Pokémon Go showcases potential of augmented reality in retail
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
The Pokémon Go smartphone app has created plenty of buzz since its release in the U.S. and Australia on July 6. More than 15 million people have downloaded the app from the Apple Store. From a retailer’s perspective, that’s 15 million case studies for how potential shoppers are getting used to and using augmented reality-based apps within their daily life.
This could be great news for brick-and-mortar stores and malls, which have been seeking out ways to increase store traffic. Pokémon including “Pokéstops” and “Pokégyms” designed to help users collect items and stage battles with other opponents.
The app’s “Pokéstops” and “Pokégyms” are already built into Google Maps to take place at landmarks, public parks and buildings that are easily distinguishable by players. Retailers partnering with the app to sponsor their own stores could provide greater incentive to consumers traveling to shops and malls.
While some restaurants and retailers have banned the game, a T-Mobile store put up signage encouraging shoppers to get a new phone so that they can use the app. An Australia-based Woolworths Supermarket interacted with a shopper on Facebook that had caught a Pokémon within a store.
When a New York pizzeria spent $10 to have a dozen Pokémon characters lured to the location, sales increased 75 percent throughout the weekend, according to the New York Post.
The app’s success may also provide brands with inspiration toward building out augmented reality within their own apps or partnering with other augmented reality-based companies to add value to the store experience.
“Gamification works,” Nikki Baird, managing partner at RSR Research, in a blog post. “Retailers have many places in their business where the power of gamification can be leveraged — in employee training, in customer loyalty programs. The rewards of Go are simple, but they’re powerful. Wouldn’t any retailer like to have this level of addiction with their own apps? Especially if that addiction converts to spending real dollars?”
- Pokémon Go Showcases Potential Of Augmented Reality In Retail – Retail Touchpoints
- OMG Pokémon Go: Retailers, Pay Attention – RSR Research
- There’s a Pokémon in my restaurant, and business is booming – New York Post
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What does the popularity of the Pokémon Go smartphone app say about the potential of augmented reality for retailers? Do you see such gamification efforts becoming major traffic-driving tools for stores? Or does the phenomenon say more about app engagement?