You’ve seen them walking around; heads down, staring at their smartphone screens, hunting down mini animated creatures in parks, coffee shops, and maybe even your business. Now the question is how do you harness that extra traffic in and around your businesses and turn it into revenue?
The first step is to understand what Pokémon Go is. This is an augmented-reality game in which characters search for Pokémon characters to train and battle each other in attempts to level up. The main point for businesses to understand is that with an animated screen similar to Google Maps (minus any street indicators), the game character mimics the real steps and location of the user looking for special Pokémon items/locations superimposed digitally on real places. (The Globe and Mail accurately describes Pokémon Go in-depth HERE). Common words you will hear are “PokéStops” and “PokéGyms”. PokéGyms are the locations where characters can train their Pokémon creatures, and PokéStops are where characters pick up special items.
Originally, companies had no choice whether or not they were listed as a Pokémon location; however, according to the website PCMag, a company can now request to be a PokéStop or PokéGym, along with being able to request the removal of being one. Once you know whether your business is a PokéStop or Gym (or close to one) you can take advantage of In-App micro-purchase options in the game. One of those is called “Lure Modules” which are exclusively used at Pokestops. On a user’s screen, the module will be differentiated from a regular Pokéstop by pink and white and attracts additional virtual Pokémon to the area where you drop the Lure. This will attract more foot traffic to your business of gamers trying to catch them all. Strategy is key with this tactic. Once you drop the Lure, it will be active for 30 minutes. Time the drop of your Lure during peak hours, when more people will be out with leisure time to spend in your store while catching Pokémon.
You can also capitalize on this new game by using social media. Entice users with rewards and discounts for taking pictures catching a Pokémon in your store and mentioning you in their post. A great way to get the attention of these players is to have a draw of everyone who tags you or your company throughout the day for a chance to win something from your business. Advertise your special deals through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Go old fashioned and post a sign on your window with your social media handles. The use of social media to engage with this younger demographic is paramount to increasing your sales.
Our last piece of advice is to keep up with the news. Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go, is constantly updating and refining the app, so our biggest piece of advice is to be sure that you know when they make changes and how it will benefit and impact your business.
And with that, best of luck and “Go catch ‘em all!”