What’s in this article:
- Amazon is opening a hair salon to test new technology that offers customers a preview of how they’ll look with a new hair style or color
- Using AR customers can view information, such as brand videos and educational content played on an accompanying display screen, too
On April 20, Amazon announced the opening of a hair salon in London that will offer customers a view of their future selves, post-coloring. It’s described as a kind of experiment: “Amazon Salon will trial the latest industry technology, from augmented reality (AR) hair consultations to point-and-learn technology.”
The AR, as seen in the picture here, refers to seeing yourself with the change on a screen. Makeup manufacturers have offered this kind of preview for customers who can use their phones to picture themselves in various hues offered by the brand. It does make sense to offer such a preview for something that requires a greater investment of time and money and is not instantly removable like hair dye.
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The “new point-and-learn technology” refers to enabling customers to just point at what grabs their interest among the products on display. On display screens will not just show basic information but also play “brand videos and educational content.” It’s a way of tying together the full access to information we enjoy when shopping online within the presence of the actual object in a store setting.
Amazon clearly assumes that an educated consumer will convert into a customer if the process is made seamless enough. So, all customers have to do is scan in a QR code to get taken right to the product on Amazon.co.uk where they can click to purchase and get it shipped to their address.
John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager, Amazon, stated: “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.”
The salon is a logical next step after the launch of the Amazon Professional Beauty Store on Amazon.co.uk. The salon serves as a showroom and portal to purchase for thousands of products delivered quickly at competitive prices, thanks to Amazon’s powerful infrastructure for purchasing and shipping.
It seems like a great idea, and I would expect it to be embraced by other salons, though not the priciest ones. Higher end salons make money off selling their own exclusive products, so they certainly wouldn’t want to bring in rival products that can offer much more attractive pricing for the same functions.
However, for salons that are not super exclusive, it would make sense to set up something like this where technology is put in the service of beauty and informed choices for customers.
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