Tool 1: Type-ahead address verification - Optimising the online checkout

Today's shoppers are time-strapped and need online shopping to be as quick and painless as possible. However, filling out checkout forms can be tedious, and approximately one third of shoppers will abandon their online cart if the checkout process is long or complicated. But with the right tool, forms can transform the customer experience, making it a smooth and simple process.

What is address verification?

Address verification is widely used in ecommerce checkout forms to ensure that customers are inputting correct and accurate address data. It helps to shorten your forms and can significantly reduce the time it takes to complete onboarding, registration or checkout. There are several different types of address verification, but in order to capture truly accurate data and create an exceptional user experience, it is wise to use an effective type-ahead address verification tool.

How will type-ahead help improve your checkout conversions?

Type-ahead is the optimum, yet underestimated address verification method, with only 9% of the top 100 German retailers and 6% of the top 100 US retailers implementing it. This is a surprising statistic considering that 84% of shoppers prefer it2 over the alternative methods. Type-ahead address verification reduces the amount of typing required of shoppers, reducing keystrokes by up to 80%. As the user begins to type their address, relevant and accurate addresses are auto-suggested, making the user's experience much simpler and keeping them on track to convert.

Ok, but which tool should I use?

Type-ahead address verification from Loqate simplifies the process of capturing and verifying addresses in the checkout. The innovative software instantly identifies distinct address attributes as a customer types, and then provides a list of verified addresses to auto-complete the form with a single click. Unlike other address verification providers, Loqate allows users to make typos, invert letters, use abbreviations or type in multiple languages, while still being able to search and enter an accurate address. It even recognises abbreviations and nicknames.

Our type-ahead verification makes it quick and easy for online customers to search and enter their address information with a single click. This means that checkout friction is reduced, customer experience is improved, shoppers sail through the checkout and conversions rates are boosted. Oracle, Kohls and ASOS are among the companies using the technology from Loqate, and not only does it make their customers happy, but it is also capable of returning valid and accurate international addresses, even when typos are entered. This becomes even more important for mobile users, where reduced screen size and 'fat fingers' can make data entry errors even more prevalent.

Cart abandonment is worryingly high for online retailers at 69.57%3, so it is essential to have as many bases covered as possible. While there's a huge range of tools out there promising to optimise your ecommerce website, it can be daunting to know where to begin. With so many areas of the online shopping experience that can be improved, knowing your way through the vast amounts of tools definitely helps. With this in mind, the next few chapters will help you focus on key ways to improve conversions, and the tools that can help you achieve this.

In particular, in the next few chapters, we will discuss search optimisation, A/B/ testing, product recommendations, live chat, shipping and user feedback, and the benefits these types of tools can have to your ecommerce company. We will cover what each of the tools are and exactly how they can help improve your checkout conversions.

2Source: How to improve speed, accuracy and the customer experience in your checkout, Loqate, 2017
3Source: Baymard Institute, 2019