Enhance user experience by auto-selecting location
A few days ago I did something I've never done before, get take out from Applebees Restaurant (opens new window). (I am in no way endorsing Applebees, just merely writing about an experience I had with them) Upon visiting their site something sparked my attention. Highlighted on the image above is the closest Applebees location to me. I have never been to this site before or set any type of settings previously.
This was great since I came with a purpose, to look at the menu and call the closest location. By them taking that initial step for me I was able to complete my task quicker. Not to mention if I were deciding between two restaurants of equal quality the one that provided me the most information the fastest would probably get my sale.
Location by IP is not anything new, geotargeted ads are everywhere but using it to help users with primary tasks make them feel a greater sense of customer service and increase your sales and ROI. The retail industry is in the best position to take advantage of this since all brick and mortar sales are driven by location. Other industries may have to get a little more creative.
Like I mentioned above location based targeting is not anything new but its use in new ways can really have an impact on your end users. I know I came away happier.