Address Lookup

Postcode/Address Lookup on Ecommerce Websites

If you have ever bought anything online you will have noticed that most of the bigger websites have a feature that automatically searches for your address and fills it in for you, saving you having to type the whole address.

So how does this work and can you implement this feature on your own ecommerce website?

Websites that have this feature dont actually have a database of every address in the world sitting right there on their own website. That would be completely impossible to maintain nevermind the server resources that would be required to run such a database!

The database of addresses is provided by a 3rd party service provider, a company whose sole purpose is to provide and maintain the address database. There are a few different companies who offer this service, one of the biggest is Loqate who used to be called PostCodeAnywhere.

The service provider charge a small fee for each lookup, usually by means of purchasing a pack of credits with prices ranging from 2.8p to 6.5p per lookup, depending on how many credits you purchase.

So if Loqate provide a database of addresses that can be looked up, how does that hook into your website? It depends on how your website was built and what platform or CMS its built on.

If your website is built using Woocommerce/Wordpress there is a plugin available for $49 per year, this would be ontop of the ongoing fees you must pay for any other plugins, most are not free. If your website is completely custom built then the website developer will need to write some code to connect to the Loqate API to perfom the lookup.

Postcode checker

Technical Process

Address Verification consists of two main API requests: a Find request is used to narrow down a possible list of addresses; and a Retrieve request is used to retrieve a fully formatted address, standardised to a country’s postal requirements.

A typical address search is made up of a series of Find requests, followed by a Retrieve based on the user selection. When an address (containing street number/name, city, state, and ZIP code) is submitted to the Loqate API, an address ID is returned.

The address ID should then be passed into the Retrieve service to obtain a fully formatted address. A list of matching addresses are returned, from which the user can select the required address.

Benefits Of Address Lookup

  • Improve user experience
  • Boost sales conversions
  • Make accurate deliveries
  • Identifying typos in addresses that customers share
  • Integrating order management systems with shipping and logistics providers

Conclusion

We can develop ecommerce solutions built on Drupal Commerce which can connect to the Loqate service. There are no ongoing fees for any plugin, you only pay the lookup fee to Loqate.

If you would like to discuss this or any other ecommerce requirements, get in touch.

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