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How Address Validation and Google Autocomplete is Used for Precise Shipping?
Are you incurring losses due to incorrect addresses entered by customers and thus leading to undelivered packages? Are you tired of contacting customers for getting the address corrected? This article guides you through Address Validation and Google Autocomplete Plugin for WooCommerce.
Address validation, also known as address verification compares the entered address with an authoritative database (such as USPS, EasyPost, etc) to check if the item can be shipped to the following address. If the given address is already registered in the database, then this address is marked as valid and if it is not present then it is invalid.
So address validation is simple. First, those countries with an organized mail system keep the record of those who signed up to receive mail. These records are maintained by any of the government organizations such as USPS for example. These records will be authoritative, reliable and up-to-date.
At this point, it is also important to mention that just because a physical address is being used doesn’t mean that it will validate. Now, these are the reasons why address may not validate even if you are sure that the address is real.
The address needs to be signed up with the postal service in order to have it in the database. Whether it is a house or a business space, some paperwork has to be done for that address to be in the database. Same is the case with home/business space that is unoccupied currently, there has to be signed up for mail.
In some rural areas, they run the PO box system. In this case, the physical address won’t receive any mail from the postal service and thus it is not valid. There is an exception to places that offer both Post Office and physical address. As long as the mail is delivered to both places, the location will be valid, as will the PO box address.
Outside service area
There is a rare chance that the location that you are trying to validate may be in an area which is not under the postal service. In this case, your address will not match with ones in the database. Thus the address is not validated. This may happen in case of some remote areas.
There is a chance for human error too. You might be in some hurry and may make some mistakes while entering the address. So, double check the address you have entered and make sure that you have entered the correct address.
As we discussed in the introduction part, address autocomplete is a feature that gives your application the type-ahead behavior. Whenever the user starts typing an address there will be suggestions to fill rest of it.
In many cases, these address auto-complete is a very useful feature as it reduces the chance of mistakes while entering addresses. If your application has an address form such as shipping address for an online order, a taxi booking form or credit card billing address, Auto-complete can supply the details.
- You can use Place Autocomplete even without a map. But, if you are using one it should be Google map.
- If you are using predictions from Place Auto-complete, ‘powered by Google’ logo should be used.
How Google Address validation and Autocomplete help?
Let us consider a scenario. Mark, has a WooCommerce store and he is running a considerably good business. All of his customers type the address to which the products have to be delivered. Whenever his customers enter a wrong address, his postal service provider charges him a penalty amount. He has been paying a large amount as a penalty to the postal services. He was incurring loses since many of the packages were undelivered due to the wrong addresses. As a solution, he started using the Google address validation and auto-complete feature, so that whenever his customers start typing their address, they will be provided with the suggestions and these addresses can be validated. Thus reducing the chance of getting charged due to wrong addresses.
So the main advantages are:
- Eliminate the errors while entering addresses: No more errors while entering the address. Get only the correct addresses entered into your database since the address is validated and verified before entering into the database.
- No more delayed deliveries: Losses by delayed package deliveries due to wrongly entered addresses are history now. Enable Google address validation and Google auto-complete feature to your stores.
- Don’t pay unnecessary fines: Make it easier and less complex for your customers by enabling address predictor and get the address validated before the order is placed.
Address Validation & Google Address Autocomplete Plugin for WooCommerce
ELEX Address Validation & Google Address Autocomplete Plugin for WooCommerce helps to improve your customer service by assisting shoppers when they place orders. This plugin can also eliminate issues related to delayed deliveries due to the incorrect address.
The plugin helps you in validating and verifying the address of your customers before placing their order to minimize the number of wrong addresses entered. The plugin is integrated with EasyPost address verification API(free) & UPS address validation API (premium). This plugin comes with Address Auto-Correction & autocompletion using super-efficient Google Address Autocomplete API.
- Address autocomplete using Google Address Autocomplete API.
- Automatic address validation using EasyPost Address Verification API.
- Automatic address validation using UPS Address Validation API.
- Option to toggle manual and automatic address validation.
- Customisable Popup window for user prompted manual address validation.
- Getting started
Before you get started, you need to get the following API keys:
Once the plugin is installed and activated, click on the settings options. The plugin has two core functionalities. The first one is the Google address auto-complete feature and then the address validation feature.
The Google Autocomplete feature adds a custom text field on the checkout page in which the users can enter the shipping address. As the users enter the address Google autocomplete returns place predictions in the form of a drop-down pick list. For this, you need to enter the Google places API key. You can get this API key on the Google developer site. Link for which is provided above. By default, the usage of the given API key is limited. To know how to increase the usage of the Google Places API Key, see here.
The next setting is to enable the editable fields. With this settings, you will be able to edit or modify the address fields entered using auto-complete service. But remember, the address predictions fetched by Google may not be a valid address. Hence the address should be validated. For this, you can make use of address validation API service from either Easy Post or UPS. Both Easy Post and UPS have a stronghold in the United States. Using these services you can validate billing and shipping addresses to avoid delays in your package delivery. These would help you to improve deliverability and customer service.
To use Easy Post service you need to have its respective address verification API key. You can sign up in Easy Post to receive the key. If you wish to use UPS, you should sign up for a UPS account and enter your username and password and the respective license key.
With the next settings, you can choose to enforce address validation. When this option is enabled, users will not be able to proceed with check out if address validation fails. If you are not able to get the required result, enable the debug mode. You can analyze the request response data for possible errors. At the checkout page, when the user enters text in the autocomplete text field, address suggestions appear. Soon after selecting an address, users can choose to edit the address this way.
Let’s say if the user makes an error while entering the address and proceeds with the checkout. The order will be placed only when the address is validated automatically in the backend else the user has to enter the correct address to proceed with the checkout. In addition to this, you can choose to enable a pop-up window to confirm the validated address. If you have entered an address of your own or edited the existing address, a window showing the original address and the validated address will appear in which the users can choose the correct possible address. Once the desired address is confirmed, the order will be placed.
The plugin also provides a CSS of the confirmation window with this you can customize or change the look of the pop-up window to suit your website theme. Not just this, you can see if the customer’s address is residential or commercial type on the WooCommerce order page. In this way, you can avert incorrect addresses and make your customers shopping experience easier and satisfied.
To know more about the plugin, refer the product page here.
About the plugin
- Compatible with WooCommerce 3.0.
- The license entitles 1 year of support & updates.
- No monthly fees or yearly subscription.
- Extend support & updates after 1 year at 50% discount.
- You are protected by our 30 Day Money Back Guarantee.
Delayed package delivery due to incorrect shipping addresses is history now. Do not waste your time anymore contacting the customers for correcting the address. For more interesting features and premium plugins login here or leave a comment below. Feel free to post your pre-sales queries at our online support. We’ll be more than happy to respond immediately. Happy Selling!
To explore more details about the plugin, go check out ELEX Address Validation & Google Address Autocomplete Plugin for WooCommerce.
or read the product documentation to know every feature of the plugin, in detail.
You can also check out other WooCommerce and WordPress plugins in ELEX.