January 29th, 2008 | 2 MIN READ

Using Geo-IP To Tailor Content Delivery

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

GPS imageIn last week’s webinar on holiday marketing, Jason Billingsley and I discussed the potential for online retailers to use Geo-IP targeting to serve specific content to different site visitors based on their geographic location. In this post, I’d like to recap the ideas mentioned in the webinar.

When your browser requests content from a website's server that uses geo-ip techonolgy, it's checked against a database to determine your country, region, city or even latitude/longitude and content is delivered based on your location. When you visit a web portal, for example, and you see your local news or weather appearing - this is geo-IP content delivery in action. This is just one example, but there are ways this can be effectively used on ecommerce websites:

Target By Country

If you have multiple websites targeted at individual countries, you can simply redirect visitors to the appropriate site when they click a link to your .com site or type it in directly into a browser.

Or you can detect when a visitor is from a different country when they land on your .com site and inform them of your nationalized site like Amazon:

Amazon for Canada

Or American Eagle:

AE screenshot

AE Canada

If you have only one e-store you may wish to show different visitors different content. For example, the US and Canada have different Thanksgiving dates. You may only offer free shipping in your home country and you don't want to "tease" international customers. Or, you could show international customers pricing in their own currencies:

Fair Trade Coffee in UK Pounds

It's also possible to pre-select registration and checkout forms for exceptional usability:

Preselected Location

Target By City

You can take this even further with regional or city targeting. For example, certain cities have their own celebrations:

Mardi Gras in New Orleans:

Mardi Gras

Or even sports teams:

Patriots Home Page

An electronics retailer could show New Englanders a page "cheer on your Giants with HDTV."

Another good reason to show different content to different cities is the fact that weather and lifestyle can differ from region to region. It may be a winter wonderland in Vermont but does it really make sense to feature snowblowers on your home page to visitors from Florida?

IP Location Service Providers

If you're interested in applying this functionality to your site, there are third-party providers for geo-IP targeting, including:

ISAPILabs Country Locator

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