When it comes to booking something online, be it a dinner reservation in a restaurant or an appointment in a salon, it has always been a hassle.
One would have to search the internet, find and compare reviews online, and then visit each website to find the specific prices and services before calling to make a booking.
After all the effort, the booking cannot even be confirmed due to unavailability.
Because of this, booking apps has been a huge lifesaver as they provide consumers with a seamless and convenient way to book different appointments with just a few taps.
There are quite a few fitness, beauty and wellness apps in Singapore. So Vulcan Post compared three such platforms to see what each had to offer.
Screenshot from the Vaniday website
Just last month, Vulcan Post wrote about Vaniday's comeback.
For the stranger, beauty booking app Vaniday announced its sudden closure in Singapore last December amid rumors of financial problems.
Despite an unfortunate exit, Vaniday has been revitalized with brand new management and leadership.
Since then it has been converted into a “one-stop beauty and wellness portal” and has expanded its dealer pool to include fitness studios, chiropractic, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
Notable Dealers on Vaniday / Photo Credit: Vaniday
A total of 1,000 dealers have been brought on board since Vaniday's soft launch in February, although the CEO has expressed ambitions to triple the dealer base to 3,000 by next year.
While the list of retailers for its beauty services is quite extensive, options for new service additions like chiropractors (four retailers), gyms (five retailers), and TCM (two retailers) are rather limited.
Regardless, it remains true to its vision of being a one-stop portal. In addition to offering booking services, Vaniday also serves as an e-marketplace for beauty and wellness products (a quick look at the app revealed that Korean skin care products are sold by brands such as Nature Republic and Innisfree) and offers a digital beauty and lifestyle Magazine called VaniZine.
The nice thing about it is also that Vaniday has revamped its loyalty program. Customers who stay loyal to their favorite salons and brands benefit from advantages such as increased cashback.
In addition, Vaniday may from time to time offer special offers so that users can get further discounts. Some services also offer cheaper prices for first-time users, so it is worth taking different testing services in different salons to get more savings.
Interestingly, it's the other way around with the ClassPass fitness app (compared to Vaniday).
Screenshot from the ClassPass email
Last month it was announced that users can now book “Beauty and Wellness Sessions” on their platform.
Due to COVID-19, ClassPass has offered online courses that are live-streamed with lower credits than physical courses. This is a great option for users who prefer to exercise in the comfort of their own home and are willing to forego on-site coaching.
The brand new wellness services are divided into different categories: massage, facial, cryotherapy (use of low temperatures in medical therapy) and sauna.
There is also a standalone online language course (available in one-month and three-month options) located under the Wellness tab.
On the other hand, beauty services include manicure and pedicure, blowout, eyelashes, haircut, and brows.
Screenshot from the ClassPass website
Although ClassPass has expanded its range of services, ClassPass is primarily a fitness booking app. Compared to Wellness (68 partners) and Beauty (10 partners), ClassPass has an overwhelming number of partners in this area (381 to be precise).
The fitness offer is also broad and ranges from outdoor, yoga, Pilates, HIIT, cycling, barre to fitness studios. Class packages are also available so you can stock up on courses at a discount in your favorite studios.
Another great thing about the ClassPass app is the user interface. It is very easy to navigate and users can filter their search by date, time, number of credits and amenities.
It's worth noting that ClassPass is based on a subscription model. Users can choose from four different plans to accommodate different usage frequencies:
- 8 credits for $ 19 / month
- 25 credits for $ 59 / month
- 45 credits for $ 99 / month
- 85 credits for $ 185 / month
- 150 credits for $ 315 / month
This means that a balance can cost anywhere from $ 2.10 to $ 2.37 depending on which plan you choose.
To put things in perspective, a quick review of the app found that the lowest credits for a yoga class are 4 credits, a massage 25 credits, and an express manicure 5 credits.
Note that ClassPass offers a 7-day free trial for new members.
Screenshot from Mindbody.io
There is also another player named Mindbody who is from the USA.
Mindbody was founded in 2001 and is a cloud-based business administration software. A quick query to the company revealed that it was launched in Singapore in 2005.
According to its website, Mindbody said it helps connect the world to wellness. The software has "connected hundreds of thousands of passionate health, wellness and beauty professionals with the millions of customers they serve".
A search of its website found it partnered with over 100 fitness and wellness studios and wellness and 13 beauty companies.
It has 20 fitness categories including yoga, circuit training, boxing, pole fitness, tai chi, and climbing.
On the other hand, there are 15 wellness categories including massage, acupuncture, nutrition, chiropractor, pregnancy, reflexology, water therapy, and body treatments.
Finally, there are eight beauty categories including Hair Salon, Facials, Nails, Hair Removal, Makeup / Lashes / Brows, Med Spa, Tanning, and even Tattoo / Piercing.
Any search in Mindbody can be filtered by class, studio, or instructor, as well as fitness type, distance, and ratings.
Mindbody also works with a flexible pricing system – you can choose to pay for a single session, a class package, or unlimited options.
Screenshot from Mindbody.io
You can also look for affordable courses in the Offers section. There are $ 5 children's yoga classes and a $ 10 prenatal yoga trial class.
This trend is not going to die anytime soon
The rise of fitness, beauty and wellness apps in Singapore can be clearly seen.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a health trend as many consumers take a serious inventory of their wellbeing.
As COVID-19 also accelerated the pace of technology trends, many gyms and beauty salons are taking their stores online, which has contributed to the rise of such booking apps.
For one, Mindbody's CEO is benefiting from this trend as he sees a massive surge in demand in his business as people continue to stay at home due to COVID-19.
Even after this pandemic ends, the demand for such apps will continue to grow as Singaporeans are willing to pay for the convenience – which is exactly what these apps offer.
Selected image source: Vaniday / ClassPass / Mindbody