Where is my parcel?! Why retailers should be paying more attention to address data

According to research by Citizens Advice, ⅔ of shoppers who have made online purchases in the last 12 months have experienced delivery issues, including lost or late deliveries.

Despite the fact that 54% of consumers don’t take action over late deliveries, it is less than ideal for customers, but also very bad news for retailers. The customer experience should be a great one from the moment a shopper enters your site to the moment they have received their items…and beyond. However, too many retailers forget about the step between the shopper buying the item and receiving it.

In reality, the consequences are huge for businesses who fail to satisfy their customers’ delivery needs, because if a shopper doesn’t receive a parcel when they expect to, this makes them frustrated. It doesn’t end there though. Frustration leads to anger and anger leads to your once loyal customer then deciding to next time make a purchase from a competitor, and so on. If word gets around (and let’s face it, with social media, that isn’t hard) that your service isn’t up to scratch, this is a huge detriment to your brand reputation.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, says: “Retailers are responsible for getting the parcel to the customer”, and that “Online shopping should be quick and convenient –  but problems with delivery create unwanted hassle.”

So, what can you and other retailers do to improve on-time deliveries? Of course you’ll need to make sure your delivery service is effective, but you can also make a huge step towards reducing failed deliveries by taking a closer look at address data collected in the checkout. Are you using an effective address validation service? If not, this is something you should be thinking carefully about.

The most effective type of address validation a retailer can use is type-ahead, which allows the customer to focus on a single form field. As they begin to type in this field, accurate addresses are automatically brought up, and as the shopper continues to type, addresses become increasingly accurate. As soon as the customer selects an address from the suggestions, the entire address is auto-populated, meaning less keystrokes, less stress and more accurate addresses.

With accurate and complete address data, you can be confident that more parcels are delivered to the right place, first time. Sounds simple, and in fact, it is.

Find out how PCA Predict can help you capture accurate and up to date address data in your checkout.