Google To Close Nexus One Online Store
Ecommerce is hard. And when it isn't your core competency, it's even harder. When Google launched the Nexus One in January and opened an online store to sell the handset, Google thought the company had simplified phone buying and disrupted how consumers purchase mobile phones.
Unfortunately, even a skilled web company like Google couldn't make the market shift its purchasing habits. The company has just announced will be closing its online store and getting out of the direct to consumer retailing business less than six months after getting in. They will instead work with retailers to sell the phone over the counter.
"While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not," posted Andy Rubin, Google's VP of Engineering for Android on the Google blog.
So what went wrong? Many speculate the lackluster sales of the Nexus One were to blame, but in reality it may be a series of contributing factors that made the Google store more like a lemonade stand than a mobile phone store.
1. Google's retail environment was equivalent to a Russian store carrying only one red left shoe in size 6. The lack of SKUs on the shelves of the Google store, limited to one phone and one carrier, meant a shopper had few options. Verizon never went through with it's plans to sell the Nexus One, and the limited choices made comparative shopping for other Android phones impossible.
2. Consumers believe Google is a free service company. Email, search, maps, Voice are high value services without a consumer price tag to use them. Google checkout is a transaction platform not a store, and while people comparison shop on Google.com, they purchase most of their goods from vendors other than Google, even if the merchant uses Google Checkout to process the transaction.Continued on the next page