How Pokemon Go Can Increase Your Sales

How to cash in on Poke-fever

"Are you playing Pokemon?"

If you have been out and about with your phone you have probably been asked that question. It seems like everyone has lost their minds over 'Pokemon Go' in the last week; record downloads, record users, and record revenue are turning Pokemon Go into the largest mobile game release in history.

What makes Pokemon Go different from other mobile breakout hits like 'Candy Crush Saga' or 'Clash of Clans' is that now local businesses can benefit from this gaming craze in a way that has never happened before with mobile gaming. Part of the reason for this is that Pokemon Go takes the 'mobile' in mobile gaming in a new direction by combining real-world locations into the game world in a way that gets people out of their house and onto the streets.

Many brick and motor business have seen increases in their business simply because more people are out roaming around town looking for Pokemon but there are also special locations in the game that can generate a huge increase in traffic if you happen to be located nearby. Earlier this week on CNBC Gamestop CEO J. Paul Raines said that they have seen sales at some of their stores increase by 100% since the release of Pokemon Go. How are they getting such large increases in sales from people playing Pokemon? Is this something you could replicate at your business as well?

Pokestops and Gyms

As I mentioned before there are certain locations in Pokemon Go that are special, these locations draw in players because they can receive items or they can battle other players to take control of that location. If your business is located on, or near, a Pokestop or Gym then you can utilize that draw of players to increase your sales. With a few quick steps you can start to pull in additional traffic and capitalize on the Pokemon hysteria.

Download the game and look up your location

The first step is to download Pokemon Go to your iPhone or Android device. Once you have the game and create an account you'll be able to take a look at the map.

In the image above you can see an example of what we're looking for. The floating blue circle is an example of a Pokestop and the larger Red tower in the background is a Gym. Determining which type of structure is closest to you business will help you decide on your next step.

Draw players to your Pokestop

If you find that you business is a Pokestop, or is very near to one, then you have a sure-fire way to draw players in, you're literally going to lure them to your door. 'Lures' are an in-game item that increase the rate that Pokemon appear around a Pokestop for 30 minutes. If your Pokestop has a lure activated on it players will see that in the game and stop by for awhile to try and catch rare Pokemon for their collection. If you want to try this out just follow the steps below to purchase some lures and then place them on your Pokestop.
  • Within Pokemon Go tap the red Pokeball at the bottom of the Screen
  • Tap on the Shop button
  • In the top right corner of the screen you will see the number of 'Pokecoins' that you have. If you have 100 or more then you can proceed to the next step. If not you need to scroll all the way to the bottom of the shop and purchase some Pokecoins as an in-app purchase. You will need at least 100.
  • Scroll to the middle of the shop screen tap on the purple Lure Modules to purchase them. You can purchase one Lure to test it out for only 100 Pokecoins but you will get a much better deal if you buy in bulk.
  • After your purchase return to the main game screen and tap on the Pokestop that you want to Lure customers to.
  • If you're close enough to the Pokestop the screen will change to show you information about that location. Tap on the white pill shaped button under the location name
  • Now tap on the Pokestop Module at the bottom of the screen
  • Tap on the Lure Module you just bought
  • You will know that it worked when you see pink petals falling down all around your Pokestop location
  • Profit!

Now players are going to see your Pokestop has a Lure on it and will literally go out of their way to swing by. Be ready for them by putting up a sign that encourages them to come inside and grab a drink, or offers a discount for Pokemon Trainers. In the next section we'll discuss some other ideas that can help you reach out to Pokemon players.

How to Benefit from being a Gym

If your business is, or is near, a Gym you'll have to approach this a little differently. You can't place Lures at Gyms, but you probably don't need to. Gyms already bring in a constant flow of players who want to challenge the current Gym leader and claim it for themselves and their team. In this scenario you just need a way to reach out to the Pokemon Go players that are already going to be coming your way. Here are a few ideas you could use to entice players to purchase from you during their Poke-battles.
  • Offer a discount to Pokemon players if they show you the game on their phone
  • Name a few items on your menu after a Pokemon or after the 3 teams players can join (Valor, Mystic, and Instinct)
  • Celebrate the team or player that is currently in charge of your gym
  • Really get into the game and create custom stickers or pins with your logo on them and give them away to anyone who conquers the gym. In the Pokemon world trainers are always striving to get 'badges' from the gyms they defeat, playing into this could be huge.

Pokemon Go has finally delivered on the promise of 'Mobile Gaming'. Not only are players able to play wherever they want but they are now taking their love of gaming, and Pokemon, into the real world and interacting with each other and businesses in new and exciting ways. Show them that you get their excitement and you have the opportunity to earn their business for years to come.

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