You’re speaking to your customers—but are your customers listening? Personalization is the most effective way to get the right message to the right audience across any digital platform. And one of the most relevant personalization criteria is geolocation, or where on earth your visitors live, work, and frequent. Since customers’ needs and interests can change drastically based on their location, geotargeting can affect customer engagement, conversion rate, and revenue for your business.
Anything that can vary from one place to another can be identified through geotargeting. This includes data factors like a metro area’s favorite sports team, its weather patterns, and its demographic breakdown regarding common PII, such as average age, income, and education. Below I’ll quickly discuss four ways your business can use geotargeting to improve your optimization program.
Cloudy With a Chance of CXO
Weather targeting is an essential part of modern marketing. According to Weather Unlocked, the past, present, and future weather of an area “is a primary determinant of consumer purchase behavior” in many sectors, from travel to energy to retail. Geotargeting is helpful because it gives you the means to show users the products or services they’d be most interested in based on the conditions where they live.
The past, present, and future weather of an area is a primary determinant of consumer purchase behavior.
For example, if a retailer knew through site analytics that it had many customers all over North America, from humid Florida to snowy Ontario, it would be able to account for extreme differences in clothing preference. A homepage banner that always showed sweaters would discourage customers who live in Miami or Phoenix or Santa Clara; one that always showed bathing suits would eventually make no sense to someone who lives in Boston or Philadelphia. And showing both at the same time could look generic and unpersonalized.
Geotargeting would let this retailer give each user a unique experience. At the exact same time but on different screens, a Florida user could see beach towels, an Ontario user could see thermal gloves, and a New England user could see either/or based on the season.
Right the Ship
Shipping costs often deter online shoppers from completing purchases: A Forrester study found 44% of customers abandoned their carts precisely because it was too expensive for the product to be shipped to them. While the best solution is to provide free shipping—E-tailing Group found this was “critical” to conversion for 73% of customers—this isn’t an option for every business.
44% of customers abandoned their carts because it was too expensive for the product to be shipped to them.
If you must charge for shipping, consider where your distribution centers are in relation to users. If the retailer in the above hypothetical, for instance, is based in New York, then it could think about reducing shipping costs for users who live in Ontario. Another option if unconditional free shipping isn’t realistic is to make it possible just for customers who fall within a certain proximity to a shipping center. While individual conversions may total less, you’ll make up for this by converting more often overall.
No Taxation Without Personalization!
In a similar vein, tax rates vary based on where people live—and taxes, of course, can hike up the final cost to an amount users may not be expecting, leading to drop off. “If you’re a consumer,” TurboTax notes, “you’ll want to consider that all but five states—Oregon, New Hampshire, Montana, Delaware, and Alaska—rely on sales tax for revenue.”
All but five states—Oregon, New Hampshire, Montana, Delaware, and Alaska—rely on sales tax for revenue.
How can geotargeting help here? Within the U.S., experiment with deals and special offers based on state. If you’re a college sports retailer, for example, don’t promote Tennessee Volunteers gear the same way you’d promote Oregon Ducks gear. While customers in Oregon pay no sales tax, customers in Tennessee pay the highest nationally at 9.45%, so fans of Peyton Manning’s alma mater might need more incentive to convert.
Get Them in the Door
If your business has brick-and-mortar locations, it’s likely your online traffic—especially mobile—is looking for store locations. To help customers find you, give them a map that automatically pinpoints the closest stores to where they are. Customers can, of course, do this themselves with Google Maps; however, the goal is to keep them on your site and to make their experience on your turf more convenient. Another option is to have a store locator feature, which can show users the closest location(s) based on a zip code or city they input.
Where are your users? Geotarget to find out, so you can accurately deliver the best content to your visitors. To learn even more about this topic, check out this post on how to use CXO based on location, segmentation, and user tendencies.