Boost UX with ipapi’s Geolocation

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January 22, 2019
Boost UX with ipapi’s Geolocation.
One of the must-have technologies for sites in 2019 will be geolocation. Not only does geolocation help with security, and legal compliance, but it also improves customer experience—one of the key metrics in turning a profit online. Geolocation has a number of core benefits for businesses but the real benefit is in personalized content. Transforming an anonymous visit into a lasting customer relationship is the aim of all good sites, and that’s arrived at with user experiences crafted around the user’s real world situation. Geolocation is the best way of determining a user’s preferred currency, their language, even their legal status. ipapi is one of the simplest geolocation services to use, and as a bonus, it’s one of the cheapest too because for many businesses, it’s free to use.

Why Use Geolocation?

Geolocation isn’t just about tracking data, it’s about improving customer experience and delivering the most personalized UX possible. Almost all Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and websites benefit from accurately matching user sessions to real world locations. Whether you want to run an ad campaign, offer variable shipping rates, or just make folks feel at home, it all starts with recognizing where they’re from. [pullquote]Tailoring a shopping experience based on geographic location has been proven time and again to increase customer engagement[/pullquote] Compare customers in Alaska and Florida. It’s highly unlikely that an Alaskan would be shopping for an electric fan in December, and it’s equally unlikely that a Floridian would be shopping for an electric heater in July. By customizing a product page for different locations, we can respond to user’s intentions. Tailoring a shopping experience based on geographic location has been proven time and again to increase customer engagement, boost your conversion rate and keep customers coming back for more. One of the best uses of geolocation is to give users correct office hours. Lots of customers still like to speak to a human being on the end of a phone line, especially if something goes wrong with an order. Geolocation allows you to adjust the office hours you display so that East coast customers don’t call before your office opens, and West coast customers don’t call after it closes. Being able to accurately identify the location of your users is increasingly a must have requirement for PWAs and websites. It’s never safe to rely on any geolocation service entirely, there are all kinds of reasons it could return false data, such as people vacationing overseas, or traveling to a different territory for business. Geolocation should only be used as a default, and users should have the option to change their location manually, but it’s a great place to start. Take GDPR for example, lots of businesses have fallen foul of the EU’s privacy laws, but ipapi lets you identify if people are residing in the EU, ensuring you stay on the right side of the regulations.

Why Use ipapi?

There are lots of geolocation lookup services available on the web, and many offer competitive pricing and simple setup. Where ipapi beats the field is with the quality of the data it returns. Any geolocation lookup service is only as good as the data it supplies, and ipapi maintains partnerships with some of the world’s largest ISPs, giving it data accuracy that other IP lookup services can only dream of. [pullquote]Trusted by over 30,000 businesses globally, ipapi delivers the best data available[/pullquote] Trusted by over 30,000 businesses globally, ipapi delivers the best data available, helping web teams design the best possible user experience for customers, by tailoring content to each user’s expectations. ipapi is built on a scaleable infrastructure, which means that no matter if you’re handling a few requests each month, or millions of requests every day, the service will promptly return the data you need. Because of this, it’s the perfect geolocation service for developers and startups, who need to make a few calls at first, but hope to be handling millions very soon. The cloud infrastructure can rapidly handle any volume of requests, so whether you’re catering to 12 people or 1.2 million, your codebase will keep working as intended.

Getting Started with ipapi

Integrating your PWA or website with ipapi is a cinch. You can connect to the API with a number of popular coding languages from PHP to JS. The data is fed back as XML or JSON as you prefer. It’s insanely simple to get started with ipapi, here’s how: Step 1. Sign up for a free account with ipapi and grab your API Access Key (it’s a long string of numbers and letters that tells ipapi who’s accessing the API). Step 2. Build a URL starting with the API address:
Next, add the IP address you want to query:
Then, add your access key:
(Make sure you replace YOUR_ACCESS_KEY, with your actual access key.) Open up that URL in your browser and you’ll get back these details: results It couldn’t be simpler! Now you’re ready to integrate however you choose. The simplest way is via Ajax using a library like jQuery. In addition to this simple setup, ipapi provides a ton of optional parameters for customizing your request, such as whether to receive the response in JSON or XML formats. It’s a simple system that will have you up and running in minutes.

Choosing ipapi

ipapi is free for the first 10,000 requests each and every month. If you need more requests than that, premium plans start from just $10. But think about how many requests 10,000 actually is. How many of your stable of sites bust that ceiling? It’s unlikely that most small businesses will ever need more than 10,000 requests, which means you could be using one of the best geolocation services on the web, for absolutely nothing. The only thing to be wary of is that only the premium plans enable https. Something to keep in mind if you’re delivering a secure site, or relying on SSL for an SEO boost. The free forever account is also limited, not just to the number of lookups, and http, but to the amount of support you can request, and the variety of data you can retrieve. Once you move into the premium options unlimited support is included, and as well as location data you can identify currency, timezones, and connection data. Get started with geolocation for free, by signing up for a free forever trial account with ipapi, and get your first 10,000 requests each month free of charge. [-- This is a sponsored post on behalf of ipapi --]

WDD Staff

WDD staff are proud to be able to bring you this daily blog about web design and development. If there's something you think we should be talking about let us know @DesignerDepot.

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