Hamburger icon

Menu

  • Business insurance

    Business insurance covers

  • Support
  • Claims
  • Manage your policy
Telephone iconCall Us0333 0146 683
Our opening hours
Chevron left icon
Covid-19 Support Hub

Best online booking systems: 9 options to help you reopen

6-minute read

Best online booking systems: 9 options to help you reopen
Jessie Day

Jessie Day

26 June 2020

Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn icon

With thousands of businesses set to reopen from 4 July, could an appointment scheduling app make life easier? Here are nine of the best appointment scheduling software options in the UK right now.

  • The best invoice apps for small businesses: 7 apps to make your life easier
  • Best accounting software for small business: a comparison guide
  • Coronavirus: support for small businesses and the self-employed
  • Covid-19 financial support checker

Who makes the top 9?

We’ve rated our best online booking systems for price and features, plus any Covid-19 specific support or price reductions. There’s also a handy section explaining which business types the apps are designed for.

In no particular order, here’s a quick look at nine of the top software options available.

ProviderAnything for Covid-19?Price
Acuity SchedulingNoFrom free
FreshaYesFrom free
TIMIFYYesFrom free
VagaroYesFrom $25 / month
VersumNoFrom £25 / month
SetmoreJune saleFrom free
CalendlyYesFrom free
MindbodyYesFrom £109 / month
GigabookNoFrom $15 / month ($12 with yearly billing)

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest from the Simply Business coronavirus support hub.
Sign up now to get guides, resources and offers.

Your email address will be used by Simply Business so that we can send you the latest guides, offers and tips. You can unsubscribe from these emails at any time. For more information, check out the Simply Business Privacy policy.

Acuity Scheduling

This scheduling app regularly hits the top 10 lists, thanks to its clean, easy-to-navigate user interface and dashboard, and flexible pricing with a free start-up option. The website doesn’t advertise any specific coronavirus support, however, and you’ll need to make up your mind quickly with the seven-day free trial.

Who’s it for?

  • general business
  • yoga/fitness studios
  • classes/coaching/education
  • salons/spas

Top features

  • 2 minute set-up demo
  • clients can view real-time availability
  • self-booking
  • handles classes, private sessions and subscriptions
  • time zone auto-adjust
  • automatic client reminders
  • Stripe, Square and PayPal integration

Covid-19 support?

Nothing advertised

Watch out for

The Freebie (free) package provides appointment scheduling only. If you want access to the app’s other features, you’ll need to go for one of the paid deals.

Pricing

Free for the Freebie package, and up to $50 / month for the Powerhouse deal (you’ll get a seven-day free trial)

Fresha

Rated 5/5 by Capterra and trusted by thousands of businesses worldwide, Fresha is the only subscription-free platform for salons and spas. So you can get started for free, and the brand has just released a couple of Covid-19 support features.

Who’s it for?

  • salons/spas
  • beauty/wellness

Covid-19 support?

  • faster card to bank payments
  • new SMS text blast feature

Find out more on the Fresha blog

Top features

  • built specifically for salons, spas, beauty and wellness businesses
  • 5/5 Capterra rating
  • network reach, with over 250 million appointments booked worldwide
  • POS (point of sale) integration options
  • product inventory
  • advanced analytics
  • Fresha marketplace, Instagram, Facebook and Google integration

Watch out for

If you decide to upgrade to Fresha Plus, you’ll pay 1.29 per cent + £0.20 for each customer transaction and a 20 per cent fee on new clients (if they’ve booked through the Fresha marketplace).

Pricing

Free (fees apply if you upgrade to Fresha Plus)

TIMIFY

This appointment booking app handles some big-name clients, from DHL and Clarins Skin Spa to AON, INTERSPORT and Fitness First. TIMIFY focuses on making online booking as simple as possible, with lots of features for single users and startups, as well as established, bigger businesses.

Who’s it for?

  • general business
  • salons/spas
  • beauty/wellness
  • financial services
  • real estate
  • human resources
  • classes/coaching/education

Covid-19 support?

  • free for all medical centres, labs and organisations involved in Covid-19 response
  • Zoom/GoToMeeting integrations free until 30 June 2020
  • 30-day free trial extension

Find out more on the Timify blog

Top features

  • fees waived for Covid-19 frontline industries
  • free Zoom/GoToMeeting integration (until 30 June)
  • unlimited bookings and users
  • booking widget available on all packages
  • Facebook integration
  • Windows, Mac and tablet/mobile app options
  • Google calendar sync options

Watch out for

The free Classic package provides basic features only, so you’ll need to upgrade for more advanced tools like recurring bookings and customer history.

Pricing

Free for the Classic package, and up to £48 / month* for the Enterprise deal (you’ll get a 14-day free trial)

*£42 with annual billing

Vagaro

Another schedule app built for the beauty and fitness industry, Vagaro is currently offering a number of coronavirus support measures, including $25 off the monthly subscription. You’ll just need to plan for increased costs if you’re adding staff member profiles.

Who’s it for?

  • salons/spas
  • yoga/fitness studios
  • beauty/wellness

Covid-19 support?

  • $25 off monthly subscription
  • free live stream integration
  • 50,000 free marketing emails
  • 1,000 free marketing SMS messages
  • free online shopping cart feature

Find out more on the Vagaro support hub

Top features:

  • $25 off monthly subscription during Covid-19
  • live streaming free during Covid-19
  • built specifically for salons, spas, beauty and wellness businesses
  • POS (point of sale) integration options
  • Instagram, Facebook, Yelp, Gusto, Xero, Gusto and QuickBooks integration
  • Google calendar sync options
  • automated email marketing options
  • one month free trial

Watch out for

During the free trial, you won’t be able to use Yelp booking, email marketing or credit card processing. Again, plan for increased costs if you’re adding staff member profiles.

Pricing

From $25 / month (currently free with Covid-19 discount, and you’ll get a one-month free trial)

Versum

Versum are focused on hair and beauty salons, with 46,000 professionals currently using their software to book appointments. They’ve introduced a new online vouchers feature to support customers during Covid-19, and have more in the pipeline.

Who’s it for?

  • salons/spas
  • beauty/wellness

Covid-19 support?

Nothing specific, but lots of Covid-19 salon survival tips on the Verum blog

Top features

  • online customer vouchers
  • excellent industry-specific blog (including Covid-19 guidance)
  • built specifically for salons and beauty businesses
  • advanced analytics options
  • automated marketing options
  • integrated customer loyalty program
  • POS (point of sale) integration options

Watch out for

Again, you’ll just need to plan for increased costs if you’re adding staff member profiles.

Pricing:

From £25 / month (you’ll get a 14-day free trial)

Setmore

Appointment manager software from Setmore focuses on simple, easy-to-use features. It has a five-star Google rating, is named for best value and ease of use by Capterra and has over 10,000 five-star reviews on App Store.

Who’s it for?

  • general business
  • beauty/wellness
  • salons/spas
  • consulting/sales
  • trades/contractors

Covid-19 support?

  • 64 per cent off until 30 June (one user profile only)

Find out more in Setmore’s June sale info

Top features:

  • 64 per cent off Setmore Premium (one user profile only, until 30 June)
  • one-click video appointments option
  • free package comes with one to four staff logins
  • Facebook and Instagram integration
  • Slack, Google Calendar and Office 365 integration
  • Xero and QuickBooks integration
  • weekly projected revenue reporting options

Watch out for

The free Setmore package provides basic features only, and you’ll need to upgrade for more advanced payment functions. The app is also missing a few Premium payment features (Setmore are working on this).

Pricing

Free for the Setmore package, and up to $25 / month for the Premium deal (you’ll get a flexible trial period)

Calendly

Over five million people use Calendly’s online appointment booking software every month, and they’re offering free integrations with Zoom and GoToMeeting until the end of September, to help businesses going through coronavirus hardship.

Who’s it for?

  • general business

Covid-19 support?

  • Free Zoom and GoToMeeting integration until 30 September

Find out more on the Calendly blog

Top features

  • free Zoom/GoToMeeting integration (until 30 September)
  • flexible meeting type options
  • advanced analytics options
  • Facebook integration
  • Stripe and PayPal integration
  • Google Calendar and Office 365 integration
  • intelligent scheduling with caps and buffers

Watch out for

The free Basic package provides basic features only, and you’ll need to upgrade for more advanced options like the Zoom, GoToMeeting and PayPal integrations.

Pricing

Free for the Basic package, and up to $15 per user / month* for the Pro deal (you’ll get a 14-day free trial)

$12 with annual billing

Mindbody

One of the UK’s best-known online scheduling apps, Mindbody focus on salons, spas, beauty and wellness, yoga and fitness studios. They provide the industry with cutting-edge tech and a huge customer community.

Who’s it for?

  • salons/spas
  • yoga/fitness studios
  • beauty/wellness

Covid-19 support?

  • free software upgrades/add-ons until 30 June
  • price increases suspended
  • subscription fee relief for seriously impacted businesses

There’s also the Mindbody One support community and more information on the Mindbody Covid-19 hub

Top features

  • free software upgrades/add-ons (until 30 June)
  • price increases suspended for 2020
  • subscription fee relief for specific businesses
  • powerful peer business support through Mindbody One
  • 3.7 million classes booked monthly
  • advanced marketing options
  • POS (point of sale) integration options

Watch out for

The mobile-friendly booking widget isn’t included as standard in the £109 / month Starter package – you’ll need to add it on.

Pricing:

From £109 / month

Gigabook

Geared up for all sorts of business types, and a focus on professional industries, Gigabook guarantee full access to all features at any account level, along with fast and easy set up and multiple integrations. Right now, we couldn’t see any Covid-19 relief features.

Who’s it for?

  • general business
  • technology teams

Covid-19 support?

Nothing advertised

Top features

  • multiple integrations, from Stripe and PayPal to Office 365 and Quickbooks
  • advanced dashboard and reporting
  • open API
  • easy rescheduling
  • automated reminders
  • simple pricing structure
  • intelligent booking capacity tools

Watch out for

Just keep an eye on your user profiles – the more staff who need access, the more you’ll pay.

Pricing

From $15 / month (you’ll get a 14-day free trial)

$12 with annual billing

Are you planning to reopen on 4 July? What’s your biggest concern? Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for self-employed insurance?

With Simply Business you can build a single self employed insurance policy combining the covers that are relevant to you. Whether it's public liability insurance, professional indemnity or whatever else you need, we'll run you a quick quote online, and let you decide if we're a good fit.

Start your quote

Find this article useful? Spread the word.

Facebook icon
Share
Twitter icon
Tweet
LinkedIn icon
Post

People also liked

Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Facebook icon

Follow us on Facebook

Twitter icon

Follow us on Twitter

YouTube icon

Subscribe to our videos on YouTube

LinkedIn icon

Follow us on LinkedIn

Address

6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG

Sol House29 St Katherine's StreetNorthamptonNN1 2QZ

© Copyright 2020 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.