Image via Canva

Image via Canva

You may have noticed a group of kids (or adults) wandering around in circles, occasionally exclaiming and pointing their phones at a point in the distance in excitement. If you have, then your witnessing the newest phenomena in mobile gaming, Pokemon GO! Pokemon GO is a clever hybrid game where the real world is combined with the digital world in fun way that encourages players to go outside and explore. 24 hours after it’s release it's officially the biggest game of 2016, with more active users then Supercell’s heavily promoted Clash Royale, Twitter and even SnapChat. Pokemon GO has tapped into a market that appeals to kids of all ages. Kids love the game for the ease and the challenge, with 729 Pokemon characters the game will keep you hooked for quite a while. Parents love the game cause it gets kids out of the house and walking around. There’s also the nostalgia factor, Pokemon made its big splash in the US in the 90’s, so parents remember trading cards in the playground with friends and battling on Gameboys. But the real winners of Pokemon GO are small business.

In the world of Pokemon GO real life locations are tagged as either Pokestops or Pokegyms, areas where people converge on in an effort to collect items, capture Pokemon and battle other players. This is a boon for many small business that are located around these way points as it brings in tons of foot traffic without having to spend hundreds or thousands on marketing campaigns. While Niantic Labs has plans to introduce sponsored in game locations, some business are using the games lure feature now to drive traffic to their business.  

Utilizing Pokemon GO for your business is easy, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Download the game. See if there’s a gym or Pokestop near you.
  2. If there’s not don’t worry Niantic will soon have sponsored in game locations allowing you to add your business to the map. 
  3. Play the game, at least until you get to level 8 (this level allows you to drop a lure).  
  4. Drop a lures (or 10). 
  5. Wait for the Pokemon and trainers to come to you.

Dropping a lure is the easiest and cheapest way to bring foot traffic to your door. $1 in in-app purchases will get you one lure, good for 30 minutes of Pokemon catching. So for $20 a day you can have 10 hours of lures, ensuring a steady stream of foot traffic. And business across the country are already taking advantage. Pizza shops can have a special deal on a slice and soda for Pokemon trainers. Coffee shops can offer Wi-Fi for customers that are there to hunt for the elusive Zapdos and Mew. How will you use lures to lure customers to your door?