Announcing better geolocation and analytics in the cloud

Announcing better geolocation and analytics in the cloud

Our locator is relatively new, but growing at a good pace. We're handling a good bit of locations already and with these changes come a few much needed platform updates.

For the past several weeks, we've been busy restructuring our architecture. These are the main platform updates we've been focusing on:

  1. Geocoding (and reverse-geocoding) is now faster. As you can imagine there's a lot of geocoding going on in a store locator product. Geocoding is the process of converting addresses to geographical coordinates and we do a lot of that. This eats up our rate-limited resources, so we have optimized this process to allow more requests. That way you can import more locations at once, and your visitors can search for more stores on your widget. We have also increased the import limit on trial accounts because of this.
  2. Our analytics moves to the cloud. We're very excited about storing user-engagement events because this lets us give you more insight into how your visitors search for products. Since releasing the first version of analytics, we've very quickly realized how data-hungry your locators are (which is a good thing!). Thousands of events are being pushed to our warehouse every day. As you can imagine this fills up space pretty quickly and slows down analytics processing. So we've re-architected the backend — it is now capable of storing hundreds of millions of events and can process them fast too.

With these platform changes, we've also released two minor widget updates:

  1. The store name is now showing up in the marker popup. This has been a popular request. We're now showing not only the address, but also the store name in the marker info window.
  2. We don't auto-open a random store on startup if we can't determine the visitor's location. When a user loads the page, Zen locator tries to determine the visitor's location based on their IP address. Most of the time we're able to detect the city they're in, but when we can't — we focus on the country instead. In this particular case, we're no longer automatically opening a location because this is not useful to the visitor and pollutes your analytics. Of course, the user is free to choose whichever location they wish manually from the list or simply type in their address to search further.

If you have any questions regarding the latest changes, or have feedback in general, we're always happy to hear from you -- simply email and tell us how we're doing!

Onwards and upwards. Happy locating!