How are Loqate and Google Place Autocomplete different?

When looking for a smart address verification tool, Loqate and Google Place Autocomplete are two obvious starting places. But how do they differ and which one should you choose?

Data quality

Collecting accurate data is critical to running successful business operations. Loqate verifies against a global portfolio of postal providers, and supplementary satellite navigation services from USPS and Royal Mail to TomTom, meaning accurate data is always captured at the point of onboarding.

Google Place Autocomplete is predominantly used for geolocation, meaning that the locations it is able to plot aren’t necessarily valid, mailable addresses. Also, Google’s data is only verified against data collected by their Street View Vehicles and crowdsourcing, making it much less reliable.

AZ Direct Dataset
Canada Post
Royal Mail
Australia Post
United States Postal Service
Universal Postal Union

Loqate’s database is updated frequently to incorporate any new address data that has been added or modified by our group of global data providers. USPS updated 37 million addresses in 2016 alone. Google’s address data is updated sporadically, and in some areas it is up to four years old, meaning they miss updates to millions of records every year. This can have a serious impact on your customer experience, delivery success and conversion rate.

Location biasing

Loqate offers location biasing that is more granular and accurate, allowing customers to find any address in as little as three keystrokes and as quickly as 150 milliseconds. On average, it takes 2x more keystrokes to get to an address in Google Autocomplete.

Our solution automatically detects the user’s location via IP or device location, finding the nearest matching addresses first. If the address is outside the user's country, the rest of the world is automatically searched for accurate matches. While Loqate and Google use a similar latitude and longitude approach, with Google you also need to stipulate a radius.

Why use Loqate over Google Places Autocomplete?

Sub-building data

Loqate’s complete, up-to-date database is full of deliverable international addresses for residential properties, including apartments, suites, rooms, and floor numbers in 120+ countries.

Google Place Autocomplete only recognizes the outer building address and does not allow customers to search for internal units. This makes the process of verification only partially automated as a customer will still have to enter their specific location within the building. This additional step can result in partial collection, and failed deliveries. In fact, Google is missing data on approximately 30 million apartment units in the US alone.

Great UX

The brains behind Loqate have been working hard over the past two decades to optimize user experience on address collection forms. We understand the way people search for addresses in different countries, formats, and languages. Our fuzzy matching capability effectively captures an address even when the data entered isn't perfect. If typos, transpositions, or other input errors are entered, misspellings are corrected, abbreviations completed, and missing information filled in. This makes data entry a quick and efficient user-friendly process.

While Google’s address tool provides excellent search capabilities, it is not truly address-focused, and can often lead to user friction and frustration. It only offers 4 out of the 5 fuzzy matching capabilities that Loqate offers. The one area it doesn’t cover is substitution, meaning that if a user spells a word incorrectly within their search, there is no guarantee that Google will return the correct result.

With you every step of the way

Loqate is suitable for businesses of all sizes looking to improve their checkout experience, data quality and increase conversions by removing friction from their checkout. With over 20,000 businesses using Loqate today, we’re in a unique position to understand address verification like no other, and to support your business every step of the way. 

Speedy implementation

Loqate is quick and easy to install, meaning you can be up, running and converting in as little as five minutes. With Google Place Autocomplete, more technical knowledge is required, and there is no interface to guide you through the process.

Loqate integrates with a range of popular ecommerce platforms including Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Shopify, Magento and more, making it easier than ever to install a plug-in that works instantly with your pre-built store or website.

Be unique

Many companies prefer not to show their address verification provider’s branding on their site. Unlike Google, we allow our customers to remove our branding from the address search bar if they wish, allowing them to remain unique.

Award-winning customer service

At Loqate, our friendly, award-winning customer service team make it their aim to resolve any issues within one working day. While Google offers support too, this is either via community support (i.e. their forum) or via paid support.

"We know that address validation has helped improve the customer journey, which has had a positive impact on conversion"
Laura MuirheadBrand Manager
Nescafe Dolce Gusto at Nestle
"Using Loqate has helped us to reduce failed deliveries and improve the customer journey significantly."
Mike WarwickHead of Online Marketing
Joseph Joseph

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