Square Data Shows Beauty Industry Recovery as Gross Payment Volume Rises 121% Year-over-Year

jul 07, 2021

Square, a vital partner to beauty and personal care businesses, offering seamless tools to fuel reopening

Following a difficult year, the beauty industry is showing strong signs of recovery as beauty and personal care businesses have reopened for in-person operations. Data from Square shows that gross payment volume and appointment bookings now exceed pre-COVID levels to meet surging consumer demand in a demonstration of incredible resilience.

Due to periods of social distancing and shelter in place orders over the past year, beauty businesses experienced major shifts that required them to pivot in order to continue operating. Businesses adapted and stayed connected with clients in new ways like selling products online, reconfiguring their salons for social distancing, offering virtual consultations, selling at-home beauty kits, and using customer relationship management (CRM) tools to better target customers through marketing campaigns.

“Once we had to shut down all operations due to state mandates, our primary goal shifted to continuing engagement via virtual consultations and online sales,” said Bryan Munshower, COO of Beauty Marx Aesthetic MedSpa in Doylestown, PA. “We created simple, customized bundles for clients for various needs and made them available for purchase online. Demand has returned and we’re seeing clients are ready to get back out and spend.”

The state of the beauty industry

Despite challenges over the past year, the beauty industry pivoted quickly and is now demonstrating strength with business flourishing. Square Appointments data shows that completed reservations at beauty and personal care businesses are now above pre-pandemic levels, up 81% from February 2020 to May 2021, and up 156% year-over-year as of May 2021.

Hiring has also returned to keep up with demand as the number of employees paid per beauty and personal care business in April 2021 was up 34% year-over-year and up nearly 16% year-over-year in May 2021.

Gross payment volume from beauty and personal care businesses has also improved, with a 121% year-over-year increase as of May 2021, and 25% from February 2020 to May 2021 - showcasing continued strength across the industry.

New beauty trends emerged

With consumers returning to beauty and personal care businesses in full force, clients are fueling recovery by taking this time to test rising beauty services that gained traction during COVID. Among those, the following saw increased demand from May 2020 to May 2021: body contouring (363% increase), eyelash extensions (283% increase), lip mask (238% increase), nail art (221% increase), and hybrid eyelashes (214% increase).

Square Appointments aids in business recovery

Square Appointments recently marked its 200,000,000th booking in the first half of 2021. As the all-in-one scheduling POS software for beauty and personal care, Square Appointments enabled businesses to be nimble and quickly adapt, ultimately helping them rebound from the pandemic.

“2020 was extremely hard for many reasons and we had to completely reimagine how to navigate so many things, and most of all how to communicate and set expectations with clients,” said Jessica Heckman, Owner of The Beautiful Co. Hair & Lashes in Greenville, SC. “The client experience has always been at the center of our business and Square Appointments is a premium part of that experience since it enabled us to clearly communicate with our clients during COVID so they understood what was going on.”

From Q1 2020 to Q1 2021, businesses using Square Appointments saw an average 23% decrease in booking no-shows and 63% increase in completed reservations, helping businesses keep their calendars booked for maximized sales during a time when they needed it most. Square Appointments’ monthly active users also grew 85% year-over-year as of May 2021. During that same period, nearly half of merchants onboarded to Square Appointments were new to Square as beauty and personal care businesses continued to turn to the POS solution for its ability to prepare and meet their needs.

Beyond its booking capabilities, beauty and personal care businesses use Square Appointments to not only sell services, but also physical goods to boost total order value and profit. By integrating both retail and services, Square Appointments saw roughly a 45% year-over-year increase in businesses selling retail products as of May 2021.

“This past year has tested beauty and personal care businesses and required them to rethink how they operate and interact with clients,” said Alyssa Henry, Executive Vice President, Square. “Merchants in this industry need robust solutions that enable them to grow their presence in an already competitive market. We’re continuing to build advanced features for Square Appointments that set the standard for what the beauty industry needs and expects from their POS provider.”

To further equip beauty and personal care merchants to future-proof and grow, Square Appointments recently released modern, seamless features that benefit businesses and their clients:

  • Square Online: Merchants can now create an integrated, customizable website to match the aesthetic of their business and sell their products and services online for omnichannel capabilities. Square Online saw a sizable increase in sign-ups from beauty and personal care businesses, up 296% year-to-date from January 2021 to May 2021.
  • Commissions: Businesses can now set commission rates for retail items and services that are automatically uploaded to Square Payroll, removing manual work and saving merchants time.
  • Gap time: Clients can book services during appointment downtimes right from a businesses’ website, streamlining bookings and helping merchants make more money.

To learn more about what your business can do with Square Appointments, visit here.

About Square, Inc.
Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) is a technology and financial services company that offers software, hardware, and financial tools to empower businesses and individuals to participate in the economy. Sellers use Square to reach buyers across online and in-person so they can start, run, grow, and adapt their business. Square has offices in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, Ireland, Spain and the UK.

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