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StyleSeat responds to mobile traffic with salon reservation app

The online marketplace for beauty and wellness services StyleSeat has launched a mobile application to help consumers book beauty appointments on the go.

After discovering that 68 percent of its usage stemmed from mobile devices, StyleSeat realized that an app was necessary. The app will allow consumers to book appointments in almost 15,000 cities for free.

“While StyleSeat has always served both sides of the marketplace – beauty pros and consumers – up to this point we have primarily focused our efforts on providing tools to beauty professionals to help them manage and grow their businesses,” said Melody McCloskey, co-founder/CEO of StyleSeat, San Francisco.

“We have been really successful with that and have built the largest online marketplace of beauty professional service providers in nearly 15,000 cities,” she said. “We’re ready to focus on the consumer market, and our app launch represents our first real effort towards this audience.

“The ability to book a beauty appointment right from your mobile phone is incredibly convenient. And the fact that we have so many beauty pros on our platform also makes it easier for people to find a stylist, nail tech, or massage therapist near them, wherever they happen to be, and easily book an appointment.”

Style on-the-go
The new StyleSeat app is available for free in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

The app will benefit both consumers and professionals, providing tools to both book and manage appointments.

Beauty professionals such as hair stylists, cosmetologists, estheticians and massage therapists can manage their clients and salon for free via StyleSeat. The app lets them manage their appointment book, client list, menu of services, photos and online profiles.

On the consumer side, beauty professionals get the benefit of being able to book whenever and wherever they want.

According to StyleSeat, 5.5 million beauty appointments have been made via the online platform this year. The platform also claims to increase client frequency from 5.8 appointments per year to 12.2 appointments.

The online platform was founded in 2011 to simplify the booking process for both professionals and consumers. The mobile app will take that goal to the next level.

Mobile booking
While the beauty industry tends to be a bit slower in terms of mobile booking, the travel industry has already realized the power of mobile booking as a whole.

According to a recent study from Expedia and Egencia 32 percent of millennial business travelers book via smartphones (see story).

Airline and hotel companies have responded with their own mobile booking platforms.

For example, Choice Hotels International made it easier for members of its loyalty program to book reservations on mobile with a streamlined, three-click checkout process (see story).

Travel agencies such as Priceline, Hotwire and HotelTonight have also been investing more in tablets to respond to mobile booking increases (see story).

StyleSeat is bringing this trend over to the beauty sector.

“The StyleSeat app is already hugely popular with beauty pros for all the tools it provides them to manage and grow their businesses,” Ms. McCloskey  said. “By making it easier for clients to find and book stylists from their mobile phones, we will help drive even more new clients to our pro users.

“Beauty professionals rarely have time to sit in front of a computer; they rely on their mobile phones to stay connected throughout the day,” she said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York