Amazon is just about… everywhere. You can’t shop for a book or gadget without seeing Amazon’s results come up on Google shopping pages, and now the online giant is after a slice of the in-person hair industry.
As every hair salon that has survived the last three national lockdowns busies itself with clients and waiting lists following the April 12th reopening, Amazon is opening a salon, fittingly called Amazon Salon.
It’s in the works and is due to open to the public “in the coming weeks” after first being available to Amazon employees only.
What this means for the hair industry we’re yet to find out, but for now Amazon’s new opening seems scaled back.
Launching over two floors in London’s Spitalfields – currently without plans to open in any other locations or territories – the salon will offer everything you’d expect from a hairdressers: cuts, styling, blow dries, and more, for adults and children alike.
One key difference however, will be in its use of augmented reality (AR). Using this high-spec tech, consumers will be able to have hair consultations and experience point-and-learn technology that allows them to learn more about products they’re interested in through videos.
If they want to then buy them they can order them using a QR code, through Amazon and straight to their homes with no minimum order value.
It’s an impressive yet unsurprising feature – over the pandemic beauty brands (particularly in makeup) have been forced to lean on and develop AR and artificial intelligence-led platforms to replicate the in-person shopping experience as people have been unable to test things in store.
Chanel and Anastasia Beverley Hills launched smartphone apps, the former focusing on the lips and latter on brows, then brands like MAC Cosmetics expanded their online tools which let users to ‘try on’ products.
It only makes sense that Amazon are going to capitalise on this technology and be able to offer services that enable a more personalised experience – it’s the very thing AR and AI does best for beauty shoppers.
Though it begs the question of how salons without the means to invest in this technology just yet will be affected. Are Amazon about to set a new ‘norm’ in the hair world?
So far we know that services will operate through London salon Neville Hair & Beauty, which is founded by the talented and established Elena Lavagni.
She said: “I am delighted to be part of this project – the salon combines classic hairdressing services with technology to deliver a completely unique experience for clients.
“Our creative team of stylists, whose flair for hair is as intrinsic as their love for technology, will put the client at the heart of everything they do. I feel proud to use our 40 years’ experience in the industry to help bring this salon to life.”
There’s no doubt that Amazon are reaching out to the industry’s best to make this new launch a success. And despite the concerns of some in the beauty world, Amazon say the project will support the industry as a whole.
Amazon’s latest venture is just further evidence of beauty’s biggest trend of the year: innovation working in tandem with technology.
John Boumphrey, Amazon’s UK manager, said: “We have designed this salon for customers to come and experience some of the best technology, hair care products and stylists in the industry.
“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.”
Currently there are no specific details on pricing and services.