The beauty services industry has seen growth in mobile app downloads and activity over the past handful of years. Although the pandemic has made all businesses re-evaluate their processes moving forward, remote demand for functions like online appointment-making continue to grows. With regards to Covid-19, online appointment booking has become a tool for Covid compliance for those not allowing walk-ins and only allowing online reservations. The bottom line is: a mobile and/or web app is an essential aspect of growing a beauty business. Whether you are a beauty services business with an existing app or a business starting from square one, you can perform better by providing sophisticated services like automated scheduling updates to your clients via mobile. Let’s discuss the functions you might want to include in your app as well as the ways a custom app developer might add value to your business.
What Custom Features Should You Invest in for Your Beauty App?
You could include countless custom features in your app. However, you do not need to go above and beyond with the number of features you incorporate into your app. Rather, you want to focus on quality and provide useful functions that a user can easily figure out, including:
- Online Appointment Booking
- Custom Calendar features
- Automated Scheduling Updates (connected to CRM)
- Promotional Offers, Loyalty Programs & Deals (available also through push notifications)
- Online Payment Service
- Customer Ratings & Comments
How Custom App Features Improve Your ROI
Flexible online appointment booking adds immediate value to your business. Clients hate being put through a run-around. If they can book appointments themselves they are likely to follow through with their visit. The calendar and appointments are not just for clients – they are for your workers, too. Balancing the schedules of the appointments and beauty workers’ schedules allows both to maximize their time and choose slots that work for each of them respectively. Including automated calendar updates takes the uncertainty of human error out of the equation with scheduling. By creating promotional offers, loyalty programs and other deals, you can build excitement about your business. All talk is good talk, particularly in the beauty industry which traffics in reputation and happy customers. Adding a loyalty rewards program inculcates a sense of excitement in those interested in buying your company’s beauty products and services. An online payment service will allow customers to pay conveniently and save their payment information. Managing reviews and ratings is crucial for a beauty business. Generating a portfolio of good reviews builds credibility and trust in your service, and also motivates your team to work for positive feedback. From critical feedback, you can learn and adapt to your shortcomings proactively.
The Technical Process of Building a Beauty App: Adding Functions
Resulting from a process of software development, each of these functions requires some time and work from an app developer. Here are a few basic elements of each function from a software development perspective.
- Online Appointment Booking:- In order to build an online appointment booking system, you will need to also build an appropriate backend database. A software development consultant can help you choose what language you want to build the database and web pages with, options including PHP, Linux, Apache, and others. Once you choose which language to develop the backend with, you need to decide what software to use to build the web page. The web page is essential because as the frontend of the client, the web page is the page your client will directly see. The web pages will respond to the client’s queries, and the database in turn will submit response pages showing the requested information. You ideally want to design the web page to be as intuitive and straightforward as possible. During this step, consider the value of mapping the system in a diagram. The web page serves as a guidepost for the entire app, directing the user to the different features of the app.
- Custom Calendar Features:- Once you create the appointment booking system, having a calendar that stores the appointment information becomes an important next step. Building a custom CRM also allows you the option to automatically update the system when a customer changes his or her appointment.
- Promotional Offers, Loyalty Programs & Deals (available also through push notifications):- The backend of a loyalty rewards program works in a separate, complex system alongside your app. You will need to create the rewards program separately and integrate the app with the program through an API (Application Programming Interface) and/or an SDK (Software Development Kit). The technical processes that go into building a custom rewards program include UI and front-end design, with push notifications and location services necessarily integrated in order to send promotions directly to a user’s phone when he or she enters a particular location. Another function to consider: the ability to to manage your loyalty or rewards program manually. A custom app developer can designate admins on the backend to help override any decisions the system makes automatically.
- Online Payment Options:- Like the systems for creating promotional offers and a rewards program, you can integrate a payment system like FourSquare or even Venmo into your CRM using existing APIs and SDKs. You can also develop your own APIs to integrate a custom payment system with your app.
- Customer Ratings & Comments:- Reviews and ratings from experienced clients will influence others to go for or pass on your business. Eventually, having reviews online builds your reputation and encourages your company to improve. You can build a review system for your site from scratch, or you could integrate review systems from third party platforms like Yelp to display in-app or on your website.
These are five examples of functions you could include in your beauty app. However, you could add many more depending on what your business needs or envisions.
How a Mobile App Developer Can Help You Maximize Your ROI
When building a custom app, the quality of each function matters more than the overall number. Streamlining your app makes your business easier to access for beauty services clients. An app development partner can help you diagram user functions from the ground up. As an app developer, OpenSource Technologies provides a multi-step work process to help you achieve your business goals and reach a positive ROI. Every function you invest in should earn you money, and the OST team is dedicated to both mapping out a plan for mobile app success, as well as communicating as clearly and frequently as possible.