What do you do when you find out your bookstore is also a PokéStop? Reel those customers in with a discount offer!
That’s what McKenna Jordan, owner of Murder By the Book in Houston, did. She estimates that 50-100 customers have frequented her store as a result of the game, and early on, she promoted an offer to them—catch a Pokémon in the store, take a screenshot, tag Murder By the Book when posting to Facebook or Twitter, and get 20% off.
And customers have been taking advantage. “My favorite example so far has been a father-son pair, hunting for Pokémon on the son’s cell phone,” says Jordan. “I told them about the promotion while they were shopping and it took them almost an hour to figure out how to screenshot, post, and tag us— with occasional support from the staff! At one point, I even told them not to worry about it. I’d give them the discount just for trying. But they were determined, and they ended up with a nice stack of books at 20% off.”
Murder By the Book is no stranger to creative sales. They create a huge Advent calendar featuring 24 titles every December and hold open houses with spirits (“People always come out where there’s wine with your discounted books,” Jordan says), but this offer has more potential for greater social media presence.
Jordan recalled, “We thought it was just a funny thing and kind of disregarded it, until we started seeing people standing around staring at their phones that first crazy weekend.” Heartening that some good can come out of that familiar smartphone stare.
Martin Quinn is a marketing manager at St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books. He's written two music trivia books and a gay travel guide. He spins disco music monthly in NYC.