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How Pikachu Can Help Your Store Earn More Sales

Posted by Dean Asher on 7/14/16 5:00 AM
Topics: college store promotions, Marketing to Students

Nintendo's latest app has taken the world by storm. If you haven't heard, Pokemon Go is an augmented reality geolocation app, where users can use their mobile device's camera to wander around their campuses and communities in search of popular Pokemon characters hidden throughout the world at various parks, streets, businesses and landmarks.

To say it's been a success is an understatement. In the week since it's launched in North America, Pokemon Go has gained active daily users that surpass mobile app giants like Snapchat, Facebook and Tinder. Businesses are reporting that they're seeing big increases in foot traffic as people try to find Pokemon "hiding" inside, and because Pokemon locations are generated based on foot traffic and presence on Google, many college campuses and buildings are teeming with the digital creatures. Some businesses have also reported that by taking advantage of the game's in-app purchase features to make more Pokemon spawn in certain areas for a limited time, they've seen an exponential increase in walk-ins. did a writeup on the Pokemon Go phenomenon and strategies to make it translate into better sales for your store:

Unfortunately, there are no actual Pikachus at MBS in Pokemon Go, so this stunt double will have to do.

To start turning the ambulating gamers around you into your new best customers, all you need is to know how to play the game. Here's how:

1. Find Out if Your Business Is a Gym or Poké Stop

Figuring out whether your business is a Poké Stop or Gym is the first thing you should do. Poké Stops and Gyms attract foot traffic without any effort--players flock to them for rewards and to battle other players--and they can be leveraged for massive sales if you know how.

2. Sit Back, Throw Down a Lure, and Enjoy the Show

Pokémon Go offers a range of in-app purchases. The one that is most important for your small business is Lures.

Lures increase the rate of Pokémon generation in the area around the Poké Stop where they're placed for one half hour. That may not sound that powerful, but Pokémon are scarcer than you think. Luring is an insanely powerful tool that you really have to see to believe. Here's a sample of the comments from some recent Reddit threads on the subject:

We did this last night (college town), and within minutes of dropping the lure, 30 people walked in. Hoooly s#&@.

I own a pizzeria that's a Pokestop and I literally did this all day. I had a ton of kids and adults (mostly adults) come in for a slice of pizza and a drink until the lure ran out.

For a little more than a dollar an hour, you can bring virtually guaranteed crowds to your business. The ROI here is ridiculous, so if your business is anywhere near a Poké Stop, this is something you absolutely have to try.

3. Go Where the Pokémon Roam

Once you know the basics of how Pokémon Go works, you don't actually need to be near a Poké Stop or a Gym to capitalize on the traffic they can create.

Take Your Business on the Road

One way to make your business a part of the Pokémon Go phenomenon is to get mobile and find a spot from which to orchestrate the Lure or Gym strategies. If you're a fashion retailer, maybe this means loading up a van with some of your latest vintage finds. If you're a restaurant, maybe this means going to the park and setting up a barbecue. It's summertime, so get creative.

— Walter Chen, Inc.
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