Have you heard of Pokémon Go the android and iOS app that’s taking the world by storm? If you haven’t, where have you been? The game debuted early in July and is now available in most countries around the world taking over the lives of children, teenagers and adults. Yes, even adults. You may have noticed a lot of people aimlessly wandering around staring at their smartphone device. These people are most likely Pokémon Go players.
But what does this matter to businesses, especially garden centers? The great thing about Pokémon Go is that encourages every one of all ages to go outside and “catch ‘em all”, the Pokémon that is. Businesses across the U.S. and Canada have already reported an increase in business due to foot traffic the game is creating. A recent survey by Slant Marketing found that 82% of Pokémon Go players had visited a business while playing the game. McDonald's Japan just reported a 27% jump in sales after partnering with Pokémon Go to turn its restaurants into sponsored Pokéstops.
So what’s the big deal?
It’s Forcing Players to Go Out
The app encourages players to go out and catch as many Pokémon as possible, this can be anywhere around town, cities and neighborhoods and as mentioned before is increasing foot traffic around retail businesses, including garden centers.
Players Are Drawn to Certain Locations
In game there are certain things you can do other than just aimlessly wander around. There are “Poké-stops” which give out free items and there are Gyms where players can battle. Poké-stops and Gyms are most likely to be places like community centers, churches and monuments. This is great if there are any of those types of places near your garden center.
There Are Teams
To battle at a Gym you have to pick a team. The teams are yellow (Team Instinct), blue (Team Mystic) or red (Team Valor). This encourages players to be competitive and keep going back to the Gyms so it stays in their team’s control. Again, encouraging more foot traffic around your garden center.
So now that you know the basics here are a few things you can do to capitalize on the Pokémon madness:
Let People Know You Are Pokémon Friendly
With the app being a big hit with all ages it doesn’t hurt to let people know that you are a Pokémon friendly area. Parents can safely let their children roam around whilst they get on with shopping for their garden needs. And what better place to catch Pokémon than among the beautiful flowers and plants you garden center has to offer.
Encourage Visits by Giving out Tips
This will require you to download the app and see for yourself what all the fuss is about. You could let people know through social media if there are any rare Pokémon to catch in you area, even better is showing that they can catch them there through the app’s game camera. Use the #pokeselfie and have some fun encouraging visitors.
Check What Points of Interest Are Near You
Again this will require you to download the app to take a look. If you find there are Poké-stops next to you (or even better you are one) it’s possible to draw players to your location by using an in game item called a “Lure”. For 30 minutes these lures can increase foot traffic to your business. Great if you have a café area, the combination of Poké-stops and a lure will encourage people to buy snacks and drinks there whilst they linger to catch Pokémon. However, be aware that to get lures you have to spend real money in game. A few places have found using this to their advantage successful with a 75% increase in business.
Run a Promotion
There are a few businesses that are already taking advantage with promotions. They can be anything from discounts based on players team choice to discounted items or even free items like some Pizzeria's have offered. As a garden center you can easily create a promotion based on team colors. One week could be Team Instinct, all yellow marked flowers are 15% off and another week could be Team Valor and the next Team Mystic. You could take it even further and promote your favorite team to get those special discounts like the popular waffle house, Waffle U, in Toronto did. Promote it in store and through social media to draw in customers.
If you find yourself in an area that’s a bit out of the way or not much Pokémon action going on, fear not, the app will be adding new sponsored locations in the future. Or you can submit a request as a business to be added as a Poké-stop or Gym here.
If you're still not convinced that Pokémon Go can increase garden center traffic, prolong garden center shopping times and increase sales in your garden center, check out the infographic below created by Slant Media.
Hopefully this has given you a few ideas to use Pokémon Go to attract customers. Now it’s you turn to go out there, download the app now and see what you can do in your area!
Don’t forget to send us your Pokémon Go garden center pictures so we can help you share through social media.