Nowadays, due to the increase in the amount of e-commerce stores, there has been a lot more competition in the market. Having a good store with a large number of products doesn’t put you at the top of the list. There are a lot of other things to consider like brand building, marketing etc. These will all have an impact on your store.
One of the main factors that should be considered is user experience. Even if a customer finds the products that they want from your store, they may not go ahead with the purchase due to other issues.
There are many factors to be considered under user experience, one of which is Address Validation.
What is Address Validation?
Address Validation/ Verification is the process of ensuring each delivery address is valid before shipping a product to that address. An e-commerce store contains an external database of valid addresses so when a customer types his address in the address field, they are shown a list of addresses from which they can choose.
Do I need Address Validation?
Having an address validation system for your e-commerce store helps you a lot. It is beneficial to both the customers as well as the store owners. Let’s look into the benefits of having an address validation system.
1. The customers have to spend less time than usual.
For a business without an address validation system, the customers have to type their whole address and then proceed to purchasing. Not all customers have the patience for doing this. These such cases will lead to abandoned carts which are a loss in sales for the business.
Now, consider a situation in which the customer types the first two words of their address and they find the correct address in the list. How great this would be? They can select the exact address from the list and that’s it! They save a lot of time as there is no need for typing the complete address.
2. The shipment reaches the correct address.
Almost every customer makes a mistake in filling out their address and zip code correctly. This will lead to the shipment going to the wrong address, which makes the customer furious. The problem may not be from the store owner’s side, but they are the one responsible for bearing the extra cost of re-shipping the item(s).
If there is an address validation system in place, there are fewer chances of the customer making mistakes.
The address can be selected by the customer and the shipment reaches the correct destination. The store owner doesn’t have to worry about re-shipping the product.
3. Conversion rates will increase.
Some of the customers abandon their shopping carts after adding a certain product to it. This is because they find the checkout process to be complicated. If there is an address validation system, your customers will be satisfied knowing that the product will be delivered to the correct address. When customers put in less typing effort, it will result in their satisfaction and create possibilities for future purchases.
4. Brand building
Even a small feature can catch a customer’s eye that would either boost or reduce your brand image. If you add an address validation system, it will make the customers think that you really care about user experience. It will also make your customers feel as though you have done something big in order to make the checkout process more simple for them.
If customers have a good shopping experience, it does not take much time to build your brand. No matter how large or small your business is, these small elements can improve your brand and increase customer relationship.
Canada Post Address Validation
Canada Post, originally known as Royal Mail Canada, is the operating name of the Post Office Department of the Canadian Government. There are more than 6,000 post offices across the country and it serves around 16 million addresses which is more than the postal services of any other nation. Canada Post ships both domestic and international. The main services offered by Canada Post includes Priority Worldwide, Small Packet USA, Small Packet Worldwide etc.
Failing to recognize address entry as an important component of the online shopping experience is a major drawback of almost every e-commerce store. One way to help your customers during the purchase of a product is to shorten the checkout process. Delivery failures and returns caused by incomplete or wrong addresses can lead to loss of customers and revenue. This is where address validation plays an important role.
Canada Post address validation for e-commerce stores helps both the store owner as well as the customers by using its AddressComplete service.
What is AddressComplete?
The AddressComplete service validates customer addresses in real-time directly from the address field of your store. It enables the entry of only valid addresses and no invalid ones. Customers just have to start typing the address or a Postal Code and AddressComplete will suggest results. Results are filtered to help customers type less and to guide their search.
Here you can see that when “abc” is entered, all the addresses related to that word are displayed as a dropdown list. This list can be filtered based on the address that you give.
How does AddressComplete work?
This service is useful for e-commerce store owners who want a more accurate online checkout experience. Using AddressComplete is very simple. Just start typing the address and AddressComplete will suggest results. There are two main ways by which you can integrate AddressComplete to your website; Simple setup and by using the AddressComplete API.
In the first method, ie. Simple Setup, you have to enhance the existing address form fields by binding AddressComplete to each of the fields. Then you have to add a few lines of code to the webpage and upload it to the live website. Now, AddressComplete will attempt to integrate itself to the address form fields automatically and make the address validation process easy.
The second method is based on the AddressComplete API. This is an advanced method for stores who want a custom integration of AddressComplete. To learn more about the integration process of AddressComplete, refer to this article.
AddressComplete has both advantages and disadvantages. With the introduction of AddressComplete, there has been an increase in conversion rates for the majority of stores. The users find it easy to check out since they just have to enter the first few letters of their address and the rest is autocompleted. But, due to the high cost of AddressComplete, all the store owners are not able to access it.
For integrating AddressComplete, Canada Post has different plans based on the number of lookups.
Although Canada Post has curated plans for each customer segment, the $100 and $240 plans are not worth going for the stores which ships on a daily basis. These stores will have to go for higher plans as the number of lookups for the basic plans will exhaust within a short span of time.
Canada Post Address Validation with StorePep
StorePep is a one-stop shipping solution that integrates with all major carriers including Canada Post. Refer to this article to learn about Canada Post Integration with StorePep. If you are shipping in and out of Canada, you will have to work with Canada Post as it offers the best shipping rates in comparison to other carriers.
Canada Post, along with StorePep, can help you display real-time shipping rates at checkout, generate and print shipping labels and manifests, request pickups, track orders, and manage the return. Delays in payment, shipment delivery failures, and poor customer experience can often be the problem of incorrect address data.
Since the AddressComplete feature from Canada Post is not accessible for all businesses due to its high cost, StorePep has introduced a feature of Address Mapping, ie. you can proceed with the shipping process only if you have given a valid zip code for a particular Province.
If you provide an invalid zip code for a Province, StorePep will show an error stating the same. For example, the actual zip code for Nova Scotia is B3H 1C2. If you give the zip code as A1A 1A1 for this Province, StorePep shows an error stating that the zip code doesn’t match the Province. This feature will be helpful for all types of businesses since the cost is just a fraction of AddressComplete.
Address Validation at Checkout
StorePep is a one-stop shipping solution by which the shipping rates of different carriers can be displayed at the checkout page. If there are any problems related to the address, StorePep will show an error and the shipping rates will not be displayed. Now, let’s see how the address is validated at checkout using StorePep.
Here you can see that when the address is correct, (the state, zip code, and the city), the rates are displayed on the checkout page.
If the zip code is changed to a wrong value the rates won’t be displayed on the checkout page. Here you can see that the zip code was changed from “B2A 3L7” to “560043”, the Canada Post shipping rates are not displayed at the checkout page. So, the rates will be displayed at the checkout page only if the address entered is validated and is found to be correct.
In the StorePep account, you can see that since the zip code entered is invalid, the rates won’t be displayed.
In StorePep, the Postcode and Province are mapped. This means that while entering the address if you give a different zip code for a particular province, StorePep shows an error and the rates won’t be displayed at the checkout page. Consider this example:
Here the zip code entered is “B2A 3L7” which is the valid zip code for the Province “Nova Scotia”. Since the entered data is valid, the rates are displayed at checkout and you can generate the label for the order.
From StorePep you will be able to generate the label and schedule the pickup for this particular order.
Now, consider the case when the zip code is not valid, ie. the zip code that you have entered is not valid for the particular Province. Then, StorePep shows an error stating that the entered zip code is invalid.
Here the entered zip code is “A1A 1A1”, which is not a valid zip code for the Province “British Columbia”. The rates will be displayed at the checkout page, but you can’t generate labels for this order as StorePep will show an error stating that the zip code doesn’t match the Province.
When you check the “Label Status” from the StorePep account, it will show an error stating that the entered zip code doesn’t match the Province.
This article shows the address validation for e-commerce stores under Canada Post and its features like AddressComplete. It also explains how store owners can use StorePep to validate the zip code for a particular Province. This would further aid in saving time and money. For seamless Shipping with Canada Post use StorePep.
Please reach out to our support team if you have questions pertaining to Canada Post address validation. We will definitely get back to you and help make your experience a wonderful one.