Consumer buying behaviour has changed dramatically in recent years, largely due to the rapid upsurge of ecommerce

While shopping in-store was once the favoured way to shop, the digital technology boom means that consumers now have a global shopping experience at their fingertips via desktop and mobile devices, connecting them in minutes with retailers across the world.

As a result, ecommerce has become a key growth segment for retailers. Through this approach, a local business can sell products to buyers worldwide with little investment and at relatively low financial risk. Yet despite its exciting growth potential, it is challenging to achieve successfully and profitably. When businesses are trying to build their ecommerce efforts or enhance their digital presence, their success is dependent on one thing: data quality. The integrity of their consumer data is critical to providing an excellent experience that will build loyal relationships and nurture growth. As your customers get further away from you, this is harder to achieve.

Expand your retail business: From checkout to delivery

Ecommerce is broadly defined as the process of selling products or services online across geopolitical borders to customers in foreign countries. Statistica projects that around 22% of global retail sales by 20241 will be a result of ecommerce, rising to close to a quarter by 2026. In 2021, retail ecommerce sales amounted to approximately 5.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide and this figure is forecast to grow by 56 percent over the next few years, to around 8.1 trillion dollars by 2026, illustrating just how profitable an option borderless ecommerce is becoming for online retailers.

In borderless ecommerce, no customer should be out of reach. Creating a seamless consumer experience from check out to delivery relies upon collecting quality accurate data in an easy, frictionless fashion. Yet consumers are more demanding than ever before. They expect a smooth on-line shopping experience, and they want the processes to be completed as fast as possible, in as few steps as possible. They also want to know that their purchase will arrive with them in a timely manner.

Achieve deeper customer insights with location intelligence

As well as knowing who your customers are, knowing exactly where your customers are is vital. From ensuring that deliveries will be made, to allocating resources, analysing markets and planning for the future, location intelligence is a powerful solution that not only allows you to get to know your customers on a deeper level, but also provides an enhanced understanding of upcoming trends, leading to better, faster and more strategic decision making.


Once you have a customer’s postal address a geocoding solution converts it into geographical coordinates that can be exactly pinpointed on a map, identifying any obstacles to deliver and giving an extra layer of accuracy when mapping customer addresses. Geocoordinates can also be used for many things such as verifying address data, mapping the most efficient and cost-effective delivery routes, for example, two addresses may appear close together when considered by postcode alone, however in reality this can often be misleading, or to create location-based applications or offers. It also makes it easy to visualise trends in customer locations.

Data enrichment:

Contact data can also be enriched with additional attributes such as lifestyle and demographic data, business data to provide a more detailed view of your customers. By enriching your data, your organisation gleans new information about your customers while also making sure your existing data is accurate.

For example, you may wish to expand your customer postal address information with data about the properties where customers live. You can enrich your existing records with location data sets that could give you information on property taxes, dwelling type, or geocodes for more accurate deliveries. Or you might find that customers from a certain area are more likely to buy a certain product. Ultimately, as new information becomes available through enrichment, you can use this information to re-evaluate strategies and make stronger business decisions.

Improved customer experience:

Location intelligence also plays a huge role in improving the customer experience by enhancing customer service. Often an address on its own is not enough to reach customers. Avoid the potential for failed deliveries by successfully reaching your customers every time, stop important emails about their purchase emails going in to spam or worse, not being delivered at all. Capture addresses quickly Entering addresses line by line is time consuming.

Deliver on time, every time

Speed is a critical importance in the online shopping experience. Many retailers have experienced logistical difficulties as a result of the pandemic, including shipping delays; however, this has not changed consumer expectations of receiving their packages, or at least information about their delivery, as soon as possible. Smart retailers understand how tracking data can help them. While it may appear simple to outsource tracking information and leave it in the hands of a distribution partner, it can be used to allow retailers to continue engaging with their customers.

Address validation integrated into Yodel website

Address validation integrated into Yodel website

Yodel has experienced unprecedented growth in demand during the Covid-19 pandemic when the need for contactless delivery became critical. To increase profitability and delivery capacity, Yodel needed to reduce the time taken to deliver parcels, streamline route planning across their delivery network and eliminate any other barriers to successful delivery.

The company utilises Experian’s address validation and cleansing solutions powered by Royal Mail’s UK postal data and Experian’s Location Complete dataset. The solutions enabled Yodel to introduce comprehensive data quality checks and remediations across the various channels where they capture postal addresses. Increase first-time delivery rates by 5%, which is the equivalent of 300,000 additional parcels reaching their intended destination every year. Further streamline its route planning and delivery processes by ensuring reliable addresses with rich location insight are to hand for their delivery drivers.

Simplify the checkout process to make it more convenient for your customers

Best practice involves the implementation of contact data validation solutions that ensure that the data collected is as accurate as possible. Fifty six percent of the UK said shopping online was more convenient than shopping in a store2. Forms should be as simple as possible. You don’t want customers to leave because they have too many questions. They’ve decided to buy, and asking too many questions may cause them to abandon their cart. Consider what information is required for customers to complete the checkout process. By integrating data quality solutions into your ecommerce onboarding and checkout processes is the fastest way to capture, standardise, validate and enrich postal addresses, email and phone numbers in real-time, at the point of entry.

By carefully considering their data collection processes, ecommerce retailers ensure they are gathering accurate contact data at the point of entry, preventing costly issues further down the line. Forrester conducted a report where they explored best practices for checkout and payment features for mobile sites. They recommended autofills to expedite the checkout process3. Implementing real-time data validation tools greatly reduces the chance of basket abandonment. Our address auto-complete technology for instance intelligently predicts and pinpoints the correct address as the user types, reducing the entry time by up to 80% with minimal keystrokes. All this helps to maintain a slick process, reducing the friction and frustration that can often lead to purchase abandonment.

Address validation

Powered by the most accurate address and location data, Experian Address Validation is the fastest way to capture, complete, format, validate and enrich addresses from 245 countries in real-time. By matching data in this way, you can ensure accuracy in every address, lessen the likelihood of problems in the delivery process, reduce the chance of returned mail, streamline operations, enhance customer profiling, and improve targeted marketing efforts.

Email validation

Email is a powerful tool for ecommerce retailers, ensuring the deliverability of important consumer communications related to their purchase. Experian’s Email Validation tool can capture and verify addresses as they’re entered, automatically suggesting corrections if they’re invalid to ensure you gain genuine, error-free email addresses at the point of first contact, preventing invalid and undeliverable email addresses from entering your database.

Phone verification

A valid phone number is essential to provide important text updates regarding the consumer’s purchase. The Experian Phone Validation solution collects information like phone type and network provider and can even identify disposable mobile numbers. To make sure the phone number is receiving calls, our software sends a test message to the phone, which is not visible to the phone’s owner.

How can we help?

To thrive in a borderless ecommerce environment, it is optimal to enrich contact data at every stage of the customer journey. Armed with such data insight, businesses can continue to build on their current business intelligence and provide a more personalised experience, improving their competitive appeal with localised promotions aimed at clearly defined audiences.

Experian’s range of smart data validation solutions can fully integrate with your ecommerce processes to help you verify and validate your customers’ phone, email and address details as it is entered, ensuring the data captured is accurate. These features provide a frictionless checkout experience, increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

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Post tagged in: Data Management, Data Validation