Online shopping and delivery have made it easier than ever to find and purchase new products, but those benefits haven't fully carried over to physical stores, especially for smaller merchants. In an effort to help out, a company called Pointy has developed some tech that it's been using with Google to let local retailers maintain an up-to-date online catalog of their in-store inventories. Now Google's looking to bring Pointy's assistance to even more stores, as it announces its intention to acquire the firm.
The two companies have worked together in the past, with Pointy acting as a critical partner in Google's expansion into local retail. To use Pointy's system, retailers can either attach a peripheral to barcode scanners or install the company's app directly on their point of sale system. By implementing this system, retailers can create an automatically updated representation of in-store inventory that is accessible by way of the "See what's in store" section on the retailer's Google listing.
At the moment, the deal to acquire Pointy still faces regulatory approval before final details can be determined. Exactly what Google intends to do with the company's technology is still unclear, but it seems likely that Google would want to continue any work that gives its users more choices when it comes to the products and retailers found in search listings.