By Omo Ifabua | Contributor
After opening a ‘till-less supermarket’ in London, just last month, it is somewhat unsurprising that Amazon will be launching its own salon in the capital. However, this hairdressing experience promises to be like no other, featuring augmented reality consultations and the latest “point-and-learn” technology.
John Boumphrey, Amazon’s UK Country Manager, has said, “We want this unique venue to bring us one step closer to customers and it will be a place where we can collaborate with the industry and test new technologies”.
If customers are curious about what a hair-dye may look like on them, but are not ready to take the risk, AR tech will allow them to experiment with different virtual hair colours before receiving treatment. The salon also boasts in-store entertainment, using Fire tablets for each client at their very own styling station.
Elena Lavagni, the owner of Neville Hair & Beauty, will be leading Amazon Salon in providing clients with fantastic hair care services, whilst trialling cutting edge equipment. Lavagni has worked in the business for over 40 years, pleasing top clientele at Paris Fashion Week and the Cannes Film Festival. From cut and blow dry, to balayage and braids, her creative team of experts will be central to “bringing this salon to life”.
For those wondering what else this new salon has to offer, Amazon will also let customers shop for hair products in store. Unlike the Amazon Go supermarket, the salon will use “point-and-learn” technology, where shoppers can simply point their finger at a product they are interested in and receive all the information about it, on a display shelf. To take this a step further, customers can then scan the product’s QR code and purchase it using their online Amazon account.
However, Gene Marks, Small Business Strategy writer for Forbes Magazine, warns that small businesses should keep updated on Amazon’s venture into the hair world. He suggests that “Amazon is testing technology that will likely spread across your industry and you’re going to want to be ahead of that curve, not behind it”. Amazon state that their new salon is part of its mission to support the professional beauty industry, especially after the recent launch of the Amazon Professional Beauty Store on its UK website. This store gives hair and beauty professionals access to over ten thousand products and also offers business discounts and perks, such as fast delivery and no ‘minimum order quotas’.
Sadly, the Amazon Salon will only be open to existing Amazon employees, however, bookings are expected to open for the general public in the coming few weeks. At present, there are no other plans for additional locations, so expect the new Brushfield Street store to be booked and busy for the near future.