Enterprise Resource Planning solution for salons and spas, AbitzU aims to make the experience from booking to billing easy for customers and profitable for salons.
Imagine trying to call the salon for an urgent appointment and being met with either the engaged tone or worse, the phone unanswered. Most of us have faced this at some time or the other, ironic in a digitally connected world.
Sensing the gap, AbitzU (formerly MyCityOnMap) is changing this very thing for customers of more than 100 salons and spas across India. An Enterprise Resource Planning software for salons and spas, AbitzU has as much applicability for a local salon in a Tier-III town, as for the one at Leela Group of Hotels.
“We have been using AbitzU Software for all our locations in India for around one year now. We find it user friendly, and rich with features. It has helped us in various ways and has smoothened overall operations. The support team is also very dependable and helping,” says Leena D’Souza, Salon Manager (Operations), at the Leela Mumbai.
Founded by Kaushik Shitole, who hails from Bengaluru, AbitzU was formerly known as MyCityOnMap, and was originally conceived as a mobile application to bring every amenity in the city on the mobile. “That’s still on the cards, but currently, we have an ERP software for salons and spas on SaaS model. However, any appointment-based business – be it clinics, doctors, nutritionists – will also find it useful,” says Kaushik.
“We did a little experiment. We called up a noted salon chain in their Chennai outlet to fix a pedicure appointment. The phone was unanswered after several rings. So, we called up their Delhi and Mumbai outlets, with the same results. Finally, it was in the evening that someone picked up the phone in Mumbai outlet to take the appointment. The receptionist didn’t know details and we got an appointment after a half-an-hour discussion. We realised several salons may be losing business because of this manual process,” he adds.
According to Kaushik, salon owners across the world have a couple of common pain points –
- Loss of business: Salons often lose business due to missed calls and appointments
- Difficulty in re-targeting: Generic ERP software cannot help salons get actionable insights from customer feedback to know which services are working for clients and which are not.
A software that empowers salons
AbitzU is a white label software solution for appointment-based businesses that comes with a mobile application for customers. Some of its key features include –
- Hassle-free appointments: Offers multiple appointment booking channels such as web booking, mobile app, manager mobile app. The mobile app shows real-time data about availability of specific experts, services on offer, timings and slots available.
- Easy billing and feedback: There’s no need for a physical bill because the customer can generate a digital bill. Customers can also rate services and give feedback.
- Analytics and re-targeting: Based on customer feedback and frequency of services, salons can know about their popular services and staff which can help them take data-based decisions, and re-target customers.
“Our mission is to empower offline salons into becoming digital businesses and get better visibility. This service is very much in reach even for smaller business with just say a doctor and a receptionist or a hairdresser and one staff. It takes just five minutes for any salon to onboard all of its data into the software,” adds Kaushik.
AbitzU was founded in 2016 by Kaushik. The software has been employed by a number of salons across the country in less than a year. The company also won Concept Of the Year award in 2016 from the Indian Salon and Wellness awards by Franchise India.
In the same year, the software also won Concept of the Year award by Brands Academy during the Pearl Blue Awards for Excellence in service industry.
Six of the Leela’s salons and spas have been using the software along with others such as Tip N Toe (Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru); The Colour Lounge; AOne Salons; Bina Punjani (Goa); and Play Salon (Bengaluru).
With just a team size of 15 including Kaushik, the startup is confident of scaling up throughout the country over the next six months. In 2018, the startup broke even, with Rs 7.7 crore of business transactions done through the software by various clients.
Competition and market
A Franchise India report states India’s beauty and wellness market would nearly double to Rs 80,370 crore in 2017-18. Along with AbitzU, companies like SalonERP, SalonIris and ManageMySpa are offering enterprise resource solutions for salons in India.
“Our competition is not from any of the other products because we focus on educating and handholding salons who had difficulty scaling up. We offer a more comprehensive solution that makes salon appointments look like a cakewalk,” insists Kaushik.
AbitzU is currently bootstrapped, and has onboarded salons from Kuwait and UAE and is not looking for funding.
“Our SAAS model is scalable and there’s a clear gap in the salon and spa industry that we can fill. Customers can pay through the app, they don’t need to carry cash,” insists Kaushik adding that “in a truly digitally empowered India, it’s time to digitalise the small and big salon chains in Tier II and III cities in the country.”