Search News


Google Showrooms

Posted by: Creativematch | Date added: Wed 27 Feb 2013

Showrooms are for Trying, Stores are for Buying....

If you’re like most consumers in the UK, you’ve probably bought a thing or two online. Toothpaste, perhaps? That’s easy; you know what to expect. If the reviews are good and the price is right, there is very little risk. What about an expensive augmented reality heads-up display? Probably not without trying it on first. (Or consulting a dictionary, for that matter.)

Google has such a product in development, Project Glass, and, by the end of the year, will have its own stores to sell them in. It has other hardware too - Nexus phones and tablets, the Chromebook Pixel laptop, plus a plethora of other manufacturers’ devices running on its Android, Chrome OS, or Google TV platforms. Soon, it will have a place to showcase them altogether.

It may seem counterintuitive for an internet giant to open brick & mortar stores while countless brick & mortar chains close their doors due to the rise of online retail. But if you think of the impending Google Stores more as showrooms than traditional stores, the move starts to make good sense.

For all of online retail’s advantages (price, comparison shopping, customer reviews, etc), consider its shortcomings. You can’t reach out and touch a product on your laptop screen. You can’t play with it, pretend that it’s yours, and resolve what doubts you may have. When the product is a £3 tube of toothpaste, that’s all fine. When it’s something expensive and unfamiliar like Google Glass, online fixtures like flashy video demos and product reviews won’t always cut it. Google needs to get Glass in prospective customers’ hands (or on their heads, rather). The same goes for its new $1,300 Chromebook Pixel and $200 Nexus 7 tablet alike.

What Google lacks isn’t a place to sell its wares; it has that online. What it needs is to showcase them and get them in prospective buyers hands. The showroom isn’t really a new retail paradigm but an increasingly important one, a model pioneered by Apple over a decade ago. It’s been vital to new Apple product launches ever since. The iPad, for example, wasn’t so different than Google Glass. It was a revolutionary product in a category that was unfamiliar and foreign to most consumers. For ordinary folk to determine why they should want an iPad, they needed a casual and commitment-free place to try it. In fact, Tim Cook himself credits the iPad’s success to the existence of Apple Stores.

The lesson to be learned is that of reducing friction. Advertising can drive consumers to a website. That website can do many different things to try to convert that visit to a sale. But when the product is a high-involvement purchase like a heads-up display called Glass or a touchscreen computer called iPad, even the smallest bits of uncertainty create powerful friction that can only be resolved experientially. So don’t think of Google Stores as places for transactions but as places for trial. Put another way, they will be for trying, not (just) buying.

Written by Stephen McVerry


See more from Creativematch


Other articles by Creativematch:

Take Five with Nigel Collett, CEO rpa:group

Take Five with Nigel Collett, CEO rpa:group

Nigel Collett, CEO of rpa:group answers our quick fire Take Five.

Date added: Mon 14 Jan 2013

Freelance Britain - The North South Divide

Freelance Britain - The North South Divide

A survey by PeoplePerHour suggests there is a significant difference between the growth in freelancing across the country - but what are the drivers behind this?

Date added: Thu 13 Dec 2012

Tynan D'Arcy Pretty Polly Redesign Wins Award

Tynan D'Arcy Pretty Polly Redesign Wins Award

The great British brand Pretty Polly has been dressing legs since 1919, from sheers to opaques and sleek Naturals to timeless Nylons. The redesign evokes a 1940's look with contemporary images.

Date added: Wed 14 Nov 2012

Basecamp App Rappel By Gospelware

Basecamp App Rappel By Gospelware

Take Basecamp mobile with this slick new app from Gospelware

Date added: Tue 16 Oct 2012

Reverse Robbery Viral

Reverse Robbery Viral

Sydney Agency The Monkeys produce slightly disturbing 'reverse robbery' video for Aussie drink Oak

Date added: Fri 05 Oct 2012