Running Your Business

Pokemon Go for Business Owners: From Pokestops to Profits

Posted by November 2, 2016

Pokemon Go for business owners may seem like an unlikely combination, but it can actually be a boon for small businesses. When it first launched, the game had more daily users than Twitter. That number has declined a bit since then, but the game is still hugely popular – 1 in 10 US smartphone owners still play the game. As a business owner, you can take advantage of the trend without breaking your budget. Here are a few ideas on how to get started.

Is Your Business a Pokestop or Gym?

Pokestops and gyms are areas where Pokemon Go players like to gather. They activate the Pokestop to get in-game items like Pokeballs, potions, and eggs. Players use gyms to fight other players and earn “points” and in-game currency. Niantic, the creator of Pokemon Go, doesn’t offer any maps that show gym and Pokestop locations. You’ll have to download the app and see for yourself if you can access the sites from your business.

Welcome Visitors with Perks

If your business is lucky enough to be located at a Pokestop or gym, you’ll want to take advantage of that. First, you’ll gain a lot of goodwill just by being open and happy about letting visitors hang out in your parking lot. But take it a step further and invite them inside! If you’re a retail business or a restaurant, in particular, you can certainly benefit from the extra foot traffic.

If the Pokestop or gym is on your property, find out exactly where it’s located. Then leave a “parking welcome” sign in that spot with a note asking visitors to come inside for a visit when they’re done. Or just leave a sign on your door saying that Pokemon Go trainers are welcome. You can draw them in with game-related perks, like free cellphone charging, access to free Wi-Fi, or Pokemon-related items for sale. If you’re running a restaurant or coffee shop, consider hosting a Pokemon Go happy hour with half-price drinks and appetizers, and advertise the special online.

Drop a Lure

A lure is an in-app purchase that attracts more Pokemon to a Pokestop. They’re a big draw to Pokemon Go players. If your business has a Pokestop, then drop a lure during peak hours. You can buy 14,500 Pokecoins for just $100 and an eight-pack of lures costs only 680. Inc. figured out that this averages to about $1.19 per hour for a lure.

To drop a lure after you’ve purchased one, just click on the red Pokeball at the bottom of your screen and tap “Items.” Tap the purple lure to activate it and you’re set! Players like to spend time wherever lures are so they have a better chance of catching new Pokemon as they appear. With a lure, you’re encouraging players to stick around longer. This can be especially helpful if your business is a restaurant, coffee shop, or retail store that sells items.

Advertise Online

Don’t just wait for players to stumble onto your business, be proactive about getting the word out. Yelp now lists which businesses have Pokestops. Ask visitors to check in and alert fellow players about the Pokestop. Take in-game screenshots of the Pokestop or gym and add them to your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Figure out which Pokemon are found most frequently near your business. If any of them are rare, you’ll want to share that news online too.

Pokemon Go can be a real boon to small business owners who want to take advantage of the trend. You’ll be amazed by the kind of traffic you can bring to your business if you use a little creativity.

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