Pokemon Go was released in July 2016, and quickly become one of the biggest mobile games of all time. While there has been some negatives in regard to the game that gets people out of their homes to chase Pokemon in real life, it’s been a mostly positive experience for game users.

About Pokemon Go

Users log into the Pokemon Go app to chase random Pokemon that can show up in a virtual reality game world based on the real world. It uses GPS to pinpoint your location based on where you are in the world. People have often complained that everyone is stuck in front of a screen while missing out on exercise. Pokemon Go manages to combine both.

As a player you’ll wander the real world, to run into random Pokemon in the game as well as PokeStops and Pokemon Gyms. At a PokeStop, players can get eggs that require you to walk to hatch them. The common eggs require players to walk 2 kilometers to hatch them. It’s based on a player’s GPS coordinates, which will indicate the distance walked.

What’s Making it Popular?

Kids have long been interested in Pokemon, but with the new app, adults and children are enjoying the search for wild Pokemon they can catch themselves. Extra time outside is a great motivator for adults who know they should be walking but can’t bring themselves to do it more often.

PokeStops and Pokemon Gyms

What does all this mean for your business? Pokemon Go works with real geography, and businesses that are reliant on foot traffic can see a surge in customers based on the game.

PokeStops are places where players can get eggs to be hatched. While the eggs are being hatched, the player is often forced to walk. This means a flood of walk in customers for the businesses near the PokeStop.

A Pokemon Gym is where players can join a faction and enter their personal Pokemon into fights with other factions. This means that players will be in the location spending time and money.

Lures and Your Business

If your business is near a PokeStop, you can take advantage of the foot traffic with lures and special offers. Lures are purchased for coins or credits in the game. Players can see when a lure is dropped in the game, so this can bring players directly to your business.

You could spend $1.20 to drop one Lure that will last an hour. With this one Lure and blasts on social media, you could see a huge increase in business and sales. Businesses are often listing the fact that they’re a PokeStop on their social media pages.

While a place of business that is a Pokemon Gym can’t use Lures, they can bring in paying customers in other ways. Some companies have been using this opportunity to create some buzz for their business. They’ll offer discounts to the controlling faction, which brings in players to try to take control of the Gym. You could reward the controlling factions with prizes too.

Submit a Form to Become a Gym

If you’re not near a Gym, you could submit a form to become one. The developer of Pokemon Go, Niantic, will accept forms and requests. It can take some time to be approved for Gym status.

In the meantime, you can still advertise what Pokemon have been caught around your business. There are rare Pokemon that players will covet. If you have some in your area, that’s going to be a definite boost to foot traffic.

You can offer customers a discount or coupons if they document their catches on your social media page. For example, if a customer catches a rare Pokemon like the Wartortle, ask them to share a picture on your Facebook page to receive 10 percent off their next purchase. You can give out prizes or gifts in exchange for publicity too.

Portable Businesses and Partnering with Gyms

If you have a business that can move locations, you can partner with a local Pokemon Gym on promotions. Make sure you’re bringing something valuable to the table when approaching the Gym or PokeStop.

The Future of Sponsorship

While it’s not currently available, in the future, businesses could be able to sponsor a Gym or PokeStop or advertise their businesses in the game itself. There could be a continued sponsored Lure that is renewed automatically through a credit card account. This could mean that locations near a Pokemon Gym or PokeStop would be able to bring in continuous business.

If you’re creative, there are ways that your business can cash in on the popularity of this exciting new game. You can partner with local Pokemon Gyms to advertise and market to Pokemon players. Your business can buy Lures and entice players to spend time in your location. Social media shares and enticing customers to share their finds on your Facebook page, via Twitter or in FourSquare has the potential to bring in a flood of new business.

About the Author: Jennifer Mathews