Five Takeaways from Google’s Fourth Brick-and-Mortar Store in US

  • A new Google Store is now open on Newbury Street in Boston, Massachusetts. This marks the fourth experience store that Alphabet has opened in the US.
  • Google is aiming to boost Pixel’s mind share and to showcase the latest Pixel features with these brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Stores focus on leaving consumers with new Android experiences and knowledge rather than trying to convert them over to a Pixel device.

A new Google Store is now open on Newbury Street in Boston, Massachusetts. This marks the fourth experience store that Alphabet has opened in the US, with the first one opening in Chelsea Market, Manhattan, in 2021. Here are five takeaways from visiting the new store and speaking with several store representatives:

  • Boosting Pixel presence: Google Pixel’s presence in the US smartphone market has grown over the years, but the brand still in third place after Apple and Samsung in terms of premium smartphone sales. Google has done a lot in terms of marketing sponsorships over the years, from big WNBA and NBA partnerships to celebrating music and 50 years of hip-hop and supporting small and POC-owned businesses. Opening another experience store will help Google take Pixel to many of those who are not fully aware of Google’s offerings.

  • Personalized shopping returns: After the COVID-19 pandemic, life for consumers has been very “digital first” when it comes to shopping. But Google and others like Verizon, which is opening hundreds of new ‘Total by Verizon’ locations across the country, are betting on a better in-person customer experience.
  • Showcasing Pixel’s capabilities: All the reps at the new Google Store came equipped with their own work Pixel devices to showcase Gemini’s large language model (LLM) LaMDA on the spot, or highlight Pixel’s prowess in photography and GenAI tools like the Magic Eraser. Customers should leave the store with at least a seed planted of the software capabilities of the latest Pixel hardware line-up. There are many features that Pixel has to offer but it is hard sometimes for consumers to fully understand everything these devices are capable of.

  • iOS conversion not a focus and that’s OK: When asked what a rep would do if an iOS user came to the store, the response was to show them interesting features of Pixel devices that iPhones don’t have, such as Gemini or the Pixel 8 Pro’s built-in VPN. However, it is understandable that an iOS user with multiple Apple devices, such as iPhone, AirPods, Watch and MacBook, won’t easily be converted over because the whole ecosystem of the consumer is iOS based and it would take a lot of money to switch over everything.
  • Events and experiences needed: Granted, this is a brand-new store, but hopefully there will be something planned for the future, like the Google Visitor Experiences that are available in the other locations. Flagship stores are a wonderful way to introduce new people, especially young and old (which are vital customer segments), to new technology and features.

Overall, this is a positive development for Google, especially if it is able to keep the footfalls high by organizing interesting events and experiences. Educating consumers on the latest Pixel hardware and software developments as well as the overall Pixel ecosystem of devices will be the key to Google’s longevity in the US market, especially the crowded and heavily consolidated US smartphone market.

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