Pointy is an Irish tech company that aims to make it easy for customers to find the products they’re looking for in local retailers – not as straightforward as it sounds. Gary Clarke, Customer Support & Admin at Pointy explains the service it can offer to merchants.
Pointy was founded by Mark Cummins and Charles Bibby in 2014. One of the main reasons for setting up Pointy was that the two founders were amazed that it can take less than a minute to find and buy a product online but finding a store where that product can be bought locally can be a real struggle – even if a store that stocks it is 100m down the road.
For local retailers, being found online is tough, and building and maintaining a web presence can be expensive and time-consuming. However, being online is a necessity, to compete in this digital age retailers need to display information and content in a way that meets consumer demand. With the introduction of the smartphone, people expect to find product information easily, be that a review, a manufacturer’s specifications or where to buy that product near them. Research by the likes of Google has shown that most people start their product journey online but the vast majority still buy in a store – over 90% of commerce still takes place in retail stores.
However, finding where to buy products locally can be ‘a mission’ for customers. Some online platforms will provide customers with contact details and reviews, which only go so far, and social media gives an opportunity to interact with potential customers directly. But, these require a customer to be aware that the store exists. Without being able to bridge that gap, customers are left with the choice between uncertainty about where to buy locally or buying online, which might be perceived as the more convenient solution.
This is where Pointy wants to help local retailers. We build webpages for local retailers, which displays the shop’s name, address, Google Map location, opening hours, telephone number and, most importantly, lists the products found instore in a way that captures online searches. Pointy’s goal is to radically improve local retailers’ online visibility and thereby, attract more customers in-store.
We’ve built a small device, the Pointy box, that connects to the retailer’s barcode scanner. As the retailer scans their products, the Pointy box picks up the UPC barcodes. We use the barcode number to source product information and display it online. Within minutes, and without having to do any extra work, a shop can have its own dedicated webpage displaying all the critical-store information and its up-to-date product catalogue. These product pages on Pointy are optimised for search engines, so that when people nearby search for products, they will see that it’s available to buy locally. Pointy helps local retailers to be found online, in order to sell more products in-store.
The Pointy service is available to HAI members for a discounted one-time payment of €249. We are also offering €100 of free credit to try out our recently released new feature, ProductAds, which is a service that provides yet another competitive edge for your store. If you wish to sign up and avail of this special offer, please visit www.pointy.com/hai and register your interest.
This Business Support article featured in the November/December 2017 edition of The Hardware Journal.