Have you ever made an error when typing your address into an online form? It may sound trivial, but one small typo here or there could be all it takes to turn a purchase from a profit to a loss.
Resending a package after a failed delivery will result in labour and shipping costs at your expense. It may seem minor if this happens once or twice, but if your business is shipping thousands of packages annually, the impact can be detrimental to your bottom line and customers' experience.
Incorrect addresses can happen if the customer has entered the address wrong or the entered address is invalid or unverifiable. Both the problem and the solution occur in the address field in the checkout process.
Google Maps Places API has an autocomplete feature for address entries in forms that make an easy checkout experience for customers, while also validating their address using the world's most extensive places database, the Google Places library.
Our blog explores how you can use Google Place Autocomplete features to avoid incorrect and unverified addresses at checkout.
How can retailers avoid invalid or unverified addresses in the checkout process?
Did you know that there are 521 George Streets in Australia? Even in the most well-addressed countries in the world, deliveries can still fail as a result of inaccurate or imprecise address details.
The Google Place Autocomplete feature has a ‘type-ahead’ function that consumers can use to autofill a shipping or billing address in the checkout process, using address prediction. This feature alone can reduce the number of address entry errors, save on costs from failed deliveries and improve the overall customer experience.
Google Maps Platform has also integrated Plus codes into Place Autocomplete. Plus codes is a unique alphanumeric code used to identify the latitude and longitude coordinates of a person. An example of a Plus code is J9CG+2X. Consumers can use Plus codes to indicate their precise locations to online retailers, which may not necessarily be a building address, and online retailers can expand their market to new regions that don’t have a formal address system.
Why should retailers incorporate place autocomplete?
The Place Autocomplete feature has a number of components that can be coded into your application to validate addresses and make your checkout process easier and faster. These capabilities include:
- Location biasing: You can restrict address results to a specific region by passing a location and a radium parameter. This instructs the Place Autocomplete service to show the preferred results within that region.
- Language preference: You can indicate which language the results should be returned, or the search can be biased to the selected language.
- Debugging: Status codes contain debugging information to help you figure out why a Place Autocomplete request may have failed. This stage enables retailers to contact the customer prior to shipment.
- Billing: There are two ways to set up Place Autocomplete: By session or by request. Depending on the check out process for your business, purchasing per session, rather than paying per request, may be more cost-effective. Where there are multiple address entry points on a form, for example a shipping and billing address, a session enables the form to auto populate address fields, ensuring address consistency and a faster checkout process.
How do I set this up on my website's checkout page?
Google Maps Platform has a range of materials to support and help you add a Place Autocomplete service to your webpage. Check out a few of their guides or watch the tutorials below to get started:
We have more tips and guides to help you optimise Google Maps for your online business
Liveli is a Google Cloud Premier Partner and offers a number of support services, whether you’re looking to implement Google Maps Platform into your business or want to find ways to optimise your existing Google Maps use.
If you’re interested in how you could be using the Google Maps Platform to improve the user experience, get in touch with the Liveli team.
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