Online sellers are investing in technologies to make sure customers have a great experience along the entire buying journey. A key moment for customers in the journey comes during the transition from considering a product, to actually paying for it.
Within this transaction, sellers rely on users to navigate common forms to share their shipping location.
Humans are superb at accidentally putting wrong information into forms. This can be particularly troublesome when forms are the primary mechanism for getting products to customers.
"The United States Postal Service, for instance, reported there were 6.8 million items that were “Undeliverable As Addressed” (UAA) in its 2016 fiscal year, 4.4% of its total volume
Mistakes can damage a brand
As an online seller, any missteps made throughout the buyer's journey present a risk to your company. Every missed customer expectation demonstrates that you can't keep your promises, a key principle of any brand.
Online sporting goods retailer LeftLane Sports, for example, found that between 1.6% and 2% of orders were being delayed by address issues. In some cases, says co-founder and chief operating officer Erik Fialho
Therefore, it is the responsibility of eCommerce teams to implement simpler methods of collecting information from customers.
Sellers can improve shipping accuracy and customer experience
How can eCommerce companies improve the customer's experience while minimizing the risks of incorrect order data?
Many of our Shopify and Shopify Plus clients were happy to learn that Google Autocomplete will be available for free ahead of Black Friday Cyber Monday this year. Shopify found through testing of Google Autocomplete an increase in conversion rate, and nearly 20% time savings and error reduction on mobile.
Autocomplete is a great tool because, as they point out, the friction of data entry nearly disappears when a form helps customers complete itself.
Addressy found that 51% of study participants said they preferred it over other solutions, that preference shot up to 65% for smartphone testers. As one tester put it, “If there is any opportunity to do less typing on a mobile phone then I prefer that option a lot.”
Customers recognize efforts to help them out
For certain high-volume retailers, finding a more robust suite of tools for keeping data clean won't go unnoticed with customers.
Based on a collaborative research report with Addressy and Internet Retailer, we observed positive brand sentiment emerge when participants browsed prototypes with address verification tools in place.
I'm much more confident about shopping and shipping on this website because it wants to be accurate with address (so it probably wants to be accurate with my order and other details).
— US Consumer
Addressy's tool for address validation can also be contained within a single form field, rather than the traditional 5-field forms. For mobile orders this is especially convenient for customers, particularly when mobile conversions are on the rise.
Address verification is also helpful in situations where a customer lives in multi-family housing, or occupies a portion of a large office building.
Address verification belongs in your team's ROI story
eCommerce is a game of inches, whereby the digital teams who deploy, measure, and optimize in the quickest loop will learn the fastest. Take some time to evaluate errors in your deliveries, particularly where you suspect incorrect information played a role. Here are some key questions for determining your need for address verification:
- Which form fields within checkout are producing bad data?
- How many mishaps are happening on mobile devices, where form entry can be more tenuous?
- Did missing apartment or suite numbers have anything to do with un-deliveries™?
- How many errors occurred during high gift-giving periods? The holidays are a time when people are shipping to addresses they don't occupy. If you have a high proportion of data-related problems on orders where where the billing address and mailing addresses don't match then address verification could be a necessity.
- What ratio of abandoned orders are on mobile devices? Run an A/B test to see if implementing a tool like Addressy positively impacts your preferred metrics.
Learn more about address verification
Sharing our ideas with the eCommerce community and what we learn from research is important to eHouse Studio. If diving into address verification and giving customers a great experience is exciting to you, check out our study with Addressy and Internet Retailer. Thanks for reading!