Mindbody vs Vagaro is both the most straightforward comparison and also happens to be the most complex given the context and your requirements.
If you operate a hair salon, Vagaro should be your choice over Mindbody. If you run a yoga or fitness studio, you should choose Mindbody over Vagaro. However, most use cases are not that simple.
I spoke to hundreds of studio owners and got their feedback about Mindbody and Vagaro. My team has also analyzed hundreds of customer reviews of these two platforms.
In this guide, I will distill my findings so you can choose between Vagaro and Mindbody based on your unique requirements. At the end of the article, I will also introduce you to StudioGrowth, which could be a viable alternative given your needs.
Mindbody vs Vagaro: Experts Review
Let’s begin by understanding the background of these companies. You can find a side-by-side feature comparison in multiple places, but it’s essential to understand the experience of the company you will be working with. I have deep respect for what both Mindbody and Vagaro have built, and in some ways, both have followed similar paths.
Mindbody is the company that started it all, bringing scheduling online in the early 2000s. Vagaro began a decade later, in 2009, and both these companies cashed in on the initial explosion of businesses going online.
Both Mindbody and Vagaro are unicorns (companies with a valuation over $1BN) and are the largest players in the wellness CRM space.
The initial founding team of Mindbody has long departed the business, and it operates under one of the best private equity companies – Vista Equity Partners. Vagaro is still led by its founder and is backed by some leading private equity companies.
Both Mindbody and Vagaro are established, well-funded, and financially stable companies with world-class management. So you are safe with either provider regarding company financial stability, data security, and brand name.
Now that you know the background of these companies, let’s dive into the question of Mindbody vs Vagaro. We will look at their critical differences across these topics:
- Unique Selling Proposition
- Innovation, Marketplace & Data Ownership
- Customer Service
Mindbody vs Vagaro: Unique Selling Proposition
A feature comparison between Vagaro and Mindbody is pointless since both have extensive features, most of which you will never use. Both have been on the market for 10+ years and have had sufficient time to build the essential features required by any wellness business.
If you look at what they have to say about each other, Vagaro focuses on the fact that it is a more affordable option compared to Mindbody.
Mindbody focuses on the fact that it has the largest marketplace of consumers and can expose your business to many new customers and offer capital to your business.
I don’t believe these are actual unique selling propositions of Mindbody and Vagaro from the perspective of the studios.
The most significant unique selling proposition for each is the sector in which they excel.
Vagaro is hands down the best product on the market for salons and spas. If you operate a business where individual calendars and availability are crucial, Vagaro should be your default choice.
However, Mindbody excels in group scheduling scenarios. If you operate a yoga, fitness, or Pilates studio, then Mindbody should be your choice over Vagaro. For example, Vagaro cannot do the basic workflow for your Pilates studio.
Comparing features between Mindbody and Vagaro is a pointless exercise, so focus on the sector you operate in and decide from there.
Mindbody vs Vagaro: Innovation, Marketplace & Data Ownership
As industry leaders with similar extensive features, one way to differentiate between Mindbody and Vagaro is to understand which platform is more innovative.
Mindbody has made several acquisitions and regularly purchases innovative companies to stay ahead of the curve. The most recent acquisition of Class Pass is a testament to Mindbody’s focus on remaining at the cutting edge of innovation.
While Vagaro has a 200+ person team, they tend to be much slower than Mindbody in rolling out innovative solutions. For example, Mindbody recently debuted AI capabilities in its platform when the technology is still nascent. When it comes to innovation, Mindbody is a better choice than Vagaro.
Another aspect that both companies excel in is offering loans/capital to businesses. Mindbody has had this offering for several years, and Vagaro recently started offering this capability. No other provider in the market offers innovative financing options to its customers.
The final aspect to consider is the size of the marketplace. The marketplace is the product where Mindbody and Vagaro put your business in front of millions of consumers. Mindbody has a more extensive marketplace if you need help acquiring new customers.
However, the biggest complaint of wellness businesses is that Mindbody and Vagaro market other similar businesses to your existing customers! Companies can do so if they own your data, and you need to review the terms & conditions carefully before you sign any contract.
To summarise, Mindbody is a better option if you are looking for a partner that is innovative and has a more extensive consumer marketplace. However, it may come at the cost of giving access to your data to your software providers.
Mindbody vs Vagaro: Price
Although Vagaro strongly markets that its solution is more affordable than Mindbody’s for similar features, this is not entirely accurate.
Vagaros pricing is better, given you have a limited number of staff members. As the number of staff members or calendars increases, the pricing may become comparable to Mindbody’s.
If you are a small business or just starting, Vagaro should be your choice over Mindbody if price is your primary driver. However, once you get to multiple locations with tens of staff members in each location, you will need to check custom quotes from Mindbody and Vagaro to understand the better option.
Mindbody’s pricing is based on the features you use, and Vagaro’s pricing is based on the number of features you use and the number of staff members you have.
Mindbody vs Vagaro: Customer Service
Based on customer reviews, the customer service of Vagaro is slightly better than Mindbody only because Mindboy’s first-level support cannot solve your issues. The first level of support, which operates 24/7, takes the support request and passes it on to the senior support team with product knowledge.
However, Mindbody has been quick in adding AI capabilities to its platform, including to the support experience. Vagaro offers 24/7 support operated by technical support agents, offering a slightly better experience.
Both Mindbody and Vagaro have an extensive knowledge base for self-serve support. If you have to choose a provider based on the customer support offered, Vagaro wins over Mindbody.
A Unique Alternative: StudioGrowth
If you are currently exploring Vagaro vs Mindbody, I encourage you to consider StudioGrowth. It is a lightweight platform with all the essential features you need for your business. Most companies use less than 50% of the features offered by Vagaro and Mindbody. StudioGrowth provides all the necessary features at a fraction of the cost and a world-class support experience.
Check the studioGrowth features, and if they match your requirements, it could be a significantly better option for you. The unique selling proposition of StudioGrowth is:
- You own 100% of your data
- Lightweight easy to use platform that does not suck
- Better customer experience
- Fraction of the cost of Mindbody or Vagaro
- World-class support. It is the highest-rated software for customer support.
This guide gives you all the information you need to choose between Mindbody and Vagaro. If you’d like to see how StudioGrowth compares, please schedule some time with me.
I write abouT establishing and Growing your boutique Fitness/Wellness Business. I promise no spam, I hate spam.
Enter Your Email To Receive Growth Tips For Your Boutique Studio. I Also Send Out Occasional Discounts And Freebies
About the author
Naz Ahm is the founder of StudioGrowth and has spent a decade growing start-ups and venture-backed companies. He writes about sales, marketing, and growth, especially in the yoga, fitness, and wellness industry.
Naz has an MBA from IESE Business School and started his journey in the wellness industry when he set up an on-demand wellness business. Naz currently splits his time between the U.K and the US.