The Green Sheet Online Edition
February 23, 2009 • Issue 09:02:02
Giving salons, spas the Midas touch
According to Terry Glatt, President of Invenstar LLC, the future of POS systems for small businesses is in specificity. Take, for example, Invenstar's new product, TouchSuite Salon POS. The system is designed specifically for salons and spas.
Invenstar visited salon and spa owners and asked what they needed in a POS system. The answer was simplicity. Glatt and his colleagues discovered most salon and spa merchants are not technologically savvy. "They run on a paper book," Glatt said. "They're doing manual tickets back and forth. I'm surprised they're not using knucklebusters."
Additionally, Glatt's team found that front-desk operators in salon and spa settings typically have rudimentary computer skills but have scant experience with sophisticated software or information technology. Therefore, Invenstar modeled its user interface for the TouchSuite to take into account operators' limited knowledge.
"And so it's very simple booking on the TouchSuite," Glatt said. "It's three touches. It looks and acts and feels a lot like the book acts and feels."
As Glatt describes it, "the book" is the center of the salon universe. It is the calendar that records the daily and ebb flow of business at salons. It is where appointments are booked, patrons are checked out, and details of individual customers are kept, such as birthdays and what beauty products are preferred.
Essentially, the TouchSuite electronifies the book. "You check out from the book into the cash register," Glatt said. "Credit card payments are built right into the system, so it's a two-second broadband transaction as opposed to a 40-second dial-up, and, bam, they can check out the next customer, book the next appointment."
The golden handcuffs
While an integrated, easy-to-use solution for salons and spas may sound simple, Glatt realized the challenges inherent in developing such a system. But Glatt and Sam Zietz, Chief Executive Officer at American Bancard LLC, recognized in 2007 that the marketplace was wide open for what became the TouchSuite.
Glatt pegs the overall size of the market at "hundreds of thousands" of salons and spas in the United States. But, of that number, Glatt said only 20 percent have implemented some type of POS terminal. And those 20 percent run what Glatt characterizes as Frankenstein systems - for example, a card swiper from a device manufacturer jerry-rigged to the platform of a software company.
"I mean, these are good shots at it," Glatt said. "But they're not fully committed."
Since Glatt believes cobbled-together systems leave much to be desired, he sees a huge opportunity for the TouchSuite. "Once you've got your clients running the TouchSuite, and it's easy to use and it's cost effective, the retention rate is going to go through the roof when it comes to merchant accounts," Glatt said.
Capitalizing on the knowledge and experience that resulted in the TouchSuite, Invenstar is now working on a more universal version of the system to be deployed in other niche markets, such as daycare centers, auto shops and boutiques. To view a demo of the TouchSuite, please visit www.touchsuite.com/salon/demo.html.
Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.