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What Is Address Autocomplete?

At A Glance

Address autocomplete is a subtle yet powerful feature that any product, marketing, or user experience (UX) team can use to create more successful onboarding, checkout and information-capture flows. Think about the consequences for mis-filling an online form. There are a few that come to mind:

  • An incorrect shipping address causes delays
  • A typo in a billing address triggers a fraud detection warning
  • A site-to-store pickup locator recommends an incorrect destination 
  • Language barriers makes it a challenge for customers, particularly immigrants to a region, to communicate the right information

Address autocomplete can help companies avoid these frustrating hiccups.

Address Autocomplete Overview

Why It Matters

When someone fills out a form online, there are a number of issues that can arise, ranging from incorrect information to typos and abandonment. For a global eCommerce company that processes a high volume of transactions, these challenges add up, resulting in extra work for logistics teams, substantive financial losses and industry-wide challenges.

Address autocomplete is especially valuable when end-users are time strapped, rushing to check out, or using a mobile device to complete their purchases. Entering an address manually increases the risk of mistakes, which may lead to problems at delivery.

The best solution is to help customers complete their transactions in fewer keystrokes rather than asking them to provide every detail manually. The entire address autocomplete process only takes a few seconds and is unnoticeable to the end user, but provides the business with more complete and accurate address data.

From a long-term strategic planning perspective, address autocomplete enables companies to improve their overall data quality. Accurate address data can help identify opportunities for marketing campaigns, loyalty programs, proactive customer support initiatives, and support site planning for future store locations.

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How Does Address Autocomplete Work?

Address autocomplete tools use an application programming interface (API) to integrate with your checkout process.  With this capability, an ecommerce website can check customer addresses, emails, and mobile phone numbers in real-time, as they are typed into an online form. The software corrects information instantaneously using a process called address verification.  

Behind the scenes, a global data set sits behind the address verification software and aggregates multiple reference data sources into a consistent and reliable single-best-record. As a result, companies have instant access to complete, accurate, and validated addresses globally. 

The right address verification solution will curate official postal authority, mapping, geospatial data sources, and other relevant datasets for a region. The solution will also standardize information into the official format of the local postal authority, across 245 countries and territories.

High-performing software can validate address information — and autocomplete forms — in as few lookups as possible.

 

Address Autocomplete Technology

Capabilities

When choosing address autocomplete technology, it is important to choose a solution that can scale with your business. The right API will function as a core part of your technology stack, which means that from the perspective of your customer, the process will seem invisible. The following capabilities are essential for a high-performing solution:

  • Building unit data. The ideal database will include apartments, suites, rooms, and floor numbers in addition to the outer building address. Customers need to be able to search for internal units.
  • Simplified UX. Address autocomplete technology should align with user intent, the way that people naturally search for addresses in different countries, formats, and languages. Using fuzzy matching, a high-performing solution will effectively capture an address even when there are typos, misspellings and other input errors.
  • Tech stack integrations. High-performing address autocomplete solutions adapt to a range of use cases in your business, so that you can integrate address autocomplete capabilities into your technology stack. The software will be easy to install and integrate with a range of eCommerce platforms.
  • Location detection. The solution should order results nearest to the user and automatically detect which country the user is in when finding matching addresses. This capability will enable you to create a single checkout form for all of your customers.
  • Scalability. Your business may potentially process thousands of queries a minute and will need a solution that can scale to support high-speed and high-volume transactions.
  • Quality data. The ideal address autocomplete solution will source data from the highest quality data sets such as national postal services. Up-to-date and complete address information is available.
  • Cross-device compatibility.  The technology should be able to support the natural cross-device browsing experience of customers.

Benefits

With address autocomplete technology, companies can improve operational efficiencies, improve checkout flows, and prevent costly errors. Addresses are standardized and verified at the point of entry, which means that customers can enjoy a smooth shopping experience from point of sale (PoS) to order fulfillment and delivery. Address autocomplete platforms give rise to the following benefits for businesses:

  • Accurate address data. Correct address data immediately to ensure better delivery rates and a reduction in failed delivery costs.
  • Reduction in shopping cart abandonment. Make it easier for customers to complete the checkout process. Auto-suggest technology saves customers time and confirms the accuracy of address, email, and phone number data in real time.
  • Data hygiene. Improve data quality continuously, for accurate customer record keeping. An address autocomplete solution can help keep customer data accurate.
  • Email & phone verification. Be aware, in real time, of which customers are ready to receive communications. 

With an address autocomplete platform in place, companies can devote attention to more strategic areas of their business. Less time spent on typos means more time for running experiments, expanding technical capabilities, and launching creative campaigns. Better forms mean streamlined experiences — and strong foundations to continue evolving.

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.


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