Task/Challenge: Previously, as a customer checking out, if I incorrectly entered my address, our system would automatically correct the address to the first valid address provided by the USPS database. This solution provided the customer no opportunity to overwrite this suggestion thereby requiring them to accept the recommendation or abandon their cart.
Toolbelt: User Scenarios, Competitive Analysis, Wireframes, Visual Design, Design Specifications
Results: Provide an interface that alerted the customer that the address was not located in the USPS database, whether due to an incorrect address or because the address is unknown to USPS. Furthermore, put control in the users hand to select 1 of 2 recommended addresses or continue with the address as originally entered accepting risk for any delays in shipping.
Background:The first version of our shipping address step provided customers with no control over their shipping address in the situation that the USPS database failed to recognize the address entered. The system completed an address verification check behind the scenes and if the address provided didn’t pass, the system would automatically overwrite the address with the first suggestion. This method took all control out of the customer's hands and in this instance users abandoned their cart.
Our goal was to design a solution which (a) provided suggestions rather than force the user to continue with the first and only suggestion thereby provviding them with more control, (b) point out the differences, most often calling out typos and (c) allowed the users to continue with the original address suggested in instances that they knew best.
By far the most common scenario. Users simply entering their own address incorrectly.
One of Academy's overarching persona is one that lives in rural areas. Their mailbox is only accessible by a dirt road. It's these addresses which don't always make it into the USPS database.
Occasionally, our brick-and-mortar stores are constructed in developing suburbs. The neighborhoods around it aren't even completely developed and thus their is a period of time that the addresses haven't made it into the database.
Because this is a feature which is common in ecommerce, I started by collecting examples from the industry to understand what patterns customers were familiar with.
Knowing a majority of customers who received this alert did so as a result of a typo, so selecting the first suggestion by default was ideal to move the customer through this step promtply. Highlighting the differences aimed to allow the user to quickly scan the alert and easily digest what was going on. One of the key interaction goals was to allow the user to click anywhere within the address to select.
Last goal was to provide copy which communicated to the user what the problem was and what the potential consequences were if they were to proceed with the address as originally entered. This message targeted the customer who lives in a rural area or in a newly developed neighborhood - putting control in the user’s hands and trusting they know their address despite it not being in the USPS database.
The feedback confirmed that we were heading in the right direction, thus, we continued forward with the design. I pulled together a visual design that aligned with our style guide at the time and even went as far as defining specifications for the front-end developer to style.
It should come as no surprise but the solution decreased the exit rate on the shipping address page, resulting in a lift in conversion.