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Beyond the pandemic: Clean data delivers repeat online shoppers

Address data is a critical factor in e-commerce success.

Online shopping has seen formidable growth, driven by new shoppers seeking socially distant options for acquiring goods and services.

Adopted as a convenient and safe method of buying during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these customers have formed new shopping habits, turning to their computers or phones much more routinely than they get in the car. It’s a trend that has caught the attention of savvy retailers, who are now concentrating more than ever on acquiring and maintaining buyers who consider e-commerce their preferred shopping channel.

Competing in this new era means sellers must re-evaluate how efficiently and easily they offer their services to customers shopping in a global marketplace. Smart data use and management is essential – and the customer address is an important starting point.

Correct, standardized, and enhanced address information facilitates profitable sales, reduces costs, halts potential fraud, and deepens the customer experience. As an elementary but crucial datapoint, reliable address data makes an end-to-end difference in business operations yet is still neglected by too many online retailers.

Even as they may recognize customer address data’s importance, e-commerce retailers may not be proactive in its maintenance, or have a clear understanding of easily implemented tools to assure valid, correct information.

Shoddy address data can be a seller’s downfall. There is simply no return on investment for failed deliveries and ineffective marketing. If those concerns are not enough inspiration to embrace better address data, consider the further long-term effects for an online business. The torrent of missed opportunities can stunt the relationship between buyer and seller, period.

Address data has power
Because of the global nature of e-commerce, online sellers face a slate of unique, data-driven business challenges:

  • Online sellers must invest resources in understanding where their buyers are. Third-party address identification services add value by ensuring delivery of the correct products to the right customer at the proper location.
  • Online sellers can tap into high-quality data for operational improvements that ultimately enhance delivery of products sold. For example, including more detailed address information keeps shipping costs down and helps businesses reduce the burden of extra charges related to correcting mistakes in address data. More intelligent address data, coupled with tools such as residential delivery indicators, helps eliminate unnecessary expenses and keep data continually clean and correct.
  • U.S.-based sellers must embrace global shipping requirements and the associated costs of delivering goods worldwide. Only when address data is correct and validated to the appropriate international standard can it ensure that packages make it to the right door.
  • Linking correct customer names with corresponding addresses helps prevent fraud in real-time. Intelligent data tools can validate data even as transactions are in progress, seamlessly verifying a customer’s identity as they shop.
  • Autocompletion tools make checkout easy for the customer while keeping data clean for the seller. Fields complete themselves after just a few keystrokes, ensuring only correct information enters the system and is used for delivery. Cart abandonment is greatly reduced during an improved customer experience.

The ‘1-10-100’ rule
Online sellers can create a data firewall of sorts by integrating data tools and automated processes that clean, correct, and standardize data starting at the point of data entry. Costs are reduced and optimized, maintaining the focus on customer relations and the shopping experience.

When data is kept in check from the start, retailers benefit from the “1-10-100” rule - the longer bad data lives in a data management system, the more damage it does and the more it costs to correct and recover from its impact.

When address data is correct, standardized, and current, online retailers have a significant advantage in their business operations. They can better track and understand where customers move, reduce fraud by verifying customer identity, eliminate duplicate customer records, and build more meaningful customer profiles enhanced with other demographic and social elements.

Verified address data is essential – seamless, profitable e-commerce depends on it. Coupled with other established data tools, like CRM, supply chain management, ERP, and online shop, address data powers every phase of retail operations as well as the customer experience. Verified address data fuels customer support, direct-mail marketing campaigns, shipping logistics, warehouse management, accounting, and more – strengthening sales and bolstering a company’s e-commerce presence and reputation.

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