September 4, 2013
Italian fashion house Gucci is taking consumers inside its men’s flagship store in Milan through an interactive view on Google Maps.
Through Google Business Photos the label is able to give a 360-degree view of the inside of the store through the Google Maps feature. Since the store opened in June, Gucci is likely trying to increase awareness of the location and encourage consumers to stop in.
"This is a great way to show off one of its flagship stores since it brings the digital customer inside the store experience in a new way," said Brittany Mills, vice president of client solutions at Nervewire Inc., New York.
"Luxury brands tell great stories through bricks-and-mortar stores and Gucci found a great way to expose that through Google," she said.
Ms. Mills is not affiliated with Gucci, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Gucci declined to comment directly.
A look inside
In June, Gucci opened its men’s flagship store in the Brera shopping district.
Now the brand is allowing consumers to view the inside of the store through Google Maps by searching the store on Google or visiting the store’s Google+ page.
Through the store’s Google+ profile, consumers can click on “See inside” to take them to Google Maps to view the inside of the store.
In addition to other Google Map functions, consumers get a 360-degree view of the inside the store.
Google Maps view
Consumers are able to explore the multiple floors in the store, zoom in and out to view close-ups of products and get a general sense of what this boutique offers.
Although this effort may increase awareness of the store and what it offers, it may not directly impact in-store traffic since the images are not constantly updated with the merchandise.
"I don’t know if Gucci will be successful at getting more store visits since it isn't a live feed to see new products on the shelves," Ms. Mills said.
X marks the spot
Other brands have used Google Maps’ technology in a variety of ways to further engage with consumers.
For instance, German automaker Mercedes-Benz is looking to stay ahead of its competitors by fine-tuning a Google Glass door-to-door navigation system for its vehicles.
Google Glass synchronizes with the vehicle’s in-car navigation system and the user’s mobile phone. An address is put into Google Glass at home and Google Maps is used to provide initial navigation (see story).
Furthermore, department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue lured consumers into its stores through a banner advertisement on the Weather Channel’s mobile application.
A click-through on the ad brought consumers to Saks’ mobile-optimized site that gives store locations, hours, contact information and a list of departments. It also offers Google Maps’ street-view technology to show what the store’s location looks like (see story).
However, Gucci is taking the Google Maps technology a step further by bringing customers into the store and not just directing them to it.
"This helps Gucci share their brand story and in-store experience in a new way," Ms. Mills said.
"If the brand sees engagement with this new feature, then it might be worthwhile to explore more initiatives like this," she said.
Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York