Definition: An address verification service is a system that checks to ensure the customer's entered address is registered with major shipping carriers. Ecommerce stores can use this verification process to reduce the number of checkout errors, increasing conversion rates in the process.
Address verification is important — after all, if the product isn't shipped to the correct place, someone is going to have to pay for shipping to have it routed correctly. In some cases, the company might actually end up losing money on that order. However, verifying that addresses are correct isn't the only reason to use a verification service.
Effective address verification provides a better customer experience, which can significantly increase conversion rates. Several reasons include:
Simplify the Checkout Process: In general, straightforward checkout processes are more successful at closing a deal. The less time a customer spends on the checkout page, the less likely it is they'll change their minds and abandon the cart, so it's in every ecommerce store's best interest to make the checkout process as painless as possible. One way of doing this is using address verification to auto-complete forms as soon as enough identifying information has been provided.
This information can also be used to auto-complete the billing section of the checkout page, since most customers have identical shipping and billing addresses.
**Avoid Pop-Ups:**Customers do not want to see a pop-up announcing a problem when they submit their order. Real-time address validation can check each field as they enter it and let them know if there's a problem. In most cases, the customer entered the incorrect information on accident, and they'll gladly fix the problem when it's presented in this manner.
Correctly Format Addresses: For the best results in shipping, addresses need to be formatted in a specific way. Auto-complete systems can ensure that addresses are always formatted in the correct way for a given destination. This is particularly important if the store ships out of their home country and needs to format addresses in many different ways.
While bringing in new customers is a high priority for most ecommerce retailers, optimizing the traffic that's there can have just as much — if not higher— returns. Address verification services help customers finish checking out, ensuring there are no logistical roadblocks between a customer and their purchase.