Data Enrichment & Validation

Postal Address Verification for Optimized Logistics and Retail Delivery

June 15, 2021
Author
Inkit Team

Logistics services and retailers depend on the postal address verification process. It enables them to check customers’ contact details and reach the necessary destination within the shortest time. Based on 2020’s data, 65% of consumers expect to receive their orders in 2-3 days. 12% expect next-day delivery, whereas 6% want to get orders the same day. It puts a lot of strain on merchants and logistics companies that must be very fast. The cost of mistakes is high. Lost or delayed orders result in poor customer experience and disputes.

Retail and logistics businesses adopt various shipping software solutions to prevent any shipping issues like that. Automated postal address verification is among them. When the address verification is automated and integrated with other shipping processes, the quality of delivery significantly increases. Retailers get accurate international addresses, ZIP codes, address formats, billing addresses, and other address data to enhance delivery.

In today’s article, we will discuss the postal address verification process for retail and logistics companies. Find out how postal address verification works and discover the best ways to implement it.

What Is the Postal Address Verification Process?

The postal address verification process is the check of address data before delivery to validate its accuracy. The necessary address is matched with the latest USPS address database to compare ZIP codes, city and state, street, and other details. If the records match, the address is verified and reliable. If not, you will need to double-check it.

Postal address verification can be manual or automated. Companies that don’t deliver and ship regularly can do with basic checkers provided by the United States Postal Services. They support manual single shipping address checks or batch processing. Yet, those who regularly deliver goods need to automate the address verification process. To do this, they implement address validation tools for verifying address records in real-time. The source address is automatically parsed, cleaned, standardized, and compared to reputable USPS databases. Such software can even fix some formatting errors or add missing data. It’s very convenient for logistics companies and retailers. The automated address verification process is also essential in banking, healthcare, utilities, and other organizations sending batches of invoices, utility bills, and customer communications.

Learn What Industries Need Address Verification Most

Postal Address Verification

Automated Postal Address Verification for Logistics and Retail Delivery

Is the postal address verification process that important in logistics and retail? The short answer is Yes.

The profitability of logistics and retail companies is interconnected with the quality of delivery. When a shipment is delayed, lost, damaged, or reaches the wrong destination, it causes financial losses. 35% of shippers listed logistics cost reduction as the main challenge of last-mile delivery.

The automated postal address verification process allows senders to validate address data quality. The records are automatically updated and fixed in the database. As a result, delivery issues happen less often. This saves logistics costs and brings some other measurable advantages:

  • Faster address checks due to automation. When the shipping address process is automated, there is no need to type data to validate the entered addresses manually. This allows senders to process batches of address records in seconds.
  • Improved customer service. The sooner customers get their orders, the better. Since address verification tools contribute to quick delivery, they also enhance user experience.
  • Optimized billing cycle. When the shipment accuracy and speed increases, the logistics and retail companies get paid more quickly.
  • Increased delivery capacity. Automated shipping address verification speeds up the delivery process and usually goes with automated shipments. The high level of automation allows retailers and shipping companies to send more goods within the same period.

These and other benefits of the automated address verification are convincing enough to make logistic and retail companies adopt it. Discover the most popular approaches to implementing automated shipping address checks in the next section.

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Four Approaches to Optimize Delivery with Shipping Address Verification

Logistics companies and retailers have several ways to implement the automated mailing address verification process. Here are the most commonly used and effective options.

#1. Automatically Verify Addresses at the Checkout

When customers send a parcel through a logistics company or provide their address at the checkout in an online store, it’s high time to verify it. With the help of automated address verification tools, you can instantly check the provided information. If any discrepancies are detected, it would be convenient to ask customers to fix mistakes immediately.

This solution enables logistics companies and retailers to collect accurate shipping addresses from the start. When address data is validated at the checkout, the system records the latest address details in the standardized format. Hence, the data is well-formatted and up to date, and the accuracy of delivery increases.

checkout process

#2. Provide Consumers with Automated Address Suggestions Using Address Autocomplete

Regardless of where you collect shipping addresses--in a website form or at the checkout--consider offering automated suggestions. As users type, the software will display the most suitable address options to help them fill out the information.

Address autocompletion is a great feature both for customers and logistics companies. It simplifies address sharing, thus helping your customers to pick the necessary option quickly. On the other hand, logistics companies and retailers are guaranteed to get accurate addresses without misspellings and other mistakes.

#3. Verify and Re-Verify the Existing Address Database

If you have never used postal address verification before but want to adopt it, you should start with existing addresses. Instead of focusing on newcomers, it’s essential to clean the current database. Hence, you need to adopt address verification software that can standardize and verify previously collected records.

Besides, keep in mind that address information tends to get outdated. Therefore, it’s crucial to re-verify address information at least every three months. Otherwise, the number of misdelivered goods and mail will gradually increase.

The combination of instant address checks and regular verification will ensure the best result. The shipping address verification will include several steps and cover all address records in your database.

Address Database

#4. Automatically Ask Customers to Re-Confirm Their Address Data

If you want to be on the safe side, you can automatically ask customers to confirm the delivery address after placing an order. This way, in addition to internal checks with address verification tools, you will get direct confirmation from the addressees. It may be necessary proof in case of disputes related to misdelivered shipments.

The easiest way to send customers a confirmation request is a website popup or email. For example, you can automatically show a popup with all the contact details before customers hit the Pay button.

Read Postal Address Verification: Tools & Best Practices

Inkit’s Verify for the Shipping Address Verification Process Automation

Inkit is a reach enablement platform (REP) that supports automated postal address verification for logistics companies, retailers, and other businesses. Offered as the Verify product, Inkit’s verification tool allows you to provide your customers with a drop-down list of well-formatted addresses to select from, validate against known locations, and verify accuracy before shipping.

Inkit Verify enables engineers to add address verification and address autocomplete to existing shopping carts with just a few lines of code. This gives logistics companies and retailers a lot of flexibility in terms of the postal address verification process.

Have any questions about Verify or want to test it? Contact us for more information.

Start verifying addresses today
Don't waste time and money dealing with lost shipments that never made it to your customers.
Start for free