In 2011, Google opened their first physical shop in London in a branch of Currys and PC World. The shop was solely dedicated to Google’s Chromebook and was called the “Chromezone”. Basically, this concept is called a shop-in-shop. The concept was very well received and many customers appreciated the fact that they could not only try the gadget out, but rather receive valuable advice from the well-trained staff. The only problem, which customers expressed, was that no other Google products were marketed.
Today, after 2 years, Google took the next logical step and fulfilled their customers wishes. Google opened their first shop-in-shop in Hamburg, Germany, for all their products.
The shop was opened in a local branch of Saturn. On 100 sq. m (about 1.100 sq. f), Google presents all their products in a modern but natural design with a lot of colors and wood. Besides the whole Chromebook and Nexus range and accompanying accessories, you can also test their software products like the Chrome browser, Google Maps, Google Play or Youtube.
The highlight of the shop is the so-called Liquid Galaxy, a big Google Earth screen, where you can explore the world and visit interesting places. It’s a nice idea which also looks very cool.
The biggest advantage of the store is the very-well trained and competent staff, eager to help you with whatever question you might have, be it regarding hardware or software. This is, in my opinion, the right approach of bringing good products closer to the people. It’s very convenient to shop online and have the goods delivered to your door but sometimes it just feels better to see, touch and test the product you want to buy. And if someone can tell you more information and show you how that product works, it’s that much better. It makes you feel important and that you, as a client, matter to the company, thus you are more satisfied with your purchase. And you are more likely to establish a personal connection to the company.
Some might say, Google is trying to copy the concept of the Apple Stores. So what? If it is a good concept and customers can benefit from it, I don’t see the problem.
All in all, I really like the new approach and I hope, as probably many others do, that Google won’t stop with only this one store, but take it to an international level and expand this concept.