When you’re shopping online, it’s pretty safe to say that the world is your oyster. You can browse sites from other countries, and purchase items from halfway around the world. But because of the breadth of international shopping, it’s important for retailers to consider whether they will “internationalize” their sites. Enter the geolocation feature. Using IP detection, you can tell which country users are accessing the site from. It seems small, but when done right, it can have a big impact. Here are a few examples.
First up is Fred Perry, a British sportswear brand. Being that I’m in the United States, when I typed fredperry.com into my browser, I got this pop-up immediately upon arriving on the site:
Why yes, I am in the US, and I would like free delivery and returns. Thanks, Fred Perry! I was then taken to the US version of the site, which shows prices in US dollars and calculates the appropriate sales tax. Granted, not too much about the site is different, but it saves that extra step.
The next example comes from Topshop, another British retailer. Their geolocation feature is a less obvious, but it’s still there. When I navigated to the home page, I noticed that the URL was us.topshop.com. Also, I saw this black bar across the top:
Since the site knew I was in the US, it set that as my delivery country. If maybe I want to ship to another country, they give me the option to switch it. Basically they’ve used geolocation to perform an action, but they allow me to opt out.
The last example is Gucci, who uses yet another method. Similar to Topshop, when I navigated to Gucci.com, the URL actually changed to gucci.com/us/home, so it’s clear that the site has located me. Then, in the bottom right corner of the home page, I saw a small American flag with an option to change the country. When I clicked on this link, it opened a pop-up with a list of all the countries where Gucci offers online shopping, so I can pick whichever suits my needs. Pretty cool!
Overall, it’s helpful to shoppers when a retailer tailors the experience of the ecommerce site to the customer’s location–especially when the shopper doesn’t have to take any extra steps to figure it out themselves. A Badge of Honor for sites that utilize geolocation. We’re big fans!
What do you think of the “internationalizing” of ecommerce sites? Share your thoughts in the comments!