Why World Postal Day?
World Postal Day is celebrated each year on 9th October, marking the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in the Swiss Capital, Bern. It was declared World Postal Day by the UPU Congress held in Tokyo, Japan in 1969. Since then, it’s been marked around the world as a chance to celebrate the work of the services who bring the world to our front doors. In a year which has seen unprecedented global restrictions on movement, we’ve all grown more and more reliant on postal services.
First time and on-time delivery matters
We know it pays to make sure that businesses have the best possible address details to pass to the postal service. When we spoke to over 300 retailers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, 65% of them said that failed or late deliveries are a significant cost to their business. In fact, 5% of orders fail to reach the customer first time.
Here at Loqate, our solutions are used by all manner of organisations to make sure they, and the Postal Service of choice, can deliver first time. It’s a great chance to check that your postal delivery is on track and that you’re not missing a trick.
Capture addresses easily with address lookup
What postal services across the world need to succeed will always be the same- the right address first time and every time. And that is nowhere near as easy to achieve as you might think or hope. When customers register or place orders, you capture a lot of information from them. This data collection process is at the hands of human error, meaning that a slip of a finger, a momentary lapse in concentration or missed field can frequently result in a customer not providing complete or correct postal data.
One way to avoid the dodgy data bullet is to include verified data with an address lookup facility at the outset. This means fewer keystrokes for the customer and instantly validated data for businesses to use.
There are a range of possible address verification solutions including:
- Drop-down verification: From an alphabetical drop-down, customers are given the option to choose their city, county, and country.
- Partial verification: A customer enters their postal code, from which the city and county fields are automatically populated, while the rest of the data is entered manually.
- Post entry verification: After manually entering their data, a pop-up offers customers possible alternative addresses. The customer then chooses the alternative that matches their address.
- Type-ahead verification: This works by suggesting addresses for a customer from the moment they start typing their address, in a way that feels most natural for them.
Whilst all address lookup solutions help speed up data entry, it is the type-ahead solution that offers a customer the quickest route to accurate address selection.
Type-ahead verification is also the friendliest solution for the growing trend in mobile commerce (mCommerce). As a simple solution, it is easy to utilise and optimise type-ahead for a wide range of devices.
Address lookup with fuzzy matching
Fuzzy matching is our little ‘genie in the bottle’ that matches what the user inputs to the closest matching results. This small yet powerful feature allowed type-ahead users to lookup an address and choose the correct address even when information has been entered incorrectly, such as switched letters, missing words and letters, abbreviations or nicknames and missing or even extra spaces.
Successful delivery driven by address verification
Even with the range of delivery options, including delivery to the boot of your car in a car park, your workplace or a locker now on the table, consumers will continue to feel that the crucial measure of success is that ability of the businesses they order from to keep their delivery promises. Customers expect that their purchases will arrive when and where they specified. Getting a delivery address right first time is made considerably easier with address verification tools and is supported throughout a customer life cycle by great data cleansing.
Data cleansing for postal data
Many organisations hold and acquire a huge volume addresses that they share with postal services in order to get their deliveries to their customers successfully.
Reviewing existing data for consistency and accuracy can have far-reaching benefits and data cleansing should be part of the BAU in any organisation that gathers and holds data. Not only will your postal services successfully deliver to your customers but you’ll be better placed to communicate to them across channels, make sure they are able to pay and, furthermore, you will be able to fulfil any legal obligations.
But, like most things, postal data doesn’t stand still. In the UK alone, Royal Mail reports that they force address changes to over 40,000 UK addresses each year. Organisations should be mindful of the need to robustly manage the location details they hold for customers and prospects alike.
If you’re operating across territories, maintaining quality address data becomes an even greater challenge. Make sure you use reputable tools to cleanse your data such as Loqate’s address cleanse software, with an easy to integrate API which allows you to standardise, verify, cleanse and format address data for over 245 countries and territories.
Check out how technology from Loqate can supercharge your postal deliveries.