How Pokémon Go Is Driving Sales To Small Businesses?
Did you know that Pokémon was originally an abbreviated form for Pocket Monster? The franchise started in 1995 and spawned various video game versions, a famous animated series, even movies, toys and comic books. The newest iteration is the Pokémon Go, a location-based, augmented reality video game for mobile phones.
As the Pokémon Go craze is sweeping across the globe – it’s at the top of the download charts nowadays – various other businesses are taking advantage of the popularity of the game to increase their own business. Pokémon Go is everywhere on social media, making its presence felt on Twitter and Snapchat and others. And, it’s proving to be a real sales driver for small businesses.
Related Article: Pokémon Go Comes Storming Into Our World
Have a look at how small businesses are cashing in on this phenomenon:
If your business is a Pokestop
If your business happens to be one or even near such a Pokestop, you can attract the players to your shop or restaurant by advertising this outside your door. The great thing about Pokémon Go is that it gets people out of their houses and outside. If your business happens to be a Pokestop, footfall will increase to your business without you having to do much. For example, if you have a coffee shop that is also a Pokestop, you can put up a board saying so at your door. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas got creative and photographed the Pokestops across their grounds and blogged about it. A few bars and coffee shops have created some special items on their menus to go with the Pokémon theme or are offering discounts to players.
Lure ‘em in
Another easy way is to buy a lure and just sit back and watch. A lure is an in-app purchase and it increases the number of generated Pokémons wherever they are placed for a duration of half an hour. Although it does not seem like a lot, it is a lot harder to catch Pokémon and using the Lure-tool can be a boon. Most of the players are tired or thirsty after all that walking and running around, and don’t require much prompting to buy a pizza or a drink. Lures are inexpensive too, and you can buy eight-packs of lures. L’iniozio, a pizzeria in Long Island City, Queens, did this and their business increased by 75%. So that means that you are paying just about a couple of dollars (a couple of hundred rupees) for this. Calculate this, and you can see that the return on investment is incredible.
If your business is near a Pokegym
Pokémon stops are where you catch and train your Pokémon. Pokémon gyms, on the other hand, are places where you can compete and fight with other Pokémon trainers. Pokegyms are different because you can’t use lures here. Usually, a gym is controlled by one of three teams, Mystic, Valour or Instinct, and trainers fight all day to gain control over a gym. City Sen Lounge in Michigan is giving discounts to customers affiliated with Team Mystic. You can buy special, customized giveaway badges with your business name on it. Or, as this café did, you can put up a board to show which team is currently in control of the Pokémon Gym. Then offer members of that particular gym discounts.
If you are neither near a Pokestop nor a Pokegym
Even if your business is not in the vicinity of a Pokémon Stop or Pokémon Gym, you can go to a place which is a Pokestop, for example, and advertise your business there. You can also utilize one of your staff as a Pokémon player representing your shop or café; he can catch Pokémon and share it on social media platforms with hashtags. And if he is lucky enough to find a rare Pokémon, sharing this info with other players will definitely get you more footfalls. You can even create a map of all the Pokémons available in your nearby area and post it on social media with the relevant hashtags. That is bound to get footfalls in and around your place.
These are just some ways you can utilize this new trend to increase your business presence. But beware of some pitfalls too. Not all restaurant-goers will appreciate the intrusion of teenagers stuck on their phones and roaming about the restaurant without a care for the comfort of other diners. Also, even if the number of people visiting your place of business has increased, it does not mean that all of them are going to be paying customers. Currently, you cannot apply or make a purchase to become a Pokemon Stop or Pokemon Gym, hopefully, the developers will recognize the opportunity here and implement it in the near future.
The popularity of Pokémon Go, as with other social media phenomenon, might fade a few months from now, but you will surely have made some good customers. So, if you want to push the sales for your small business, it’s time you jumped on the Pokémon bandwagon.
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