Brick-And-Mortar Google Stores Coming Soon To India!
The company wants to improve their sales in the country and catch up with the competition,
In a bid to expand the presence and impact of Pixel phones in India, the US-based internet giant is planning to open up physical stores in the country. Presently the company sells its products online and has a very small share in the Indian smartphone market.
The company wants to improve their sales in the country and in order to catch up with the competition, Google is planning open up brick-and-mortar stores in different cities across the country.
The Target – More Sales And Improved Visibility
Google Pixel smartphones are still rare in the country, in spite of vigorous marketing and promotions. In order to rectify the situation, Google is planning to set up offline stores to improve their visibility, increase market share and ultimately boost sales.
Google wants to give its users a better hands-on experience with their Pixel smartphones and other Google devices rather than just billboard or TV advertisements. The Pixel franchise is just over a year old and still in the early stage, in terms of product scaling.
Pixel smartphones are still to make an impact in the Indian market which is primarily dominated by the likes of Samsung, Xiaomi, Motorola, Lenovo, Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus.
Google has also recently experimented with some pop-up stores in the recent weeks in malls like Promenade, Select Citywalk and Mall of India, among others. The positive response has motivated Google to come up with the idea of exclusive brick-and-mortar stores in India, a market which is still dominated primarily by offline purchases, unlike other developed countries.
Is Google Stores The Answer?
OnePlus has come up with such stores in India, where interested customers can visit the stores to experience their offerings. There are no offline sales yet though. Similarly, Google is considering opening such Experience Centres in India. But like Xioami’s Mi Home Stores customers can actually buy the Pixel smartphones and other products at these experience centres.
The Experience Centres will allow customers to gain a better understanding of what Google is offering with its products. Physical stores are also important as an online experience cannot match a hands-on experience. Google will use these stores not just to sell Pixel devices, but other Google products like Google Home smart speakers, Chromecast, Pixel laptops, Daydream View headsets as well.
The Offline Sales Route
Google might go for a single-brand retailing licence in the country or try for a franchisee route like Apple and Samsung. Samsung branded stores are owned and operated by franchisees in the country, whereas the Xiaomi Mi Home outlets are only owned by franchisees.
Apple has been seeking a single-brand licence in India to open their own stores in the country and is asking for concessions which include exemption from import duty on manufacturing, servicing, components, capital equipment and consumables for the next 15 years.
Will Offline Stores Work For Google?
It does make some sense for Google to expand their offline presence by opening up dedicated Google stores in India to showcase their products. Since the first generation of the Pixel smartphones received a lukewarm response, the company has heavily marketed and promoted the next-gen Pixel devices.
The good news is that Google is focussing on India as one of their key markets, which it has signalled by including India in the first wave of the launch of Pixel 2 series.
Pixel phones come under the premium segment, and the segment has a very low share in the Indian smartphone market. So, any such investment in offline stores will directly affect the prices of Pixel and other Google products in India, most probably raising the prices. Google needs to be sensible about their pricing if they are serious about selling their products here in India.