Every country has its own unique procedures for its postal operations. It’s impossible for a company to manually keep track of this information, which is necessary for reaching consumers around the world. Not to mention, there are new addresses being added to systems of record on a daily basis. In the United States, the United States Postal Service (USPS) adds 4,221 addresses to its delivery network every day.
Address verification software uses an application programming interface (API) to validate information. Data that someone enters into an online form can be checked against a dataset to validate that it is a real address.
One of the challenges of selling goods online is the potential for error due to the number of digital touchpoints between an order taking place and getting fulfilled.
When a customer places an order on an eCommerce website, the information routes to an order management system that communicates with shipping and logistics providers. Some eCommerce companies work with multiple shipping companies to streamline costs. After an item gets shipped, it may exchange hands between different postal carriers — for instance, an order getting shipped from the United States to Canada would exchange hands between the United States Postal Service (USPS) and Canada Post.
Imagine all the problems that may arise:
Address validation is an important process for real-time, short-term, and long-term business needs.
There are a range of technical solutions for address verification. The performance and quality of these options vary greatly.
Most digitally equipped shipping careers, such as Canada Post and USPS, maintain different APIs for different services. But these resources tend to have limitations in high-transaction environments where organizations may need to validate hundreds of thousands of addresses per second.
High-performing technology will have the following traits:
One criterion to evaluate is the company’s existing customer base. Are these organizations in high-stakes industries? What does the address verification process look like, from the end-user’s perspective, on the front end of the experience? Does it flow seamlessly or result in technical delays?
There are a number of address validation services available for specific use cases. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
Address verification also supports data integrity, reliability, and accuracy in a retailer’s Master Data Management system. As a result, teams throughout your organization can make decisions regarding the following, with confidence:
To provide a seamless end-user experience, the address validation API needs to deliver results in real-time. From the customer’s perspective, this process should be taking place instantaneously and behind the scenes. There should be no delays, glitches, or bugs.
The ability to provide a real-time experience comes from the subtleties of an address validation API’s technical architecture.
The ideal platform will run from a hybrid environment, using both traditional physical data centers and cloud environments, with multiple layers of operational redundancy. This infrastructure will also be globally resilient, in the sense that data centers operate all over the world. That way, the API will be available in reasonable proximity to any location in the world.
To support real-time activity, the API must also be configurable to meet the operational needs of specific contexts. There’s no time to waste on technical steps that do not provide a direct line of sight between the objective and outcome.
Loqate helps businesses around the world verify customer addresses by combining our global datasets with best in class technology. Our easy to integrate API helps our customers verify customer data at the point of capture. Find out more about how Loqate address verification solutions can help your business.