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Pointy offers local shops the chance to compete online

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by Startacus Admin

pointySearch for any product online, and the first result or two (or three or four or five) is likely to be Amazon. As handy as Amazon can be for shopping, it and other online shopping megastores are proving disastrous for some small, local shops.

Small businesses are closing their doors in record numbers, even after putting all of their products online to try to keep up with the times. At the end of the day, it boils down to one thing: visibility. It doesn’t matter if you have a thousand products online on your beautiful, sleek, user-friendly website if nobody knows about your site and Google doesn’t list it until page 12.

Step forward Dublin-based startup Pointy, who have a simple and elegant solution for many smaller businesses.

The Pointy box is a little device that could fit in your palm and acts as a bridge between your barcode scanner and your cash register.

pointyWhen a barcode is scanned, that product is immediately added to your page hosted and maintained by Pointy. You do not need to do anything else, as Pointy will gather product images and details itself, and will point the customer straight to your door. Pointy is designed to be as search engine friendly as possible so that when a potential customer searches for a product, they will be notified of a local shop that stocks it, right up there beside Amazon.

Although something like Amazon can be convenient, many people like to be able to stand in front of a product they are thinking of buying and look at it properly, feel it, try it on, ask questions about it, and so on, and it is just the convenience of only having to click the mouse a few times that prevents us from going out and searching local shops for the product. In short, many of us would opt for supporting a local shop if only we knew about it and knew that we could get what we want from it.

If there were any doubt about how important this product could be, it is easily allayed by the fact that the startup has recently raised $6m in funding, including £4m from the founders and co-founders of huge names such as Microsoft, WordPress, Bebo, TransferWise, and Google Maps and lead by Frontline Ventures.

(Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen of Vulcan Capital, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen, Bebo-co-founder Michael Birch, Transferwise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus).

Although this solution won’t work for some smaller retailers who have no need for a barcode scanner, or who might stock products that don’t even have barcodes, this small box is a big step towards helping to bring shoppers back to brick and mortar shops.

Hi-5's to Pointy co-founders Mark Cummins and Charles Bibby and we can only see good things for this startup who's business growth is surely only pointing upwards...

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Published on: 1st October 2017

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