With the rise of online shopping being seen as the reason for the downfall of high street retail, are online brands now leading the revival?

This month, Google opened its first physical store on Tottenham Court Road, following the lead of rival tech giants, Microsoft and Apple, with existing high street retail stores.

So what does it have to offer?

The Google store slips under the radar given its shop in shop nature, located within Currys PC World – a world away from the typical design masterpieces of several Apple stores in the capital, but once inside the 600sqft concession it certainly proves that it can hold its own.

Shoppers are greeted by several stand out features in the store allowing maximum interaction with the brand and its products. There’s ‘Portal’, a wall of video screens which allows users to fly around the world using the Google Maps app, the ‘Doodle Wall’, a unique space with virtual spray cans and an unlimited blank canvas (and a clever one touch device for store staff to remove anything deemed unsuitable or offensive) where people can flex their creativity to design their own take on the Google logo or the ‘Chromecast Pod’ where shoppers can watch Google Play movies and You Tube.

 

 

With a relatively small emphasis on product, there’s only a handful of Chromebooks, tablets and smartphones, Google has ensured that there are more reasons to visit what is ultimately designed to be a cool physical manifestation of the brand.

For kids, there’s the development of Virtual Space Camps, group sessions where they get to learn the basics of coding and for the grown-ups, Open House events, predominantly targeting teachers trying to enhance and communicate the educational application of Google’s products.

Whilst Google’s first store has now opened, it’s not their first retail venture, their online store Google Play, has been trading since 2008. So it begs the question why high street retail?

Do people need to get their hands on the products, particularly those with a fairly hefty price tag, before they take that final step and part with their hard earned money? And if so, it remains to be seen how long it will be before we see other successful online brands, such as the likes of ASOS, Amazon or AO.com, compliment their offering with bricks and mortar?

At The Market Creative we’re passionate about making shoppers act. Whether you’re on the high street, out of town or a true one of a kind destination, find out more about how we can influence and shape your customers shopping journey here.

Shaun Watson
Account Manager