#TechThursday: Vaniday is the must-have app for beauty addicts

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#TechThursday: Vaniday is the must-have app for beauty addicts
Want to book appointments without hassle, and suss out the best places to do your hair, nails and facials? Vaniday is the all-in-one app you need to download pronto

We know what you're thinking. Do I really need another app? The answer when it comes to Vaniday, is a decided yes. The beauty app first launched in Brazil in March last year, but has now found its way to Singapore, its first Asian stop. And already there are 800 salons and spas who are on the app, giving you lots of choices when it comes to picking the best place for your next pedicure or haircut. 

All participating salons are divided into eight categories: hair, nails, makeup, aesthetics, hair removal, massage, barber (for men) and spa. With an easy-to-navigate and intuitive interface, Vaniday allows you to compare the prices of services across different salons and spas and even study customer reviews before making a real-time booking via the app. No more hanging on the line to get someone or trying out salons that just don't cut it. Use the app to find the best place to do your balyage colouring or to get a pampering massage to undo all the knots you've acquired from overtime at work. To ensure your booking is truly made, a confirmation text and email will be sent.

We hear from the app's co-founder and managing director of Singapore Robinson Blanckaert.

Singapore is the sixth market on Vaniday's radar — and the first market in Asia for Vaniday. Why?
In terms of beauty, Singapore is huge. It is the perfect launchpad to the rest of Asia. Singapore reports the highest active spa-going population across the globe, around 70 per cent. There are over 18,000 beauty salons spread across the country.

Singapore also has the highest smartphone penetration in the world with 85 per cent of users. There is virtually an app for every need. You can use an appto book a taxi, buy a plane ticket, or book a table at a restaurant. With Vaniday, we aim to fulfill a gap that we have identified in the beauty and wellness market.

How do you foresee the growth of Vaniday in Singapore?
The market potential is huge. Before Vaniday went 'live' in Singapore in January 2016, we had already gotten 600 salons on board — and right now, the count is over 800, and we believe we have the best salon partners under our belt.

The reason of this success is very straightforward. We offer for free to our partners a fully integrated booking software called My.Vaniday through which they can offer direct online bookings, automatic appointment reminders and also use our integrated CRM tools to keep customers engaged. Why is it so important? Currently, about 50 per cent of the salons do not have a booking software.

The challenge now is to educate the consumer to book a beauty service through an app. Current spending in Singapore is over $1 billion a year. We are targeting a strong part of it in the first two years.

A lot of women would have go-to salons for various beauty services — what is the benefit for them to use Vaniday?
There are two main benefits. The first is convenience — you do not need to call salons during specific opening hours. In two clicks, you can book your next appointment in real time, at any time of the day you want. Once you get used to this, it is hard to imagine spending time calling again.

The second reason is special deals. Since we drive a lot of customers to our partner salons, we are able to negotiate exclusive deals with them for Vaniday users.

How would you differentiate Vaniday from competitors that also offer mobile or online bookings for beauty services?
Vaniday allows customers to navigate through the services of more than 800 salons and book a treatment directly off the salon's calendar. On the platform, customers can easily compare, review, and rate any salon. In addition to a free listing on the platform, Vaniday offers all its partner salons are software that provides them with a complete set of tools for managing their businesses, including staffing, calendaring and invoicing. 

Download for free at the AppStore or on Google play. Or book your appointments online here.

Text: Renée Batchelor

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