Google Snaps Up Pointy to Help Main Street Stores Get Online

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Google Snaps Up Pointy to Help Main Street Stores Get Online

Google has inked a deal to purchase 6-year-old Ireland-based agency
Pointy, reportedly for US$163 million.

Pointy supplies a $900 field with built-in mobile connectivity, which lets brick-and-mortar retailers record their inventory on-line.

It plugs into the retailer’s barcode scanner and robotically obtains correct product names and pictures for show on a Web web page hosted by Pointy.

The field acknowledges solely customary UPC-type codes utilized by producers.

A free Pointy app is on the market for retailers who have already got a POS system from Lightspeed, Square, Vend, Liberty, WooPOS, BestRx, Cash RX or Clover.

“Over the past several years we’ve developed a very close partnership with Google,” Pointy cofounders Mark Cummins and Charles Bibby wrote in a web based submit. “By joining forces, we will be able to help people discover local stores and products on a much larger scale.”

Pointy’s “see what’s in store” characteristic, launched in partnership with Google, lets customers show their full product catalog and reside stock info on a Google search web page.

Retailers have to hyperlink their Pointy account to Google to make the most of this characteristic.

Pointy has been certainly one of Google’s key companions for the reason that introduction of the “see what’s in store” characteristic a number of years in the past.

“We’re looking forward to working with Pointy to help even more local retailers bring their product inventory online,” mentioned Peter Chane, senior director, native SMB merchandise, at Google.


The Pointy Page

Pointy creates a novel Web web page for every retailer with info for consumers — deal with, instructions, opening hours, description, and picture of the shop.

The service is on the market for all product classes besides clothes and style.

Retailers can change particulars on their Pointy web page, which they entry with a username and password. They can also mark merchandise not for show, and proper errors about product names, descriptions, or photos on the web page.

Products that haven’t been scanned for a very long time might be faraway from a retailer’s Pointy web page robotically. The period is determined by the product’s anticipated gross sales frequency, and the product may be displayed once more by being re-scanned.

Pointy’s algorithms detect stock and observe product buying patterns to give you an approximate inventory rely.

Taking On Amazon

Google’s buy is “super smart,” remarked Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research. “They’re taking the friction away from having to digitize physical content for product catalogs.”

As a consequence, retailers “have better signal intelligence on what’s hot, what’s selling, what’s out of stock, and what could potentially sell,” he instructed the E-Commerce Times.

Google would “like to counter the threat Amazon represents with AWS, and appear to be making a big retail play, effectively networking small retailers to counter the retail giant,” steered Rob Enderle, principal analyst on the Enderle Group.

“eBay tried something similar, but this appears to address some of the inventory management issues eBay’s solution represented,” he instructed the E-Commerce Times.

Google beforehand tried to tackle Amazon with Google Express, however that effort failed. Google shut down the net purchasing service and
merged it with a revamped model of Google Shopping.

Google Express had teamed up with giant retailers, together with Target and Walmart.

One purpose for Google Express’ failure was that its companions had constructed out their very own success capabilities for on-line orders. Another was that it had not invested in key areas like warehousing or logistics.

Impact of the Pointy Purchase

The buy “gives Pointy stronger backing, but there’s an increased concern about what is happening with the information that Pointy collects, as Google’s business model is acquiring and selling information,” Enderle identified.

It will “give brick-and-mortar retailers who use Pointy more reach, but less privacy for them and their customers. For most, this will likely be a reasonable trade-off,” he mentioned.

Retailers utilizing Pointy may have improved forecasting capabilities and higher knowledge, Constellation’s Wang noticed.

Google will proceed working with different companions to broaden its “see what’s in store” functionality, Wang predicted. “The goal is to refine the algorithm and improve the precision of decisions.”

Brick-and-mortar retailers more and more are
investing in technology to stay aggressive.

Retailers that would not have a software like Pointy “will be at a massive disadvantage in managing cash flow, driving revenue, and creating better experiences,” Wang mentioned.

Brick-and-mortar retailers that don’t use Pointy in all probability is not going to discover it harder to get listed on Google Search, as a result of Google presently is
facing an antitrust investigation, Enderle mentioned. However, “once the investigation is over, I’d anticipate that pivot.”


Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus embody cybersecurity, cell applied sciences, CRM, databases, software program improvement, mainframe and mid-range computing, and software improvement. He has written and edited for quite a few publications, together with Information Week and Computerworld. He is the creator of two books on shopper/server expertise.
Email Richard.



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