2023 Square Appointments Review: Is It Right for You?
This article is part of a larger series on POS Systems.
Square Appointments is an appointment scheduling platform that comes with a fully integrated online booking page, payment processing, a website-building platform, and even a point-of-sale (POS) system. Square also offers a mobile app to manage your calendar on the go and automated SMS and email notifications so your customers never miss an appointment.
Overall, Square Appointments scored 3.8 out of 5 in our review of the best appointment scheduling software. Square is the perfect solution for solopreneurs, offering any single user a full-featured Square Appointments account completely for free.
What We Like
- Free included POS system
- Free plan available for single user
- No-show protection
- Booking page integrations on website, Google, Facebook, and Instagram
- Limited calendar integrations
- Google calendar sync only available in paid plans
- No video appointment integration
When to Use Square Appointments:
- If you are a solopreneur: One of our top free appointment scheduling software, Square offers a fully-featured free plan for single users.
- If you want to sell merchandise: Every Square account comes with a fully integrated POS system.
- If you need an affordable plan: Square’s paid plans range from $29–$69 per month.
When to Use an Alternative
- If you need to host virtual appointments: Consider Picktime for video appointments.
- If you want a customer-facing app: Consider Fresha if you want your services listed on a third-party booking app.
- If you don’t use Google calendar: Square only syncs with Google, but Calendly syncs with nearly every platform.
Square’s free plan lets you create an online booking page, manage your appointments, and send reminders. Not only that, but it comes with a fully integrated POS system, payment processing, and a website builder. While Square is a perfect solution for a solopreneur, it also offers scheduling tools specifically geared toward salons and beauty businesses, fitness locations, and home repair services.
Although Square Appointments has a lot to offer, it does lack video integrations, so you cannot host virtual appointments. It also only integrates with Google calendars and locks its no-show protections and multilocation management behind a paywall.
Square Appointments Deciding Factors
Supported Business Types
Beauty, health and fitness, home repair, general
Monthly Software Fees
Setup and Installation Fees
Payment Processing Options
Compatible only with Square Payments
Payment Processing Fees
In-person: 2.5%–2.6% + 10 cents (depending on plan)
Online (card): 2.9% + 30 cents
Manual Keyed-In: 3.5% + 15 cents
Square Appointments Alternatives
Best for: Businesses that need to book internal meetings
Best for: Businesses that need to host virtual meetings
Best for: Businesses looking for the best paid appointment software
Monthly software fees: $0–$16 (custom pricing available)
Monthly software fees: $0–$19
Monthly software fees: $25–$85
Key features: Internal meeting and client appointment management
Key features: Integrates with all major video meeting software (Google Meet, Zoom, etc.)
Key features: Membership and rental management, custom forms, website builder
Square Appointments earned a 5 out of 5 in our evaluation of its pricing. Its program scales its pricing based on the number of users as well as features. For its free plan, you will get a single location and all the basic features for one user. This includes an online booking page, SMS and email reminders, and payment processing.
In Square’s paid plans, you will pay a monthly fee per location and get access to more advanced features, plus unlimited staff accounts and locations. Additionally, in-person payment processing rates are slightly lower for paid subscribers.
Square Appointments Plans
Monthly Subscription Fees
Payment Processing Fees*
In person: 2.6% + 10 cents
Online (card): 2.9% + 30 cents
Manual Keyed-In: 3.5% + 15 cents
In person: 2.5% + 10 cents
Online (card): 2.9% + 30 cents
Manual Keyed-In: 3.5% + 15 cents
In person: 2.5% + 10 cents
Online (card): 2.9% + 30 cents
Manual Keyed-In: 3.5% + 15 cents
Square Appointments is part of the larger Square ecosystem. In fact, every person who signs up for Square Appointments will automatically have access to all of Square’s basic tools via their Square account, including Square’s POS system, website builder, and payment processing.
You can always upgrade any of your Square tools, like Square POS and Online, to a paid plan that offers premium features.
There are also add-on features that you can fully integrate with your Square account. Add-ons give you access to specialized tools to help you manage tasks like payroll and marketing. Square’s add-on features include:
- Square Payroll: Track hours, pay employees faster, and automate your tax filings all in one place to streamline payday. Starting at $35 per month + $5 monthly fee per person paid.
- Square Marketing: Paid subscription starts at $15 per month for 0–500 contacts. Features include unlimited email sends, automated email campaigns, Square Assistant, and campaign performance reporting.
- Square Loyalty: Paid subscription starts at $45 per month per location for up to 500 loyalty visits. Features include quick customer sign-up, automated rewards notification via text messaging, and the ability to apply rewards at checkout.
- Square for Retail: A specialized set of POS tools to equip you with all the retail tools you need for selling online and in-store, like inventory management, returns and exchanges, and reports. Paid plan starts at $60 per month.
- Square for Restaurants: Manage your restaurant with ease with menus and table management for the front of the house, kitchen displays and delivery for the back of the house, advanced POS features, Square KDS (unlimited devices), and Team Plus. Paid plan starts at $60 per month.
With every account, Square users receive a contactless mobile card reader. There are, however, no hardware requirements to operate Square Appointments. The program is app- and web-based, so it can run on your desktop computer and your Android and iOS devices. This gives you the flexibility to manage your business without having to adopt new programs or even when you are on the go.
If you are interested, however, Square offers a host of other hardware options that you can easily use to house your Square tools. Square’s hardware options include:
Cost: $799 or $39/month for 24 months
Cost: $299 or $27/month for 12 months
Cost: $149 or $14/month for 12 months
Best for: Busy businesses with a storefront
Best for: On-the-go payments
Best for: Businesses that already have a tablet
Square Appointments comes with a rich bank of scheduling features that makes it easy for both you and your clients to schedule and manage appointments. Overall, it earned a 2.88 out of 5 for its appointment booking tools.
The biggest area where Square lost points was its lack of video integration, intake forms, and calendar sync options. Overall, while Square isn’t ideal for every business, it has tons of booking tools to help run your beauty, fitness, and service business.
Click through the headings below for an in-depth look at Square Appointments’ features.
Square Appointments’ scheduling tools are at the core of this software’s operation. Every Square user can access and manage their schedule either from their online account or through the Square appointments app. Paid subscribers will also be able to sync their appointments with their personal Google Calendar and view live scheduling updates from there.
The calendar management features include:
- Square App and Online Account: Access and manage appointments from your Square app or any computer via your Square Appointments login.
- Appointment acceptance: Manual and automatic appointment acceptance modes.
- Advanced calendar viewing: Customize your viewing options by filtering your calendar according to time frame, staff, or location.
- Availability management: Manage your daily schedule better by blocking personal events and marking these as “busy” when you sync your personal Google Calendar.
- Calendar syncing: Sync your appointment schedule with your Google Calendar.
- Resource booking: Allows you to assign resources (like chairs, rooms, or supplies) to certain appointments so that they get booked when their corresponding appointments are created.
- Multiple time zone syncing: Sync all your appointments with the correct time zones so that no one forgets a booking.
- Cancellation and no-show protection: Set a cancellation window and protect against no-shows with a deposit system (paid plan only).
Square Appointments lets you provide your customers with different ways to book appointments online. These are automatically synced to both your Square and Google calendars, so your calendar stays up to date at all times. You can choose from the following options based on varying technical skills and business requirements:
- Online booking page: Set up a free online booking page that you can share with your clients via text or email. This page is customizable, so you can make it fit your brand and desired customer experience.
- Booking page embed: Embed your online booking page into your existing website.
- Booking widget or button: Add a booking widget or button to your existing website. Your widget and button are also fully customizable and you can get help setting these up with Square Support.
- Social media integration: Add a booking button to your Instagram and Facebook.
- Google listing: Add a booking button to your Google listing.
- Square website: Create a custom website and online booking with Square Online at no extra cost.
Square Appointments allows you to connect with clients through SMS and email messaging tools where you can send personalized notes from the moment clients make their booking to when their service has been rendered and payment is completed.
With Square Appointments, you can:
- Send appointment confirmation messages as soon as clients book so that they have all their appointment information in an easy-to-find place.
- Set appointment reminders so that your clients never miss an appointment.
- Send digital receipts and client survey forms after their appointments so that they can give their feedback about your business. Square also lets you respond directly to survey responses, making it easy to fix any problems and maintain customer loyalty.
- Use Square Assistant, a smart messaging tool that comes free with Square Appointments. It allows clients to confirm, cancel, or reschedule appointments via SMS at any time of the day in response to your automated appointment reminders. It will automatically respond and update your calendar so that you can do more working and less worrying about managing your schedule.
You can customize your payment requirements and cancellation policy to protect your business from no-show clients. Access the settings from your appointments dashboard, then choose between letting clients book without adding their credit card information and requiring credit card details either to hold a reservation or for prepayment.
If you opt to require a client to enter credit card information to hold a reservation, you can specify the cut-off time for cancellation and the corresponding charges for canceling beyond your stipulated deadline. You can also set the fee either as a dollar amount or a percentage of the total cost of the canceled service.
Your clients will receive an email notification once you approve the cancellation. It will include details of the canceled appointment, along with the corresponding fee, and your cancellation policy.
Not only did we evaluate Square Appointments based on its appointment booking features, but we also made sure to look at its back-office management. Square earned a 4.5 out of 5 in this area for equipping business owners with great staff management features, a POS system, tons of customization features, and other unique management tools—like inventory and retail management.
The only area where Square lost any points was its lack of calendar integrations—it will only sync with Google calendars.
Square Appointments allows you to create and customize your list of services. Each service will have a description, specified duration, and pricing option. You can also assign specific resources to your services so that their availability is updated with appointment bookings.
For pricing your services, you can either set a fixed price that customers can pay directly online at checkout or a variable price that is determined after the service is complete and paid at checkout. You can also add variations and a block transition time between services.
Once you have your list of services, you can customize how they appear on your booking page—whether that be as a menu or on your actual calendar.
While Square Appointments’ free plan is only for one person, if you do adopt Square for additional staff members, the program comes with rich team management tools so that you can stay on top of all your employees and their schedules.
Each staff member receives a unique login where they can access and manage their own calendar from any desktop or the Square Appointments mobile app. Each profile can be customized by specifying location, offered services, and bookable hours. There’s also a biography section where you can add information about their availability, specialization, and other offered services.
With administrator access, you can manage your staff’s booked appointments and control what they see by assigning permissions. You can also set custom permissions so employees can change only necessary items on their schedule. Additionally, you can specify multiple wage rates, assign unique commission rates, disable booking, split tips, or delete a staff profile altogether. Users also get regular timecards and labor vs sales reports.
Each staff member gets their own login and calendar with their individual appointments. (Source: Square)
When you sign up for Square Appointments, you will also receive a Square POS system where you can process payments and keep track of your inventory, appointment activities, and client information. The Square POS system also lets walk-in clients view your list of services, book, and check out. You also have the ability to issue a refund for an entire appointment or per individual service item.
It is important to note that while the Square POS system works well with Square hardware, you can also use Square POS with your existing equipment. Square does work best, however, with a tablet application.
Additional tools for customizing point of sale include:
- Issue professional invoices
- Perform quick checkouts with customer card-on-file
- Process keyed-in payments
- Accept split payments
- Apply appropriate sales taxes
- Apply rewards as discounts
- Allow custom tipping
- Redeem loyalty rewards
- Accept gift cards
- Contactless payment compatible
- Data security (PCI) compliance
- Reporting on sales
Read our Square POS review for additional information, or find more options on our list of the best POS systems for small businesses.
With Square Appointments, you can save detailed customer information to your Square Dashboard. Additionally, if you have an existing customer contact list, you can import their information into Square as a CSV file. Each client profile contains their personal details, credit card info, appointment schedules, and purchase history. You can even add personalized notes to each client profile to remind you of their preferred services.
Square also offers communication tools to improve client relations. When a new client gets added to your dashboard, Square allows you to send custom messages to welcome your new customer. You can also send email and text reminders for their appointments, and send soft copy contracts if you require a client’s signature before performing a service. Client management also lets you create client groups for marketing campaigns.
Square Appointments can combine service and retail for blended businesses. While Square for Retail is a better option for businesses with thousands of SKUs or complex inventory needs, Square Appointments’ POS has a built-in inventory management feature that is great for service-based businesses with smaller inventory needs. Square Appointments’ inventory system is easy to use and includes features like:
- Inventory organization: Stock unlimited inventory, customize products with categories, and use an item search tool during checkout.
- Inventory tracking: Track stock levels in real time and set low stock email alerts when items are running low.
- Barcode scanning: Ring up sales through barcode scanning with a barcode scanner or your iPad’s camera.
- Sales allocation: Monitor retail sales and attribute it to the correct employees automatically, enabling you to handle commission payouts for said transactions efficiently.
- Social media Integration: Integrate your inventory to Instagram and make a storefront where customers can shop right from your social media page.
Learn how to use Square’s inventory management tools.
While you can opt to use all Square products—from building your website to managing your inventory to booking appointments—Square also has several integration options so that you can adopt Square into existing systems without having to worry about compatibility issues or switching providers.
The following third-party integrations are compatible with Square Appointments:
- Google Calendar
Third-party integrations are limited for this software, which most critics find as a major downside in using the platform. The biggest shortcoming here is the lack of intake form capabilities and that the calendar only syncs with Google. Competitor products, like Picktime and 10to8, offer integration with other calendar applications such as iCal, Office 365, and Outlook.
- Simple account creation
- Customized services display
- Handy Square Dashboard
- Automated Square Assistant
- Item and customer search tool
- Active community forum
- Step-by-step setup guide
While Square may lack some integrations, the software is overall easy to use and loved by its users—earning it a 4 out of 5 in our expert evaluation.
Square Appointments lets you manage your business from your Square Dashboard—or on the Square Appointments app if you are on the go. You also have the Square Assistant app that automates your booking procedure. Square makes it easy to update your booking page and reorganize how your services are displayed so you can have your most popular services, promos or bundles, and specialty services at the top of the list.
Documentation for Square Appointments in the help center is somewhat limited, but it does have a comprehensive start-up guide for first-time users. You’ll need to log in to your Square account in order to access customer service. Live phone support operates on extended hours, which is Mondays through Fridays, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pacific time.
Square Appointments User Reviews
While users and critics do have some reservations about Square Appointments, the software still gets an overall positive review. Users laud Square Appointments for its range of features and customization options, while most of the negative feedback centers around the lack of integrations and video capabilities.
Square Appointments is rated 4.9 out of 5 based on over 130,000 reviews from the Apple App Store and 4.8 out of 5 based on about 7,000 reviews on the Google’s Play store.
Other popular third-party review websites rated Square Appointments as follows:
- G2: 4.4 out of 5 based on about 30 reviews.
- Capterra: 4.4 out of 5 based on more than 140 reviews.
Here are the trending positive and negative feedback that I noticed while reading through the reviews.
|Convenient and easy to use||Lack of widget and brand customization options|
|Services and booking customization and automation features||QuickBooks integration is an add-on|
|Option to require for prepayment of services||Some learning curve for setting up integrations|
|Google Calendar integration||Lack of integrated forms|
How We Evaluated Square Appointments
To evaluate the best appointment scheduling software, we considered four main factors: price, appointment booking tools, back-office features, and an expert score.
While price is an important factor, all of the appointment scheduling software we explored are extremely affordable, ranging from $0–$90 monthly. We found it more important to weigh appointment scheduling software based on its features for both your customers and your business, ease of use, customization capabilities, and whether the tool can grow with your business.
Click through the tabs in the box below to view our full scoring criteria.
15% of Overall Score
We gave more credit to appointment scheduling software that gives you unlimited appointments, offers multiple affordable plans, and doesn’t lock you into a long-term contract so the tool can grow with your business. Companies that only offer demos are penalized compared to those that offer a free trial or free plan.
40% of Overall Score
Some of the most important features of a scheduler include a booking page for customers, calendar syncing for your staff members, and the option to offer class or group appointments. We also considered whether there are no-show management and intake form features.
20% of Overall Score
By far, the most important back-office feature of an appointment scheduler is its automation—especially for communication with customers. We heavily rewarded software that offers automated reminders via email and text. Certain businesses need payment processing integrated with appointment software, so we considered that, along with other integrations. A customer database is a nice bonus, but we didn’t score that too highly as many businesses already use a customer relationship management (CRM) platform they like.
25% of Overall Score
The top considerations in our expert score are ease of use (for the customer especially) and the customization available for each scheduler. Although we considered price in the overall score, we also looked at what you get for what you pay, scoring each scheduler based on its overall value.
Square Appointments Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes! Square offers a scheduling software called Square Appointments that integrates into all of the other tools in the Square ecosystem. Square Appointments lets you create an online booking page, manage your calendar, send appointment reminders, and process payments. Not only that, but Square Appointments also has a completely free subscription option perfect for one user.
Square Appointments lets you set up a booking page where customers can make appointments based on your specific services and availability. From there, those appointments will appear on your calendar as they are booked, and Square will send out SMS and email reminders to keep your customers accountable. Square Appointments also has integrated payment processing, a POS system, and a website builder.
You can learn more with our Square Appointments setup guide.
Square Appointments offers three plans at $0, $29, and $69 per month, per location. The plans vary by the number of users and locations they can support as well as premium feature offerings.
The Square Appointments app is completely free and so is making an account!
Square’s ecosystem makes Square Appointments one of the most versatile appointment scheduling software on the market. It offers the ability to combine service with retail and a range of automation features so that you can book and manage appointments 24/7. Updating services takes only a few clicks, while upgrading and downgrading plans is automatic, so it becomes easy to hire seasonal employees and offer seasonal services.
Ready to try Square Appointments? Visit its website for a fast sign-up process. It’s free, and there’s no commitment or credit card required—so you can cancel anytime.