Industry • Best Practice
Oct.26,2021By Boulevard Staff
Beauty businesses have a conflicted relationship with Amazon. The monolithic tech company makes it easier for salons, barbershops, and spas to keep their shelves stocked with high-quality products. But Amazon has also taken its pound of flesh — snatching up more than its fair share of consumer retail sales.
Now Amazon has launched a brick-and-mortar salon, and beauty pros everywhere are thinking through their next moves. If you’re wondering what this news means for the industry — and how you should respond — then read on. This blog post gives you three essential tips for navigating the implications of this announcement.
While Amazon has said it has no plans to open up more locations, take this launch as a shot across the bow. Tech companies have a history of entering industries and catching existing players off guard.
Sure, no one currently equates the online behemoth with quality beauty services, but things change fast these days. No one believed streaming services could produce quality content either, but that intuition has now been debunked by every conceivable measure: Oscars to Instagram pages.
In other words, take this challenge seriously. It’s possible Amazon’s Salon is nothing more than marketing, but we wouldn’t bet on it.
From augmented reality (AR) to “point-and-learn technology,” the cool factor is a big reason Amazon’s salon has earned so much buzz. The core of the salon experience will never be technology, but you can certainly improve your service by embracing it.
From back-end processes like payroll to client-facing engagements like online booking, beauty businesses have numerous opportunities to improve operations and enhance customer experience using technology. Once you’ve got those fundamentals covered, then you might want to consider enhancing your service differentiation through AI, AR, and other technologies.
The latter half of that journey might not be the right move for every beauty business, but the first part definitely is.
The primary reason Amazon outperformed brick-and-mortar bookstores was their ability to deliver features only an online retailer could. Their massive inventory, unparalleled convenience, and pioneering use of personalization paved the way for success in that space.
But the beauty industry is built around relationships, and this essential characteristic makes it remarkably robust. Now is the time to double down on the human side of the business. From a friendly front desk to free beauty tips, superb customer service is still undefeated. To increase your salon’s resilience, make sure your clients feel the love.
For better or worse, Amazon is a beauty industry player now. The firm might never move into the services side of the space, but that decision lies outside your control. What is in your control is your business.
So embrace this moment fully. It may transform into an opportunity to take your operation to the next level.
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