The use of IP geolocation API is pretty common these days in websites. Such an API is used to determine the geographical information regarding the IP address of the website visitor. Websites can glean info such as the user’s country, region, city, ZIP code, time zone, proxy and so much more, just based on their IP address.
Armed with these data, merchants can perform targeted marketing and advertisement. In addition, websites can personalize the contents that they display based on the user’s geolocation. Besides that, fraud detection solution on online stores frequently use geolocation as well to verify user’s physical location versus their shipping/billing addresses.
How does the IP geolocation API works?
IP geolocation API works by calling a specific URL (a.k.a. API endpoint) and supplying some parameters such as the IP address and also frequently an API key.
The API will then query a very large database to retrieve the requested data based on the IP address and send it back to the caller. The result returned by the API is usually just a string in the form of a JSON. Inside the JSON result, there will be the usual geolocation info such as country, region, city, ZIP code, time zone, proxy and more.
By using plugins or writing their own codes, merchants can easily integrate the IP geolocation API into their sites. Businesses can leverage the use of the IP geolocation result to provide a more customized experience for their website users. As a result, they should see their user engagement rate increase as well as their sales conversions.
Enables content personalization
Content personalization is one of the key uses of geolocation. If the website is able to determine the physical location of the website visitor, it will be able to display the contents in the local language. The physical location also means that websites can give the user more localized contents.
For example, a news portal can display regional news as the default based on the user’s geolocation. A weather site can automatically show the user’s local weather as well as alerts on bad weather nearby. Do not underestimate the power of content personalization when it comes to user engagements.
Improves marketing efforts
Spray and pray is not a good way to perform marketing or advertising. There is no point simply showing ads that are not relevant to the users. What helps is performing targeted marketing or ads.
With geolocation, it is easy to analyze your users’ browsing or purchase histories. By grouping these data into regional statistics, merchants can determine patterns of commonly bought items by region. It makes sense to target ads for such items within the relevant areas.
By doing so, merchants can increase the ROI on their marketing expenditure. Users will also be shown relevant ads based on their regions. Win-win situation for both customers and merchants. Customers can easily find what they want to purchase while merchants can reap higher revenue as a result.
Price and currency optimization
One benefit of having an online store is that people from all over the world can make purchases from that site. A global customer base means working with the various currencies of the customers.
Global websites can benefit from displaying the prices of goods in the local currencies of their customers. It is quite straightforward to know the latest currency exchange rate based on the user’s country.
Displaying the price and allowing checkout in the local currency will definitely boost your sales. Customers do not need to perform their forex calculations as it has been done for them. That means the checkout will be a breeze.
Automatic form filling
IP geolocation API can simplify form filling on websites. Basic information such as country, region, city and ZIP code are contained within the API results. Websites can just read the geolocation data and pre-populate the related fields in their forms.
Automatic form filling saves your users’ precious time, thereby making a normally tedious process more bearable. Such user experience improvements will lead to a better user engagement as some users tend to feel overwhelmed when asked to fill in forms.
Using geofencing in websites
By using IP geolocation API, it is possible to check where bad traffic is coming from. When attacks on websites come from specific countries, then just block those countries.
Geofencing is also useful when it comes to enforcing digital licensing for certain products. Only allow visitors from specific countries to access the website and make purchases. This is frequently the case with digital products like music or e-books.
Detecting fraudulent orders
If your goal is to screen online orders for fraud, then make sure you use an IP geolocation API which can also return proxy server data. A good example is IP2Location.io which contains data regarding which IP addresses belong to proxy servers.
The basic fraud screening should check if the geolocation country matches the address provided in the billing or shipping address. If it does not, that is a potential fraudulent order that merits a manual review.
Assuming the countries matched up, that’s when the proxy data comes in handy. Check if the IP address belongs to a proxy server, such as public proxy, anonymous VPN, residential proxy, etc.
If that IP address is marked as a proxy server, then that’s usually a huge red flag for fraud. Normal people don’t use proxies when buying things online.
Advantages of using IP geolocation API vs. a database
All of the above can be implemented using an IP geolocation database or API. However, using an API does make life easier for the merchants. There is no need to update any database. Each time you call the IP geolocation API, the most up-to-date data is returned.
In addition, an API pricing is usually pay-per-use which is cheaper for websites with lower traffic.
Last but not least, the JSON results can be easily read by most programming languages, allowing faster and easier integration with websites.
IP geolocation API provides benefits like content personalization, improved marketing ROI, price and currency optimization, automatic form filling, geofencing and fraud detection. Businesses stand to gain lots from implementing geolocation via the IP geolocation API.
Better user experience on websites will lead to better user engagement. As a result, sales will skyrocket and revenue will get a huge boost.
Any merchants looking to use an IP geolocation API can consider IP2Location.io which has a free plan that would be great for small and medium enterprises.
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