I have an emotional attachment to my wallet. It’s worn and a little tattered, but I refuse to replace it. If Google has its way, I may no longer need it.
A couple of months ago, Google rolled out Google Wallet, giving us a glimpse into the future of payment transactions. The new service uses NFC (Near Field Communication) to allow consumers to swipe their phones to make payments.
But there’s more to it than that.
Google is embedding itself into lifestyles well beyond search. And, as it does, it is altering the culture—for merchants and consumers. Combined with its acquisition of Zagat, for example, the path to purchase for dining will be facilitated by Adwords, reviews, offers, rewards, and swiping your phone.
What Google understands is that lifestyle is largely local. And, for a rising generation of Millennials in particular, lifestyle is the arena where purchasing happens—not necessity-buying or conspicuous consumption, as it was for previous generations. If a product or service lacks relevance at a lifestyle level, it may as well be invisible.