Geocoding key to improve the customer experience
With the road ahead looking uncertain during the pandemic brands need to ensure they are doing all they can to deliver a standout customer experience. At the same time they need to drive increased revenue from customers, reduce costs and maximise their sales and marketing efforts.
An important way to achieve all this is via geocoding.
What is geocoding?
It involves taking a verified postal address and enriching it by appending rooftop latitude and longitude location coordinates.
Delivery and logistics
This ensures brands can obtain precise, plotted coordinates to improve logistics and decrease shipping costs, while reducing the chance of expensive — both in monetary and customer experience terms — ‘return to sender’ issues.
Geocoding plays an important role in logistics because location and address aren’t necessarily the same thing. Different locations may share an address such as the street edge of a driveway or a plot of land, for example.
For pinpoint accuracy nothing can compete with a specific latitude and longitude location, which makes it possible to accurately determine a shopper’s distance from distribution points and therefore generate a real-time calculation of shipping costs. The fastest distribution route to the customer can also easily be identified. This information, in turn, enables brands to offer a number of delivery options and price levels depending on how fast the customer wants to receive the item.
Drive sales and marketing
Beyond logistics geocoding can drive sales and marketing efforts, such as via sales clustering, through the analytics opportunities it provides. With geocoding it’s possible to map the location of customers and find like-minded prospects in specific geographic areas. Targeted communications can then be distributed based on similar sites where there has been identifiable interest in your product or service.
Additionally, this level of location accuracy enables brands to enhance the customer experience and drive sales with geolocational offers — whether based on the customer’s location, nearest outlet or distribution point to them.
Clean data powers geocoding
Clean customer address data is the starting point for successful geocoding. It can be delivered via industry leading data cleansing, standardisation and verification services that provide data quality in batch, as well as data entry verification, such as an address autocomplete service, in real time. Autocomplete is a crucial service since many consumers are filling in contact forms on their mobiles — a small screen — and therefore are more liable to make mistakes. In fact, approximately 20% of addresses entered online contain errors, including spelling mistakes, wrong house numbers, and inaccurate postcodes. This not only has an impact on the geocoding process, but delays deliveries of products and customer communications, leading to ‘return to sender’ scenarios and a negative impact on the customer experience.
The good news is an address autocomplete service will stop this while also reducing the number of keystrokes required — by up to 70% — when inputting an address, accelerating the checkout process and reducing the likelihood of shopping cart abandonment. In many instances a good geocoding tool will fix spelling errors and autocomplete addresses that have missing or invalid data to provide more precise results.
Embrace the benefits of geocoding
In a tough trading environment generating a standout customer experience is absolutely essential. This makes geocoding something brands need to seriously consider because of how it improves logistics and delivery for a standout customer service — while reducing costs — through to aiding analytics for improved customer marketing and also sales performance.
Barley Laing joined Melissa in 2014 during an exciting expansion phase of the California headquartered company.
As UK Managing Director with 17 years of data industry experience, his role is focused on meeting the customer onboarding, data quality and compliance needs for organisations in the UK and worldwide.
The team that Barley...