The Royal Mail-sponsored annual International Delivery Report published its 2012 findings in May, having put 83 UK retailers to the test. The report is conducted with a view to provide a benchmark of the online shopping experience that UK retailers offer their overseas customers. The report’s findings suggest that while some retailers have demonstrated improvements in their overseas delivery proposition, the experience for international customers is still very different to that of UK customers.
The report includes recommendations for best practice e-commerce – one of which is to support international address lookup and accurate address capture, as some 24% of international deliveries from e-commerce sites were found to arrive later than expected and a further 14% failed to provide a timescale at all.
While we acknowledge that accurate address capture is a valid and valuable recommendation, individual countries’ addresses are typically not structured uniformly, meaning that importing and exporting goods to multiple countries becomes next to impossible to co-ordinate simply, as a single address database cannot be constructed.
However, by converting raw address data from individual countries into the widely recognised Universal Postal Union’s international addressing templates – the Standard S42 format – UKretailers are given access to a standardised central database with multiple address datasets. With almost a quarter of international online retail deliveries failing to be delivered on time – largely due to inaccurate delivery details – harnessing this technology through the use of address look-up software is essential in meeting the international demand and bringing the international rate of successful, timely deliveries in line with that of the UK. With WorldAddresses.com’s flexible purchase scheme of the World Addresses Web look-up service, the provision of such a tool becomes nothing short of an affordable necessity.
Click here to find out more about the business benefits of implementing an international address lookup service and to download your free trial.