New Market Innovation: How Google’s Pointy Benefits Australian Retail & eCommerce Sector
Has your retail shop received a call or mail from Google's Pointy? If you already got it but you didn't respond, just take a look at it now. In this latest innovation, Google's Pointy is beneficial for the retail marketers out there in Australia. New to the eCommerce game? Learn more about Google’s Pointy here (we’ll point you in the right direction!)
What is Pointy?
Pointy is a tech widget that assists Google to identify what products you are selling in your shop. It lists the products you sell and shows up the products and stores if you type or say “buy (product name) near me” to Google.
Pointy maintains your shop to a high ranking in local search results. This app guides people nearby your shop who are searching in Google for products that you provide to visit your shop.
How Does It Work?
The reason Pointy grabbed our attention is that we can notice this being a huge deal for physical retail. Bridging between physical shopfronts and eCommerce stores, Pointy’s tech enables local retailers to show online users what they have in the shop.
Pointy works via a small box that the shops can plug into their barcode scanner or through the app which can be installed on their POS system. Pointy then integrates the commodities from their inventory – automatically without any coding or data entry – into Google Search results in different ways.
This comprises displaying the product and shop in the Search results and consolidating them into the ‘See What’s In Store’ section of the shop’s Google business profile. The company also extends Pointy ProductAds which automatically makes Google Ads for the products.
The two tech giants have been working hard together for several years, so the move to agree upon the Pointy, a part of the official Google family indicates that it looks at this as being a beneficial function.
Who is Eligible to Use Pointy
- First of all, you must have a retail shop
- Rapidly changing products like clothing are not suitable for Pointy
- You have to get a barcode scanner
- The barcode scanner must be at your POS
- You must be working with one of the following Point of Sale (POS) brands: BestRx, Cash RX, BottlePos, Clover, CSY, Liberty, J3, IdoSoft, Lightspeed, PALADIN, MICRO Merchant Systems, PharmaTill, POSitec, Square, Retail Management HERO, WooPOS, TransAct POS, Vend; OR
- Your barcode scanner must be linked with your POS
- You have to use manufacturers’ UPC or EAN barcodes (not any other barcode standard)
Based upon the details added in the Pointy “Get Started” eligibility widget, if you have passed all the above eligibility criteria, then your retail shop might be fit for the Pointy service. The best approach is to go through the “Get Started” widget on the pointy.withgoogle.com site. After going through it, you can get a representative to contact you to discuss it.
Future Benefits of Pointy
Local, small and self-reliant businesses have faced a hassle in the upsurge of eCommerce, but we have to remember the fact that Amazon made it so easy to purchase without stepping outside the door. Google is another aspect in this with consumers progressively exploring products through digital channels rather than physical retail store browsing.
Expenditure, time and competencies are some of the hindrances that have made it arduous for local retailers to get online initially, or to compete with those big heads.
But now, pointy can be something good for the local retailer. Trends like sustainability concerns mean that consumers are now considering the impact that their shopping habits have on the broader world. eCommerce doesn’t perform so well in this environment due to the logistics associated with delivering and returning packages, not to mention all the packaging that’s involved. Then there’s the potential wastage of rebounded items that can’t be resold.
Within this situation, the physical retail stores all of a sudden have an advantage. Consumers can walk into a location and not only have their product the same day or same hour but in a matter of minutes.
Pointy benefits local retailers to leverage these benefits by showing purchasers whether the item they are searching for online is in stock locally. This is important because the buyer journey progressively starts online. This isn’t going to change, so retail owners need to communicate with clients online to bring them into the shop.
This isn’t where it stops, though. As Pointy declared in their company statement: “By joining forces, we can help people explore local stores and products on a much more extensive scale. We expect this is the appropriate way to bring about what we set out to do – to bring the retailers in the world online and hand them the tools they require to flourish.”
It’s explicit that working with Google, Pointy will be expanding the service further and including new tools.
At a time when many physical retailers are striving with distended store portfolios and complications, the future of physical retail looks small and focused. And that’s indeed where physical retailers shine.