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Today, there are a lot of E-commerce websites out on the web that is direct and indirect competition to you. Just because you have a good product to sell in your store, does not mean your business will flourish as well. There are a lot of other things that need to be taken care of like marketing strategies, brand awareness, a smooth running website, reliable payment gateway to name a few. One of the most of the important things in the list is the user experience.
Have you stumbled upon some websites while searching for a product but didn’t go ahead with the purchase? Was it because you didn’t like the user experience of it? If you, as a user can back out, so will your customers.
While there are many aspects involved in the user experience, in this article, I’ll talk about one of the crucial aspects called Address Validation, and why it is important for your E-commerce business.
5 reasons to use Address Validation for your business
The following are the top 5 reasons for you to add address validation for your business.
First and foremost, it saves a lot of time. If a customer has entered a wrong address, you might not know the validity of the address unless the shipment reaches to the shipping address, which, if incorrect, leads to undelivered packages and frustration for both you as well as your customers. Even when you confirm the address with the customers, you waste a lot of time again to deliver the package for the same order, hence disrupting your daily operations.
With address validation tools, you could save some trouble by confirming the customers’ address before you start shipping the packages. With these tools, you can not even validate the address, but also confirm the address from the customer at the Checkout process.
2. Conversion Rates
A large number of users abandon their shopping cart after adding a product to the cart because they find the checkout process to be far too complicated. The address validation feature will also ensure satisfaction for your customers that their product will be delivered to the correct address.
Fewer clicks will lead to an increase in the conversion rate, as customers put in less typing effort. This, in turn, results in customer satisfaction and possible returns for future purchases.
The multiple deliveries for the same order will also leave a hole in the pocket. With address validation, you can save the cost of validating the address automatically. It would also cut the cost of the re-assigning job for staff, wasted postage, and other resources.
Also, some of the address validation APIs are available for free. Even the ones that charge some amount, have nominal fees.
Even the slightest feature in your website can catch a customer’s eye that would make or break your brand image. A simple addition of address validation API will make you look like you really care about your customers’ user experience. It would also make your customers feel that you have put in extra effort to make the check out process simpler for your users.
A good user experience will lead to good customer shopping experience. If customers have good shipping experience, it does not take much time to build a word-of-mouth of your brand. No matter how large or small your business is, these small elements cluster to improve your brand loyalty and nurture the customer relationship.
5. Being contemporary
If you compare the shopping experience 20 years ago with what we have today, there are a lot of improvements you can make out in terms of technology, payments, shipping, including the complete shopping experience. A constant improvement is to make the Checkout process simple and robust.
You don’t want to appear outdated in terms of handling shipping addresses. You need to keep up with the latest shift in making a better shopping experience for your customers. The online shoppers find tiring to enter lots of details for the checkout. Hence, you need to make efforts to reduce keystrokes for the users and also make sure you have the required information you need.
Now that we know the importance of Address Validation for our business, let us now look at some of the top features to look for in an address validation API/tool.
9 factors to look for in an Address Validation Plugin
If you have a WooCommerce store, you must have come across different address validation plugins. While some plugins have their own address validation API, others integrate APIs from shipping service like UPS, USPS, etc.
There are a number of plugins that offer a different set of features. But a useful address validation (and even autocomplete) plugin must have the following ten features:
1. Precise text processing
Most of the users, while typing their address, do not enter their address in the typical address format. They miss out some letters, numbers, or blank spaces. No matter what a user types in, the address validation API should validate for misspellings, spaces, and capitalizations. The plugin should return close to possible address suggestions for the users to validate.
2. International address validation
If a potential international customer sees address validation and addresses autocomplete fields related to his/her region, it will have a positive impact on your business. Your store will have a positive brand awareness and wider reach.
3. Don’t just ask Zipcodes
Some of the address validation APIs ask only zipcodes to validate addresses. This method will not work for all countries, as some of the countries do not have zip codes in their addresses. A much useful approach would be to use a plugin that allows the user to type in the address itself.
4. Autocomplete address fields
If you are tapping address validation with autocomplete fields, the checkout process becomes much simpler. The customers do not have to type in the complete address, rather they can just start typing the address and choose the correct address from the suggestions. Depending on the API you use, the address suggestions might differ.
There are a number of autocomplete tools in the market, one of the most popular for finding addresses is the Google Places API Autocomplete. This API automatically geolocates the customer’s location using the IP address and suggests the address relevant to the user’s region. This makes finding the address a lot quicker.
5. Address type
Some of the shipping services have different rates depending on whether the address is residential or commercial. they offer slightly lesser rate for residential addresses. Hence, your address validation plugin should be able to detect the type of address entered by the customer.
6. Confirming address manually
No matter how good the address validation API is, you should let the user verify the address manually. The API should validate the address entered, and show the possible addresses for users to confirm the address. If the API offers both automatic and manual confirmation options, it is a plus point, as you can choose the desired setting yourself.
7. Editing address
The address validation API or the address autocomplete API may or may not return the complete address of the customer. Hence you need to give the capability to the customer to edit the address returned from autocompleted suggestions. This will also help when customers have apartment numbers, building number and other such details that may have been missed by the address autocomplete API.
8. Enforcing address validation
Now, why would you want that?
If you are really frustrated with undelivered packages, you can enforce the customers to enter a valid address only. This means the order will not be placed until a valid address is entered by the customer. This will take out the overhead of finding the correct addresses for the customers.
9. Customized Label
How would your customers feel when they see a label like “Just start typing your address here” or “Search for your address” while entering the shipping address, in the Checkout page? Intriguing right?
Your plugin should be able to offer you some handy customizations for setting up the address validation and address autocomplete feature on the Checkout page.
So where can you find such a fitting WooCommerce plugin?
With our ELEX Address Validation & Google Address AutoComplete Plugin for WooCommerce, you can validate address using EasyPost, UPS, and USPS service. Use the Google Address Autocomplete feature that adds a text input field to your WooCommerce Checkout page and monitors that field for character entries. It also allows you to confirm the address from the customers in either pop-up window or inline message, and much more!
Here’s what one of our happy customers had to say about the plugin –
“This is a very helpful plugin to save you from wasted shipping costs by delivering to incorrectly entered shipping addresses. We had some conflicts with the plugin when it was installed and the Xadapter support and development team worked with us to get this plugin working properly and even implemented a couple of our suggestions. It is nice to work with a company that cares about the products and customers.” – Elizabeth
Go check out the product page for the complete list of features.
You can also check out the product documentation in XAdapter.