Amazon has disrupted retail but can they crack the hair and beauty market?

As Amazon Salon prepares to launch in London, brand experience agency, Swarm, explores the tech-led opportunities available for other salons and stores to reconnect with their customers post-lockdown.

Yesterday the news broke that Amazon is launching its first high-tech hair salon in Spitalfields, East London. The salon will feature augmented-reality mirrors allowing clients to virtually experiment with different colours and styles before taking the plunge with real-life treatments. 

Brand experience company, Swarm’s sister company, Folio Mirror debuted Folio Hair at Retail Design (2019) and have been developing the concept and use case ever since. Folio Hair, is a digital mirror that allows styling and tutorial sessions to be recorded and associated products tagged to each session, building a profile and database of customer sessions. 

Folio Hair can capture key moments in the styling process and take 360 view video of their finished hairstyle saving details of products, treatments to a virtual basket for in-store and future online purchase. Folio Hair allows customers to record stylist-led techniques which help customers maintain their hairstyle and also provides a record of the process and products used for the stylist and salon to help them offer a seamless customer experience for every visit to the salon.

Amazon said their Spitalfields Salon venture was an “experimental” salon and it had no current plans to expand, however, should the demand for experiential concepts and virtual ‘try on’ experiences resonate with salon customers, Folio Mirror can make experimental a reality for salons, globally with Folio Hair. 

Ray Harris, owner and director of Swarm and Folio Mirror says, “Many people may be surprised to see digital tools such as selfie mirrors in personal service environments where one-to-one customer engagement is critical. However, the Amazon Salon model proves that technology can be used to enhance the customer-to-brand relationship, with added benefits and convenience that are not possible without digital intervention. We believe that technologies like smart, selfie mirrors can not only provide the ‘wow-factor’ within salons but can support salon owners with marketing and promotion, customer satisfaction and loyalty.”

Folio Hair is an easy to integrate mirror, featuring a screen and inset vanity lighting strip. Folio Hair features easy to export functionality, allowing customers and salon owners to extract the content simply, and upload new products and brand information.

Folio Mirrors are interactive mirrors that blend the digital and physical worlds, seamlessly. Powered by cutting edge sensory technology, Folio Mirrors connect humans and brands with unique brand experiences. The Folio Mirrors range also includes Folio Fitness, Folio Selfie, Folio Tutorial and Folio Loyalty to meet the needs of brands and their consumers alike.

Brand experience agency, Swarm, develops the strategy, ideas and tools to bring ‘customer-first’ experiences to life across digital and physical environments. With a mix of considered design, proven psychology and authentic technology we deliver solutions that not only drive brand love and create memorable moments but also support sales advocates to achieve business objectives. 

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