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Is Google testing the waters of consumer retail?

October 11, 2016

Google launches massive ad campaign and opens a pop-up shop to drive direct consumer sales of its new Pixel phone and other home automation devices

15 years ago, Apple its own stores, it now has three hundred stores. Five years ago Microsoft started testing retail concepts and now has stand alone boutiques. This year, Amazon tested its own retail concept in Seattle. This week, Google joined their ranks by opening a pop-up shop in SoHo in order to build interest in the electronics and home automation devices.

To drive this effort, Google launched the Pixel, a new phone that eerily looks like your iPhone 7 (but also comes in vibrant blue). Is Google attempting to eat Apple’s smartphone market share  through price, functionality and free add-ons that most phone users crave? With a $3.2 million ad spend in just five days, some would say yes. Consumer products are nothing new to Google, the company has been on a  very aggressive push to sell its own devices directly to customers for some time, the Pixel is just the latest product in its electronics wheelhouse.

The Pixel phone comes in two sizes, boosts VR capabilities, a 12.3 MP camera that works in all light settings, offers unlimited video and photo storage, a glass aluminum body, a seven hour battery that charges in 15 minutes and migration capabilities that anyone can use to switch to the device. To drive pre-orders of the phone, the company has opened a #MadeByGoogle pop-up in New York City to showcase just what the phone can do. The shop will be located at 96 Spring St. in SoHo/Lower Manhattan and opens Oct. 20, 2016. Among the Google devices that will be on display: the new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, virtual reality headset Daydream View, Google Home smart speaker and Google WiFi.
Are you willing to give up your iPhone for the Pixel?