Can Pokémon Go help catch customers? Retailers think so
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Pokémon Go has taken over. Currently available in the U.S., New Zealand and Australia only, Pokémon Go is already rivaling Twitter for total daily users. With numbers like this, business owners everywhere should be looking at how they can use Pokémon Go's success to their advantage.
So, how can Pokémon benefit your business? Put everything you think you know behind you. Pokémon Go is merging the virtual world with the real world on a whole new level.
What is Pokémon Go, and how does it work?
Pokémon Go works by using "your phone's GPS and clock to detect where and when you are in the game and make Pokémon 'appear' around you (on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them," according to Vox.
Pokémon Go will display a map detailing the PokéStops, Gyms and Pokémon that are nearby. The gamer goes to these locations, which are typically near easily identifiable landmarks, to catch a Pokémon, battle their Pokémons, or get rewards from a PokéStop.
What can retailers do to benefit from Pokémon Go?
While these Pokémon Go locations might not be in your business, one is surely nearby. And with so many people participating in the game, foot traffic near your business will boom. If you take the right steps to pull this potential business in, you could increase your customer base and revenue.
Retailers have many options for incorporating Pokémon Go into their business:
- Add Pokémon into your advertising and in-store displays
- Promote your business at the Pokémon Go locations
- Use incentives that will benefit the gamer in the Pokémon world
- Invest in Pokémon inventory
These are just a few ideas. To incorporate Pokémon into your business, you might have to get a little creative. But you don't have to spend a fortune.
Ha! Local mall T-Mobile trying to get you to upgrade your phone for Pokemon pic.twitter.com/dkGAyONZai— Mara (@LilBigTrouble) July 10, 2016
Add Pokémon into your advertising, promotions, etc. A T-Mobile location posted a sign stating, "You can't catch all of the Pokémon with that old phone! Come in, let's get you one that CAN!" Another clothing retailer's sign: "PokéStop inside! Come get your PokéBalls and previously rocked threads! Gotta catch 'em all in style."
These retailers simply incorporated Pokémon into their in-store signage while also promoting their business. Have a little fun with it; Pokémon is not a serious topic.
Barnes & Noble has also jumped on the bandwagon with a Pokémon promotion. When a customer purchases Pokémon trading cards or products, the retail bookstore will print a special bonus code on the receipt that unlocks two rare Pokémon online.
"Pokémon are for paying customers only" — friend snapped this sign. pic.twitter.com/BeHh1aqO78— Bobby Cherry (@GoBobbo) July 10, 2016
Play the game. Another way to increase your retail business' foot traffic is by making your location a PokéStop or Gym. While the initial locations are landmarks and the like, more locations can be added through user submissions, "which are open to anyone in the user community, and which are vetted by Niantic before being added to the public database."
Even though it's not guaranteed Niantic will approve your request, if your business becomes a PokéStop or Gym, foot traffic will skyrocket.
Pokémon Go Lure Modules are advantages gamers can purchase or receive as a reward. The module "lures" Pokémon so the gamer can catch them. However, retailers can use them to lure customers to you. The cost is minimal and will result in quick — almost immediate — results.
Create inventory for Pokémon. Not all retailers have the ability — or even interest — to create or purchase Pokémon inventory. However, retailers near a Pokémon Go location that display Pokémon gear are more likely to catch the attention of the gamers.
If your Pokémon inventory is unique, you could also attract customers from other areas — die-hard fans will go to many lengths and spend the big bucks to obtain character items.
Even though it might seem like a foreign concept to many retailers, Pokémon Go's success can be used to benefit your business. Get creative and have fun integrating the game into your business.
Being in close proximity to the target group, small-scale ideas can go a long way. From creating Pokémon-themed signage to "luring" Pokémon and gamers, businesses can make changes overnight to attract this new target customer.
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