Personalized Content Delivery Based On Geographical Location

0 min read

Leah Wagner

We recently launched two projects that use location detection to customize content that is delivered on a website. This feature is becoming a seemingly common trend among companies who focus on the personalization of a user's experience. We believe organizations gravitate towards this functionality because of the increased levels of engagement, which ultimately increase conversion rates and a stronger connection with a brand.

What’s an IP address?

While most people don’t usually think twice about their IP address, it is a vital component with how data is sent and received on the internet.

Without an IP address, websites wouldn’t know where to send the information you asked for -- or know how to send it back to your computer. Think of an IP address as the link to all of your online activity -- kind of like a return address on a letter you would send out.

The key to detecting a user's geographical location is to first determine what the user's IP is, then reference that IP address against an external geolocation database. With our two recent projects, which were built on Drupal, we used the Smart IP module to detect the IP address. Later we referenced it against IPInfoDB's free IP geolocation database. With that note in mind, there are a few free geolocation services out there, such as IPInfoDB. Paid options, such as MaxMind, can become quite expensive as more options become available through their supplied database. Typically, the more you pay, the more specific the location information is.

What have our Clients been doing?

MyFlicks is a website that curates Netflix’s movie library. In this case, we used IP detection to determine whether a Canadian or American Netflix library should be displayed to the end user depending on their location. This user may not have an account with the location preferences set with MyFlicks, so their location must be determined by their IP address. In addition to this feature, a visitor may very well reside in Canada, but want to look at the American catalogue -- so, we provided them with an override option.

FINCAD provides risk analytics and derivatives risk management software. For this client, we used IP address detection to serve up different events and news items based on the visitors geographical location. This functionality was extremely beneficial for their company, as they could use country detection to section their global clientele into particular regions: the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. With this software put in place, FINCAD’s customers are able to review the most suitable, up-to-date content, and events according to their detected region.

IP detection in eCommerce

IP address detection software is beneficial for eCommerce as it helps to increase user engagement, by providing content personalization. Imagine running multiple outerwear stores located across Canada. If a visitor from Vancouver visited your website, IP detection could highlight outerwear specific to western Canada’s milder winter climate. The same system could be applied to geographical locations in eastern Canada. If someone from Toronto was looking for a winter jacket, IP detection could highlight winter jackets specific to their icey cold winters. Having location information ultimately gives you more information to work with, so that you can better serve your customers. The possibilities to create personalized experiences are endless!

Benefits of IP Detection Software:

Identifies your user’s location based on their IP address and provides services in their city. Helps the visitor of your site discover more about your product or store details through city locations. Boosts customers to purchase more products from your store. Provides a user friendly eCommerce site. Redirects visitors to their closest store, which will encourage them to become a more frequent customer.

Stay tuned...

We will be following up with a second blog post that will highlight the technical implementation of this technology.

For more on eCommerce solutions, contact us or see: Mobile Personalization for the Canadian Independent