The death of distance? 5 reasons geolocation matters to your customers

In 1995, Frances Cairncross wrote an infamous article in The Economist, announcing the ‘death of distance. Since then, waves of technologies have emerged claiming to save time, reduce distance, and shrink the world. In spite of this, understanding where your customer is, remains a valuable tool for any marketer.

Through 5 simple measures I’ll show how geolocation can be one of the most compelling ways to connect with your customers.

Weather targeting

Whether we like it or not, the weather can often dictate our mood, our clothes and more importantly our shopping behavior. A great way to personalize your website is to reflect your product selection based upon the weather. Hyperlocal targeting can ensure you do this with precision. After all, it’s little use on a cold rainy day in London showing your Australian users, experiencing summer, a coat. 

Conversion rate optimization is often dependent on small, personalized changes that can make all the difference. Using a Qubit's technology, Burton was able to utilize an external API. By personalizing the products on the homepage, depending upon the visitor’s local weather, they were able to increase conversions by 11.6%. 

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Store locators

Google research suggests that consumers spend 15+ hours researching on mobile sites and apps. When you take into account that 93% of users who research on mobile devices end up purchasing a product or service, it is obvious that mobile influences users purchases across all channels. Therefore, making sure your potential customers know where to go is vital. Optimizing this becomes increasingly important given that 71% of smartphone shoppers used a store locator to find a shop location and 55% of users who use mobile to research want to make a purchase within an hour.

International commerce

The online market opens up easier ways of selling products internationally. Being sensitive to people’s location can provide them a seamless customer experience. Detecting users IP addresses, for example, can be used to redirect them to a local sites or to display an alternative currency. 

Making sure you mobile sites are optimized so that people can find your physical store presence is also crucial to take advantage of impulse shoppers and location remains king. Letting people know where you are in relation to them may help seal the deal. 

Furntiure store, DFS, wanted to inform their international visitors that they ship outside of the UK. They decided to target their European visitors with personalized notifications. By making it clear to this segment of users that they were able to ship to them, they saw a 23% uplift in conversions. Read the case study here

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Ancillary purchasing

Knowing your customer's location can help you upsell after a user has purchased. The travel industry, in particular, have a huge opportunity here. The location the user is travelling to and from will dictate a range of further ancillary options such as transfers and airport parking. If you recognise your user lives a considerable distance from their departure point, then offering them airport parking or transfers from the airport can provide a valuable opportunity to upsell. Knowing where your users are arriving from and are going can be critical to this.

Shipping information 

Never is it more important to be flexible, relevant and personal than at a time when you experience your most traffic. Ironically this happens to be the time when code freezes are most common: Christmas. Coping in a code freeze provides real challenges especially in times of bad weather, supply chain disruptions and across international markets.  

Segmenting users via their location remains a valuable tool in dealing with this. Using specific location targeting you can serve hyperlocal messaging to affected customers who might be affected by delays. Segmenting homepage messages to users directly affected can ensure your site remains optimised for those not affected whilst providing valuable messaging to specific users.

Location, location, location!

Location remains a valuable tool to any marketeer thinking about how to segment users. Whilst technology may have eased modes of communication and commerce, the inescapable fact that we are still spatially distributed by geography offers great opportunity to target and personalize. Some of these ideas are particularly useful for international businesses.

If you are interested in some more great ideas for a global customer base, why not check out our ebook: How to grow your international sales using personalization