Tag Archives: Google in Europe

Google News Showcase is launching in Italy

Google News Showcase, our new product experience and licensing program for news, will begin rolling out with local, national and independent publishers in Italy starting today. News Showcase is backed by our recent $1 billion investment in news around the world. Globally, there are now close to 600 news publications in News Showcase in over a dozen countries including Australia, Germany, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, the U.K. and Argentina, with discussions underway in a number of other countries. Over 90% of our publication partners are considered local, regional or community newspapers.

In Italy, this experience is powered by a series of licensing agreements covering more than 70 national and local publications from publishers including Caltagirone Editore, Ciaopeople, CityNews, Edinet, il Fatto Quotidiano, Il Foglio, Il Giornale Online, Monrif, RCS Media Group, ilSole24Ore, TMS Edizioni, Varese web. These agreements for News Showcase take into account the rights outlined in Article 15 of the European Copyright Directive for specific online uses of press publications, which do not apply to hyperlinks and very short excerpts.

“We are pleased to have signed this agreement, which governs the issue of related rights and acknowledges the importance of quality news and the prestige of our titles,”says Urbano Cairo, Chairman and CEO of RCS MediaGroup, international multimedia publishing group based in Milan. “A new piece in the partnership with Google that enhances the RCS newspapers and offers a further boost to the growth of our customer base, supporting it with an increasingly broad news coverage.”

“The agreement with Google is a further recognition of the value of quality information such as that of Il Sole 24 Ore,”says Giuseppe Cerbone, CEO of Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian leading newspaper in business, financial and regulatory information. “The remuneration of information, including the rights related to the distribution of digital content, is a front on which our publishing group is committed at the forefront with the aim of protecting our heritage of high added value content.”

An image showing the logos of some of the Italian News Showcase publisher partners

With News Showcase, news organizations can curate their content to help readers get more context about a story and direct them to the full articles on their websites. This drives valuable traffic to publishers’ websites, enabling them to grow their audiences and deepen their relationships with readers. News Showcase panels display an enhanced view of an article or articles, giving participating publishers more ways to bring important news to readers and explain it in their own voice, along with more direct control of presentation and their branding. 


A GIF that shows some of the News Showcase partner panels

An example of how News Showcase story panels will look with some of our publishing partners in Italy.

News Showcase content from our publisher partners will automatically start to appear in panels in Google News and on Discover starting today. People will see panels from publishers they follow in their personalized feeds, and they might also see panels from publishers they’re less familiar with, presented as suggestions in the Google News “For You” feed and inside “Newsstand,” the discovery area of Google News. 

As part of our licensing agreements with publishers, we're also paying participating publishers to give readers access to a limited amount of paywalled content. This feature gives readers the opportunity to read more of a publisher’s content than they would otherwise have access to, while enabling publishers to encourage readers to become a subscriber.

“The agreement we have reached, also on the subject of neighbouring rights, is important for the authoritativeness and quality of Varesenews editorial project and for the recognition of the value of local journalism,”says Marco Giovannelli, Director of Varesenews, hyperlocal online publisher founded in 1997.

“The Showcase program opens a new season of relationships with Google, because it addresses the issue of rights connected to the distribution of digital content,”says Michela Colamussi, Director of Transition to Digital and Innovation of Gruppo Monrif, publisher of national and regional newspapers. “It allows us to promote the quality journalism of our publications and to accelerate the digital transformation of editorial processes and the development of revenues by subscription.”

“The agreement reached with Google is part of the digital strategies of our publications,” says Azzurra Caltagirone, Vice President of Caltagirone Editore, publisher of national and regional newspapers. “The initiative is an important step that will allow publishing companies to identify new sources of remuneration for quality content while ensuring the independence of a vital sector for contemporary society.”

An image showing examples of different New Showcase panel layouts from our publishing partners in Italy.

An example of New Showcase panel layouts from our publishing partners in Italy. 

News Showcase is part of a broader set of initiatives that represent Google’s long-term commitment to supporting journalism. Since 2015, Google has invested 11 million euros in Italian journalism projects through the Innovation Fund of the Digital News Initiative. For example, SESAAB, the Italian publisher of L’Eco di Bergamo newspaper, used artificial intelligence to create personalized newsletters and online content recommendations. In 2016, Google signed a three-year agreement with Italian news association FIEG that led the company to invest over 16 million euros on a number of strategic sectors for digital publishing. And in 2020, with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Google News Initiative offered financial support to over 300 Italian newsrooms through its Global Emergency Fund for Local Journalism

News Showcase underlines our larger commitment to journalism. Through the Google News Initiative, which includes $300 million in funding, we’ve supported more than 6,250 news partners in 118 countries. Our ad technologies enable news organizations to sell their ad space to millions of advertisers globally — including advertisers they wouldn’t have access to without these services. Google also sends 24 billion free visits each month to publishers' sites around the world through its platforms, which publishers can monetize with online advertising and subscriptions on their websites and apps.

Our new News Showcase agreements represent an important step forward in how Google is supporting Italian journalism and publishing. We are happy to contribute to the development of the digital ecosystem for the publishing world and to strengthen our commitment to quality journalism.

Say “Hey Google…” to the new Fiat 500 Family

For me, having a car has always been about more than driving. I like the way a car can reflect my style, and make my life easier. That’s why I was personally very intrigued when the Fiat team approached us. They wanted to see if we could work together to make the iconic Fiat 500 respond to people’s needs even better, even when they aren’t behind the wheel. The result of that work is the new Fiat 500 Family Hey Google, a special edition of the historic, yet very modern Fiat 500.

Image shows three Fiats from the Fiat 500 family driving on a bridge.

Anyone can ask Google Assistant for useful everyday information, like directions or weather updates. But thanks to the My Fiat Action, which integrates Fiat's Mopar Connect service and Google Assistant, owners of the new 500 Family Hey Google can access special features even when they aren't driving.

If you’re at home but want to check your fuel level, see if your car is locked, find the closest Fiat service station or even switch on the emergency lights, all you have to say is “Hey Google, ask My Fiat…”. Since I share my car with my partner, I know I’d be checking how full the fuel is pretty often! (Some commands aren’t available in the U.K.).

Image showing a Nest Hub with "Hey Google, ask my Fiat..." questions on the screen.

If you’re a new 500, 500X or 500L Hey Google owner, you can activate the service upon car delivery and follow the procedures from Fiat. From that moment on, you can use the My Fiat Action for Google Assistant to interact with your car by simply saying “Hey Google, ask My Fiat…” and the rest is up to you.

The new Fiat 500 Family Hey Google will soon be available in three models — 500, 500X and 500L —  in 10 European countries, including Italy, the U.K., France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland. Enjoy the ride!

Say “Hey Google…” to the new Fiat 500 Family

For me, having a car has always been about more than driving. I like the way a car can reflect my style, and make my life easier. That’s why I was personally very intrigued when the Fiat team approached us. They wanted to see if we could work together to make the iconic Fiat 500 respond to people’s needs even better, even when they aren’t behind the wheel. The result of that work is the new Fiat 500 Family Hey Google, a special edition of the historic, yet very modern Fiat 500.

Image shows three Fiats from the Fiat 500 family driving on a bridge.

Anyone can ask Google Assistant for useful everyday information, like directions or weather updates. But thanks to the My Fiat Action, which integrates Fiat's Mopar Connect service and Google Assistant, owners of the new 500 Family Hey Google can access special features even when they aren't driving.

If you’re at home but want to check your fuel level, see if your car is locked, find the closest Fiat service station or even switch on the emergency lights, all you have to say is “Hey Google, ask My Fiat…”. Since I share my car with my partner, I know I’d be checking how full the fuel is pretty often! (Some commands aren’t available in the U.K.).

Image showing a Nest Hub with "Hey Google, ask my Fiat..." questions on the screen.

If you’re a new 500, 500X or 500L Hey Google owner, you can activate the service upon car delivery and follow the procedures from Fiat. From that moment on, you can use the My Fiat Action for Google Assistant to interact with your car by simply saying “Hey Google, ask My Fiat…” and the rest is up to you.

The new Fiat 500 Family Hey Google will soon be available in three models — 500, 500X and 500L —  in 10 European countries, including Italy, the U.K., France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland. Enjoy the ride!

Google’s €25 million contribution to media literacy

While navigating the uncertainty and challenges of the last year, it has proven more important than ever for people to access accurate information, and sort facts from fiction. That’s why Google is contributing €25 million to help launch the European Media and Information Fund to strengthen media literacy skills, fight misinformation and support fact checking. Our goal is to ensure that you and your family get the information you want, the answers you need and the accuracy you deserve.

Our five-year commitment will support the work of the European University Institute, the European Digital Media Observatory and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to fund organizations seeking to address key challenges:

  • Help adults and young people strengthen their media literacy skills
  • Support and scale the critical work of fact-checkers 
  • Strengthen the expertise, research and resources to help fight misinformation

As the first to contribute to the European Media and Information Fund, we welcome and encourage other organizations to follow our lead and support this important work. It is clear there is an unmet demand for funding and research, with fewer than one in 10 Europeans having participated in any form of online media literacy training, according to a recent report.  

In the coming weeks, the Fund will open for proposals from academics, nonprofits and publishers based in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Independent committees made up of industry experts will select the winning ideas and Google won't be involved in any decision making related to the Fund. 

Our commitment today builds on our previous grants to fact checkers and nonprofits, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, and our work to tackle misinformation in the run up to other major events, such as elections. Since 2015, we’ve provided funding and technical support to organizations focused on misinformation, including innovative new models like CrossCheck in France, and provided digital verification training to 90,000 European journalists, receiving over 400,000 visits to our training website

And we’re of course continuing our other efforts to support media literacy for young people, with Be Internet Legends and Be Internet Citizens providing digital skills to help schoolchildren and teenagers verify and fact-check. Through our philanthropic arm, Google.org, we’ve provided €3.2 million in funding since 2018 to programs like Newswise, The Student View and Weitklick, and through the Google News Initiative additional funding to support Students for President and Zeit für Lehrer.

If you represent an organization with an idea, you can learn more about the Fund and find out when applications open by registering on this website.

A subscriptions lab for European publishers

As more news outlets turn to online subscriptions to make money from their digital content, we’re working with publishers to strengthen their capabilities and grow reader revenue. That’s why we’re kicking off the second edition of the Google News Initiative Subscriptions Lab program in Europe, developed in partnership with FT Strategies and the International News Media Association (INMA). 


The Lab is an eight-month program designed to strengthen and accelerate growth of a publisher’s subscription business and help them develop new monetization strategies. It will focus on every step of the process, from how readers discover news content to how publishers convert those readers into subscribers and retain them over the long term.  

The Subscriptions Lab is a part of the Google News Initiative’s Digital Growth Programme, which was created to provide European news publishers with training and other resources to grow their digital business.

Building on the success of last year’s edition, the 2021 program attracted more than 50 applicants from 22 European countries. The eight publishers who have been selected, following a rigorous selection process, are:

  • The Courier (DC Thomson Media), United Kingdom
  • Denik (Vltava Labe Media), Czech Republic 
  • Irish Independent (Independent News & Media), Ireland 
  • Le Journal du Dimanche (Lagardère Media News), France 
  • OÖNachrichten (Wimmer Medien), Austria 
  • El País (Prisa), Spain 
  • Público (Público Comunicação Social), Portugal 
  • Ruhr Nachrichten (Lensing Media), Germany

The selection criteria includes a publisher having senior management support and commitment, digital subscriptions as a top strategic priority and a willingness to share knowledge and lessons with the rest of the group and the wider industry. The selection panel also ensured that the final group of eight publishers represented a broad cross-section of the industry: a mix of local, regional and national publishers of varying sizes, plus participants at different stages of their subscriptions journey.

The program draws on the expertise of each of the partners: the analytical tools developed by the Google News Initiative, FT Strategies’ experience of developing a successful subscriptions business — something they term the “North Star” methodology — and expertise from INMA’s Readers First Initiative

Eight publishers took part in last year’s inaugural edition of the European Subscriptions Lab: La Croix (France), Dennik N (Slovakia), Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland), The Independent (UK), Kurier (Austria), El Mundo (Spain), RP Online (Germany) and VLT (Sweden). The publishers, who took a survey rating their satisfaction, rated it a 4.9 out of 5 upon completing the Lab. Their experience and lessons were shared during last year’s INMA virtual town hall, moderated by Researcher-in-Residence Grzegorz Piechota. 

For each participating publisher, the 2020 Lab executed an in-depth diagnostic analysis of their performance and built a strategy around a clear goal, like reaching a certain number of subscribers. We conducted more than 20 experiments during last year’s Labs, with goals like growing readership, retaining readers, testing article quality and testing various subscription and payment models. When conducting these experiments, one participating publisher saw daily registrations increase by ten times by creating a new registration wall, while another had a more than 10 percent increase in conversions on the paywall by changing the position of page roadblocks.  


If you’re interested in seeing more experiment results from last year’s cohort as well as detailed learnings, you can watch the recording of INMA’s virtual Town Hall, or read the new report by FT Strategies, called “Towards your North Star.”  


Digital tools create a safety net for European businesses

Alongside the public health crisis, the economic impact of the pandemic is being felt heavily around the world. As entrepreneurs, business leaders and Governments work to protect jobs and accelerate a return to prosperity in the long term, it's clear that digital tools and skills are going to be more important than ever. That’s why Google is investing in new tools and training to ensure all businesses can build resilience and recover quickly. These are helping companies such as handmade accessories retailer MoonDot in Poland who used digital tools to improve online sales by 70%, and La Maison Des Soeurs Macarons in France who gained 200 new customers after its team took online training courses in digital skills. 

A new report released today by the Connected Commerce Council, funded by Google, shows how a “digital safety net” can serve as a support system for small businesses. The survey of more than 5,000 small businesses across Europe found that businesses that used digital tools to rapidly change how they find customers, sell products and operate reported 80 percent better sales during COVID-19 than those who didn’t, and hired three times as many people. And without such tools, many would have gone out of business.


Digital drives jobs and sales for small businesses

Whilst almost all (80 percent) of European small businesses increased their use of digital tools during the pandemic, the report identified three different types of small businesses based on their adoption of digital tools, and how this impacts their business:

  • Digitally Advanced small businesses (42 percent of small businesses in Europe) use more than 10 digital tools and prioritize their importance, leading to better business outcomes such as higher revenue and jobs 

  • Digitally Evolving small businesses (40 percent) viewed tools as supporting or essential for their business, but were deploying an average of six 

  • Digitally Uncertain small businesses (18 percent) use less digital tools and don’t prioritize their importance, leading to worse business outcomes

Digital drives jobs and sales for small businesses

There is clear untapped potential for European businesses to benefit from digital tools 

From consulting with small businesses, the researchers identified a “stack” of digital tools —  e-commerce, data analytics and talent management, cloud services and collaboration tools — that created significant revenue advantages for small businesses if they were being used prior to the pandemic. This ultimately showed that not only is digital driving revenue and jobs for these businesses, but also that Europe is missing out on significant untapped growth from businesses who are not yet convinced about the usefulness of digital tools. 

The pandemic had a dramatic, and uneven, impact on small businesses

The impact on small businesses was, and continues to be, extreme, with 90 percent saying they were negatively impacted and 44 percent having to adjust their business models. And certain industries and groups faced greater challenges than others, particularly female, older and solo-operator business owners. 

Impact of digital tools on different business owners

What’s next 

It’s clear from this research that there is an opportunity to drive jobs and revenue for European small businesses. However, the research shows that governments and companies need to narrow the gap between the digitally advanced and uncertain, particularly for underrepresented groups. As new digital habits like online shopping and remote working are here to stay even after the pandemic, the research also highlights the risk of some small businesses falling further behind their competitors if they don’t increase their use of digital tools. The barriers those businesses face include being unsure of the return on investment and also a lack of skills and knowledge about digital tools. 

This is why new skills are such an important part of economic recovery efforts across Europe. It’s also why we are committed to investing in research like this to inform and build on the tools and training we already provide. Google is joining policy makers, public agencies, training partners and others to develop products and partnerships to help tackle these barriers, like ourZukunftHandel program, in partnership with HDE, the German Retail Association, to help German retail businesses or Ma Vitrine En Ligne, in partnership with the French Federation of Trade Associations, to connect artisans and traders with digital experts for remote support courses, and providing personalized product recommendations for small business owners on our Google for Small Business hub

By removing these barriers, we can achieve an accelerated, sustainable recovery which works for everyone. 

Read the full report and methodology from the Connected Commerce Council.


Key stats at a glance:

  • Key stats at a glance:

    • The impact: 

      • 80% of small businesses increased their use of digital tools during the pandemic

      • 44% had to to adjust their business models

      • Small businesses with a sophisticated use of digital tools fared nearly twice as better financially (80% better sales; 60% better revenue) during COVID-19, and hired over three times as many people

    • The challenge: 

      • 90% of small businesses were negatively impacted by the pandemic 

      • Digitally advanced small businesses are about 2.5X more likely to be led by someone under 45 years old versus a leader over 45. 

      • Female small business leaders face more than 10% greater revenue challenges than men if they don’t use digital tools, but conversely these tools help women more when deployed successfully

    • The future

      • 62% of small businesses believe they will fully recover to pre-pandemic levels during the next year

      • 50% of small businesses plan to increase their use of digital tools

Swiss Federal Railways transforms its workforce with Android Enterprise

Editor’s note: Melkon Toroysan is the mobile solutions architect with Swiss Federal Railways.


At Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), mobility is the key to how our teams stay connected and fulfill our mission as the public rail transport agency in Switzerland. We strive to provide a safe and pleasant journey for passengers and reliable transport for cargo. Many of our 33,000 employees are on the frontline of helping customers, keeping the trains running smoothly and doing the critical maintenance work to ensure our infrastructure is always in optimal condition. 


The foundation behind all this is the technology that enables our employees to communicate with each other, serve our customers and get up-to-the-minute information. With Android Enterprise, we now have the ability to choose a diverse selection of devices and integrate them into a common management system, along with the security and privacy we require.


Enhancing frontline work with Android

When evaluating our device strategy, we spent significant time in the field considering how our teams worked and what opportunities there would be to modernize workflows. We wanted to streamline much of our work through internal apps and provide devices to employees who had not been assigned one before. 


Android Enterprise allowed us to do all of this. Now our IT team manages over 24,000 devices, with a mix of tablets and smartphones tailored to individual job roles. We chose Android Enterprise Recommended devices so we’d have guaranteed operating system and security updates, and we replaced a fair amount of outdated hardware. 


Our devices are essential for nearly everyone across the organization; employees can report maintenance issues, answer messages and access our collaboration tools. This takes place across over 70 internal enterprise apps we distribute and maintain through managed Google Play.


For example, our train conductors use their smartphones to stay on top of departure information, communicate with others to know what details to announce before departing. Our conductors use their devices to issue and check tickets with an NFC scanner. They also get real-time information about departures and arrivals to give passengers up-to-date information. And every member of our maintenance team uses an Android Enterprise smartphone to get their daily assignments, mark them complete and note necessary repairs they detect. Teams are using their Android devices to take pictures of needed repairs to provide better details about what needs to be fixed.


Security and privacy

Many of our devices are deployed with the Android work profile, which means employees can use the same device for personal apps and data without compromising their privacy. Our teams appreciate the separation of their company apps in a dedicated work tab, and our IT team has the enterprise tools they require to help secure our corporate apps in the work profile. This became even more important as the pandemic took hold—we relied heavily on mobility to stay connected and work safely. 


We’ll continue to explore how Android can improve our teams’ communication and collaboration. With Android Enterprise we’re confident in our ability to expand our device deployment and help our teams find new ways to be productive.


Join the Women of AdSense summit

Google AdSense is proud to partner with so many inspiring and successful businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We believe that the uniqueness of the people running these businesses is integral to what we do, and we love to see this diversity shining through the content you produce. 

We’d like to show our support by inviting you to the Women of AdSense summit, which fosters leadership, inclusion and connection in the AdSense community. March is Women's History Month, a time to highlight the contributions of women throughout history and in contemporary society. We’d love to celebrate with you at the summit, which will take place on Wednesday, March 31 and is free to registered participants.

During the event you will: 

  • Discover opportunities to grow your publishing business through monetization and content development.

  • Hear stories from your fellow women publishers.

  • Learn more about balance and resilience from our guest keynote speaker.

This virtual event is aimed at empowering Women of AdSense across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. However, we welcome anyone who's interested in attending as an ally and supporting women in the workplace and beyond.

Applications will be accepted until Sunday, March 21. Apply to participate in the event and get ready to be inspired!


Source: Inside AdSense


Job-training solutions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

As the pandemic accelerates changes in how and where we work, many of us will need to upgrade our skills or even change careers. Today we’re announcing more help, in partnership with expert organizations and with the public sector, building on our experience in training over 17 million people in Europe, the Middle East and Africa over the last six years through Grow with Google.

Even before COVID-19, research by Google and McKinsey showed that more than 90 million European workers may need to develop significant new skills within their current roles, while up to 21 million may have to leave occupations with declining labor needs like agriculture or in-person retail. The global crisis has sped up many of these predicted changes: McKinsey now estimates that 25% more people in Europe may need to transition to new jobs after the pandemic. Many people will need to learn new skills, as almost all growth in labor demand will continue to be for higher skill, higher wage jobs. 

Today, we are announcing three new Google Career Certificates available online on Coursera, which enable people to become job-ready for growing career areas such as IT Support, Project Management, UX Design and Data Analytics. These low-cost programs help people who want to learn online at their own pace, or who may want to change careers and don't have the time or means to access traditional education. They can be completed in under six months, do not require relevant experience or a degree, and are recognized by industry experts and employers. 

These certificates help meet surging demand by workers to get the skills they need to secure good jobs. At the start of the lockdowns, we saw atripling of demandfor online learning, and the interest has been mostly sustained throughout the year, as people need to find new jobs or learn new skills that employers are looking for today — and in the years ahead.

These certificates help meet surging demand by workers to get the skills they need to secure good jobs. In the last year, we've seen increased interest in online learning as more workers lose their jobs or as they seek the skills employers are looking for today — and in the years ahead.

Addressing the challenges of the future of work requires collaboration between governments, companies and community organizations. We are proud to support the European Commission’s Pact for Skills, and, as part of our commitment to help people overcome barriers to learning, we will provide scholarships for the certificates for 100,000 people in EMEA. Scholarships will be distributed through local organizations like Fundae and SEPE in Spain, APDC and IEFP in Portugal, the London Borough of Camden in the UK, OAED in Greece, Czechitas in Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Agency for Digital Development (ADD) in Morocco and RootHub in Nigeria. Additional local collaborations will be announced soon. 

We’re also focused on ways to address gender and economic inequalities, which have been further widened by the pandemic. Underrepresented groups, low-income workers and women are more exposed to hard-hit sectors, like food service or hospitality, and are therefore more at risk of losing their jobs. Older workers without computer experience also face unique challenges as they struggle more to get back into work. Google.org will allocate 50,000 of these scholarships for people from underserved communities, providing access to people from all backgrounds.

Google.org through an initial €5 million grant to INCO, a global nonprofit organisation, will work with over 50 local nonprofits to provide services like career advice, interview preparation, childcare vouchers and language support. These organisations include Riga Tech Girls, a woman-led nonprofit in Latvia that will distribute scholarships to underprivileged women to help get more women into tech jobs.

While there are people that cannot find a job because they don't have the right skills, 40% of employers in Europe also struggled to find qualified people. Joining policy efforts led by the European Commission and others to help bridge the skills gap between employers and workers, we’re committed to gathering companies and organizations who, like us, recognize the Google Career Certificates and openly express their interest in receiving applications from graduates. Certificate graduates can also apply for our apprenticeship programs

Technology must help everyone, no matter their location, race, age or education level. Governments and companies must rethink how we equip people with new skills by removing barriers to learning and investing in innovative partnerships — otherwise these inequalities will only grow.  We hope that with these new efforts and the support of our public sector partners, even more people can develop the skills to thrive and continue growing their careers through technology.

Irish retailers can build an online presence with Pointy

As a Dublin native who started a company to help small retailers get online, I’ve seen local retailers adapt to many situations. It’s safe to say that the pandemic has brought challenges unlike any other, and we’ve seen it directly affect many of our favorite local shops.

Due to lockdown restrictions, it’s become critical for brick-and-mortar retailers to be visible online. I also know firsthand how helpful it is to be able to search online and see what a store has in stock prior to heading out of the house. 

But sharing in-store inventory online can be challenging for smaller businesses, as they may not have the resources to build and maintain an e-commerce platform. Pointy from Google meets that need by creating an online presence for these retailers to help them showcase their product offering and potentially reach new customers. 

Starting today for a limited time, Pointy from Google will offer free Pointy devices to qualifying small and medium retailers in Ireland, enabling them to display their in-store products online. Irish retailers who connect with Pointy within the next six months will also get €100 ad credit to trial Pointy’s Product Ads feature.  

Pointy works by creating a connection between physical stores and Google so that their products can appear in local Google search results, which can help attract shoppers in the surrounding area to the store. Retailers don’t have to do any extra work: As they scan items to be sold, the products are added to their Business Profile on Google Search and Maps so that potential customers can easily see them.

Infographic showing how to use a Pointy device: Scan your products, display products on Google, help shoppers find you

Shoppers are actively supporting local retailers: 66% of people who shop local say they are doing so in a conscious effort to support local businesses. Displaying products on their stores’ Business Profiles will help Irish retailers tap into that sentiment as consumers can see that the products they are searching for online can be bought locally.

Quote from John Feely, Feely's Total Health Pharmacy, Galway: "Pointy has put us in reach of an audience online that would often pass us by."

COVID-19 continues to challenge retailers, and the economic impact on small and medium businesses has been severe. Google is committed to helping these businesses recover. With a 100% increase in  searches for “available near me” since last year, this new tool will help Irish retailers reach more customers and drive footfall to local stores and shops. 

Pointy can be used via a device that is plugged into a business’s point-of-sale (POS) system, or through the Pointy app, depending on the system. Pointy will be offering free devices to qualifying Irish businesses up until September 31, 2021. To find out more and sign up, retailers should visit: pointy.com/ireland.