On the surface at least, Pointy is a very simple concept. It attaches to a point of sale system to make the stores stock levels publicly available. For a large chain such as JB Hi-Fi you can see their stocks online for individual stores all the time, but what about the little guys?
Google announced that they are in the process of acquiring Pointy, as well as providing some insight into how this will integrate into Google search:
With Pointy, merchants simply plug a small box into their barcode scanner or install the Pointy app on their point of sale system, which surfaces the products that they sell directly into the “See what’s in store” section of their business profile on Google Search. Since we introduced this functionality a few years ago, Pointy has been one of our key partners, helping thousands of local merchants display this data within Google.
The system is a great way for small businesses to show their stock levels online, driving business to their stores. At the current time, the footprint is quite small but is sure to expand with Google driving the technology forward.