Study Shows Pokémon Go Hype Means More Retailers are Catching Business

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Learn how the Pokemon Go hype can impact your business, and how to capitalize on the opportunity.

When Niantic developed Pokémon Go for Android and iOS devices, it probably had no idea the gem it had stumbled on. 

The new game has become a global phenomenon as players from across the world flock to parks and long forgotten fields in a bid to capture the virtual creatures.

Whether you have played the game or not, the idea of location-based augmented reality sounds pretty awesome, and when it comes to local retailers, more people wandering in and around their stores is a great thing. 

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Too Large a Pie to Ignore

The game has seen phenomenal success since release in July 2016. To appreciate how much the game has impacted the mother company, consider that it broke single-day trading records both in Tokyo and New York. The pie is too big according to analysts and it is not only Nintendo, Niantec, Google and Apple that are cashing in. Enterprising folks are now flocking parks to sell snacks and drinks to players who are so immersed they can’t even take a break.

Pizzeria L'inizio Pizza Bar in New York is an example of the potential Pokémon Go holds for retailers, especially bars and restaurants around parks and other open areas. The New York establishment owned by Sean Benedetti recorded a whopping 75 percent upturn in sales by luring Pokémon into the facility. 

A Brief on Game Mechanics

It is important to get an insight on how the game actually plays out in order to cash in as an investor. The game is played on iOS and Android devices with GPS capability. The aim of the game is to locate the virtual creatures known as Pokémon, capture or battle them and train them. The two virtual locations in the game are the gyms where players can have more fun by breaking into teams to train and battle their Pokémon.

In Pokéstops are virtual shops where players will find items that can be used to enhance their experience. These items are given randomly and players can visit these shops every five minutes. One of the most important items a player can find here is a lure module which is used to attract Pokémon in order to capture or battle them. Lure modules can also be purchased at only $1 each. This is the secret in cashing on Pokémon Go.

To make the game exciting, some of the criteria used in selecting Pokéstops include:

  • Locations/landmarks with an interesting story
  • Local areas with historical significance
  • Venues showcasing fine art including museums and theaters
  • Popular local gathering spots unknown to outside communities
  • Tourist spots showcasing local culture
  • Off-the-beaten-path local destinations
  • Local building by great architects

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There are other factors that Nintec used to select gyms and Pokéstop but these give you an idea of the potential that can be tapped if your business is located nearby. If you are thinking of leveraging the power of this game for your site, why not talk to an SEO Company Chicago consultant? These experts are always one mile ahead when it comes to trends in online marketing.

Leveraging Recent Case Study

While the whole idea might sound so surreal, a study has already been done to show the impact of the Lure on drawing foot traffic. The whole idea revolves around having a Pokéstop at a business and then adding an active lure module. If the business is selling products or services that gamers can buy, they will most likely continue playing from the premises.

This was the hypothesis that Winner Winner Chicken Dinner used when they worked with Anime Pop in Addison, TX to determine the impact Pokémon Go could actually have on a business. Anime Pop not only boasts being a Pokéstop but also sells merchandise.

The objective was to provide proof that this augmented reality game could affect customer behavior. To realize this, constant tracking of players by staff and the timing of the lure module launch and purchases made when the lure was active was done.

The results from the study were nothing short of an eye-opener as seen here:

  1. 71 percent increase in foot traffic
  2. 57 percent of gamers who visited the store when a lure was active made a purchase.
  3. Overall increase in sales
  4. An estimated ROI of 16,300 percent considering a lure is only $1 against the sales achieved.

The impact of Pokémon Go cannot be measured as more studies are being done today to show the impact gaming can have on businesses. While most studies are focusing on Pokéstops, it is important to appreciate the potential around location-based augmented reality games.

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It might not be the perfect match for your business model but then again, it will provide a learning experience that will go a long way in adopting emerging technologies. Think of that tea shop in San Francisco offering buy one get one free to players or the bar giving a 10 percent discount to players from a  specific team. Opportunities abound for enterprises as the Pokémon Go craze rages on.

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