It is standard for someone that knows best to want a 'store switcher' on an ecommerce site, either with currencies, countries, flags or regions given for the customer to choose from.

Usually this person 'that knows best' is not a programmer and does not understand that geoIP can do all that absolutely fine, to make sure the customer is always able to spend money in their preferred currency.

If they do know about 'geoIP' then they imagine some scenario where they might be on holiday in some exotic location and 'need' to buy some gift for some loved one some continents away. In this scenario they would clearly need to have a store switcher lest they be paying in Tongan paʻanga rather than good old pounds, schillings and new pence.

Therefore, with normal ecommerce sites there is some obligation to have some store switcher even though there is zero evidence of anyone ever needing a store switcher.

Often the store switcher is bad for conversion as someone may browse the products available in their region and then want to see what 'extra' products exist in other store views. 'What are they holding secret from me?' gets asked and the customer moves away from the buy now button they were on to now trawl the store views in other languages/currencies, potentially with more exciting products in them. They should know the stock is the same everywhere, but the store switcher makes a minority of customers have to prove that there is nothing hidden from them.

It is possible to create a jolly impressive store selector with lots of little flags and stuff but I want to not do that and just get rid of the store selector.

Are there any examples of decent ecommerce operations that do not have a store selector yet work seamlessly in different locales with different currencies and other localisations applied?

Has anyone had a positive/negative conversion rate experience from dropping the store selector to rely entirely on geoIP?

1 Answer 1


My experience with currency selectors (3 types):

Overlay at first visit (HM.com)

Pretty annoying but accurate because the user is forced to choose a country / a currency. Works well with returning customers if you save their choice in a cookie.

Pure GeoIP

Can be a pain in the ass if you have to browse using a VPN. Make sure to provide a noticeable switcher in the top bar (many shops put them in the footer, which is aweful).

Noticeable hero switcher (amazon.com)

Takes you to the international/US site but suggests, based on your IP, to visit the local site. This can be very annoying because you only have 2 choices (the detailed selection is somewhere at the footer).

Overall I'd prefer an optimized version of the amazon selector. For example: You could put an expandable box / link below the selector. After clicking you can choose from many other countries/currencies.

  • 1
    #2 is important. Many people are using VPNs now. I wouldn't want to load up BestBuy while sitting in California and have me shopping with Japanese Yen and no way to change it. If you want to hide it in the footer somewhere thats one thing but dont get rid of it all together.
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 19:00
  • +1 against GeoIP. Something about the way our ISP is set up always delivers a Seattle location even though our office is in Los Angeles. I have to constantly change store locations from the one offered. Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 21:44

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