This article is part of a larger series on POS Systems.
When to Use Fresha
Fresha is a POS system explicitly made for beauty and wellness establishments. Although its features may not be robust or versatile enough for a large business or medical office, its free online booking platform provides incredible value for small salon and beauty and wellness businesses.
We particularly recommend Fresha for the following:
- Salons and spas with multiple stylists: Fresha is one of our top picks for the best salon and spa POS systems because there are no added costs for bookings among multiple stylists. Unlike other well-known appointment apps, you can schedule unlimited appointments for unlimited team members in numerous locations.
- Wellness business with a limited budget: On top of Fresha being free, its credit card transaction fees are among the lowest we have seen in the market. It earned its spot in our guide to the leading free appointment scheduling software.
- Wellness businesses that sell retail: If your business also sells physical products, Fresha allows you to upload unlimited inventory to your account and provides management tools for selling. You can also sell online by setting up a simple online store from your Fresha dashboard.
When to Use an Alternative
- Busy salons with walk-in clients: While Fresha can book unlimited appointments, arranging a large number of walk-in customers can become overwhelming from a single desk. We recommend DaySmart Salon (formerly known as Salon Iris), as it has walk-in kiosk features and a regular appointment booking system.
- Solopreneur wellness professionals: Fresha can manage a calendar for multiple staff members. As such, solopreneurs in the wellness industry should consider Square Appointments, which offers tools for managing one calendar per user, including the integration of personal calendars.
- Online businesses: Personal trainers, fitness instructors, and other wellness coaches who work online require a video calling platform, which Fresha does not support. We recommend these users consider alternative scheduling software applications, such as Picktime and 10to8.
|No monthly fees||No key business integrations (accounting, payroll, or chat messaging)|
|Low card transaction fees||No time sheets|
|Unlimited bookings and staff||No group booking capability|
|Built-in inventory and order management features for in-person and online selling; marketing features such as SMS and email campaigns||Limited customer support—via email only (daily, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)|
Did you know?
In 2020, Shedul, a popular scheduling tool, rebranded to Fresha. According to the company, the name change “captures a wider sense of everything we do.” Since the name change, Fresha has added plenty of new features geared specifically toward salon and spa owners, including free tools like custom client forms, client profile feeds, and stock counts for supply products.
Fresha Deciding Factors
Cloud-based; compatible with any hardware (purchase separately)
Credit Card Processing Fee
2.19% + 20 cents per appointment
Inventory, order management, marketing, resource management, and appointment (for individuals, memberships, and bundles)
Fresha is completely free. However, it does charge additional fees for some features.
- New-client fee: The provider charges a one-time 20% finder’s fee for every new client booking through Fresha’s marketplace. This fee does not apply to any return clients or customers who book through your website or social pages.
- Blast campaigns: Send clients text messages (5 cents each) or emails (2 cents each).
- Payment processing fee: 2.19% + 20 cents per transaction, which includes payment processing, appointment reminders, and a listing in the customer-facing Fresha marketplace. Fresha’s processing fee is one of the lowest rates we’ve seen.
To ensure you don’t get charged the new client fee for existing clients, upload your client’s information when signing up with Fresha. You can easily import your existing database by following its guide on how to import a client list.
Fresha runs on both iOS and Android devices, so you can purchase or use any existing hardware that runs on either operating software. This means using any compatible accessories such as barcode scanners, cash drawers, and printers.
Fresha’s free tool is packed with features that can help organize your schedule, stocks, and staff more efficiently.
Since our last update:
Since we last wrote this review in March 2021, Fresha has made many changes to its product, including:
- A complete redesign of the software’s user interface
- Redesigned and expanded client profile features including reviews, multiple note fields, custom links for services, vouchers, booking appointments, and more
- Full and partial stocktakes for counting inventory
- Integrated payment processing available to all Fresha users
- Ability to add multiple photos for products and client profiles
Real-time Booking Calendar
Calendars are accessible from mobile and desktop, where you will get real-time information. See which staff are working on specific dates or view the full schedule of a particular staff member for the day or week. You can also manually add new appointments or block times and ring up sales for walk-in clients directly from the calendar.
You can add clients on Fresha individually (for walk-ins) or in bulk by uploading a CSV file. Apart from their contact details, each client file contains your client’s consultation form, upcoming and previous appointments, purchase history, and invoices. You can even update, merge, delete, or block a client file, and any changes will show up in real-time for other platform users.
Your customers can also create their profiles by booking online or using the downloadable Fresha client app. They will have a star next to their name in your client management tab, and while they have full access to edit their contact information, you also have the option to accept the changes or restore the original contact details for your records.
You can add bookable and nonbookable (for admin and receptionists) staff members on your Fresha platform, including their contact information and job title. You can also add locations (for multilocation businesses) and work hours. Still, you’ll need to specify commissions and the services employees provide by choosing from your list in the services tab. A toggle button will allow your staff member to add bookings to the calendar.
A walk-through video on how to add team members to your Fresha dashboard
Staff permissions are multilevel and can be customized based on your staff member’s roles. You can remove or adjust access levels at any time.
- Basic permissions only allow for viewing
- Low-level permissions are for service providers
- Medium-level permissions are for admin and receptionist roles
The services tab (found under the Settings tab in your sidebar) allows you to do the following:
- Make a list of services that can be booked by one client in a single visit
- Make a service available for online booking and voucher sales
- Create a single service or a package that can be booked together in one appointment
- Specify the staff available for each service, commission, and tax rate
You can make services available for booking on the Fresha marketplace and your own website and through “book now” buttons on your social channels.
Fresha allows businesses to have clients book appointments from Facebook, Instagram, Google, and their website with a “Book Now” button. It also gives customers the ability to reschedule, cancel, and rebook appointments online so they don’t need to make a call. With online booking, businesses can receive and automatically accept booking appointments at any time of the day.
Fresha’s marketplace is an online, customer-facing platform, where business owners using Fresha’s scheduling software can make their services available to clients on their mobile devices.
Service providers can set up their business profile and list their paid plan services, whereas clients can create their customer account and browse services available for sign-up. It also allows them to leave reviews and ratings that other customers can view. This feature is unique to Fresha and can be an excellent way for new businesses to attract customers.
Fresha allows you to set up payment types for use during checkout. The platform can add tips on checkout and set payment and discount types, staff commission rates, and voucher duration. It can also manage tax rates on certain items, configure details displayed, and place custom prefixes or numbers on invoices issued to customers.
You can also set up integrated card payment processing, manage tip settings, and accept Pay By Text messaging for offline and even online bookings. Clients receive a secure payment link through an SMS message and an authorization code to complete the payment.
You can upload unlimited inventory for product sales and create categories and brand listings separately so you can specify each while adding your products. There’s also a tab for creating a suppliers list, allowing you to keep track of the details you need for purchase orders.
Fresha’s stock control tools are also worth mentioning. It enables you to order directly from the platform—usually an add-on feature for other popular POS systems. Stock transfer is also available for businesses that have more than one location. Barcode scanners can be used to search for stocks being sold or transferred.
Additionally, Fresha can track internal product consumption such as shampoo and hair dyes for salons. You can even view reports for internal use, damaged, lost, and expired products to keep an eye on shrinkage. This feature is not found in most all-purpose POS systems.
Reporting & Analytics
The platform has an extensive list of reports and a range of analytics that provide insight into your sales, appointments, and client retention performance. It enables you to:
- Monitor your finances, staff performance, and inventory
- Track your voucher sales, redemption rates, and cancelation rates
- View projected revenues for upcoming appointments
- Identify your best clients
Integrated Payments & Cancelation Policy
You get its integrated card processing function, Fresh Pay, which securely encrypts client information with industry-standard PCI compliance. This enables you to accept payments and get advanced no-show protection by charging penalties from a client’s card-on-file. Fresha will transfer your available funds daily to your bank account, and you can keep track of it in real time.
Meanwhile, you can customize cancelation policies. You can specify the cancelation rate and the length of advanced notice required before penalties are charged. The details will show up on your Fresha marketplace profile, and clients will be asked to confirm their booking by adding credit card information. You also can override policy settings for specific clients and appointments.
Fresha’s consultation form, which is highly customizable, is where clients provide service-related information such as medical history and consent. The form builder allows users to create forms from scratch or start with the help of ready-made templates. To suit your business needs, you can also personalize the response types (e.g., multiple-choice, drop-down, or short-text).
The system automatically sends the form to clients before their appointment and can easily be accessed on mobile. Once completed, clients can automatically save their answered forms on their profile.
By default, your notifications are sent via email to your clients. The messages and settings are customizable and give you a preview of what your message will look like as an email, SMS message, and app notification.
You can also review your sent client notifications. The client messaging section on the platform has a message log tab where all messages are listed and sorted from most recent to earliest. You can also use the search tool to look for a specific message.
Fresha has smart marketing tools that can be automatically triggered based on your calendar and client list. The platform uses a smart delivery system, which sends out blast messages based on live client information, preferences, and your business’s default settings. This can be used to send out exclusive discounts and announce special events to a specific clientele.
There are only a handful of integrations available for Fresha users, and they are entirely for marketing and online booking purposes.
- Reserve with Google
- Google Analytics
- Facebook Pixels
As of this writing, there are no integrations for other essential business functions such as accounting, payroll, and chat messaging.
Fresha Ease of Use
- Easy-to-use interface
- Knowledge base
- Video tutorials
- Community forum
- Runs on iOS, Android, and Windows
- No phone support
- No offline access
It takes only a few minutes to sign up with Fresha, and the system itself guides you through the setup process, which includes a demo feature that you can use as you familiarize yourself with the interface.
The platform also has a help center and a community forum where users share ideas on future upgrades. It also has training videos on its YouTube channel for a quick run-through of features. Fresha’s customer support is available only through email, daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., in all time zones, globally.
How Fresha Compares to Alternatives
Solopreneurs in the service industry
Health, wellness, and fitness businesses that need intake forms or SOAP notes
Salons, spas, beauty and wellness businesses managing virtual or walk-in appointments
$25 to $85/month
See more details on how Fresha compares with other popular scheduling apps.
What Users Think of Fresha
Reviews for Fresha are positive overall, with most users saying they are pleased with how easy it is to understand the platform. They love the platform’s design navigation and even commended Fresha’s team for their helpfulness—even if Fresha doesn’t have a customer hotline (they transact only by email). However, some users wish feature upgrades would roll out soon, such as securing reservations and personalizing screens with brand colors and logos.
Other popular third-party review websites rated Fresha as follows:
- G2: 4.2 out of 5 based on around 10 reviews
- Capterra: 4.9 out of 5 based on nearly 1,250 reviews
- App Store: 4 out of 5 based on more than 5 ratings
- Google Play: 4.6 out of 5 based on about 680 ratings
Finances Online has a Customer Satisfaction Algorithm that gathers reviews, comments, and opinions on software from many different social media sites and analyzes the data to provide a score out of 100. Fresha garnered an overall user satisfaction rating of 87%.
Users Don’t Like
Easy account setup
Missing essential add-ons
Clean user interface layout
Customization for commissions
Slow rollout of feature upgrades
Ability to create custom vouchers
Rebooking clients and deposit features are clunky
Fresha is an ideal appointment scheduling solution for small salons because of its free plan and unlimited scheduling. It offers a wide range of appointment customization tools and unlimited retail features, including a built-in stock ordering and control, that usually cost extra when subscribing to other POS platforms. Updates are being made regularly to the system, so users should expect promising developments soon.