Why address verification is essential for your eCommerce business and what you should look for when installing an API

Posted: 19/05/2020 10:53:54

When we think of selling online we think of all the things we need to make our perfect eCommerce site. There’s ensuring its user friendly with easy navigation, its mobile responsive, contains high quality video and photos, has great reviews and social proofing, offers an accessible FAQ’s section and has prominent security features along with advanced payment options. We want it to provide clarity around privacy and have detailed shipping information with clear return policy instructions.
Taking all that into consideration, did you know that 1 in every 20 orders is not delivered on the first attempt and that the cost of a failed delivery is €14.37?* Added up, that’s some hit for a business on an annual basis. So what’s missing from the must have list for a perfect eCommerce site above?
It might not seem like a big deal, but having an address verification feature as part of your website can save you a world of pain and a whole lot of money too. You see inaccurate address data most often results in shipment delivery to the wrong address. Besides the obvious cost of this to your business, it causes huge customer frustration, impacting loyalty and repeat purchases, and can negatively affect your brand reputation.

What is address verification?

Address verification is the process of ensuring you capture the correct address by suggesting accurate addresses for customers the moment they start typing their address. The beauty of this process is that it ensures your address data is accurate and up to date. It also saves a lot of time and energy.
Not only can you have address validation Application Programming Interface (API) on your website, but it can be integrated with your CRM system too. This means that a customer calling your customer service centre can be precisely verified in seconds. And having access to this information also allows for better data-driven decisions which cuts down on unnecessary costs. The knock on effect is improved customer care and brand satisfaction.

What are the benefits of address verification?

At GeoDirectory we’ve identified 3 main benefits from address verification:
  1. Increase conversion rates
According to studies, almost 70% of people abandon their online shopping carts due to long, drawn out checkout processes. Time poor people go online to shop to save time but a complicated payment process is just a source of frustration. The less time a shopper has to spend on the checkout page of a site, the more likely they are to complete the purchase. An address verification tool, such as GeoDirectory’s GeoAddress Checked is one proven way to speed up and simplify the online purchasing process. In addition, helping the customer with autocompletion forms quickly identifies them to you and ensures you have the correct information on file.
  1. Reduces the need for pop ups
Customers hate submitting a lengthy form only to be told that there is a problem with it after it has been submitted. But according to four in every five retailers, when things go wrong with deliveries it is because the customer has entered incorrect address information.
With address verification you allow correction in real time, so there is no need to send the customer back to the form. As shoppers move through each field, the API will let them know if there’s a problem which is a much more pleasant buying experience.
  1. The API correctly formats addresses
In order to ensure fast, efficient delivery, customer addresses must be formatted in a specific way. By installing an address verification API on your eCommerce website, your shipping addresses are always formatted in the correct way for any given destination. This is even more crucial for safeguarding timely international deliveries.


What factors should you consider if installing address verification?

Whether you are interested in GeoAddress Checked or another address verification plugin things you should consider when installing an API include:
  1. Accurate text processing
Not everybody is precise and aware when it comes to typing. Many people don’t use the correct fields to enter addresses; they misspell, they use incorrect numbers and letters and quite often the Eircode is in the wrong place or absent altogether. An address verification API will validate for misspelling, capital letters and spaces. It will suggest a list of close to possible address suggestions for the user to choose.
  1. International address verification
If the user is from outside your country of origin they will look upon the assistance of an address verification automation in their region very favourably. The API gives your store credibility and positive branding to a wider audience.
  1. Don’t rely only on Eircodes
Unless you are only operating in Ireland, don’t use your API to ask for Eircodes alone. Outside of Ireland your customers can have all sorts of zip and location codes so ensure you allow for international recognition in your form fields.
  1. Address fields with autocompletion
The checkout process is greatly simplified by using address verification with autocomplete fields. Your customer doesn’t have to type the complete address, they can just start typing and choose the correct address from the dropdown list of suggestions. By using GeoAddress Checked you get access to Ireland’s most complete and comprehensive list of addresses. This may not be the case with other API’s.
  1. Address type
The address verification API you use should be able to detect whether you are inputting a commercial or residential address.
  1. Manual validation
No matter what API you use for address verification, your business should allow users to verify the address manually should they wish.
  1. Edit address

In very isolated incidents the API may not offer the complete customer address. For this reason, it is always best to provide the option of editing of the autocomplete address for the customer. In rare cases, an apartment or building number or some other element of an address may be missed by the address verification API.
Having an address verification API that will collect accurate address data at the checkout of your eCommerce site is vital to your business. It ensures higher conversion rates, timely shipping, a smooth experience and greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.
To find out more about GeoAddress Checked register for our webinar taking place on Thursday 25th at 11am.