How small businesses are profiting from Pokémon Go

Since the launch of Pokémon Go, Nintento’s market value had increased by £9 billion within the first 5 days.

That’s a HUGE amount, but what does that mean for small businesses?

Well, thousands of businesses all over the world are already profiting from this universal app, and we’ll explain exactly how this is happening, and how you also can take advantage of this craze.

The app has taken mobile gaming by storm. Chances are you’ve already heard about it, and even if you aren’t a budding Pokémon trainer yourself you’ve probably witnessed plenty of people glued to their mobile screens on the hunt for Pokémon.
The craze has rocketed to such an extent that small businesses have wasted no time in using the smartphone app to attract customers to their stores.

We’ve taken a look at how businesses have been using Pokémon Go to increase trade and how you can join in while it remains all of the rage. Before we get into that though here’s a quick lowdown on what Pokémon Go is for those of you who aren’t yet aware.

Is Pokémon Go Just another mobile app?

Mobile Apps

Certainly not! Pokémon Go is an interactive smartphone game which sees players physically travel in the real world to capture Pokémon in the game itself. The app uses augmented reality, google maps and GPS to bring together the real world and the virtual game experience.

In the app itself players can see themselves walking around a 2D map of their current location (similar to a car sat nav) and as they move around in real life the character in the game also moves. Still with us? Now comes a bit of Pokémon Go terminology.

Along with catching Pokémon the game also features PokeGyms and PokeStops which are the 2 other locations on players’ maps grant them additional items and the chance to level up – however these can only be accessed when players are in close proximity of them.

The locations for the Gyms and Stop were pre-determined by Niantic and fall generally in real life points of interest, so you can find them at places such as parks, lake, libraries, post offices etc. The fact that these locations are necessary for in game progression is an important factor as it increases the appeal for players to travel to them.

How are businesses benefiting from Pokémon Go?

Pokestops

There are 2 main ways which businesses have managed to capture to make the most of the app. The first is through having either PokeGyms or PokeStops located nearby. Simply letting people know that there is one located close to your business can draw in crowds from nearby.

While they might not come directly to your premises, the closer you are situated to the location the more chance there is that your business will be noticed.

The second way, and more intentional and controlled way of going about it is through purchasing “lures” within the game. A lure is an in app purchase which entices Pokémon to your location for a set amount of time.

Nearby players will be able to see when the lure is active but you can also use social media to let your followers know what time and date you’ll be luring Pokémon to your store.

How and when you use a lure is up to you but here are two approaches you could use. Firstly, you can use them during quite periods of trade to tempt customers in. Alternatively, you could use lures to help alleviate the frustration caused to customers during busy periods of trade where they’re forced to wait.

This is ideal in places such as barber shops where are usually sat down and could pass time catching Pokémon.

While a phenomenon such as Pokémon Go would have been difficult to predict and premeditate a strategy for in order to improve your business’s trade, it is a sign that we can expect more games in future that’ll provide a cross over with real life and offer businesses the chance to take advantage and increase sales in the process.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.