No one gets into business to waste time and money. But, that’s exactly what happens when you send a package that gets returned. The most frustrating part? When the package is returned because the recipient provided an invalid address.
It seems wild that someone could enter their own mailing address incorrectly — but it happens all the time. That’s why so many companies seek out address validation services. When you integrate an address validation API into your software and systems, it compares the requested address to an authoritative database, and makes changes and suggestions as needed in order to transform it into a valid mailing address.
At ShipEngine, address validation is just one of the services we provide through our API. Here’s a look at how different types of companies and organizations use ShipEngine’s address validation service to save time; money; and better serve their own clients, customers, and users.
1. E-Commerce Platforms
E-commerce platforms are created to help users establish online stores, syndicate products to marketplaces, manage inventory, and generally make running an online business easier. For this reason, many of these brands (such as our partners Volusion and Sellbrite) also offer built-in shipping solutions. To prevent their own users from getting unnecessary returns, these sites often will integrate with an address validation API like ShipEngine’s to provide their users with the best services.
For a short read on how e-commerce platforms can benefit from ShipEngine’s full range of API services, check out our recent case study with Sellbrite.
When we needed a specific shipping solution, ShipEngine delivered. Our users now enjoy access to discounted shipping rates, optimized international shipping, worldwide carrier support, rate visibility, global address verification and more. Best of all, this is a dynamic solution — ShipEngine can help our customers scale their growing businesses. – Brian Nolan, Sellbrite Co-Founder and CEO
2. Online Brands
The same holds true for online brands shipping directly to their customers from their independently hosted website. For example, if you run an online store that sells clothing, electronics, books or some other product, you could use ShipEngine to validate your customers’ addresses during the checkout process. Integrating an online store with an address validation API like ShipEngine’s virtually eliminates the cost and hassle associated with unnecessary returns due to user error.
3. Third-Party Logistics Companies
Third-party logistics companies (or “3PLs,” as they are referred to within the industry) offer transportation- and logistics-related services; including warehouse services, distribution, picking and packing, and more. 3PLs are often charged with shipping a client’s product to customers, which makes address validation an important tool for providing the best services.
To ensure shipments reach their final destinations with minimal returns, 3PLs may integrate address validation software into their own systems. For example, a 3PL could partner with ShipEngine to help automate the process of validating addresses prior to shipments leaving its warehouse.
4. Home-Share and Vacation Rental Services
The continued growth of the sharing economy has prompted the rise of a new address validation use case: home-share services.
Platforms offering vacation rentals and other listed properties might use address validation to pinpoint the location of a home submitted by a new user. While these services aren’t typically shipping products (as many address validators are), it’s important for their customers to be able to rely on the listed address for the property they have reserved. Address validation is a highly beneficial tool for ensuring this information is communicated accurately to users.
5. Background Check Firms
Other non-shipping-related businesses that can benefit from an address verification tool are: financial services companies. These types of businesses are often utilizing personal information (including current and past addresses) to run credit and background checks. If the financial services company submits an invalid address, it is still responsible for the cost of that credit check — no matter how useless the data.
Rather than wasting money on an invalid credit check due to a mistake in an address, companies may choose to use an address validation API like ShipEngine’s.
6. Anyone Who Needs Parsing
Through natural language processing (NLP), ShipEngine can parse and validate addresses. For example, ShipEngine can take raw address information and convert it into the official address recognized by the United States Postal Service (and other domestic and global carriers).
How would this be helpful? Think of the following:
- A school is entering address information provided by parents on a printed handout
- A bride and groom are collecting addresses for sending wedding invitations
- A political campaign is entering address information after volunteers finish canvasing a neighborhood
- A soccer league is planning a direct mail piece that reminds parents of an upcoming registration date
In each situation, the sender is using a batch of raw, unvalidated mailing addresses. ShipEngine can parse and validate each batch, ensuring that the sender avoids the unnecessary cost of returns.
See Our Address Validation Service in Action
At ShipEngine, we offer a Gear Shop where users and prospective users can get up to $50 worth of FREE swag using a 100%-off discount code. This is a great way to see ShipEngine’s address validation API in action.
When Gear Shop users land on the checkout page, they get to see ShipEngine’s real-time address validation. For example, you can enter in the mailing address for ShipEngine’s headquarters in Austin:
ShipEngine takes that raw entry and compares it to the address that the USPS recognizes. The address validation API automatically updates the raw entry to match the address as identified by the USPS:
It’s that easy!
Are you interested in trying the Gear Shop? Contact us to learn more about ShipEngine and to get our current discount code.
Take Advantage of ShipEngine’s Address Validation API
When searching for the perfect address validation API, ShipEngine delivers it. But, you don’t have to take our word for it! We’re firm believers in proof of concept. So, if you sign up for an account today, your first 200 address verifications are FREE! We don’t even require a credit card to claim this introductory offer.
After you’ve used your allotted free USPS address validations, all subsequent verifications are priced per address ($0.01 in the United States and $0.06 internationally).
Sign up for your free account and discover what ShipEngine’s address validation API can do for your business.