How to Build an On-Demand Service for Tattoo and Beauty Salons Using Augmented Reality

Anastasia Morozova
Chief Operating Officer

When the on-demand economy started transforming businesses, it didn’t leave the beauty industry behind.

Owners of salon chains and startups have launched on-demand beauty platforms. These platforms offer quick and easy access to beauticians at a time that is best suited to customers.

Using mobile technology for on-demand beauty services has made it even easier to book appointments in real time.

Take Glamsquad, a so-called Uber for beauty. The platform uses a mobile app and a website to let customers find hairstyle, makeup, or nail looks and book a professional at the customer’s location to create the desired look.

Another example of the same sort kind of thing – but for freelancing stylists – is Stylisted. The app allows you to select a stylist and have them arrive at your home.

hair styler app

Glamsquad. Image source: TechCrunch

Typically on-demand beauty services use one of the following business models.

Business models for on-demand beauty services

The business models listed below can appeal to both, owners of beauty salons and startups looking to connect beauticians and customers:

          1. The ‘on roll beautician’ model.

Beauty professionals are hired by companies and trained to deliver excellent services. On-demand beauty apps that use this model sell beauty looks, not beauty professionals who create them. This model promotes your brand and drives customers to your beauty salon.

          2. The aggregator model.

This model brings together beauticians or local spas, salons, and customers. It matches customers with makeup artists, hairstylists, tattoo artists, and other beauty service providers on the basis of location, availability, or the quality of profiles and ratings.

InkHunter, an augmented reality app for temporary tattoos uses a similar business model. The AR app is free to download, but it offers paid tattoo designs uploaded by tattoo artists.

augmented reality tattoo

Image source: InkHunter AR app

InkHunter helps these artists increase their following. By clicking “follow” in the InkHunter AR tattoo app, a user is transferred to the artist’s page on Instagram. They can follow the tattoo artist and schedule an appointment.

InkHunter plans to develop their business model so users could book an appointment with a specific tattoo artist through the tattoo maker app.

If you have a tattoo salon and are looking to develop an augmented reality tattoo app like InkHunter AR app, you can let your local users get inked in your salon using a tattoo design they bought on your platform.

          3. The design competition model (suitable for tattoos).

A user writes a brief for tattoo design and gets design ideas from various tattoo artists (who can also be a tattoo salon’s employees). When the contest is completed, users choose their favorite design and can take it to a local shop to get inked.

You can check out CreateMyTattoo platform to get a better idea of how the design for tattoos works.

On-demand economy and mobile technology have made it convenient to book beauty services. But an on-demand beauty app can’t ensure that the end result will meet the expectations.

The beauty industry is built on the products and services that help people look their best.

But the problem is, you can never be 100% sure whether that makeup you saw in the brochure will make you feel fabulous about yourself.

augmented-reality beauty industry

How can augmented reality improve on-demand beauty services?

Customers have lots of choices when it comes to booking appointments in beauty salons.

The competition in this sphere is very intense, and most salon owners are using the same lame promotional strategies that everyone else does.

Looking at photos of different hairstyles on social networks doesn’t give customers an exact idea of how a given style will look on their body type.

With its considerable market share (over $250 billion), the beauty industry is among the first to embrace new technological trends.

Augmented reality technology has already solved one of the most significant problems in the beauty industry. By putting a virtual image on top of a real-world object, augmented reality allows beauty professionals and brands to showcase how their products will look on individual consumers before purchase.

Hair, nails, and tattoos can all be tried on with the help of augmented reality and booked through an AR mobile app. Let’s take a look at how augmented reality technology works for tattoos, nails, and hair.

Examples of try-before-you-buy apps

Making people like the way they look is a key to running a successful beauty salon business.

Below are a few examples of apps that use augmented reality to allow users test the look of hair, nails and tattoo’s – something a tattoo and beauty salon can use to make their on-demand apps more engaging.

  • AR for hairstyles

L’Oreal’s Style My Hair is an example of an AR hair styler app that uses augmented reality and facial recognition technologies to allow customers to virtually try on a variety of haircuts, hairstyles, and professional hair colors before they visit a salon.

An on-demand beauty service can offer a variety of looks for every hair type, texture, and occasion.

With the help of augmented reality, you can let your users try on these looks and schedule an appointment with your beauty professional.

app to try hairstyles

Image source: Style My Hair

  • AR for nail art

If you run a manicure salon that offers custom nail art, you can use an augmented reality solution for the same purpose – to allow your customers to try on your unique nail styles.

Sally Hansen’s ManiMatch is an AR app developed by the leading nail brand in the USA. The nail art app scans a user’s hand and uses a skin tone analysis to recommend a tone color personalized for a user’s skin. It lets users test up to 300 shades of the brand’s nail polish.

on demand beauty service

ManiMatch. Image source: YouTube

  • AR for ink-free tattoos

While some tattoo designs might look nice on a sketch or a photo they might not look the same way on your body.

To get a better idea of how AR for tattoos might work, take a look at InkHunter, an AR app that prevents people from getting tattoos they might regret.

InkHunter AR app lets users try on temporary tattoos that look and feel like real ink. To make tattoos appear on a user’s body, InkHunter developed their own algorithm that is based on the marker-based augmented reality. It means that the AR app searches for an exact marker while acquiring camera data (camera frames).

In the case of InkHunter AR app, this marker is an emoji-style square face. Users need to draw this face on their body where they want to see a virtual tattoo. When this is done, a user can choose a tattoo design, turn on their camera and point it at the marker – a square smile – to see the tattoo’s preview.

Being able to detect a marker is only a part of the story. The virtual image also needs to be accurate, have a stable position on the skin, and move with your body like it were a part of your skin. It needs to be able to rotate and change size.

InkHunter AR app not only shows you what a chosen design will look like on your body but also lets you see what will happen to your tattoo in a few years – when the lines get blurred.

Other filters that InkHunter AR app uses include skin structure, saturation, and skin crop.

tattoo maker app

InkHunter AR app. Image source: Gearmoose

Getting an entirely new hairstyle or a tattoo is not an easy decision. That’s why using augmented reality to let customers try before they buy is a great way to improve their experience.

Augmented reality can be a core technology for your on-demand beauty service. However, virtual try-on is only one feature that this kind of AR app can provide.

Customer app for a tattoo and beauty on-demand service

For your beauty business, you need a convenient and intuitive app that simplifies appointment scheduling, service selection, and provides a try-before-you-buy option.

A mobile solution for tattoo and beauty salons should allow users do the following:

  • view categories of beauty services to select from
  • view a list of nearby salons and their contact details
  • try on chosen looks or tattoo designs using augmented reality
  • book or schedule appointments with a few clicks
  • chat with a service provider in real time
  • pay for a beauty service right in the app
  • leave feedback about their experience at a particular salon
  • get push notifications (e.g., appointment and payment confirmation)

An admin panel for service providers

In addition to a customized AR app, you need to have an admin panel that would let you monitor and manage your bookings and business activities.

Here is what this panel should let you do:

  • update service information
  • upload 3D models of virtual looks
  • view service requests
  • mark availability on the calendar
  • accept or reject a booking
  • see customer’s contacts details
  • chat with customers in real time
  • get push notifications (e.g., a new booking request, getting paid, reminders to ensure the appointment won’t be missed)

As you can see, building an augmented reality app for beauty service providers doesn’t end up with a mobile app. In addition to mobile and backend, on-demand services also often require a customer-facing web application.

At Jasoren we provide software development services for both mobile and web platforms.

A few months ago we built an on-demand web-based marketplace for caregivers. This platform functions similarly to an on-demand beauty service. A customer can view the list of home service providers and hire the ones with the right set of skills and experience.

We also specialize in augmented and virtual reality and chatbots and can help you create an on-demand augmented reality application for your tattoo and beauty service that will stand out from your competitors.

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