How Address Data Fuels Digital Commerce and the Experience Economy

In an Eventbrite report, "more than 3 in 4 millennials (78%) would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable, and 55% of millennials say they're spending more on events and 'live' experiences than ever before." However, COVID-19 has unfortunately confined consumers to their homes, and "experiences" are limited to what brands can conjure to lure consumers online. Their "experience" is almost wholly "digital" and the customer journey needs to be immersive and the checkout process expedited.

Moving online…faster

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital commerce such that retailers who had only a modest presence online before had to move quickly to ramp-up their online profile in order to sustain their business. The result was that these companies had to increase their brand's online visibility and expose the availability of products. They also needed to ensure that the checkout process was smooth and that the goods were delivered to the right address.

Here's where Loqate's solutions can be put to immediate use with a high return on investment. Loqate's Address Verification solutions help businesses give customers a low effort plus high reward experience by optimizing checkout to make it faster, more accurate, and as frictionless as possible. Loqate's type-ahead verification offers customers the quickest route to valid address selection by suggesting addresses from the moment they start typing a business name, street or postcode. This simple solution is easily optimized for a wide range of devices and provides the best level of support for the growing trend in mobile commerce (mCommerce).  

For example, Kohl's, the department store retailer, uses type-ahead address verification in their mobile app to create a high-performing experience. By reducing the number of keystrokes a user must enter to pinpoint their address, Kohls effectively generates a faster, frictionless, and more accurate checkout experience.

Type-ahead and verification tools solve many issues regarding addresses. Often, addresses entered manually have misfielded data. Errors include misspelled street names, the wrong postal codes or the incorrect house number. Other problems need to be corrected, such as a ZIP code placed in the address field or a field left entirely blank. The result can complicate order fulfillment. The advantage of type-ahead is to support quicker order fulfillment and to reduce cart abandonment.

Clean address data - a critical component

Creating personalized experiences relies heavily on connecting data, making data an essential building block of the Experience Economy. Address data is a critical data quality checkpoint, often overlooked, that can have significant benefits and cost savings – especially when it comes to digital commerce. In response, many businesses are seeking a competitive edge by harnessing data to appeal to their audiences. But, for those who may be at the beginning stages of data maturity, the variety and volume of collected customer data can be daunting and challenging to maintain.

Business leaders worldwide recognize that the best customer experiences (CX) are often built on reliable, accurate and real-time information. In a recent survey, Digital Experiences: Where the Industry Stands, Progress revealed 48% of industry leaders reported that their organizations must make significant inroads toward improving digital experiences within the next 12 months—or face negative financial or competitive impact.

Putting an address verification tool in place can be an ideal starting point for those companies that want an improved CX. Location data, when captured and recorded correctly, can be utilized by AI and ML applications to deliver a 360-degree view of customer data, allowing businesses to create more seamless and personalized customer experiences for the end user. At Loqate, our global database is built by aggregating multiple reference data sources into a consistent and reliable single-best-record, resulting in the most complete and accurate address data available on the market.

Our technology powers AI and ML infused applications to provide best-in-class data quality for our partners, helping retailers gain consistency across marketing channels and better engage with audiences no matter the channel they use. With greater data quality, companies gain the insight needed to make stronger data-driven decisions. Data analytics can also be utilized to respond to emerging trends, improve efficiencies and create a competitive advantage. And all of this combined can facilitate seamless digital experiences.  

Getting from point A to B faster

A customer's experience online should be continually enhanced and fulfilled until the product is delivered. That, of course, starts with the verified address at the point of sale. So now, the full context of a valid and accurate address can be realized. Once the consumer's online information is validated, the value of a correct address continues to be manifest throughout the customer journey.

"One of the main reasons for using Loqate's address verification tool was that we knew it would ensure that addresses were accurate before goods were dispatched through our warehouse and distribution facility. This has been particularly beneficial for overseas consignments where address formats differ vastly from country to country," said Sebastian Mills, Head of IT, Gymshark, one of the fastest-growing and most innovative sports fitness brands in the UK.

The pandemic has also increased the volume of package shipments from delivery services such as FedEx and UPS. Each has implemented surcharges for peak demand deliveries. Retailers have had to adapt to these increased costs, some even using their brick and mortar stores as fulfillment centers. Many have noted that every day seemed like a "Black Friday" with the volume of orders they received. This placed enormous strain on the online ordering system and the ability to promptly deliver goods without the additional cost of having an incorrect postal delivery address and incurring a returned package cost. Loqate meets these demanding challenges with the ability to scale up or down quickly as users navigate uncertain economic times. Already, retailers are re-calibrating to anticipate permanent changes to consumer purchasing habits.

As the item travels that last mile from warehouse to postal depot or delivery service, an accurate address is tantamount to creating an exceptional online experience, making on-time deliveries, and fostering brand loyalty. "Since using Loqate, we have definitely seen a decrease in failed postal deliveries due to inaccurate address data … Deploying address validation has vastly improved customer user experience which is really important to us as we grow as a business and ship more consignments overseas which is a continually growing market for us," says Mills.

Above all else, it's essential that your business data is cleansed and regularly updated. To learn more about our global address verification solutions and discover the benefits of joining our Global Partner Program, click here.