automatic location identification
Our store locator software automatically determines the area your visitor is from based on their internet connection (this is also referred to as geo targeting technology). For a majority of your visitors (over 95% in case studies) users do not have to enter anything to see your locations that are closest to them.
how does it work?
Geo targeting is the method of determining the geolocation of a website visitor and delivering different content to that visitor based on his or her location, such as country, region/state, city, metro code/zip code, organization, IP address, ISP, etc. The most common use of geo targeting is found in online advertising and content localization.
Accuracy of our system comes from the most current data available and is updated on a regular basis.
When your user lands on your store locator page the system displays the locations near them based on their geolocation. Although the exact location of the user can not be 100% guaranteed, since we are displaying multiple locations near their predicted geolocation, the location that is closest to them has a very high probability of being near the top of the results set.
By displaying these locations automatically, based on the geolocation of a website visitor, over 90% of users never have to enter anything in the system; making finding a location a very user friendly process.
If the initial results are not close enough, your user can still enter the location they would like to see results from and a new search is performed.
problems with automatic location identification
The most common question we get regarding automatic location identification comes from locations in your database that are testing the system from their own location. Naturally, they want their own location to display first in the results set. When that doesn’t happen they assume something is not working correctly. When one location is in competition with another of your locations they would rather not see the automatic results unless they are always the winner, but this is not good business for your or your end users. Your end user’s experience with the system should take precedence over an individual location’s competition with another.
why would automatic location be wrong?
A user that it connecting through a proxy server or virtual private network may purposely report a false location, but these users are usually aware of this issue while connecting through these methods. The most common occurrence of this is when a company has multiple locations connecting through one main location.
Accuracy is based on data that changes every day as IP addresses are assigned and reassigned to different locations. Sometimes ISP reallocate IP addresses to different areas, which means that until the reporting systems catch up they will display a different location.
In rare cases, when new IP addresses are assigned to an ISP the location information will be missing or simply show as U.S. (which means we will be showing locations near the center of the U.S., which is close to Wichita, Kansas.
disabling automatic location identification
While we highly recommend that you do not choose to disable automatic location identification, we can, on a case by case basis. Remember, if you choose to disable this feature you are forcing all of your users to work twice as hard to find what they came for; your locations, fast.