Whenever someone places orders on your eCommerce store, they must provide two critical pieces of information – a shipping and billing address. They may be completely alike. But they can also be wholly/slightly different. Understanding each will help you provide accurate shipping, and this article will help you do just that.
Difference between a shipping address and billing address
The shipping address is the customers’ physical address. It is used to calculate the shipping fee, and it may be verified through national postal services like the USPS ( if you live in the United States).
The billing address, on the other hand, is the address linked to a particular payment form. It is the address to which the customers’ bill is sent. It is stated in the invoice but may not affect the shipping fee.
Why it’s essential to get shipping and billing addresses right.
It helps with billing.
Your invoices must reach your customers if you want to keep the cash flowing, and there’s no way to do that if you have the wrong billing address. Misdirected billing may cause misunderstandings, service interruptions, and possibly affect your customers’ creditworthiness. getting the right billing addresses will spare you all this trouble
It helps you cut costs.
According to the US postal service, more than 4% of all mail items handled in the 2018 financial year were undelivered (defined as UAA, or undeliverable as addressed). This amounts to about 6 billion things, with a cost of 2 billion dollars. as earlier discussed in this article. Bad addresses are preventable. Getting the right shipping and billing addresses will help you avoid significant logistical and human resource expenses.
It improves customer relationships.
It cost about five times more to win a new customer than to keep an existing one. If you send a Christmas gift to the wrong address or an essential b2b shipment doesn’t reach its intended destination, you may permanently lose your existing customers. This will undoubtedly damage your brand’s reputation, as your customers will express their frustrations on social media and other digital channels. Getting the right addresses will help you avoid all this.
It enhances customer attention.
In an increasingly digital world, physical addresses have become a lot more valuable. Marketing research suggests the direct mail may be just as effective or even better than online media. It is more tangible and presents more opportunities for creativity. Direct mail responses reached record highs of 5% in 2018. that’s about 5 times higher than paid search, email, and social media.
Direct mail also requires less cognitive energy to process. in a world of short attention spans, it has a significant advantage over digital marketing channels.
Your contact data’s accuracy has a remarkable effect on your metrics. for instance, if 20% of your information is wrong, that will mean 20% of your metrics are wrong too. Validating and updating your contact data is therefore crucial to the efficacy of your business planning, reporting, and targeting.
Thanks to eCommerce giants like Amazon, which differentiate themselves through convenient service and speedy delivery. If you’re brand mishandles deliveries because it got the wrong addresses, customers will voice their complaints, which will hurt your business.
Troubleshooting billing address errors
If your customers receive errors when adding master or visa cards, it’s likely because their details don’t match what they have on file at the issuing bank. To resolve this problem, you may ask your customers to do the following.
- Verify that there are no misspellings or missing characters in the name and addresses entered and that the card numbers they have entered are accurate
- the customer should check that the billing address they’ve provided matches the address given to the card provider. If customers have recently moved, for instance, this information may have changed.
- Ask your customers to put only the street address on line 1 of the address section. If the address has an apartment number, it shouldn’t be added to the street address.
- Ask your customers to contact their credit/debit card service and verify their names’ and addresses’ spelling.
- If the customer’s address is on a numbered street, they should spell out the street name, i.e., if the street name is 132 9th St., it should be written as 132 Ninth St.
If your customer still gets an “address does not match,” they should contact their card issuer for support.
Types of shipping address errors
Incorrectly filled shipping addresses.
You’d be forgiven for thinking this isn’t a big problem. after all, it’s just one small mistake, right? The reality is different. Consider this example: you are a major online store that delivers about 1 million orders. Each year, at a shipping cost of $5 per package. You have low-profit margins, so it’s crucial to keep your operating costs low. Let’s assume a customer types the wrong address. you deliver the package, but it comes back to you.
Like most popular online retailers, you take the cost of re-delivering the package, even if this particular error is the customer’s fault. If this occurred once or twice, it wouldn’t be a problem. However, when you’re transporting millions of packages, it can be a lot more frequent. Research shows that make errors when filling in address forms nearly 5% of the time. For a retail brand shipping about a million packages every year, that amounts to almost 50,000 shipping address errors. Following the example discussed above, it would cost about 250,000 to reship those items without accounting for labor and other expenses involved in correcting the mistake.
to be fair to the customers, sometimes shipping errors will occur even when the right addresses have been given. Sometimes, addresses can’t be verified. It depends on whether the address is present in the courier’s database. Although courier databases are remarkably deep, the United States has more than 100 million homes, and a carrier can’t include them all. For example, USPS updates its database once every year, and the local postmasters must report any address changes or additions that have occurred in their regions. This is a challenging task in rural areas, which may not have proper house numbers and street names.
How to ensure your orders get billed and shipped correctly
Automate the order management process
Even seasoned professionals can make mistakes with the order shipments. Automating your shipping process with an inventory management system will help you limit the risk of human error and validate your customers’ shipping addresses. It will also help you reduce the strain on your staff, thereby improving productivity.
Hire a third-party fulfillment partner
If you don’t have the resources to automate your order management process, consider hiring a 3PL. Third-party fulfillment companies like Nextsmartship excel at order fulfillment. They will oversee the address validation process and help you ensure customers receive their orders on time.
Billing and shipping addresses are crucial for shipping accuracy. However, without automation, it can be hard to get them right. Nextsmartship has custom e-commerce fulfillment solutions that fit any business need. Contact us today; we’ll be glad to help.Get Custom Solutions