• 28East

Creating frictionless e-commerce experiences with reliable delivery addresses

Pierre Potgieter


Completing an address form in an online purchase is an essential step in the customer journey, and as important for the online merchant and resellers fulfilling the order. Its importance doesn’t preclude its ease, but there are seamless solutions available that are easy to implement and use.


A reliable address as an operational necessity


A customer’s address lets online merchants and resellers assess service viability based on coverage, determine realistic delivery times, delivery fees and delivery methods, and even select the store/outlet best located to serve a customer. It also lets them manage the customer’s expectation by showing an estimated time of arrival (ETA) for the purchase. When it comes to the actual delivery, a reliable address ensures purchase fulfilment, saving the company time and money on lost orders and repeat deliveries.


Customers placing orders online usually enter their own addresses, but this task can also fall onto the company’s employees taking phone orders, as is often the case in fast-food chains and pharmacies.


An opportunity to enhance the customer experience


Despite its importance, completing an address introduces another hurdle between a customer choosing a product and them paying for it. It also introduces the risk of losing clients who abandon their orders due to the process taking too long, or because an address form can’t find their address.


Both problems are common for many online stores. Some stores take a “filter down” approach to delivery address forms, confronting customers with cascading drop-down menus for selecting their province, then selecting their suburb from dozens of suburb names, and so on. Others rely on customers manually completing addresses using many text boxes, a task not made easier by user error and by visually appearing more difficult since it occupies most of their screen.


Making addresses easy, refinable and reliable


To make address capture as seamless, easy and reliable as possible, 28East has created an automated search-as-you-type solution, which features a common search bar with auto-complete as customers type. The search bar can be combined with a map view that allows customers to refine their location by adjusting the location pin on a Google Maps map with aerial imagery for easy navigation. This works equally well on desktops and mobile devices. The result is a reliable, validated address that ensures purchase fulfilment.


As a Google Cloud Partner in South Africa, the modular solution builds on Google Maps Autocomplete. This makes the solution user-friendly and simple to integrate into any website without requiring a website overhaul. The solution is also scalable and customisable, with all the powerful functionality and services offered by Google. The search bar with auto-complete, for example, accommodates typos and spelling errors in addresses typed by customers.


Reliable delivery addresses in action


28East has already implemented the solution for a global fast food chain operating in South Africa, including some custom functionality. The chain has many franchises, with only some offering a delivery service. A custom mapping function immediately notifies customers, before even placing their order, whether deliveries are available for their address.


Customers also have the option to drop a pin on their location in a Google Maps view, which is useful for difficult to find addresses or to refine an address. To reduce the address lookup fees on Google Maps, the map view appears as an option but is not set as the default. The customer’s selected address then automatically populates an address form upon checkout, allowing users to make corrections should they like to.


On the backend, the solution allows online merchants and resellers to draw their coverage areas and set different levels of store priorities without any map-making skills. The priority settings are useful, such as in the fast food chain’s case where some franchises have overlapping areas of service. This allows the central ordering system to determine which franchise has the capacity and ability to serve a customer fastest, based on a set of predetermined criteria.


Ready-to-use delivery address solutions


28East has assisted many other customers with implementing this and similar solutions, including a courier company, a liquor store offering deliveries, and a ride service. Designed for a frictionless customer experience, the solution is as easy for online merchants and resellers to implement and maintain as it is for their customers to use.


To find out more about our Delivery Address Solution visit our page or contact us via mail: info@28east.co.za





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