6 Ways Local Businesses Can Use Pokémon Go to Attract Customers


Pokémon Go is officially dominating the app marketplace. According to a report by SensorTower, the app, which launched on July 6th, has already accumulated over 30 million downloads. It’s officially the first app to reach 10 million downloads in seven days. In comparison with other popular apps, Pokémon Go has been downloaded on twice as many mobile devices as Tinder and has more daily users than Twitter. 

An augmented reality app that gets people moving, the game has many different locations, called PokéStops, for users to travel to in order to get supplies, catch Pokémon, or collect Pokéballs. The app also features “Gyms” where users go to battle other users in hopes of winning control over that particular location.

If your business was fortunate enough to be chosen by the app’s developers as a PokéStop or Gym location, congrats! You’ve likely already seen a boost in foot traffic and sales from PokéMasters.  However, any local business can take full advantage of the Pokémon Go craze to attract customers and increase sales with these seven tips:

1.   Find Out if Your Business is a PokéStop or Gym

Before finalizing your strategy, you first need to figure out whether or not your local business is already a PokeStop or Gym. While there isn’t a definite map indicating the exact locations of these places in the Pokémon Go app, Ingress, an app created by the same developers of Pokémon Go, has a map that can be used as a resource for PokéMasters and savvy business owners to determine the Pokéstops and gyms near them. After downloading the Ingress app and signing in from your mobile device, you will be able to view the map and likely determine whether your business is a Pokémon Go site.

2.   Commence the Competition

A huge part of the game is battling Pokémon at specified Gym sites. Find the one nearest you and use it to your advantage. Host special events celebrating users’ battle victories by giving them free promotional items, a discounted price, or a gift card when they provide proof they won the fight. Showing support for their efforts by offering celebratory promotions makes it more likely for people to spend at your business.

3.   Drop Lures Around You

An easy way to get Pokémon (and people) to hang out at your business is to purchase Lures in the app. Lures do what their name says; they lure Pokémon to a specific location for a period of 30 minutes. To extend the time Pokémon are in the area, simply purchase more of them when the time is up. The lures will bring the Pokémon to you and the Pokémon will lure new customers to you. With these lures, you can host an event for users to come play when they purchase from you.

Not only is this an effective way to increase sales, it’s a relatively inexpensive investment. According to Inc., it costs $1.19 per hour to drop lures around you. Since the return on the investment has proven to be much higher than the initial investment, Lures are a great way to get people in the door without breaking the bank.  Drop lures this during slower hours to improve off-peak sales.

4.   Yelp’s Pokéstop Feature

Yelp just released a new filter feature to help PokéMasters find the Pokéstop nearest them. To identify Pokéstops, users must check-in at that location and answer a question to verify it. Encourage users to check in at your business by offering a deal or discount when they do so. Distinguishing your business on Yelp as a Pokéstop will ensure it appears in the search results whenever Pokémon players are searching for it.

5.     Hone in on the History

Host a trivia night to test users’ knowledge of Pokémon’s history. Debuting in 1997, Pokémon was a large part of many current users’ childhoods. Capitalize on nostalgia to compliment the comeback of the game and allow users to test their memories. To take it to the next level, dig up old Pokémon cards and offer them as prizes to the user with the highest score.

6.   Spread the Word on Social Media

Social media will be one of your most powerful tools in letting people know whether or not Pokémon are in your area. Send a tweet or post an Instagram featuring your latest catch each time you drop a lure and accompany it with Pokémon-related hashtags. Not only is social media an easy avenue for spreading the word, you can also use it to invite customers to Pokémon-related events. Invitees will get a notification when you send the invitation and again when the event is near, providing an easy reminder to come visit you.

With 30 million users, Pokémon Go is a goldmine for marketing and sales. Use the app to your advantage and create customers out of the users in your area.
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