What’s happening in the world of contact data validation? Why is it important? And what should you be looking out for.

When address validation first became a product, the focus was on increasing the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns and ensuring delivery of important account notifications and legal documents. But times have changed and while these are still important reasons for employing an address validation solution, there are now even more reasons and benefits.

Address validation enables eCommerce

With the advent and rapid growth of eCommerce, the capacity of carrier services to deliver packages within a short timespan became stretched and the services offered were too limited to meet all needs.

This created the need for third-party logistics companies and greater use of traditional business carriers, such as Fastway Couriers/Aramex, TNT and DHL, for residential deliveries. In turn, these alternatives often charge fees for returning undeliverable mail or to correct inaccurate mailing addresses. In recent years, these fees have become substantial, and vendors are turning to address validation to help reduce or avoid such charges.

Originally viewed as a distant competitor for bricks-and-mortar retailers, eCommerce has since become a vital component for omnichannel retailers hoping to not only gain business growth from their eCommerce channel but also to drive traffic to their stores via “buy online and pickup in store” and various “click and collect” options.

Digital acceleration, as evidenced through the growth of eCommerce, has reduced the timescale during which it’s acceptable to verify the accuracy of information, from days or weeks to seconds. You need the correct consumer contact data, right now.

Verifying the reliability of consumer contact data regularly used to be entirely adequate. Now, with consumers expecting to be able to make substantial purchases or open accounts online within minutes, the need for real-time validation and authentication has also become important.

The bottom line: Implement an easy-to-use address validation software that quickly identifies errors at the point of capture. Make sure the solution can also validate and format stored addresses to meet the standard address format. Not only will it fix and verify an address that a customer enters, but you will also see a significant ROI on eCommerce, direct mail campaigns, and more.

Reliable address data results in high ROI

In today’s world, address validation software is even more valuable to digital acceleration. This helps you see higher ROI on eCommerce deliveries and can also be used to better understand who your customers are, even in a digital market.

82% of Australian households purchased online in 2022~

Address validation is a key component of identity matching—a way to ensure that enrichment data, such as demographic information, credit/income bracket, and lifestyle segment data, is correctly assigned.

Data enrichment gives you a sense of what they really care about. Pair that with the right customer address, you have consumer psychographics and demographics to properly target them through preferred channels, like eCommerce, and deliver a personalised customer experience through marketing efforts.

Of course, having accurate customer data also makes the marketing and eCommerce budget go further for all the reasons we listed above and way more. Here’s an example:

Without accurate customer data—contact and enriched information—special offers designed to acquire new loyalty program members or first-time subscription service users can be taken advantage of by existing customers signing up under different names, family member names, or variations of their own name. A quick check of who’s already signed up at their address can help reduce the occurrence and also make sure that you are targeting your customer base with a message that will resonate.

Reasons why you want address validation

  1. The volume of eCommerce sales has grown substantially in the past several years.
  2. Purchases are not only expected to be delivered to the correct address but also within the promised timeframe, this can also help to ensure competitive success. 29% of shoppers expect deliveries to come faster than in 2019. Validated addresses ensure faster delivery.
  3. There is a growing need to better understand who customers are and where they are to better forecast demand, plan inventory distribution and store assortments, on top of logistics services and loyalty programs.

It’s no secret that direct mail is expensive—and it’s not uncommon for large retailers and financial services organisations to regularly send out tens of thousands of direct mail pieces to existing and prospective customers (account information, service notifications, promotional materials, and so on).  Not only is the postage cost high but address correction fees are even higher.

Without address verification, you could chance:

  • The mail being returned UAA (Undeliverable-As-Addressed) by the courier company.
  • Consumer addresses can easily be outdated as people move or die.
  • An address correction fee on each package that needed a change in the shipping address.

Overall, this could negatively impact your customer experience, operational efficiency, and result in unnecessary costs.

Addresses captured from manual entry—say, hand-written on a form or typed into a field during the checkout process—could lead to errors. Address verification software can turn this around, ensuring you’re staying competitive in the eCommerce market, you are delivering a positive customer experience, and you are increasing your marketing and eCommerce ROI.

How Experian can help

As leaders in the data quality space, we make data fit for purpose. With more than 25 years of experience, we have seen how data usage and perception has transformed across industries. Now, more than ever before, contact data has become even more valuable with digital acceleration.

Address validation software is a great starting point as it gets you in touch with your customers, maximises both your marketing and eCommerce operations, and gives you the opportunity to see bottom line growth.

Our address validation solution can be fit to your organisational needs, whether you are looking for real-time address verification or a regular bulk cleanse. We will work with you to ensure your address list is complete and ready for action.

Interested in learning more about our address validation software and what trusted addresses could mean for you? Speak with a data quality expert today!

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~Australia Post eCommerce Report 2023