Never have another mis-typed customer address

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UK retailers are giving online consumers a better service than are American cousins. According to a survey from Postcode Anywhere of 3,000 consumers across Canada, the US and the UK found UK consumers are more satisfied with online shopping than our transatlantic cousins. Results showed that that four in 10 (39%) North American consumers have had a bad experience with a delivery for an item ordered online, compared with under three in 10 (27%) Brits.

Over the last 12 months, Postcode Anywhere surveyed a sample of consumers on both sides of the pond about their online shopping habits. Orders going to the wrong address, later delivery than expected and items not being delivered at all, all caused problems for consumers within the last year.

The findings come as no surprise to Guy Mucklow, CEO of Postcode Anywhere, who says that it is reflective of an address infrastructure that is far less evolved than that of the UK, with an alarming lack of attention to the data and the quality of technology used on ecommerce websites: “While the US Postal Service address database gives very comprehensive property level coverage of the country and is easy to license, it’s fair to say that most Americans are parochial when it comes to addressing”.

“In fact, we found that when asked if they were concerned by poor service, although 38% of US and Canadian consumers said they wouldn’t deal with a company again if they failed to deliver the product they ordered, a surprising 29% would either be neutral about the situation or would purchase again. Compared to 18% of UK respondents, it’s clear American consumers are almost used to receiving a bad service.”

What that does mean is that UK customers are much less likely to buy from you again if anything goes wrong with their first order, and getting their address wrong (or giving a customer the opportunity to mis-type it!) is an easy thing to fix.

Postcode Anywhere supplies software and services which improve the day-to-day operations of over 8,000 organisations worldwide. Best known as a provider of address auto-fill and verification software, the company is now the fastest-growing reseller of Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF®).

The thing that surprised me is just how cost effective the service is, you can add it to your website for as little as £25 on a pre-pay basis. From then on you can top up according to how many address lookups are performed, but it ensures your customers (both within the UK and International) enter their correctly formatted address at checkout. Costs start from 8.3p but can drop to as little as 1.3p for higher usage.

This is something I really wish sites like eBay would use. eBay store delivery addresses and they’re not always correct. It’s easy to blame the customer and suggest that they should know where they live, but how much easier would all of our lives be if all addresses online were verified and correctly formatted from the start?

You can find out more about Postcode Anywhere, Capture+ and their other services from the Postcode Anywhere website.

One Response

  1. Another great blog Chris. Nothing more annoying then having to type our your address on an eCommerce site. I’m sure Capture+ could dramatically reduce cart abandonment.


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