For some time now, Amazon has been far more than just an e-commerce giant. The group continuously proves this by launching all kinds of physical store concepts. The latest innovation will soon open up in London: a hairdressing salon.
Choosing hair colour using augmented reality
Retail Week got a sneak preview of the new concept in the London district of Spitalfields. The salon measures 140 sqm, stretching over two floors, and is loaded with Amazon technology and products.
Customers can use augmented reality to experiment with different hair colours and styles, or use Amazon's point and learn technology to browse through the retail giant's ever-growing range of beauty products. When customers point to a product, information and videos appear on a screen. If they want to make a purchase, a QR code leads them to the relevant page in the online store.
Everyone is welcome to visit the Amazon Salon, with or without a Prime membership. However, they do need an Amazon account to purchase products. Unlike Amazon's till-less stores, the hair salon will not make use of the 'just walk out' technology (where customers automatically pay for products with which they walk out the door).
No chain (yet)
At the moment, Amazon says it has no plans to develop the Amazon Salon into a full-fledged chain of hairdressing salons. According to country manager John Boumphrey, the salon is "a place where we can work with the industry to test out new technologies". So it seems like Amazon wants to deliver a kind of proof of concept to sell to existing hair salons at a later stage. However, just because there are currently no official plans to develop additional Amazon Salons, it does not mean that there will always be just one.
With this innovation, London is gradually becoming a true laboratory for new Amazon concepts. The city already hosted the first Amazon Fresh shop outside of the US, and Amazon aims to expand to ten branches in the British capital quickly.