What Pokémon Go means for retail

  • Technology
  • July 15, 2016
  • Caitlin Salter
What Pokémon Go means for retail

Pokémon Go, the augmented reality mobile game where players walk around the real world to hunt down virtual cartoon characters, already has more daily active users than Twitter and is set to surpass Snapchat next.

The game, from Japan’s Nintendo, skyrocketed to the top of Apple and Android stores in record time and has become one of the most viral mobile applications of all time. It’s now taking up more of people’s time than Facebook.

Other viral fad-games like Draw Something and Candy Crush are no competition for its popularity. Unlike its viral predecessors, Pokémon Go has a unique feature that is key to its carry-on success: it forces users to explore outside.

Pokémon Go uses a phone’s GPS and camera to turn the real world into a massive hunting ground. It also turns local landmarks and businesses into Pokémon Gyms (where players can train Pokémon and battle other teams) and PokéStops, where players stock up on free accessories.

These new virtual worlds are good news for the businesses that host them and it could mean great things for retailers, according to Retail First managing director Chris Wilkinson.

“Anything that gets people out and amongst the community is fantastic, we want people outside and rediscovering their environment.

“With Pokémon Go, people are going to places they’ve never been before and that’s a real opportunity for retailers.”

Some stores are already getting in on the action, taking to social media to post pictures of Pokémon found in the changing rooms, on clothing racks or at the point-of-sale machines in store.

Karen Walker’s Instagram account yesterday posted a picture of a Charmander in its Ponsonby store.

Charmander picking up some new sunglasses at Karen Walker Ponsonby #arrowedbykaren

A photo posted by Karen Walker (@karen_walker) on

Shopping district Britomart also got in on the trend, promoting the area as a prime Pokémon hunting ground.

Gotta catch 'em all at Britomart ⚡️⚡️⚡️ #britomart #pokemongo

A photo posted by BRITOMART (@britomartnz) on

Even if there are no Pokémon found inside a store, tapping into the Pokémon market is still a possibility. Farmers used a much-coveted Pikachu to promote its range of Pokémon toys and trading cards, with the Instagram caption “Catch one in store today and take home a Pokémon of your own.”

While the locations of PokeStops and Pokémon Gym are predetermined, there is the opportunity for businesses to have their location considered for future ones, by filling out an application on the game’s website.

The potential for new foot traffic is exciting to some retailers who might find getting people through the door to be hardest part of the job.

Wilkinson says because the success of Pokémon Go was so sudden, retailers are now playing catch up on how to act.

“Usually retailers see things like this on the horizon and are able to strategize, with Pokémon Go retailers have been trying to get on top of it.

“It will be a question of who is quick enough into the market, because it is going to have a window of success, but I doubt it will be sustained.”

The key for retailers is to look for maximum potential in the short-term from capitalising on the game, rather than looking for a long-term solution.

A restaurant in New York claims its sales jumped 75 percent over the weekend, by activating a “lure module” and tempting nearby players. The lure module is an in-app purchase, which attracts Pokémon to a PokeStop for 30 minutes. According to the New York Post, the store’s manager spent $10 to have a dozen Pokémon characters placed in the location.

The biggest potential of Pokémon Go for retailers is getting younger shoppers off Internet shopping sites and into bricks and mortar stores. Some retailers won’t see increased sales by having random young people walking into their shop, but for others, it will have a positive effect.

“We need to be looking after younger shoppers because they are the ones that are equally happy to jump online.

“Retailers need to be talking to each other and teasing out ideas of how Pokémon Go [marketing] is going to work.”

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • The Register team
Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

As of 3pm on March 21, a wide range of semi-automatic weapons have been reclassified under section 74A(c) of the Arms Act as requiring an E endorsement on a firearms license. This means they can no longer be sold to those with A-category gun licenses, and their purchase now requires police approval.

Read more

Retailers gather for insights at NZ Retail and The Register's breakfast

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • The Register
Retailers gather for insights at NZ Retail and The Register's breakfast

NZ Retail and The Register’s sales and marketing breakfast saw dozens of Kiwi retailers come together to network, sharing tips and tricks and absorbing expert advice.

Read more

Who stole Christmas?

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • Kelly Withers
Who stole Christmas?

Results are starting to trickle in from Christmas 2018/2019, and for many retailers, they're a little disappointing. Paydar chief executive and co-founder Kelly Withers explores the data.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Chinese businesspeople raise millions for Christchurch victims

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Chinese businesspeople raise millions for Christchurch victims

A group of visiting Chinese businesspeople have raised $2.35 million for victims of the Christchurch mass shooting.

Read more

The Retail NZ Awards: What does it take to be a winning retailer?

Take this time to shine with the upcoming Retail NZ awards, a chance to show the retail industry what makes your business stand out. No ...


Hunting & Fishing New Zealand voluntarily pulls military-style assault weapons from sale

  • News
  • March 20, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Hunting & Fishing New Zealand voluntarily pulls military-style assault weapons from sale

In the wake of the attack on Christchurch’s Muslim community on March 15, strong calls for changes to New Zealand’s gun last have been made. Trade Me was the first retailer to act, halting the sale of all semi-automatic weapons on its platform, and it has now been joined by Hunting & Fishing New Zealand.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit