Online merchants are facing a stark new reality in today’s online marketplace: What used to satisfy ecommerce shoppers just doesn’t scratch the surface for today’s modern consumer, demanding more for less. The competition to win the customer has never been fiercer. And as a result, etailers are turning their focus to ecommerce technology, usability and personalisation.
But one area of personalisation that is often over looked is the seemingly basic principle of the location of their visitors.
Simply knowing what country your visitors are coming from can provide you with a wealth of intelligence that will help optimise your site and provide your customers with a stronger user experience.
So why don’t we just ask them?
Some multinational retailers I’ve come across often place a nasty looking country selector landing page in front of their store asking users to select their country. Or even worse a drop down list – take note American Apparel! Firstly, this will upset any search spiders for getting into your site, and secondly it creates an unnecessary barrier that is sure to turn away your guests.
By using geolocation data you can direct your customers to the correct store based on the country they are browsing from.
A Hidden Gem
Geolocation by IP address is the technique of determining a visitor to your website’s geographic location by comparing the user’s public internet IP address with known locations of other electronically neighboring servers and routers. With this intelligence at your fingertips you can do all kind of cool things.
Knowing your customer’s country allows you to generate website content, in real time, that is personalised specifically to their location. For example, it can be used to use the right currency or for multi-language countries like Switzerland, the correct language, all based on your visitor’s location. You can also use this data to pre-populate forms in the registration and checkout pages. Have a look at our Capture+ integration on WatchShop, for an example.
After recognising the IP address you can then populate the address format to suit the specific country, reducing the number of fields the customer has to manually type. However, it is always a good idea to allow your users to change the country manually, like you can here by clicking on the flag. Shipping and tax estimators can also benefit from the data, allowing you to automatically present estimated charges.
Geolocation can also be used to present geographically relevant offers. Perhaps you have different types of products depending on where the user is, or your products are only relevant in certain areas. IP geolocation technology enables you to be much more clever and efficient, ensuring you target the right people.
And for users, of course, the ads are much more relevant so you’ve got better click rates and better conversion.
Stopping Cyber Crime
Knowing the online buyers geographic information is also a helpful tool for preventing fraud, and probably one of the most valuable uses considering online crime is costing etailers over £205 million a year. Geolocation technology can identify the user’s location, which can identify locations where the probability of fraud is the highest. It can also compare the location of the shopper’s address to their provided credit card billing address, allowing you to flag up any discrepancies between the two. Merchants can then apply additional authentication measures or identification for those transactions. In the same way, it allows you to filter countries that you do not want to do business with.
At the moment we’re offering a free trial of our IP geolocating technology for all of our customers. So if you would like to give it a go or learn more about how you could benefit drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org