize membership with services, quantity, and billing cycle according to client groups. By setting up Loyalty points – how they are earned and redeemed – you can reward your regulars and provide them with more ways to save money by visiting you more. There are reports and email lists regarding loyalty points which you can use to keep track of their usage.
    • You can enable the client portal for clients to create an account with you, log in, and check their activity with you. Also, you can enable a waitlist to ensure that your clients don’t leave if they don’t get an appointment but are provided with an opportunity immediately when a slot becomes available. Similarly, you can use appointment notifications and email marketing to engage them and keep yourself constantly in their radar.
    • Reports about churn like clients who did not return in 90 days, no-shows, etc will help you to act quickly.
  1. Inventory
    • This module keeps track of the products you have, their statuses, and their usage as a backbar item or for sale. You can add products, suppliers, and categorize products by suppliers.
  1. Services
    • In this module you can add and manage services. When you add a service, you can also mark resources and employees who are part of that service. You can set up service categories and color codes to achieve better organization. If you have multiple services and the processing and finishing times vary, you can configure that also. Since services are the backbone you get to see multiple reports based on them like revenue from services, retail sales per service, profits. It is also possible to set commission rates specific for services and different times for employees performing the same service.  

How is the user experience?  

SalonIris offer a good user experience both for the salon and their customers. There is consistency in the design and navigation is easy. Since important modules are organized well on the user interface, user will not be confused. Even sub features and minor settings follow the user’s thought process.

For your clients also, it will be a smooth experience to book from Salon Iris’ booking page. The booking page can be deeply customized in terms of look and feel, the options available like list of staff and their priority of allocation. The booking page can be embedded inline or as a pop up on your website. Also, it is possible to integrate Google Analytics on your booking page to track your campaign performance.

The code-free booking page customization offered by Salon Iris is the most extensive that we have seen among salon software

Value for money  

SalonIris’s starting price at $29 might look a bit costly for one user but they $109 Premium plan can provide good value for money. In the Premium plan you almost every major feature except Quickbooks sync and reputation management which is available only in the Platinum plan.

Help and support   

SalonIris has help documentation, live chat, phone call, and email support. They have support on Saturdays also. The help documentation is good but not enough for such a large product. You will get answers for your direct questions but the help doc does not cover all possible use case scenarios.