The new mobile game Pokémon Go is making augmented reality into a real-world retail strategy. The app was only released last week, but it already has millions of people running around their cities and has sparked a “Pokémania.” The rise in citywide foot traffic is inspiring retailers all over the country to offer hyper-targeted promotions and specials to bring these passing players into their locations. In addition to bringing stores more shoppers, the app is also showing the potential of augmented reality for retail. Adweek.com shared how the new Pokémon Go app is turning augmented reality into a retail reality.
While Pokémon is a Nintendo franchise that began in the 1990s, the latest evolution of the franchise is the Pokémon Go mobile game. Pokémon Go differs from the original game by using augmented reality to mix the virtual realm with the physical world.
Pokémon Go puts players virtually into the game by encouraging them to run around their cities to earn points by catching Pokémon characters. Using a smartphone’s GPS, the game tells players via their smartphones—through augmented reality—when one of the game’s characters shows up at a city location. Then, players literally race around their cities to catch characters and score points.
The mobile game has already become a sensation and has millions of people running from location to location throughout their cities. While brand-new on the market, the app already has more users than the popular Tinder dating app and is also ranking ahead of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram in Google Play. Plus, Pokémon Go is on the verge of surging ahead of Twitter in daily active users on Android-powered devices.
Pokémania is leading to a huge rise in neighborhood foot traffic. And retailers are starting to leverage this rise to drive these passersby into their locations. In addition to exposing consumers to more retail stores, the mobile game is also exposing more brand players to the power and potential of augmented reality.
To help retailers make the most of the Pokémon Go sensation, an associated feature called Lure is being offered to help stores literally lure in this foot traffic. Retailers can purchase Lures and offer special promotions and incentives to these local players.
Leveraging Lures is proving so successful for retailers around the country that many industry experts are recommending that more businesses invest in these valuable Lures and provide players with exclusive offers and content to capitalize on both the Pokémon Go game and the augmented reality phenomenon.
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