Loqate
MarTech Series interview: The power of location data in a digital world

Why is Loqate is trusted by the world’s leading brands?

At Loqate our aim is to help every business in the world reach every customer in the world, and we do this with the best people and the best technology. Currently, we serve over 19,000 businesses, including brands such as Hush, In The Style, IBM, Ralph Lauren, Nordstrom, Totally Money, HSBC, giffgaff, ASOS, and GymShark – all of whom rely on us to reach their customers in over 245 countries and territories.

Our solution ensures that deliveries from thousands of global retailers reach their destinations. A third of our team members are involved in Research and Development, we pride ourselves on cutting-edge tech like Geolocation, Machine Learning and Data Triangulation to ensure our customers can give their customers the best experience possible. In retail, for example, our technology is helping to provide a better user experience on thousands of ecommerce sites as well as help retailers avoid the costs of failed deliveries – currently estimated to be £200,000 per year, per retailer.

How does Loqate improve customer experience for retailers?

One example of how we leverage location data to improve customer experience is by creating friction-free checkout experiences. Our technology reduces the amount of effort required by the user during the data entry process, meaning they are much more likely to complete the action. Loqate’s address verification tool uses type-ahead technology to enable customers to enter their address details quickly and easily. Not only does type-ahead address verification improve user experience, but it also ensures data quality for the retailer, as it removes typos capturing clean and accurate address data. That results in fewer mistakes and fewer failed deliveries, maximising profits and business efficiency.

In a recent study on the quality of retail data, 62% of online consumers have experienced a late or failed delivery which, in the UK alone, costs the retailer on average over £14. Even then, these hard costs may turn out to be somewhat underplayed, as they do not consider the damage to brand reputation that a failed delivery will inevitably cause.

How has the customer experience evolved in the past few years?

Speed, ease, accuracy are key. If your product or service doesn’t help your customer transact quicker and easier, then you might as well stop now. Consumers will pay a premium for convenience. Across all sectors, businesses are being measured against the customer service and user experience standards of giants like Amazon. They want to be able to buy products and services on their phone in the time it takes to boil the kettle.

In addition, it's vital to remember that consumers don’t view products or services in silo, they consider the brand responsible for everything. This might be a direct offer landing in their inbox, through to purchase and delivery, and in a world of consumer crusaders, brands can be publicly held to account for any errors made.

Outside of retail, what other businesses and sectors can benefit from location services from Loqate?

Accurate location data is vital across multiple sectors and business areas. When you apply for a new bank account, accurate address data coupled with instant biometric identity verification will speed you through the bank’s KYC and AML procedures. A homeowner might use the app of an insurance provider to get a quote simply by standing in the property and capturing the geolocation from their smart device. Geocodes will be matched to the correct address and have multiple property attributes collected in real-time, all of this can be passed to the insurer for an indicative quote in seconds.

It’s also about data for good. We work with lots of charities, such as the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research, who use our services to ensure accurate donations, increase gift aid donations and send out vital support materials to accurate addresses. Our services are also used, through a third party, by the emergency services to route response teams to accurate addresses.

It’s going to be vital that businesses are ready to serve rapid growth markets such as India and China. We recently announced that we will be launching a “premise level” data set for China, and we are working on a similar offering for India. Traditional physical address data will always be used for delivery, however, there are new, potentially disruptive address systems emerging. One such disruptor is what3words, who use a simple way of identifying and naming any 3m x 3m square – anywhere in the world, with a unique three-word address – like ///feather.dog.chair

We are excited to be collaborating with what3words’ capability, by building their tech into our address verification service. This will enable an even better customer experience by adding greater granularity in more mature postal markets and create the potential to be a usable dataset in countries with very poor existing address systems.

What are your predictions on the future of Location Intelligence data?

We hear every day how consumers are increasingly choosing convenience-driven, digital-first brands over hitting the high street. However, digital is not new and on its own, it no longer creates a competitive advantage. The way brands differentiate themselves is through customer insight, and you do this with good quality data. The gospel that “data is the new oil” woefully undersells its value.

Data is not just a finite commodity. It’s an ever-expanding, scalable, multi-dimensional prism through which customer expectations can be excelled, commercial opportunities are taken, risks can be assessed and decisions made. 2020 is all about data, and here at Loqate, we are passionate about this subject and will continue to work tirelessly to locate and blend location information worldwide, even in challenging and hard to reach places.

It has been an exciting twelve months with digitally-focused brands becoming progressively borderless, despite geopolitical threats like Brexit or the China-US trade war. Stepping into a new decade, this trend will not only grow but it will become the new normal. To meet customer demand in 2020, businesses of all shapes and sizes need to embrace this change and switch up a gear in order to deliver local experiences on a global scale.

Finally, though it seems to be taking off a little more slowly than earlier predictions, voice technology, and the promise of widely adopted conversational commerce on the “ambient web” will create a new wave of opportunities. It’s an exciting time for the Loqate team as we’re already looking at the voice-enabled address capture and validation services for smartphones, wearables and home assistants.

You can read the original blog article from MarTechSeries here.


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