what3words is a location technology that has divided the world into a grid of 3-meter squares and labelled each one with a unique combination of three words: a what3words address. This means that every entrance has its own unique address, whether that’s a home front door, or a specific entry point to a warehouse or residential complex. It also means every parking space, garden shed and safe space can be easily identified as a delivery point. It’s crucial to know exactly where a package should be dropped off, especially when fulfilling contact-free deliveries. what3words addresses are unique, they cover the entire world and are available in 47 different languages.
There is a hole in what3words location technology however and that’s right at the top of the funnel. While individual retailers can add what3words location technology to their websites, very few marketplaces have adopted the solution and if retailers don’t have the data then they can’t use the solution. It’s great if you are purchasing from a retailer with what3words location technology, but if you’re buying from the same retailer on a marketplace it will be a different delivery experience and the service simply won’t be available… yet!
How Metapack have implemented what3words location technology
As a provider of delivery management technology to global brands and retailers and with access to a library of 400+ carriers and 4,900 delivery services, Metapack operates at the heart of the delivery ecosystem. Adding what3words addresses enables efficient, consistent and highly accurate deliveries for its partners, particularly in the last mile.
“I’m excited about the possibilities what3words’ innovative solution brings – we’re both trying to make a difference when it comes to first-time delivery at a time when it’s never been more important. Now that we can accept what3words, logistics partners can receive a what3words address from any ecommerce retailer at the same time as all other necessary logistics information, helping them to drive efficiencies across their supply chain and logistic operations.”
– Duncan Licence, VP of Global Product, Metapack
Street addresses are not unique; for example, there are over 4,000 Washington Streets in the USA, 37 different Victoria Roads in London and 632 Juarez Streets in Mexico City. what3words addresses, on the other hand, are all unique to avoid confusion. Duplicated addresses can lead to customers accidentally selecting the wrong option from a drop-down menu. Addresses are also not precise. Zip codes frequently cover large areas, especially in rural locations. Map searches typically drop pins in the center of buildings, and many places, like large warehouses with multiple entrances, don’t have an accurate address.
Research has found that 19% of failed deliveries are caused by inaccurate address information. The end result for ecommerce and logistics providers is inevitably a poor customer experience, with the study also finding that 62% of shoppers report experiencing the frustration of late or failed deliveries. Alongside side, recent Metapack’s research highlights that almost 40% of shoppers said they would not return to a retailer following a bad delivery experience.
“Every ecommerce retailer that accepts a what3words address at checkout via our plugin is playing a key role in elevating the customer delivery experience. Enabling Metapack to receive a what3words address and pass it directly to carriers means that customers can provide extremely accurate delivery locations and receive their parcels first time, every time. It’s a simple addition that can truly make a huge difference to people all over the world.”
– Chris Sheldrick, co-founder and CEO, what3words
Retailers can specify a what3words location for a consignment in Metapack Delivery Manager in two ways: under the Delivery Manager Delivery tab when Creating a Delivery; or in a single API call that creates the consignment.