To say that Pokèmon Go is a sensation would be an understatement. It is unbelievably popular and has infiltrated the mainstream practically overnight. Over seven million people have the app and businesses can benefit from this phenomenon. You may wonder how a mobile game app could possibly help a business boost sales, but it can. It was just a matter of time before opportunities to “cash in” were presented.

The Pokémon App was released on July 5 (just about 10 days ago) and has already been downloaded 7.5 million times. The app now has double the number of daily active users that Snapchat has and surpassed Twitter with active users each day earlier this week.

With the sheer popularity and number of users. Pokémon Go does provide an excellent opportunity for many local businesses to jump on the bandwagon and embrace the power of this app and benefit.

Savvy business owners have the opportunity to turn this game into a great marketing prospect. Generate awareness, exposure, and foot traffic and potentially make some sales related directly to players in the game.

See the glossary below to understand a bit more about what Pokémon Go is, what a PokèStop is, etc.

1. Set-Up a PokèStop or Gym Promotion

If you have verified that your location is a PokèStop or a Gym, or if you are close to one of these sites you can offer a promotion for players to visit your business. Share details of the PokèStop or Gym location and offer players a discount at your establishment.

  • Players visiting the ABC Gym, swing by our restaurant and “re-fuel” with a free appetizer.
  • Players after you load up on supplies at the XYZ PokèStop come into our store and get 10% off one regular priced item.
  • Players, after battling it out at the Gym, swing by OUR Gym to get a 3-day free membership pass, get pumped in real life too.

2. Create a Pokémon Quest

Encourage players to come into your establishment and form a group to go on a Pokémon hunt as a “team” or provide your location as a starting point for players to find their next stop.

Pass out a list of nearby PokèStop s or Gyms and give all players either a coupon or a discount on your products/services or a perhaps even small gift card, etc. Establish your location as the starting point and schedule a time to meet or just encourage players to use your location as the beginning of a hunt. Specifying a specific date or date and time to draw foot traffic into your business and provide a special “Poke-Gift” for them if they show up on the designated date.

Promote the Quest to your current customers, promote it to Social followers, just get the word out and invite players to your business to claim your deal and play the game.

3. Buy a “Lure”

Pokémon are “wild” and typically pop up in random places. The point to the game is to search them out on the real-time map in the game and then go to the locations. Players see a small snapshot of the area they are currently standing in and can see Pokémon that are nearby.

However, the app allows people (or businesses) to purchase a Lure. Lures increase the number of Pokémon around a PokèStop for 30 minutes. This means more people will show up to catch the Pokémon.

Lures are just a few dollars, so create a Lure event and market it to your customers or followers at a designated time and then buy the Lure and watch how many people show up. It will not just be communicated to your customers or followers, anyone playing the game at that moment will see the Pokémon on their map and will visit your location to grab them.

It is not going to break your budget, so experimenting with different times of day or days of the week can help to see how much foot traffic you get.

Additionally, to showcase the Lure event, you can also provide a special discount or deal to players when they show up.

4. Create a Pop-Up “Store” at a PokèStop or Gym Location

If your business location is not a PokèStop or Gym and if there isn’t one very nearby to your location you can still potentially showcase your products/services at a PokèStop or Gym.

If you sell products, look into setting up a pop-up store at a public location where a PokèStop /Gym is found, grab some of your items and sell them onsite. If you are a restaurant set up a tasting booth, or even a barbecue or picnic. NOTE: You will need to verify local regulations regarding sales in public spots and selling food in a public place outside of your location.

Whether you sell products or even services, you could set up a little information table and distribute special offers/coupons or give away some swag. Again, check local ordinances before doing this.


Pokémon Go – an augmented reality mobile gaming application that is downloaded to a mobile device and uses the phone’s GPS to detect where and when you are so that Pokèmon appear on your phone screen through the camera, so it appears the creatures are right there in front of you. The game encourages users to move around the real world to locate and capture Pokèmon creatures.

Augmented Reality – AR integrates digital information with a user’s environment in real time. AR uses the existing environment and overlays information on the environment, i.e. through your mobile phone’s camera.


Pokémon – a fictional creature that players have to catch and train to battle other Pokèmon creatures.

PokèStop – a real world location found on the GPS in the Pokèmon Go app that allows players to virtually pick up supplies that can be used in the mobile game.

Gym – A real world location found on the GPS in the Pokèmon Go app that allows players’ (trainers) caputured Pokemon creatures to battle each other. The winner receives Poke-Items and PokèCoins to aid in game play.

PokèBall – A ball that is used to catch and store Pokèmon.