How Merchants Can (and Will) Benefit From Pokemon Go

How Merchants Can (and Will) Benefit From Pokemon Go

‘I wish I’d thought of that.’

We say it so often when we hear of brilliant marketing ideas, and Pokemon Go is one of them. According to Forbes, it is about to overtake Twitter for the most active app on Android mobile phones. People young and old are hooked.

It has barely been a full week, and it has millions of users. And it has only been released in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

With gamers canvassing cities, communities, parks, beaches, shopping malls and every other type of locale, point-of-sale (POS) merchants can capitalize on the craze.

Coming Soon: Merchants Paying to be Pokestops or Gyms

Before Pokémon Go, its developer, Niantic, created a somewhat similar game called Ingress, in which popular community hangouts could be suggested to serve as in-game portals by users, who would earn points for visits.

This is a strategy that could apply to POS merchants, who could bid on or pay to be, in Poke-speak, Pokestops or Gyms. We think it’s a matter of time.

Says Instabill Web Administrator Stephanie Mann, a self-confessed gamer and Pokémon Go pro:

“Pokémon Go is built on top of the engine for Ingress, so the fact that this exists shows that (Niantic) has the ability to add new spots as the game grows more popular. There’s nothing showing yet how the developers will choose those new spots, but it’s something that store owners and merchants should watch for.”

4 Ways to Use Pokémon Go to Your Benefit

Pokémon Go uses a smartphone’s camera and GPS to drop Pokémon characters, Pokeballs, Lures and Gyms in predetermined locations, viewable on your phone, to be collected by players in the nearby area.

Here are four ways your brick-and-mortar can capitalize:

1. Post it on Social Media

Is your brick-and-mortar establishment near any Pokémon or Pokestops? Merchants are wise to take a photo (done by pressing the thumb and power buttons simultaneously), and share it on your company Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds to attract players. If you’re not utilizing social media, now is a good time.

2. Take Further Advantage of All Social Media, Not Just Facebook

It’s safe to say Facebook and Twitter are utilized by 99 percent of point-of-sale merchants. Because of the Pokémon craze, merchants should open both an Instagram and a Pinterest account to post updates. Google+, though not on the same popularity level as those previously mentioned, can also benefit.

3. Name Products After Characters

If your business is in the vicinity of anything Pokémon Go-related, merchants would be wise to name products – a drink, a pastry or even a meal – after a character, and advertise it profusely.

4. How Car Services Can Benefit

With Pokemon Go available only in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, we’re only seeing the beginning of the craze. Uber, Lyft or any independent car service would be wise to offer deals, discounts or group rates to the hardcore Pokémon Go gamers.

Soon we’ll be seeing birthday, bachelor and bachelorette parties centered around Pokémon Go.

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