Pokemon Go Can Boost Small Businesses

Since the launch of the augmented-reality game Pokémon Go, there’s been a lot of buzz about how small businesses can use the game to their advantage. Now, after more than a month since Pokémon Go first launched in the U.S., market research shows that the hype is real: Pokémon Go really is bringing in more customers and boosting sales for many small businesses.

Here’s what We have found:

Eighty-two percent of businesses with nearby PokéStops reported an average 9 percent increase in weekly foot traffic.
Sixty-three percent of businesses with nearby PokéStops increased their weekly sales by an average of 12 percent.
The average increase in weekly gross sales totaled more than $2,000 per business.
Those businesses also reported an average increase of 265 weekly customers.

The mantra “gotta catch ’em all” has helped small business owners capture more customers and boost revenue, according to Revel’s research.

“If I were a store owner with a PokéStop nearby and I was attempting to increase traffic at a specific point in the day, I’d activate a Pokémon lure on the PokéStop,” Chris Ciabarra, co-founder and CTO of Revel Systems, said. “Lures attract Pokemon for 30 minutes, and can significantly increase traffic, which is especially good to use during slow times. It’s an easy and cost-effective way to use technology to your advantage. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel to increase sales, you are using what you have access to in order to generate results.”

Slant Marketing found that most Pokémon trainers play from 1 to 3 hours each day, most prominently during weekday evenings and weekend afternoons. The survey found that while these players were out and about, they were far more likely to visit a local business, particularly restaurants.

Eighty-two percent of players have visited a business while playing.
Fifty-one percent have visited a particular business for the first time.
Seventy-one percent of players who visited a business did so because of a nearby PokéStop or Pokémon gym.
Sixty-eight percent of players who visited a business did so because a Pokémon lure had been placed nearby.
Forty-eight percent of players who visited a business with a Pokémon lure reported staying for an average of 30 minutes or more.
On average, players who made purchases spent $11.30 at the businesses they visited while playing.
Thirty-three percent of players said they visited businesses “a couple times per week,” while 18 percent said they visited businesses daily.
Fifty-six percent of players reported visiting local businesses more than national chains.
“We hope its results will allow business owners to better understand players and how they can use it to help engage customers with their brand.”

Whether Pokémon Go’s popularity will persist is unclear, but the market research demonstrates that entrepreneurs have benefited from the craze thus far. So long as there are Pokémon trainers hungry to be the very best, small business owners should continue to use the game in creative ways to attract more customers.

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