Google Adwords, the digital giant’s paid search offering, has long been a go-to platform for ecommerce players looking to increase sales. More recently, it has represented a lucrative source for direct-marketing retailers trying to drive mobile consumers into their stores. Google charges brands on a cost-per-click basis for the ads, guaranteeing a website visit for their cash but not necessarily in-person patronage.
All of which makes Pokemon Go’s forthcoming sponsored-locations product intriguing, since it will reportedly be designed to only charge advertisers when consumers—glued to their smartphones playing the game—show up at their stores. Indeed, foot traffic, the lifeblood of old-school retail and the Holy Grail for brick-and-mortar shops that lean on digital.