How to Use Pokémon Go Lures for Your Small Business

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, then you’ve been missing the crazy phenomenon that is Pokémon GO. In the past week, this free app has been downloaded more times than Tinder and has surpassed Twitter in active daily users. Still not impressed? Gizmodo is also reporting that people are using the app for an average of 43 minutes a day, which is more than Instagram and WhatsApp!

Still feeling indifferent? According to Inc., small and local businesses are benefiting like CRAZY from Pokémon Go. They are using Lures, which attracts people to their location.

If you think this is just a nonsense app that won’t do much for you, think again. It’s not just kids using the app, adults are using it, too. Here’s what you need to know.

Poké Stop

A virtual location that coordinates with a real-life location. What users see on their screen (depending if they have turned on their augmented reality) is a blue pop-up. Once the user clicks on this pop-up an image appears of the real life location.

Poké Stops allow users to collect items, such as Poké balls, Poké eggs, potions and medicine. These Poké Stops regenerate after about 10 minutes, so people will either continuously stick around or people will frequent the location more often.  

First things first – find out if your location is a Poké Stop. The locations of these stops have already been predetermined by Niantic Labs (the creators of the app). You can download the Poké Go app and check or you can download an older game called Ingress that has a map of these locations (Poké Stops are pretty heavily correlated to locations with Ingress).

If your location is a Poké Stop, congrats! This will help effortlessly increase foot traffic. If not, no worries, there is another option to attract people.


The app allows users to literally lure Pokémon to their location. You can use an actual lure or incense (we’re using Lures for this). The difference is that using incense is free, but doesn’t do much. Lures cost money and have way more influence on attracting Pokémon.

Throwing down a Lure at your location attracts Pokémon that are visible to everyone. So people will naturally flock there to be the first to catch the Pokémon. The Lure works for 30 minutes and can be repeated as many times as you want.

Here’s how broke it down.

What's even more incredible is just how affordable luring is. Let's do the math. With $100 netting you 14,500 Pokémon coins and an eight-pack of Lures costing 680 Pokécoins:
14,500 Pokémon coins / 680 = 21 eight-packs of lures
(21 * 8)/2 = 84 hours
$100/84 hours = $1.19 per hour

So you spend $100 and put out lures for 24-hours straight for 3.5 days. The good thing about Lures is that you can use them when you want. You don’t have to use them back-to-back. Let’s say you want an increase in foot traffic to your restaurant around lunch time. Set a Lure from 11:30-12 p.m. and another from 12 – 1 p.m. You could set another one for the dinner rush.

Here’s how to set a Lure:

  • Tap the red Pokéball at the bottom of your screen
  • Tap "Shop"
  • ·Scroll down and tap the Lures to purchase. You'll be re-directed to your app store's payment system
  • Once back in-app, tap the red Pokéball again, then tap "Items"
  • Tap the Lure to activate!

Lures benefit small, local businesses whether they are a Poké Stop or not. And they can be used anywhere! Parks, restaurants, gyms, churches, car dealerships, grocery stores, pet stores, gift shops – you name it!

If you think this isn’t worth your time, because this frenzy will end soon, you may be right. But your business has an opportunity to increase brand awareness AND sales (depending on your business) right now! This solution isn’t an evergreen one, but it’s timely and relevant right now.  Plus, customers will remember you six months down the road as a great location for catching Pokémon.