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What is Address Autocomplete & How to Get Started

Address autocomplete is a vital tool to help you capture accurate data on your online address forms. It provides your users with fast, real-time address results as they type. Not only does it get your customers through checkout quickly and efficiently, but it can help to eliminate costly errors, improve delivery times and increase your profits.

But what exactly is address autocomplete? How does it work? And how can you implement the technology into your apps or websites? Read our quick guide to find out everything you need to know.

Geocoding is an important part of address verification

What is address autocomplete

Address autocomplete is an address form feature that automatically suggests addresses to users as they type an address into an online form or checkout. It helps to ensure that businesses get accurate and reliable address data at the point of entry by reducing the number of keystrokes and typing errors that users make.

Everyone makes mistakes. But address autocomplete can get them fixed before they enter your systems as incorrect data. Also known as ‘address autofill’ or ‘address lookup & autocomplete’, it integrates with all kings of online address forms, automatically completing all address fields with just a few taps. this greatly reduces checkout times as well as the cost of user errors and failed deliveries.

Used by all manner of industries, from retail and banking, to logistics, transportation and more, this simple yet powerful can truly transform your business operations. A smooth checkout process lessens shopping cart abandonment, boosts sales and creates more revenue. While real-time address verification provides accurate address data in your systems for fast, smooth deliveries.

Show me an example

Address autocomplete technology in action on an ecommerce website

How does address autocomplete work?

Address autocomplete works via an API that integrates with your online address forms or checkouts. When a user is on the relevant part of your website or app and they start entering their address, the service will provide real type-ahead results that appear as a dropdown directly underneath the address line.

Typically, users tend to type their address quickly. They might misspell something, forget to include some important information, or even leave a blank space. Address autocomplete solves these issues by sending queries while the user is actually entering an address, instantly returning accurate address suggestions that are closest to the user’s geolocation.

All they have to do is select the correct address from the dropdown and all of the fields, including house number, street name, zip code, email and phone number will be automatically filled. 

The best address autocomplete APIs use global data sets to enrich their address data, aggregating multiple data sources around the world into one highly accurate and comprehensive database. Your form can draw on this data to autocomplete and verify any address that is typed into it.

The address verification bits works by matching a customer’s address information with validated and verified address databases such as Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF), Eircodes, USPS Database and Canada Post. This ensures that all addresses deliverable and not just mappable.

The database on the backend of the API is updated constantly, so you can ensure that only accurate, real and verified addresses are inputted into your systems.

The benefits

With the continuous rise of digital commerce, customer expectations are at an all time high. Online consumers rank speed and ease of use as among the most important measures of overall customer satisfaction, so improving the checkout process for your users is crucial.

Customers expect the ordering and checkout process to be fast, easy and convenient. In fact, the average cart abandonment rate is 69.57%, with 30% of those users abandoning their shopping cart if they have trouble inputting their information during checkout. With address autocomplete, businesses can reduce checkout pain points, optimise address form completion and prevent costly mistakes.

Online checkout with address autofill and address verification

Here’s a look at the many benefits of the technology:

  • Improves customer experience: Address autocomplete technology provides customers with the swift, convenient experience that they expect, reducing shopping fatigue and cart abandonment.
  • Simplifies checkout: It simplifies the checkout process by reducing keystrokes and eliminating typing errors for shipping and billing information
  • Better data hygiene: Address lookup and autocomplete helps businesses capture accurate address data, eliminating inaccurate entries and false or harmful data from your systems.
  • Easy integration: The software is easy to integrate into your online forms, pairing with address verification and address validation via one easy-to-use API.
  • Better conversion rates: With accurate address data you’ll be able to provide fast deliveries, resulting in happy customers and an improved conversion rate for your websites or app.
  • Save on failed deliveries: Autocomplete can save businesses millions in costs associated with re-deliveries and issuing refunds.
  • International reach: The best autocomplete solutions can offer suggestions for international addresses, standardising addresses to the local postal authority format.
  • Scalability: Scale your business and improve operations with a faster and more efficient process.
  • A range of address forms: The technology integrates easily across all of your online address forms, from application forms, to billing, delivery and checkout forms.
Address autocomplete online application form

Address autocomplete technology – best features

Not all address lookup and autofill solutions are created equally. In fact, some solutions can even have a negative impact on user experience. For your autocomplete to be effective, there are a number of features to look out for. Here’s a checklist to help you find the right autocomplete API for your website or app.

Geolocation

The best address autocomplete platform will use the user’s geolocation to return the most relevant results from the first keystroke. When a user starts to type an address, they will be served with real-time results based on their location, resulting in the right address being suggested in just a few keystrokes.

Mobile optimised

The technology should be optimised for mobile and other devices to support a range of browsing experiences.

Unit numbers

A high performing address autofill solution should be able to handle secondary unit designators. By using verified address databases like USPS database and Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF) for address suggestions, any mailable address can be predicted, displaying apartment, suite and unit numbers.

User intent

The ideal address autocomplete solution should align with the way users naturally search for addresses in different countries, language and formats. And it should capture accurate address data, even despite typos and user errors.

Easy integration

Any address autocomplete and verification solution should integrate easily with your existing tools, CRM and digital infrastructure.

Address verification

Choose a tool that allows for instant address verification and correction in real time and in accordance with postal standards.

Geocoding

Make sure you can get latitude and longitude information for any address you send through the API. Check that you can get forward geocoding and reverse geocoding.

The best data

The right technology will use information from the best global databases including national and international postal databases. It should return only real addresses, standardised and validated according to the local postal format.

How to get started

PlotProjects has seen the growth in demand for accurate and up-to-date POI’s. We will soon be launching our own address autocomplete API with all the features you need to build instant and accurate address lookup and autofill solutions into your online forms and checkouts.

To talk to us about how to get started with optimising the checkout process and boosting conversions for your website or app, contact PlotProjects today.

Check out our other solutions too. Our extensive geofencing SDK is quick to set up and easy to use, offering all the tools you need to build and manage your campaigns. Plus, our PlotRewards API easily lets you set up local deals and rewards into your app.

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