You’ve probably heard about Pokémon Go, the mobile reality game which has taken the world by storm. I know, I know. You’re thinking, “are they jumping on the bandwagon too?” But whether you love it or hate it, if you’re a retailer that markets to Millennials, can you afford to ignore a phenomenon that is already more popular than Tinder, Snapchat and Twitter with your target market?
Catch Millennial Sales!
If you sell to Millennials, you can easily cash in on the foot traffic of Pokémon Go as the game requires players to physically visit locations in order to catch rare Pokemon, battle their Pokémon at gyms and replenish items at Pokéstops. If you’re scratching your head at this point, don’t worry, as per our motto, we will make this as painless as possible. Read on to learn how to "lure" Pokémon AND customers to your store!
Essential Pokémon Go Glossary
Pokémon = Cartoon characters that roam wild that players need to catch and train to level up.
Pokéstop = A location where players go to pick up free items to catch and train Pokémon with.
Gym = A location where players go to train and battle their Pokémon.
Lure = An item players can place on a Pokéstop that will increase the rate of Pokémon generation at that location for 30 minutes.
How to Get Started
If you aren’t playing Pokémon Go already, download the free app on the Apple Store (iOS) or the Google Play Store (Android). Once you are through the tutorial, you will see your own player standing on a map at your actual physical location.
A Pokéstop will look like the markers below on your map. When players are within proximity of the stop, the top will change from a cube to a round dial that can be spun by players to receive free items. Similar to the Pokéstops, Gyms are also marked on the maps but they are larger and often have a Pokémon character spinning on top of them.
Check if there are any Pokéstops or Pokémon Gyms near your store. Having a Pokéstop or Gym near your store will greatly increase the likelihood of players visiting your area as players need to physically be there to play.
How to attract Pokémon Go players to your store
The easiest way to take advantage of the Pokémon foot traffic is to place a Lure on a Pokéstop near your store. When a lure module is applied to a Pokéstop, you can expect to see a number of people playing the game begin approaching the lure in an effort to catch more Pokémon. A Pokéstop with an active lure module on it will have pink flower petals hovering around the stop and will look like this in the game:
If you’re lucky enough to have a store in an area where players can have access to multiple stops, you could see an exponential increase in foot traffic around your store’s vicinity as each individual Pokéstop can have a lure module applied to it and multiple Pokéstops with lures on them will offer players a greater opportunity to catch rare Pokémon. There are typically called ‘lure parties’ amongst players.
How to add a Lure to a Pokéstop near your Store
If you happen to have a Pokéstop nearby you can easily increase foot traffic to your area by applying Lures to the Pokéstop yourself. You can earn free Lures by leveling up as a player but they can also be purchased in the app’s shop. Each lure module lasts 30 minutes and can be applied to any Pokéstop that does not already have one active. Buying each lure module individually costs around $1.00 USD ($1.39 CAD) for 30 minutes. You can also buy 8 lure modules at a time for about $0.85 USD ($1.19 CAD) each. If this is your target market, this is fantastic value for your marketing dollars. As long as you use Lures at appropriate times, they will work to lure both Pokémon and thereby potential customers to your store!
To purchase Lures
1. Within the Pokémon Go app, tap the red Pokéball at the bottom of your screen
2. Tap the "Shop" button
3. If you don’t have any Pokécoins yet, scroll down until you get to the Pokécoins section of the Shop. Tap on the denomination you would like to purchase. Individual Lures require 100 Pokécoins, a pack of 8 Lures requires 680 Pokécoins. You'll be re-directed to your app store's payment system
4. Once you have enough Pokécoins in your account, scroll back up within the Shop until you can see the purple, box-shaped Lure Modules. Tap the quantity of Lures you would like to purchase.
5. Exit from the in-app Shop and tap the red Pokéball again, then tap "Items." You should see the Lure you have purchased in your list of items now.
6. Make sure you are physically at the Pokéstop you would like to activate and simply tap the purple Lure to start attracting players!
Pokémon Go Gyms & Teams
Once players reach Level 5, they will be asked to choose between three teams: Team Instinct (Yellow), Team Mystic (Blue), and Team Valor (Red). Players from teams that hold the gym are awarded with Pokécoins which can be used to purchase in-game items. Using the players’ support for their teams is a great way to create competition and bring in potential customers.
Be sure to let people know you are flying the Pokémon Go flag by posting on social networks like Facebook or Twitter that you have Lures set up. Or, put out that sidewalk sign with an enticing notice: "PokéStop Inside!"