Increase Sales Using Pokemon Go

By Gery L. Deer
GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd.

maxresdefaultIt took just four days for Pokemon Go to become the number one free app in the U.S. iTunes App Store. While there is little to no benefit to non-retail business, small local shops could cash in on the game’s popularity, for however long it lasts.

Begin with a welcome for players through advertisements on Facebook and other sharable social media to generate buzz. Social media ads allow you to target the recipients in a localized, geographic area to your establishment. If you bring them in, be sure to offer some kind of incentive to get them to buy.

The content of your ads can promote special incentives for players who come in and purchase something. For instance, “Pokemon Go players! Come in between 11AM and 1PM today, show us the Pokemon you’ve found in our place and get a free …(something).”

If there are few PokeStops or Gyms nearby, developers are now permitting users to request new PokeStops. There’s no guarantee a stop will be established but at least it’s a start and a photo of the location can be uploaded as well. This link will take you to the request submission page.

Remember also that Pokemon is a pay-to-play game in some instances. (Link to a guide to PokeCoins) As a business, this works in your favor. You can buy “lures,” which increase the frequency of Pokemons generated near a particular stop or gym. Lures are not cheap and are time-sensitive. (The following link from business publication, inc. provides more detail on how to set up a “lure”)

One of the greatest down sides to all of this potentially increased traffic is that these kinds of activities tend to attract the “one off” buyer; someone who makes a small purchase out of obligation or because they’re there.

One note of caution: Before you toss out your lure and try reeling in those Pokemon-playing fish, you might want to check with your insurance provider and attorney. Let’s face it people are doing some pretty dumb things related to this game, like falling off cliffs and walking into traffic.

You should contact your insurance and legal professionals to find out exactly what your liability is if you lure someone into your establishment and they hurt themselves playing this game, particularly when it’s not part of your normal business offering.

If you’re a consumer playing this game in someone’s small business I have only two words for you – buy something. Be courteous to your host, whether they put out the lure or the game attracted you there independently. If you’re taking up space in someone’s retail shop, café, or wherever, be sure to shell out some cash in appreciation.

To call the Pokemon game a “paradigm shift” would be premature and likely to prove completely inaccurate. Combining virtual gaming with GPS is impressive, but practical application will have to outmaneuver cash-generating video gaming. But, for as long as it lasts, we all might as well cash in on the potential for increased traffic in our shops.