Pokémon Go. It’s the latest obsession to hit the mobile world. A mobile game based on the 1990s series of video games and TV shows, players include nostalgic young adults looking back on their childhood, as well as teenagers enjoying this new, popular form of entertainment.
The uniqueness of Pokémon Go is that it requires players to venture out into the real world in order to capture virtual Pokémon. It uses GPS to track player movements and the player’s phone camera to superimpose the Pokémon onto real life locations, providing an immersive augmented reality experience. The aim of the game is to ‘catch ‘em all’, with players travelling far and wide in search of rare creatures. Players also choose one of three teams, red, yellow or blue. They can then battle each other in virtual Pokémon gyms located at landmarks such as museums and stations. These PokéStops are located at various real life places of interest. Players also need to stock up on items such as PokéBalls, necessary for catching Pokémon, and potions for healing Pokémon after battles.
According to SimilarWeb, people worldwide currently spend more time playing Pokémon Go than using popular social media apps such as WhatsApp and Instagram. Survey Monkey Intelligence research shows that it is also the most popular mobile game of all time in the US. In the first month after Pokémon Go’s U.S. release, 10% of the U.S. adult population downloaded the game to their phone. With countless players hitting the streets to catch Pokémon, small business owners are given the chance to direct enthusiastic players into stores and boost sales with a range of Pokémon-themed ventures.
If business owners succeed in drawing in Pokémon players, they will be rewarded with an influx of customers with smartphones. This is the perfect opportunity to make use of mPOS devices and increase sales through mobile payments. There are many advantages of mobile point-of-sale, with your Pokémon playing customers benefitting from easy, efficient and safe payments through convenient payments systems such as mobile wallets.
So, how exactly can you use Pokémon Go to increase customers and sales? Here are 8 ways…
1. Offer Pokémon themed offers and products
Add a Pokémon-themed sign outside your café, inviting Pokémon Go players in. Or create a Pokémon-inspired dish at your restaurant, with special offers for Pokémon Go players. One business that has used such promotions is Flying Saucer Pizza in Massachusetts, USA. Aside from having the fortune of being a designated PokéStop, it has run promotions such as ‘Yellow Day’, where team yellow Pokémon Go players received special discounts. These promotions have led to increased sales and provide a constant flow of customers.
2. PokéStop promotions
Find your local PokéStop through the Pokémon Go app and place advertisements for your business there. Offer a discount or special offer for players who have visited the PokéStop.
3. Create a PokéStop for your business
As PokéStop locations naturally draw players, this is an ideal opportunity to increase the number of visitors to your store. Pokémon Go creator Niantic has announced that it plans to introduce the opportunity for sponsored PokéStop locations. This will permit business owners to buy a PokéStop at their location. Until then, PokéStop requests can be made through Niantic’s website.
4. Pay for a lure module at your location
Pokémon Go allows players to purchase ‘lure modules’ that can be placed at PokéStops. These attract more Pokémon to the site for thirty minutes. Players tend to flock to lure locations and wait for Pokémon to appear. A package of lure modules costs just a few dollars - a worthwhile investment when considering the potential amount of customers a single lure module could attract. Some stores, such as Huge Café in Atlanta, USA, have invested in almost constant lure modules, leading to a substantial increase in customers and sales. Not only can you benefit from increased sales, but visiting customers can help fill your restaurant, kiosk, or café, providing a friendly atmosphere that everyone can enjoy.
5. Host a Poké-hunt
Invite players to start and end a hunt for wild Pokémon at your location, with accompanying special offers for those participating. This can be in conjunction with location-based social media advertising to ensure the best turnout.
6. Hold a gym battle tournament
If your business is located at or near a Pokémon gym, prepare an in-store scoreboard and accompany it with a gym battle tournament. Offer promotions and prizes for winners.
7. Use social media to attract Pokémon Go players
Social media has impacted the travel industry and the hospitality industry, with many travellers and locals alike looking to social media sites for deals and promotions. So, creating Pokémon-themed social media adverts and special offers could give bountiful results. For example, you can create Facebook adverts targeted at locals of a particular age. Ideas for effective social media advertising include special offers for players who share photos of Pokémon found in your store or restaurant. In addition, you can take photos of Pokémon with your products or in your establishment and share them online. Photos like these are often shared between friends, putting your business in the spotlight and making it popular with local Pokémon Go players.
8. Offer free Wi-Fi and charging stations
Pokémon Go is known for draining battery life. After a long trek, hungry and thirsty Pokémon Go players will appreciate free Wi-Fi and charging stations accompanied by good food and drink, so they can recharge, relax, and refresh before continuing their journey.
Now’s the time to ‘catch ém all’
While Pokémon Go remains hugely popular, Pokémon based promotions are a worthwhile investment for your business. The game allows you to increase foot traffic and customer sales at a minimal cost. Meanwhile, customers will enjoy being able to catch Pokémon and benefit from special offers at the same time. Everyone’s a winner.