A recent announcement by tech giant Google shows faith in the strength of bricks and mortar retail, with the company unveiling plans to open its first physical shopfront in the United States.
Due to open to the public this summer, the store will be located in Chelsea, New York, and comes after a turbulent year of shutdowns that heavily impacted retail in the United States.
Yet, as the tech company notes, physical retail is all about the customer experience and they believe a retail outlet will offer significant benefits when it comes to showcasing their products and services.
Immersion, advice and experience
Immersion, advice, and experience are set to be the key features of the new Google retail outlet, with the company explaining the store will provide a place for customers to browse and buy an extensive line-up of products made by the company.
From Nest products to Fitbits and Pixel phones, the full line-up of Google tech will be on offer.
“Throughout the store, visitors will be able to experience how our products and services work together in a variety of immersive ways, which we’re excited to share more about when the doors open,” Google explained.
Customers will be able to interact with these products, buy them directly or purchase them online and pick up instore.
Staff will also be on hand to help visitors get the most out of their device, whether that’s through troubleshooting, screen repairs, or assistance with installation.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a long time Pixel user, are curious about our Nest displays or want to participate in one of the how-to workshops we’ll offer throughout the year — our team will be able to provide you with help that’s specific and personalised to your needs,” Google said.
A commitment to New York
Google explained Chelsea, New York had been chosen as the location as this is where Google’s urban campus of more than 11,000 employees is situated.
“Google has been in New York for the last 20 years, and we view the store as a natural extension of our long-time commitment to the city,” they said.
“The new Google Store is an important next step in our hardware journey of providing the most helpful experience of Google, wherever and whenever people need it.
“We look forward to meeting many of our customers and hearing their feedback on the store, so we can continue to explore and experiment with the possibilities of a physical retail space and build upon the experience.”
The takeaways for retailers
Google’s foray into physical retail offers some positive takeaways for retailers.
It shows one of the largest companies in the world is keen to embrace the strengths of bricks and mortar, in the knowledge customers want to touch, feel, and experience products prior to making a purchase.
It also follows the lead of other tech-cos like Apple who have set up experiential retail stores across the globe.
Personalisation is key to Google’s approach, along with offering the knowledge and wisdom of the Google staff who are on hand to guide people through their purchasing decisions and equipment set-up.
And one thing is for sure, if a major company like Google has faith in physical retail and the concept of the customer experience it bodes well for the future of retail.