5 Ways To Use The Pokémon Go Craze To Ramp Up Dealership Floor Traffic

Jul 14, 2016 | Industry News

Pokémon Go is officially the latest trend in the world of mobile apps. The new augmented reality game is especially magnetic for Millennials, the next generation of car shoppers, who remember trading cards and playing Pokémon on their Game Boys.

The app has thousands of users out and about, actively searching around their cities for new Pokémon to capture. In fact, in just 1 week, it already has the same number of active users as Twitter, and more downloads than Tinder.

As of July 8, “the app was being used for an average of 43 minutes, 23 seconds a day, higher than Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat and [Facebook] Messenger.” Source: SimilarWeb

More than 40% of the adults who download the mobile app are older than 25, and about 1 in 3 are women. Source: Vox / StartApp

So it’s no surprise that Pokémon Go is becoming an equally popular trend in the business world as other dealerships, restaurants, animal shelters, and other small businesses are quickly getting creative trying to take advantage of the free foot traffic now pouring around their store fronts.

Adventure Subaru knows how to take advantage of a trend!

But be prepared: actually maximizing Pokémon Go for your dealership takes both strategy and a little bit of luck. Ready to sell them all?

Quick Intro: Pokémon Go And Special-Interest Locations

Pokémon Go uses a player’s phone’s GPS and camera to turn the real world into a hunting ground for Pokémon.

The key for dealerships? The app also transforms local landmarks and businesses into places of interest for players. Cross your fingers, though: the game pre-determines which public locations have significance in its virtual world.

Though these locations are pre-determined by the developer, Niantic Labs, a recent comment from CEO John Hanke to the New York Times confirms that the company will be announcing details about sponsored locations in the near future.

Source: Forbes

There are two different categories of special-interest locations:


These locations are pretty common and are often landmarks, monuments, or places of interest around your city. Players can physically visit them to stock up on free items like PokéBalls. Even if your dealership isn’t a PokéStop, one is still likely nearby and you will likely still be able to capitalize on its foot traffic.

Pokémon Gyms

These areas are much more rare than PokéStops, and attract a lot more players. Gyms are where trainers go to train their Pokémon and battle other teams. If your dealership is a gym, prepare for an influx of visitors (in fact, I’m sure you’ve probably already seen them).

Now that we’ve explored the two scenarios that can draw Pokémon Trainers, here are the 5 steps you can take to use them to your advantage:

Step 1: Check Your Dealership’s Proximity To PokéStops and Gyms

In order to see where your dealership falls in the Pokémon Go virtual world, you first need to set up an account and start playing! (It’s free on the App store).

After setting up your account, you’ll be dropped into the Pokémon map based off your own location.

The blue icons overlaid on the map indicate PokéStops. While you’re at your dealership, look for which Stops are closest to you. Best case scenario, one is right in your lot!

Get to know the PokéStops around you by clicking on each one.

TIP: Dealership not a PokéStop? The Pokémon Go app drains phone battery. If you’re near PokéStops, try adding phone charging stations inside your showroom to help Trainers recharge. They’ll stay in your dealership until they reach 100%, and your team can get into impromptu sales conversations.

Step 2: Bring In Even More Shoppers With Lure Modules

Pokémon generally appear at random in the app. However, to attract a ton of wild Pokémon (and, more important, players) to a specific area, anyone can pay $1 to place a Lure Module on a PokéStop. For 30 minutes, players will receive an alert to head to that location and reap major rewards.

Your dealership can use Lure Modules to generate more activity during a typically slow period of your day to get more floor traffic, and then use your creativity to turn that traffic into paying customers.

For example, you can post signs that advertise 10% off a service to Pokémon Trainers near your dealership who show you their latest catch.

Lure Models really work! New York pizzeria L’inizio Pizza Bar saw food and drink sales rocket up 75 percent this weekend after paying just $10 to boost its location with Lure Modules.

One Lure Module can be purchased for $1 or you can get a pack of eight Lure Modules for $7. They last 30 minutes and there is no limit to the number of times a Lure Module can be placed in a single day.

TIP: Activate Lure Modules before your next Sales Event and joint-promote their location through Facebook Advertising and microtarget In-Market Shoppers who also have an interest in Pokémon Go.

Step 3: Take Advantage Of Gyms And The App’s Team Rivalries

Gyms are highly coveted and hard to miss in the Pokémon landscape. If your dealership is near one, you’re in a prime location.

There are 3 teams in Pokémon Go which create intense rivalries: Instinct (Yellow), Mystic (Blue), and Valor (Red). The players in these teams stage battles between their Pokémon in the gyms in order to try to gain control of them.

You can capitalize on these by offering discounts to specific teams, gym battle winners, or gym leaders. Teams have to play together, so if one player comes to your dealership for a discount, you’re likely to attract their teammates.

Step 4: Talk The Talk

If you’re offering specials, stay relevant to the players by speaking the right lingo. Here are some examples:

  1. Get $10 off your next oil change if you’re Team Mystic!
  2. There may or may not be a Pikachu hiding in or around our Service Center today…
  3. In case you need another reason to stop by [Dealership Name], we’re swarming with Pokémon!
  4. Lure Module activating at 3pm. Will you be here?

Whatever you do, don’t shoo Trainers out of your dealership, or else you’ll risk missing out on having the most socially-connected generation talking positively about your dealership.

If the visits do become an issue, try to direct Trainers to exactly where the Pokémon is, and politely ask that they be discreet and not bother your staff or other customers.

Step 5: Promote Everything On Social

Whatever your dealership’s involvement with Pokémon Go, be sure to take full advantage of the trend by promoting it on your Facebook Page, Instagram, and Twitter.

Sellers Subaru created a How-To video which raked in Shares, Likes, and success on Facebook.

When Smail Auto Group realized they were a hotspot for rare Pokémon, they got creative and photographed them around their dealership, then blogged about it on their website.

TIP: If you see Pokémon in your dealership, show them off! Take screenshots of the Pokémon randomly appearing near your inventory, or near your happy customers, and share them on your Facebook Page.

There are also many players coming together in Facebook Groups, which you can share your Pokémon-related specials to. Simply search for Groups related to Pokémon Go – it will check against your area and suggest local groups based off your query. Once you find one, message the Group Admin and ask them to share your discount.

In addition to your organic posts, be sure to advertise your discounts through Facebook Advertising with appropriate hashtags and Facebook Microtargeting techniques.

What do you think? Do you think Pokémon Go can really help you sell more cars? Do you have any other ideas for how dealers can use it to generate more floor traffic? Comment below!

Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.

Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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