From Search Engine to Pop Up Shop: How Google’s Taking Over Retail

From Search Engine to Pop Up Shop: How Google’s Taking Over Retail

Google just launched its very own pop up shop in London, and if Apple isn’t worried, it should be. The latest venture from the search engine giant has little to do with its online roots, and more to do with teaching people all about Google’s line-up of digital products. If it sounds like the Apple Store model to you, you’re on the right track, only Google’s doing it better.

The Google Pop Up Shop Offers an Immersive Experience

Anyone can open up a retail store to show off their products, but Google has jumped in on the latest trend of giving shop-goers an experience, rather than simply providing products to buy. The pop up shop has a tiny footprint, tucked away inside a Currys PC World in London, but having a small space didn’t slow down their creativity one bit.

The Portal

Perhaps the most ingenious thing Google came up with is “Portal,” a surround screen experience that pulls people into Google Earth. Using the control station, which looks remarkably like a tablet, a person can fly all over the world and almost feel like he’s really there.

The Doodle Wall

No trip to the Google pop up shop would be complete without taking a crack at redesigning the Google logo. Using the equivalent of Xbox controllers shaped like spray paint cans, “budding graffiti artists” can spray paint whatever they’d like on a larger-than-life digital display hosting the famous colourful moniker. Google enabled social sharing on the doodle wall, allowing Londoners to show off their branded art with ease.

The Chromecast Pod

To draw more attention to Chromecast, a device that converts standard TVs into Smart TVs, Google also set up a pod. Visitors can kick back and watch YouTube and Google Play videos in style.

Hands-On Products

Naturally, the Google pop up shop also has plenty of the company’s products for customers to try out, including Android smartwatches and tablets.

Popertee Google Pop Up Shops Experience


Just as Apple does in its stores, Google will be incorporating classes for people to take, so that they can learn more about their Google products, as well as how various products can work together for a more “connected lifestyle.” Additional topics, such as online security will be covered and the company also plans to host “Virtual Space Camps,” which will teach kids how to code.

Google has Been Successful with Pop Up Shops Before

During the holiday season of 2013, Google opened up several Winter Wonderland stores in six cities scattered across the United States. Being especially short-term spaces, the stores mostly featured Chromecast and Chromebooks, though visitors were welcomed to sit inside a life-sized snow globe, where they could watch themselves play in digital snowflakes.

They’re Experimenting with More New Pop Up Shop Concepts

The folks at Google are amazingly clever, with both their products and their marketing concepts. The company recently announced that Google Translate knew more than 100 languages, so it decided to celebrate using the universal language of food. For just four days in New York, the company hosted  a pop up shop restaurant called  Small Worlds, featuring a different famous chef each day. Patrons were encouraged to use tablets with Google Translate on them to read the menus and decide what to order. Even though details about the event were sparse, Google had no trouble filling the seats, selling out of reservations well in advance.

We’ve seen these same trends time and time again, with companies providing an experience, and not just another shopping trip. On top of this, Google is finding ingenious ways to get people to share the company name with their friends. So far, Apple hasn’t seemed interested in doing any of these things, which could help Google grab a larger share of the market. So what’s next for Google? No doubt it includes more pop up shops. The success of these ventures has been huge, but  the company has been experimenting with various pop up shop models to find new ways to draw people in, so there’s really no telling exactly how they’ll utilize a short-term space next.

Popertee is up and running. If you have a commercial space you’d like to lease on a short-term basis,  let us know. You can also  browse all our listings  to find just the right venue for your next venture.