Amazon reinvented supermarket shopping with its checkout-less Go stores, and now the e-commerce giant is applying its tech prowess to hairdressing. The company has chosen east London as the home for its first-ever salon, a 1,500-square-foot concept site where customers can try on virtual hair colors using an augmented reality color bar and shop curated beauty products using displays and QR codes.
The AR tech relies on a tablet embedded in a mirror to show patrons how they'd look in a range of different shades using the slate's front-facing camera. In that sense, it looks similar to the Live Mode make-up feature Amazon introduced on its mobile app in 2019, which allowed users to experiment with different lipstick colors. Meanwhile, the shopping experience utilizes Amazon's new "point-and-learn" technology, allowing customers to point to products on a shelf to view relevant info — including brand videos — on an accompanying screen. You'll then be able to buy the items by scanning a QR code to visit the product page on Amazon's UK site.
Tech aside, the salon will offer traditional styling from the professionals at Neville Hair and Beauty, a London-based boutique that normally charges between £50 to £250 ($70 to $350) for adult cuts and treatments. The retailer is currently trying out the concept on its employees and plans to open it to the public in the coming weeks.
Amazon's salon arrives on the heels of its first UK convenience stores, which offer the same checkout-free tech as its Go stores, with three Amazon Fresh sites currently operating across London. For now, the company says it has no plans to launch additional salons. Instead, it views the concept as a testing ground for new tech and a showcase for its beauty products.