Pokemon GoEVERYTHING. Pokémon Go emerged overnight and has become an extraordinary phenomenon. As of last week, the app had over 20 million active users making it the biggest mobile game in the history of the U.S. On Monday, July 11th, the average iPhone user spent 33 minutes in the Pokémon Go app, compared to 28 minutes on the Facebook app, 18 minutes on the Snapchat app, 17 minutes on the Twitter app, and 15 minutes on the Instagram app.*

So why is this so relevant to Retailers and Brands? As Retailers, Brands and Malls battle for consumer traffic and spend across all demographic segments, Pokémon Go is just the beginning of what TGC believes will be a “4D” Omni-channel movement. “4D” Omni-channel will provide Retailers and Brands with a set of tools to reach and engage consumers in entirely new ways, far beyond purely gaming.

While some retailers have immediately benefited from Pokémon Go (GameStop reported that sales doubled in the 462 stores that were designated as “PokéStop” destinations where users collect virtual items), marketers across multiple Retail segments are now jumping onto this new channel. For example:

  • Yelp added a feature to let consumers find restaurants or stores that have nearby PokéStops, the locations where players scoop up in-game goods
  • T-Mobile will use its T-Mobile Tuesday promotion to exempt the game from data charges for a year, and provide $15 Lyft rides to key PokéStop locations. Rivals Sprint and Boost Mobile are inviting people to their local stores to capture Pokémon Go characters, which they promised to attract by purchasing the game’s “lures”
  • Simon Property Group has been promoting its malls with PokéStops via social media and is looking into the idea of sponsoring locations
  • JC Penney is not only considering using “lures” to drive traffic but also promoting its Pokémon merchandise
  • And, Niantic, the developer of the Pokémon Go game, is allowing Marketers pay to become locations that will attract players. It will charge marketers by the visit, similar to the way search ads charge per click

It took some time in the “early” days of “2D” Social Media, whether it was Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, for Retailers and Brands to truly optimize those new engagement channels. However, what we are now seeing with Pokémon Go is the “next generation” of social media engagement technologies. These technologies will continue to evolve dramatically and perhaps become one of the most dynamic and effective tools created to drive customer traffic, engagement and purchase behavior.

To learn more about TGC’s omni-channel services, click here.

*Sources: USA Today; Survey Monkey; Sensor Tower