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Major Retailers are closing stores like crazy.  When big brands like Sears, JC Penney, and Sports Authority start closing stores, retailers get very nervous. If you’re a retailer, you might be getting nervous and wondering how you can save your business from closing. A recent article on Time.com said you can blame Amazon for the retail slump. That might be true, but if you’ve been paying attention, Amazon has recently opened a few brick and mortar stores. 

You might be wondering what CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has up his sleeve, but if you ask a better question, you’ll get a better answer.

Brick and mortar stores have always had the advantage of a physical location, personal connection with consumers, and immediate satisfaction of bringing the product home. So a better question to ask is “What do brick and mortar stores NOW have that online retailers don’t?”

Answer: Unique Unprecedented Opportunity.

I wrote an article recently (you can read it here) about the rise of Pokémon Go and the opportunity to increase communication and connection with Millennials. But let’s look at interactive mobile apps from another perspective.   If you’re a retailer, a restaurant owner, a massage therapist or in any industry that has a product or service to sell to the public, Pokémon Go (and the other interactive mobile apps that are coming) should be your new best friend.

Here’s how you can personally capitalize on the Pokémon Go phenomenon:

To drive more potential customers to your store, find out if your business is near a Pokéstop. A Pokéstop is a location (selected by Pokémon Go’s owner Niantic) in the real world, where a player can visit and get free items in the game to help them capture Pokémons.

If you are lucky enough to be next to a Pokéstop, #SCORE!! #Winning!!

Don’t do what some (not modern) retailers are doing and make it difficult for and chase away the players; connect with them and invite them to stay and shop. Create products and services that appeal to Pokémon Go players, offer discounts, BOGOs or rename one of your menu items after a Pokémon character.

Pikachu’s Pepperoni Pizza anyone?

Download the game and purchase the in-app opportunities to Lure Pokémon there, especially during your slow time of the day. Don’t waste this opportunity to connect with new customers! Do more than just save your business, make this a profitable time for you!

If your business isn’t near a Pokéstop, find the nearest one.   Hire a high school or college kid to go to the Pokéstop and hand out coupons, samples, whatever it takes to get them in your door.   Give special discounts to people who show you their Pokémon Go app, or who have captured a select Pokémon.

You can also submit to become a coveted Pokéstop here and if you’ve already created a Poke-friendly environment you’ll be ahead of the game.

Don’t underestimate the importance of training your current employees on Pokémon Go and getting them to connect with your customers.

Throw a Pokémon Customer Appreciation event and get input and ask your customers how you can better meet their needs. Online games don’t remove the need for human connection, so don’t be afraid to engage with your new market.

According to the Google Play store, Pokémon Go is ahead of Snapchat and Facebook Messenger for most downloads. If you want to stay relevant, current and save your business fron closing, it’s time to Go where the Pokémon are.

Leave me a comment, what do you think about the Pokémon Go frenzy?

Seanlai is the global expert on connection and founder of Proclivities: The Science of Connection, She is CEO of  The Retention Experts and an internationally known speaker, author, coach and consultant. Seanlai works with companies and individuals seeking to strengthen leadership, retain talent, increase sales, and increase profitability. Her new book, The Mysterious Power will be available in stores soon. Connect directly with Seanlai at Seanlai@theretentionexperts.com or via twitter https://twitter.com/SeanlaiC

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