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When Google and Best Buy collaborate on something called #GoogleShop, you know it will be an experience. That experience is exactly what both are hoping to achieve. Experience is at the core of the #GoogleShop and the new focus that Best Buy is putting into their stores. Based on the updated space at the Heartland Town Centre, they have executed that well.

On Friday, I trekked to Mississauga to experience the first #GoogleShop in North America. The Google area is located as soon as you walk inside. The store within a store features unique displays such as VR, a ‘portal’ and the ability to book time with Google experts. Half of the space is for Google products such as the Pixel, Daydream View and Chromecast. The space is also modular to allow for special in-store events. Current events include the Sorry Girls teaching a DIY class and a holiday event where kids can Hangout with Santa.

GoogleShop

Pixel

GoogleShop Portal GoogleShop GoogleShop Daydream

Best Buy Revamps for Experiences

Meanwhile, the Best Buy is also completely refreshed with a new ‘experience’ concept. In a tour provided by Senior VP Tony Sandhu, he showed me some of the new experiences you can have. There’s a section dedicated to home audio with experiences such as in-wall vs standalone. There’s also a speaker room that demonstrates the difference between various Dolby style systems. A WiFi troubleshooting area answers whether you need a new router, or just a signal booster. There’s also a touch display near the home appliances that helps you design your kitchen. The wearables are easier to try on, the laptop area organized well, and the store just feels more open.

Why I Like Experiences

Here’s what I love about the new experiences focus – it’s hands on! I think in a world that’s increasingly digital, it makes a lot of sense to have somewhere to physically try the product. For myself, whenever I buy something expensive I have the same purchase pattern. I look online for details on the product and then I consult YouTube unboxings and reviews. After the research phase is done, I always go physically seek it out to do my own hands-on test. Once I’m happy, I buy it. Keep in mind, that’s for anything over a couple hundred bucks – I’ll take a risk on something cheap if the exchange is convenience (online ordering). I think a lot of people are like me in that regard and Best Buy probably knows that.

Google and Best Buy Team

The new concept, along with the unique #GoogleShop makes the store a true destination. Whether you want to get hands-on with the latest products, or you’re lost when it comes to tech and need help – they cater to both. I look forward to seeing what other in-store events the #GoogleShop holds. Right now, the large #GoogleShop’s are at:

As a bonus for you fine folks, Best Buy has hooked me up with a $250 gift card that I’d like to giveaway to one of you! It’s a great little pre-holiday gift that will help you get some of the best tech available this year! (And if you need any ideas, just feel free to ask!)

Best Buy #GoogleShop Giveaway

Disclosure: Best Buy compensated me to attend and to share the #GoogleShop news with you! They have not influenced any details contained within this post.

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