Today’s era of innovation has brought with it significant advances in point of sale (POS) technology, transforming the way companies do business. In the retail space, companies are adopting cutting-edge technology to streamline their individual systems—allowing retailers to track customer purchases, update product information, and bring user-friendliness to the POS interface. With these and other features now widely available, more and more companies are tailoring their POS systems to their specific business needs.
One technological capability that has yet to be fully leveraged by businesses looking to revamp their POS systems is address verification. An invaluable technology for every business with a POS system, address verification facilitates a single customer view across all points of sale—whether physical or online. With address verification, companies can ensure that no matter where their customers are, they always experience the same, positive checkout experience—and here’s why.
Address Verification 101
Address verification technology is designed to streamline the checkout process and ensure the accuracy of address information. It works by first auto-populating addresses based on any inserted information. From there, it offers multiple suggested addresses and narrows those results with each keystroke—making it quick and easy for users to enter their correct and complete address information during the checkout process.
Additional features include fuzzy error correcting, location biasing, and international address searching—all developed to further enhance address accuracy. Through fuzzy error correcting, address verification technology automatically recognizes common misspellings and typos and corrects them for the user. Additionally, location biasing bases all address results on a user’s location—eliminating any confusion or mistakes that arise due to multiple streets or cities having the same name across states, or even across countries. Finally, the most advanced address verification technology accommodates international users as well, auto-populating addresses from various countries and recognizing different postcode variations.
Alleviating core frustrations
Consider the number of times an address is entered into a POS device by either a customer or sales associate during the shopping process. Without address verification, those instances become time consuming and riddled with frustrations for both parties. Stores that ask customers to enter their own information may increase the likelihood of collecting correct data, but they also cause delays in the checkout process. Stores that have sales associates enter customer information run the risk of it getting lost in translation or entered incorrectly. Address verification helps to alleviate these core frustrations by auto-populating addresses information and streamlining the checkout process.
Perfecting product deliveries
In addition to creating a more positive shopping environment, address verification technology also allows retailers to maintain that positivity after a customer exits a store. For retailers that operate primarily in physical stores, this benefit may seem unimportant. However, many companies such as Bloomingdales and Lord & Taylor allow their customers to fulfill returns and exchanges via mail. Some, including Anne Taylor LOFT and DSW, even allow shoppers to purchase out of stock items in their stores and deliver them to their homes once they become available. Further, accurate address information is important to carry out the repair and replacement of products under warranty. In all these instances, having correct, complete address information is vital to ensure packages are successfully delivered or returned in a timely fashion.
Creating customer loyalty
Building customer loyalty is essential for every retailer—regardless of its size, location, and industry. Having accurate address information on file is an important first step. Quality data helps retailers create and maintain effective loyalty programs. These types of programs thrive when retailers are able to send coupons or offer promotions tailored to an individual customer’s past purchases. Whether sending these specials via email or mail, retailers require accurate postal information. This process always begins at the point of sale. By integrating address verification into the system, retailers can obtain comprehensive customer data, paving the way for customized loyalty programs.
Aligning with E-Commerce
With the shift to online and mobile shopping continuing to boom, retailers must adapt in order to ensure customer satisfaction and remain competitive. The convenience and speed of online shopping are increasingly driving consumers to purchase products from their computers and mobile devices, rather than traveling to a physical store. However, this doesn’t mean retailers can afford to neglect their PoS systems.
Address verification technology simplifies the online version of a POS system—the checkout page. Similar to the benefits this technology brings to physical stores, address verification in an online platform speeds up the checkout process by minimizing the number of forms and amount of information needed to be manually entered. In doing so, this eliminates customer frustrations and decreases cart abandonment—ultimately improving a retailer’s bottom line. Additionally, fuzzy error correcting and location biasing boost a company’s credibility by reducing the frequency of failed deliveries due to incorrect postal information being entered at checkout.