Noticed all the people wandering around glued to their phones lately?
They're trying to catch Squirtle, Jigglypuff, Weedle and the rest of the Pokémon. Yep, that '90s card-game craze is back with a vengeance—and, yes, you should care.
Pokémon Go has been the fastest-adopted app ever with more than 15 million downloads in its first 5 days of release
It's a fresh opportunity to serve a new audience with plenty of buying power who already has a genuine love for a set of items. See how to catch 'em all—those shoppers, that is—to benefit no matter what you're selling.
If the phrase "Pokémon Go" causes question marks to dance in your head, don't feel bad—the game launched on July 6. But you should know this:
- Pokémon Go has been the fastest-adopted app ever with more than 15 million downloads in its first 5 days of release, doubling to 30 million within the next 5 days.
- It gave parent company Nintendo a 24.5 percent jump on the Japanese stock market. Translation: It made the company a staggering $7.5 billion.
In terms of daily usage, Pokémon Go surpasses Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. It has already netted tens of millions of dollars in revenue to app hosts, Apple Store and Google Play.
What does this mean to you and your business? Plenty!
Pokémon fever is back
In its first go-round, Pokémon made retail chains a lot of money through the promise of instantly selling out on nearly every licensed product. It also made those savvy sellers with hard-to-find Pokémon items rich. On the collectors market, it brought on bidding wars Beanie Babies could only dream of.
All of that is back now with everyone hunting down everything Pokémon all over again. But with Pokémon Go, there's a whole new opportunity.
Millions of people roaming around, and they can be roaming your way to serve and sell to as they seek out Pokémon
Here's why you should be playing
Since Pokémon Go is a geo-based app—people have to literally roam around to find and capture the various Poké-monsters—it brings people to brick-and-mortar businesses.
If you have one, you need to understand how the game works to attract players and sell to them during their quest for creatures, so here's an overview:
People play the game out in the world, not in a bedroom or basement.
Many areas are established as PokeStops (where players collect rewards and supplies) or Gyms (where players can pit their Pokémon against other players'). Players are actively looking for these locations and one might be near you.
Anyone can set "lures" (for nominal purchase) to guide the roaming Pokémon—and the players eager to capture them—to a PokeStop. You have to invest time to set these lures, you have to play the game to purchase and place lures, but the monetary costs is low. The cost is in the vicinity of just over $1.
I could go on. The point here is that there are millions of people roaming around, and they can be roaming your way to serve and sell to as they seek out Pokémon. That's not exploitation; that's good business.
Seriously, will this really boost business?
Some businesses regularly post images of the Pokémon that appear around their location on social, a no-cost lure that brings the curious players their way
It can. Consider these real-world examples:
1 business set a lure (they last only 30 minutes) and saw about 30 people walk in within just minutes.
A restaurant set lures continuously during the day and sold more food and drinks to both kids and adults during those lures.
Some businesses have regularly posted images of the Pokémon that appear around their location on social media, a no-cost sort of lure that brings the curious players (that is, customers) their way.
If you understand the game and use your marketing instincts to creatively serve customers during their Poke-quests, Pokémon Go becomes an opportunity. Most important, it's an exciting way to engage in this cultural phenomenon, for however long it lasts, to stay relevant, engaged, and profitable.
So download the app, get familiar with the game, play it then let it work for you. Remember, millions of players aka customers are actively roaming around now. It's the perfect time to catch 'em all!
Other Entries by this Author
Dennis L. Prince has been analyzing and advocating the e-commerce sector since 1996. He has published more than 12 books on the subject, including How to Sell Anything on eBay…and Make a Fortune, second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and How to Make Money with MySpace (McGraw-Hill, 2008). His insight is actively sought within online, magazine, television and radio venues.
Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.