Geo-Blocking And Your Small Business: What Every Startup Entrepreneur Must Pay Attention To!

With geo-blocking, companies restrict their access to goods and services for customers based on their location, citizenship, place of connection or establishment. The company can do this by restricting access to a website or redirecting a customer to a ‘local’ website in the Member State where the customer is located. From a broader perspective, geo-blocking can also encompass any discriminatory commercial action based on things related to the person’s physical location.

To give an example of geo-blocking, if a person lives in Ireland and wants to access a US-based e-commerce website to buy a product or service, the website can block that person’s access to its content. So geoblocking hinders cross-border online shopping.

If you are a small startup entrepreneur and want to learn more about geo-blocking and other related stuff, you can read this short guide.

How to bypass geo-blocking

If your business wants to access another website from another location to access its content, unauthorized geo-blocking can be ideal. But to do that, you need to use a first Website Unblocker. An example of a site unblocker is VPNs.

What is a VPN?

A VPN can route your internet traffic through a server from another country by hiding your actual IP address and replacing it with a temporary and country-specific address. Since an IP address is used to know your location, it can’t be good if geo-blocking is in place. Therefore, using a VPN is ideal.

Examples of good VPNs are:

  • Surfshark
  • NordVPN
  • ExpressVPN

Likewise, a good benefit of using a VPN is that your traffic can be encrypted, so the government and your internet provider can’t see what you’re doing online. Such encryption is especially beneficial if your country has strict internet censorship and is not a member of the geo-blocking regulation implemented in Europe. If you want to learn more about this geo-blocking regulation, read on.

Geoblocking Regulation

Members of the European Parliament agreed to stop geo-blocking and country redirects in the European Union (EU) on February 6, 2018. It was enacted on March 22, 2018 and later fully implemented on December 3 of the same year unjustified geo-blocking by companies.

That Geoblocking Regulation has led to online services allowing customers from across the EU to access their goods and services wherever the business is located. Some online services that various customers can now access from across the EU are shopping for goods and car rentals. Many of them continue to implement geo-blocking practices in their sales.

On the other hand, copyrighted materials such as e-books, computer games and video streaming platforms are exempt from this rule, which has led to sudden criticism from European Consumer Organizations (BEUC). A member of BEUC, Johannes Kleis, even stated: “From a consumer point of view, this exception may be meaningless.” Likewise, this rule also exempts transport services and access to financial services for private customers, including payment services.

Overall, this policy can be good for your business as it can get a wider reach since your website is now accessible wherever the potential customer is located.

Localization and end-to-end shopping

The geo-blocking regulation has allowed a broader way of selling in European countries. Therefore, it can be useful to know something about localization for ecommerce businesses if your business is based in Europe. Ecommerce localization adapts your company’s website content to each market, no matter where its location is. Some examples of website content that your business can localize are social media posts, blogs, product information, e-books, and graphics.

Note that applying ecommerce localization can be a great strategy. It allows prospects from different countries to identify with your business as the content does not deviate from their local experience. In this way, your business can generate more profit by captivating consumers.

Wrap up

Geo-blocking restricts a person’s access to goods and services due to various factors. It works by restricting access to the company’s website or redirecting a customer to a “local” website of the member where the customer is based.

Likewise, you should note that regulations have been put in place in Europe to give businesses more freedom Sale of products or services. If you are a business owner operating in Europe, this regulation may benefit you as you may have more clients at your disposal.

Also, you should note that you can bypass geo-restrictions by having a VPN. You can also use localization if you sell elsewhere.

Overall, keep these things in mind to become a more informed business owner.

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