A Marriage Made in Heaven
As a kid, I did not understand what the conductor was doing when he was waving his hands and baton in front of the orchestra. Only a number of years later did I figure out that the orchestra members plays according to their instructions, and not the other way around. The conductor is ahead of the orchestra just as Google is ahead of the band and playing the market a merry tune to jump to.
The recent news that Google is replacing the 7,000 Starbucks hotspots operated by AT&T across the USA is another case of great foresight on Google's part. Considering that Starbucks has 16,000 stores worldwide, this is a perfect fit for Google’s next level of Net dominance. Instead of rolling out an entire costly fiber network across the country, Google can set up a little text wireless network at a fraction of the cost.
Google's long term plan is to make the Internet 10 times faster. The general plan is to roll out high speed fiber optics across America, starting in Kansas City. Therefore, the deal with Starbucks to put their routers in all the company’s coffee shops is just a test drive of Google’s overall plans to combine content, signal, and customer desires in one single Google-controlled package. AT&T is not a player in comparison to Google, as AT&T connects you to the Internet and that’s about it. Google plugs you into its enormous database – in effect you are an open book being served the menu that Google prepares for you!
A lot of people, myself included, visit Starbucks locations around the world because of the free Internet access when you are a customer. Now you will have Google content and the cloud together with your coffee, and you will definitely spend more time and money in Starbucks! The minute you connect to Google, it will sync with all of your data, all your habits, all your interests, and more. It will know where you slept last night, and will remind you to send flowers to your wife on her birthday ….
Amazingly, many retailers still do not realize the importance of offering free hotspots to their customers - but Google and Starbucks certainly smell the blood. The aforementioned deal has many important elements which are not well known. For starters, Google plans to roll out a 10 to 100 times faster Internet service in 7,000 Starbucks shops. Then, they will then repeat the same trick with other major retailers - offering them packages they cannot refuse.
It will work as follows: Do you want your customer spending more time and more money in your store? Great, put a Google router in your store and we will lead them to the right spot in your store, as we know where they visited and what they bought the last time they shopped for anything at all. For example, when they walk around on the second floor of Walmart, the Google router will recognize them and send a message, “Turn left; in the corner is a specially discounted item which you may be interested in.” And that's just the tip of the iceberg!
“Google brought a faster Wi-Fi experience to the table. It is up to 10 times faster in all of our stores and up to 100 times faster in Google Fiber cities, which was very exciting to us because we know our customers' connectivity needs in the future are going to continue to grow," said Mills from Starbucks.
But the speed is not the issue – it’s the content. The customers sit in Starbucks sipping his coffee and Google has a complete picture of their habits, interests, location, schedule, and financial position. Would you like a croissant with that? No need to even ask!
The combination of the signal, the content, and the detailed customer data is perfect - a marriage made in heaven.
Leibish Polnauer, President and Founder of Leibish & Co. Fancy Color Diamonds