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Pokémon GO: ways to lure customers to your business

Pokémon GO is the game of the moment and brands are ken to cash in. Here we look at a range of ways you can entice customers and ‘catch them all’.

Pokémon GO is the game of the moment and brands are ken to cash in. Here we look at a range of ways you can entice customers and ‘catch them all’.

Over the last month, we’ve seen a lot of talk and hype about Pokémon GO. From the mobile game garnering almost $200 million in income in just a month– an unprecedented speed of monetization for an app – to bringing in additional business for Food & Beverage retailers, it’s created a boom that the retail industry is trying to capitalize on. After all, who knows how long the craze will last?

That said, we’ve seen many businesses, from telco operators to malls, buying Lure Modules to increase foot traffic to their retail outlets in the hope of increasing conversions as customers walk in. But beyond just using lures (which is by now standard protocol), there are other tactical activations that businesses can use to drive more foot traffic from Pokémon GO players to their store fronts:

Pokemon GO logo

  1. Provide free Wi-Fi and charging points

One of the major grouses of Pokémon GO so far is that it drains battery at a tremendous rate. While some players carry around portable chargers, there’s nothing like the assurance of charging your phone at a wall socket. Providing outlets and a free Wi-Fi connection to battery-depleted players will hopefully increase conversions for your business – especially if you’re a café.

  1. Provide creative backgrounds for Augmented Reality

Another fun thing Pokémon GO players do on social media is share screenshots of Pokémon superimposed on real-world settings. For players who are more about the fun rather than the competitive element of the game, having some  installations (they don’t have to be big!) in your retail business can be a draw to attract casual players. You can even run a creative photo contest to provide more incentive to customers.

  1. Pop-up Stores

What if your business isn’t within the radius of a Pokestop or Gym? Bring your business to these crowded areas, of course! If you have a café, try opening a pop-up store that provides refreshments near one; it would be an ideal accompaniment to those tiring, hours-long hunts for elusive Pokémon.

  1. Sponsor a Pokémon GO hunt/walk

If you have the budget and time, sponsor a Pokewalk! This allows you to strategically bring potential customers to your premises or pop-up store (reference tactic #3 earlier) without looking like you’re trying too hard to draw people in.

  1. Real-time Pokémon GO updates

One of the big draws in the game is the chance to catch rare Pokémon. Use your social accounts to provide real-time updates to your followers or the public when rare Pokémon are spotted near your business. You’ll have to always be on the app, of course, as the type of Pokémon that spawn change frequently. Just make sure you don’t ignore your customers while playing!

  1. Pokémon of the day discount

Offering discounts to customers who can show you a particular Pokémon in their Pokedex is one promotion that may garner traction. Choose one Pokémon a day and cycle through the more common ones to get people coming in for discounts.

  1. Sell or give away sponsored team memorabilia

Really hardcore Pokémon GO players identify strongly with their team. If your business is willing to give away Pokémon GO team memorabilia with every purchase in your store, then you might get those hardcore players coming in just to check your store out. T-shirts are especially popular, but they can be costly. Another option may be to offer inexpensive, branded power banks!

  1. Visa or MasterCard gift cards

Real money can be used to purchase precious in-game items such as Incubators, Incense, Lucky Eggs, and Lures. While players are often willing to spend their own money to purchase these items, you could give out Visa or Mastercard gift cards that allow players to spend even more on Pokémon GO. A referral method may work best, such as a promotion along the lines of “Bring in a friend and get a free gift card!”

These are just a few tactical ideas for retail businesses looking to capitalize on Pokémon GO. Do you have your own genius ideas? Let us know about them in the comments below.

This article originally appeared in Singapore Business Review.

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