Pandemic Makes Solid Address Verification Vital In e-Commerce

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many customers, wary of venturing out into public places, to move their purchases to the digital sphere. Meanwhile, e-Commerce businesses are struggling to keep up with the new challenges that come part and parcel with this dramatic shift. It’s not enough to simply jump on the proverbial bandwagon and enjoy the influx of online customers, it is about differentiating themselves from existing competitors and winning their loyalty.

Striking A Balance

More than ever, customers are looking to have a simple and streamlined purchasing experience as well as a fast and efficient delivery of their purchases. If a customer experiences any type of “onboarding strain”, it is highly likely that they will abandon their cart and not return back to the website. Additionally, they will seek the same product from a competitor. 

Verifying the customer’s essential and sensitive information such as their name, physical address, and their payment method is still a critical step for e-Commerce businesses to verify identity. However, the key theme is to do it quickly to keep the customer interested and engaged until the end of the purchase journey. Keeping the customer’s sensitive information safe is another essential element that must not be ignored. 

As a rule, e-Commerce sites have been required to gather specific information from new customers in order to verify their identities. Current marketplaces have labored for years to expedite the process to appease consumers. 

Rodrigo Rodríguez, assortment and merchandising regional manager for Latin American eCommerce marketplace Linio, had this to say:

“Something that we cannot take out right now is [collecting] the address … because that is where [customers are] going to receive [their] products. So, if you have a bad address, [the sale is] not going to happen. We have a customer experience team and a customer support team that calls our customers sometimes just to make sure their addresses are correct, but … we look at the funnel of views and the whole experience, [including] when and how the customer gets into Linio.”

Verifying addresses on an international level has proven to be complex. As Linio currently serves close to 5 million customers across Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, and Peru, it works closely in collaboration with bank and payment processors to evaluate the accuracy of this information. This enables the speedup of the process for customers and individual sellers in various markets. 

Address verification is just one key component in the onboarding process. However, payments must also be processed seamlessly. This has proven to be a great challenge as consumers’ “preferred methods” of payment has shifted quickly due to the pandemic. 

Looking Ahead

Due to the frantic rush to online shopping, a clear by-product has been a change in payment preferences and behaviors. Online shoppers worldwide are trying new payment methods and e-Commerce businesses are grappling with the adaptation to these shifts. 

For those not yet initiated into online shopping, many will be forced to. Luckily, they are losing the fear of putting their personal information online and this will open them up to exploring and trying new e-Commerce platforms. Although Rodriguez refers it to a “forced entry”, it has helped companies like Linio to grow the customer base.

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