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How Geolocation Can Improve Your eCommerce Sales

Geolocation has been around for 13 years; it's not a new technology, so if you're running an eCommerce business, why aren't you using it? 

To explain Geolocation simply, it's the technology that allows a website to 'see' where a visitor is located by their IP Address. That doesn't mean the website captures my name and home address without my authorization (that is a violation of privacy law). It does mean that it can determine what country, state and city I'm located in. 

In this video, Charlie Johnson of Digital Element discusses improving conversion rates using Geolocation. At the 2:30 minute mark her slide data from Jupiter Research shows that when localized content is provided, a visitor is 6-7 times more likely to convert to a sale.

As an eCommerce retailer, how can you influence me, as a buyer, if you choose to target my position using geolocation?

Tell me immediately how soon I can get my products and how much it will cost

Up first, my personal favorite as a self-admitted online shopping addict, you can prompt me to purchase by telling me just how long it will take to ship to me (and for what cost) at the moment I hit your homepage, before I put anything in the shopping cart. If you tell me I get free 3-day shipping, I'm looking at you, there is a VERY good chance I will buy something based on the near instant gratification of my purchase. There is nothing worse than when I drop something in a shopping cart and am ready to check out and see that it will take 3 weeks for the purchase to get to me. That is exactly the moment that I abandon my shopping cart. 

Show me specific content for my region

Another way to target visitors by location is to show them specific content for their region. If you are a retailer that sells all-season clothing, don't bring the visitors from Arizona to a homepage with a banner for a sale on winter coats. Have homepage call outs to display only for select regions or markets. Are you a sports apparel retailer? Only show me Cleveland sports team options when I first hit your site. If you show me a ton of Pittsburgh fan attire, again I am going to bounce right off that page and never return. 

Display the closest brick and mortar store (if you have one)

Lastly, if you are a brick and mortar store in addition to being an online retailer, set your geolocation targeting so that it displays the closest brick and mortar location to your potential buyer. While people love the convenience of online shopping, they still want to do business with people. Sharing the closest location gives buyers piece of mind when making a purchase. It gives them confidence that if there is something wrong or they need an exchange they can complete the process easily and effectively.

(PDF) Using Geolocation to Increase your eCommerce Sales

These three points all really communicate the same end goal - to make the buying experience from start to finish as painless as possible for the purchaser. Anything the retailer can do to make the buying experience a little easier and happier gives that buyer a reason to keep coming back to your site when it comes time for them to spend their hard earned dollars.  

Do you enable GEOLOCATION on your website now? Have you seen favorable results because of it? Leave me a comment below to let me know your thoughts. 

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Another post by Nadine Nocero on Web Development or eCommerce: Top 5 Things to Know About Sales and Digital Marketing

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