How Pokémon Go Can Help Businesses


From Business Insider

Nintendo’s recently released Pokémon Go game has flooded the mobile app market over the past weekend, and it's having real-world effects on local businesses, according to TechCrunch.

Pokémon Go — a geo-location-based, augmented reality (AR) mobile game — is a collaboration between the Pokémon Company and Niantic, an AR company behind mobile game Ingress. Players use the game's geo-location feature and their phone cameras to find virtual Pokémon — little animated creatures — in various locations in their area in real-time.

Despite launching just last week, Pokémon Go has already amassed a very active and engaged following:

In the US, the game has been downloaded more than 2 million times on iOS devices, generating roughly $1.6 million in daily revenue from in-app purchases, according to SensorTower data shared with BI Intelligence. Furthermore, across both iOS and Android, there have been more than 7.5 million downloads in the US alone.

Pokémon Go is being used more than WhatsApp and Instagram, according to SimilarWeb. On average, users in the US are spending 43 minutes each day playing Pokémon Go, compared with 30 minutes for WhatsApp, and 25 minutes for Instagram.

Local businesses are already using one of the in-game offers (called Lure Modules) to drive customers to their stores. Lure Modules, used to "lure" Pokémon to specific locations, are purchased within the game by players and then applied to local landmarks or businesses, which then become Pokémon Go hotspots (see image).

Users then visit these locations to find rare items and creatures. In Sydney, Australia, for example, high-end Chinese restaurant Tanghui announced that it would be activating one of the Lure Modules at lunch and dinner times, attracting Pokémon Go enthusiasts to the establishment, according to Business Insider.

Currently, Pokémon Go does not offer paid in-game locations through partnerships with local brands and businesses. Instead the locations are being pulled from Niantic’s database, generated through previous user submissions.

Nevertheless, it makes sense that Pokémon Go will eventually begin to look at ways to drive more revenue by leveraging the massive engagement rates the game has already established as well as its geo-location-based gameplay.

Moreover, Ingress has used sponsored in-game locations as a revenue generator in the past: Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi teamed up with the gaming company for a branding campaign that included using the bank's ATMs as a part of the game's storyline. It's likely that Pokémon Go will begin rolling out a similar option for brands and businesses.