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What is Unicode?

What is Unicode? 

Unicode is standard for the consistent encoding of text in most languages around the world. The standard gives a unique number to every character across all devices, platforms and languages to allow information to be parsed without delay no matter the language used. As such, adopting Unicode means that tools such as search engines or operating systems can function in many different languages and data can be transferred from one place to another without having to be interpreted and potentially corrupted.  

Why was Unicode developed? 

At present, there are nearly 145,000 Unicode characters that cover modern and historic scripts as well as incorporating symbols and even emojis. What makes Unicode important is that all these characters are the same across multiple platforms, devices and tools, meaning that data can be seamlessly passed between devices. In the past, devices had to support different encodings; however, this caused issues as often codes would conflict (e.g. the same code could mean different things in multiple languages). 

How does Unicode help address capture? 

By allowing customers to enter an address in their native language, the chance of errors resulting from misspelling or incorrect formatting is significantly reduced. Added to this, multi-language support improves customer experience across multiple territories on any device. For this reason, businesses using address capture can operate with the same address capture solution without needing to change for different versions of their sites across territories.  

For example, if a British customer enters an address in Japan using Latin characters, the address is displayed in Japanese to the local carrier without recoding any characters. As a result, the possibility of errors in recoding is eliminated and the percentage of successful deliveries is dramatically increased. Similarly, the chance of error also reduces as the customer can enter the address in a language, they are familiar with rather than the checkout requiring it in the delivery driver’s language. 

Learn how your business could benefit from an address capture solution that incorporates Unicode by signing up for a free trial with us today. 

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