How-to for SMBs: the lure of payments on the Pokemon GO
All that's global is local. The latest gaming craze, quite literally sweeping the planet, is Pokemon GO, an app-driven augmented-reality version of the 90s classic. Gamers, whose numbers appear to be expanding like Gremlins, use smartphones to play the game in which they as "trainers" catch and battle Pokemon that are superimposed into their real-world experience via GPS and phone cameras. And, they're everywhere, the phones, the Pokemon and the players too. In fact, some already are describing a "pokeconomy". Yup, that's right. A term's been coined to describe the game's possible influence on local businesses and economies. So is it a fad or a formidable foreshadowing of where consumers are going? Whatever you think, it's time to think.
Anywhere, anytime, sell-on-demand includes consumer crazes
People exist today in a state of persistent partial-attention. We're living at digital speed in just about everything we do. Capturing consumers' attention maps closely to that reality. A game played live on the streets where your business lives creates opportunity to disrupt that digital speed. More foot traffic on Main Street is a good thing. Responding to the Pokemon GO craze might be literally to get in on the game or, for many, it might be thinking smarter about what crazes like Pokemon GO mean for the future of selling on demand.
Playing the game
First, there's getting in on the rage directly, largely through marketing. Pokemon Gyms and so-called Pokestops are all part of the game. The CEO of Google spin-out Niantic, the game's developer, told the New York Times that the company would announce sponsored locations in the future. Forbes also reported that businesses can reach out to Niantic through its support page to have its location considered for Pokemon Gym or Pokestop consideration.
Several businesses are making themselves more alluring to game players. Sure, there are the sidewalk sandwich board promotions, but for around a dollar an hour you can buy "Lure modules" and "drop" them in your store's location. Lure modules attract the Pokemon that game players seek for 30-minutes at a time. Just enough time to have your storefront overwhelmed by customers who might not have stopped in otherwise.
So other than actual gyms, what kind of businesses might benefit from game-driven foot traffic? Food and beverage locations, quick-stop and grab-and-go storefronts, where players can nourish their real persons before getting back into the game scramble. But really, all kinds of businesses are benefitting from the fascination, including non-profit organizations such as museums, that are along the course of the games being played.
Even more practically speaking
Pokemon GO speaks to the very nature of our changing world. Something non-existent one moment takes over the world the next. So what should you be thinking?
- Whatever the device, brand or form, our smartphones are becoming our best friends, trusted advisors and life managers, all in one
- We're making more mobile payments and your business needs to be prepared
- Mobile point-of-sale—is your business ready and able to accept payments virtually anywhere? If you set-up shop on the sidewalk to catch Pokemon-chasing trainers are you ready to accept payments for passersby?
- Read more about mobile acceptance and mobile payments on Vantage Point, start with some basics.
- Is your in-store point of sale ready for all kind of payments? So whether you're out on the street with smartphone and dongle in hand, or you're preparing for increased in-store traffic, make sure your point-of-sale is enabled for smartphone driven payments. Sometimes, the smarter, faster, easier route to these payments is the stand-alone terminal, which today can be ready to accept not only chip cards, but mobile wallet payments via near field communication, or NFC.
It's a brave new world for sure. Whether you're looking to get in on the game itself or you're thinking, "where are we going with this?", it's time for you to plan for the benefits that can come from consumer obsessions like Pokemon GO.