They’re baaack! Pokemon craze sweeps the United States (again).

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past couple weeks, you know that the folks at Nintendo gave Pokemon a “reboot”, and it means BIG possibilities for your business. With a little bit of work and some creativity, you could see more foot traffic to your store than you ever thought possible.

Pokemon GO is a mobile app, I mean game, I mean mobile exploration game. What it really is, is getting people off the couch, and into the streets to hunt for virtual creatures. If you’re anything like me, Pokemon itself means very little to you (maybe it’s a generational thing). However, MILLIONS of people are playing the game every day, and the next Pokemon stop could be at your business.

Your store could be a “Gym” or a “PokeStop”. What does that mean? Long story short, it means that a LOT of people playing Pokemon GO will need to be at your store to do well in the game. Gyms and PokeStops are key elements of the game itself. There is a better explanation in this article.

The game uses a heads up display of the real world. As users wander the streets of your town while looking at their mobile device, the real world becomes a giant game board. So, even if your store is not a Gym or PokeStop, Pokemon are everywhere. People will show up. When they do, it’s time to do some capturing of your own.

Converting players to customers can be easy, and FREE!

Use a little imagination, and watch the customers roll in. Since the game is played literally everywhere, take advantage by offering players something they need. Think about the gaming experience, and what might come in handy.

  • Players are walking constantly. It’s summertime. Got a water cooler? Electrical outlets? Offer players some free hydration and a charging station for their mobile devices. You just captured some foot traffic.
  • “Play” the game yourself. Download the app (for free), and frequently check your store for Pokemon. Then let other players know when one shows up! Don’t forget to take screenshots. Using social media websites to spread the word can draw players (who already follow your store) right back to you. Easy!
  • Advertise discounts or free swag to Pokemon GO players. Remember, this game has more users than Tinder, and more daily activity (at the time this is published) than Twitter or SnapChat.

For a minimal investment, you can “lure” massive crowds to your store (like, INSTANTLY).

Like many popular mobile apps, Pokemon GO offers some in-app purchases. What you’ll need to take advantage of are Lures, especially if your business is near a PokeStop. Lures make more Pokemon appear in the area around the PokeStop where they’re placed, for one half hour. Since Pokemon are pretty scarce, when more appear in an area, it tends to draw a crowd. AND, purchasing Lures is extremely affordable.

  • $100 gets you 14,500 Pokecoins. An eight-pack of lures costs 680 Pokecoins.
  • Your $100 payment gets you 168 Lures, or 84 HOURS of Lure time.
  • Use your Lures whenever you like; during peak business hours to draw more customers in, or during off-peak business hours to bring in folks who otherwise would not be shopping at all.
  • Other small businesses have seen an influx of foot traffic within minutes of dropping a Lure. Not a bad investment.

Get used to this new way to market your business.

Fads come and go. There is no way to tell how long Pokemon GO will maintain its wild popularity, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. And because this game has seen so much success from the very beginning, my guess is that similar “exploration-style” games will start popping up left and right. Won’t it be fun when you can take advantage of these techniques when a super popular first-person shooter is available?

Even if Pokemon GO isn’t your thing, you’d be wise to get involved. Start attracting (LOTS) more foot traffic. Gotta catch ’em all!