Need holiday retail strategy ideas? Here's one.
Google just opened six showrooms across the country where customers can play with some of the company’s newest gadgets.
The showrooms, called Winter Wonderlabs, serve a purpose similar to Apple’s stores, where shoppers can pick up and try out devices and software while representatives are on hand to answer questions. At these new Google locations, customers can buy products online after playing with them.
Additionally, Google hopes the locations serve as a “break room” of sorts for shoppers looking to escape the holiday mall madness. Google said the Winter Wonderlabs are places where people can come to listen to music, watch videos and play games. They can also star in their own videos, filmed inside of a giant snow globe.
With its investment in the showroom “experience” Google says it's trying to take advantage of a phenomenon that retailers have long observed -- that atmosphere can influence shopping behavior.
If you take a closer look at atmospherics, or the study of physical retail spaces and how they influence customer decisions, you might also get some ideas for new retail strategies. Atmospherics explain why shopping malls smell like cinnamon and mulled cider around Christmas time and why consumers can’t escape holiday song playlists no matter where they go.
Among research that indicates that good smells and sounds matter in retail are also findings about other tactics that make a difference. These include:
Free stuff. An experiment from Arizona State University found that offering a free sample didn't just lead to more sales of that particular item -- it led to more sales of everything.
Crowded spaces. Shoppers value their personal space. If they’re getting bumped or jostled by other customers, they’ll likely leave.
And color choice. Reds and oranges make customers feel excited, while greens and light blues are calming.
Judging from the Winter Wonderlabs website, Google is aiming for blue and calming. You can visit one of these locations in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Sacramento, or Paramus, New Jersey.