Address Validation: Successful Shippers' Secret Weapon

The world of business is changing rapidly by the day. As trade volumes increase, so do applicable rules on rating, labeling, and manifest reporting. With the increasing need for multi-carrier shipping, address validation is more important now than ever.

One concern that continues to trouble shippers is in the area of shipping to the correct addresses. Simple as it seems, the accuracy of shipping addresses continues to be a significant problem for shippers. Data from Temando confirms this too, reporting roughly 45% of shippers say that they have serious concerns with the accuracy of shipping addresses.

You should have concerns too, seeing as the US Postal Service reports that $20 billion is expended annually on "undeliverable as addressed" mail.

The truth is that you can jump through hoops to ensure that a package gets to the customer on time. But if the address has even a single wrong number, one missing word or an obsolete element, you will have wasted all your time and resources in your attempt to deliver the parcel.

Left unaddressed, this will cause serious problems with how customers view your brand and your competitive edge may suffer due to late or suspended delivery. Apart from this, you will most likely incur extra carrier fees due to address corrections. This scenario doesn't sound like any fun.

If you salvage your reputation with your customer and maintain a good working relationship with your carrier, you must look deep into your address validation. Luckily, a carefully selected Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) shipping solution can help you solve all these problems, in one stroke.

Verify shipping address to improve shipping efficiency, customer service, and reliability.

Address validation depends on accurate information

Address validation involves exchanging data with your carrier in a seamless, streamlined process. If your carrier does not have the right information, the right document or in the right format, it can halt the movement of your goods. Consequently, deadlines will not be met.

Unfortunately, more than 50% of businesses do not have strong confidence in the data they carry. This means up to half of data transmitted to carriers may be faulty. They may be incomplete or compromised in some other way.

Apart from this, carriers are constantly updating zip codes and other data that will be crucial to address validation. So they need to work with a provider that takes compliance seriously.

As the crucial link between you and your customer, your carrier is not just a business provider. It is the final visual representation of the service you provide to your customer. So when the carrier delivers your customer’s parcel late or to the wrong address, it reflects poorly not just the carrier, but also on your brand.

The benefits of seamless address validation

Involving yourself and your business in a more comprehensive address validation will bring several benefits to your business. These benefits include the following:

Reduce shipping expenses

Expenses can balloon due to freight and routing issues. Often linked to incorrect carrier or ship-to-location issues, they result in compliance-related chargebacks. These will add on to the cost of shipping the goods to the customer. And since they would not have originally been accounted for, they will result in a loss to your business.

These will especially be an issue when your business leverages multi-carrier shipping. And your business can hardly avoid this as multi-carrier shipping is now par for the course. It is crucial to providing the most competitive shipping costs and options to your customers.

The right multi-modal and multi-carrier shipping software will help you automate compliance. It will cover the scope of shipping labels, packing lists, carrier manifests and bills of lading. This will help your business better maximize profitability and cut chargebacks.

Improve performance

When shipping goes wrong, the retailer takes the blame. According to data from PRWeb, 94% of customers blame the retailer when shipping goes wrong. Compared to this, only 42% blame the delivery provider when things go wrong.

This shows that you will lose more than your carrier when shipping takes a wrong turn. But this is a bit incongruous as you are not directly responsible for shipping. You may expect your carrier to help resolve issues. But a true shipping software partner will help avoid them before they arise.

Same as customers blame brands when shipping goes wrong, the same brands get the love when things go well. The data from PRWeb shows that 96% of customers say it reflects well on the brand when shipping goes well.

Leveraging on ERP software that provides real-time address validation helps a better experience. It will also help you better position your brand to secure customer confidence. The software will allow your business focus on core manufacturing and distribution concerns. Then your shipping software partner can focus more on delivering results to your customers.

Make your customers happy

Retailers are more aware now than before about how customers interact with brands. There is a greater focus on trying to shop and engage with brands from the perspective of the customer. Having a positive outcome from the online shopping experience to packaging and delivery is vital to success.

This should be the case, since much of the demand and power has shifted to the customer. For instance, businesses can instantly feel the warmth of consumer endorsements. They can just as quickly feel the sting of criticism in reviews. Wouldn’t it be better for your business to stay on the warm and positive side of consumer sentiments?

However, a few things can pummel your ratings and reviews as quickly as poor user experience or satisfaction when they interact with your brand. Your order, delivery, and returns experience naturally drive your customers’ experience.

Robust analytics features within your automated shipping software can help customer experience by quickly
identifying and correcting shipping problems. You can do so even before the customer is aware. Plus, ShipERP can better help you turn data into insights that guide your selection of carriers based on crucial key performance indicators (KPIs).

Increase customer loyalty

Maximum customer satisfaction is linked to repeat business. The overall shipping experience you provide will be key to retaining customer confidence. This is what will bring them back again and again.

Furthermore, automated shipping will afford your business finely-attuned address validation. This will help your business to continue refining the shipping experience.

Data from the software will be critical to understanding the statistics behind your customers’ loyalty. Your business can in turn focus on fine-tuning these areas to increase customer engagement and satisfaction.

Address Validation is seamless with SAP shipping  software

A detail as simple as one missing letter in an address can throw all your efforts at customer satisfaction out the window. It won’t do to have such little details ruin your customer experience and satisfaction.

With ShipERP’s compliance solutions, you can optimize your entire shipping process. You don’t have to worry about weak or incomplete data anymore, as our ShipAVM module is specifically adapted to take care of your address validation data worries.

The ShipAVM module checks a customer’s address and provides suggested alternatives. It will do this if an error is
discovered before the parcel is shipped out. The solution performs street-level address validation within SAP. This can be done at the customer master record creation, at sales order creation, or at time of shipment.

Doing so ensures that your address validation is top notch. It will also eliminate concerns regarding your
data integrity and the possibility of charge backs due to incorrect addresses or routes.

Using natively integrated software that reaches master data, ensures that your address validation is top
notch. It will also eliminate concerns regarding your data integrity and the possibility of chargebacks due to incorrect addresses or routes.

If you would like to understand more about how the SAP shipping solution ShipERP can help increase your
business’ shipping functionality, please click here to contact us. You can also click here to schedule a demo to get a feel for how the system works before considering a more concrete commitment.

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