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How to auto-fill addresses on a website from a postcode

Author: Ben Jeffery

When you've bought products and entered your address online, you've probably typed a postcode and selected your address from a list. It's a familiar feature with online shops, but you may not know how to add it to your own website.

We've applied this functionality to websites and online applications to save users' time and improve the accuracy of addresses. We use Loqate (previously Postcode Anywhere) to provide this service within our address forms because we've found it easy to use and cost-effective for our clients.

How we use Postcode Anywhere (now Loqate)

We recently launched a new online shop for The Cheeseworks, which incorporates a postcode 'lookup' feature in the billing and delivery address forms of the checkout process. Instead of having to type their whole address, customers just enter a postcode and look up their address in a list.

Postcode lookup example

We've also applied this feature to online applications like Community Express.

Once we've set up a Loqate account for our client, we can just drop their code into our website page. The connection to Loqate is seamless, so all the customer sees is our branded checkout form. And there are a number of benefits.

It makes things easier for customers

The main reason to have a postcode lookup in your website is to save customers' time. It's simply quicker to enter a small part of your address than type everything in individually. As most people are familiar with the 'auto-fill' option on the websites they use, even small business websites will be expected to provide it. And anything that makes things quicker for customers is likely to have help improve conversion to sales.

It reduces delivery problems

A postcode lookup on your website address form will also make life easier for you when making deliveries. Because your customers are selecting their address from a pre-existing list instead of typing it themselves, you know that information is already valid. Customers will see instantly if their postcode is incorrect because they won't see their address listed, and they won't be able to type it in wrong as they're choosing from a list.

How much does it cost?

Rather than paying a single or yearly cost for a database, Loqate charges each time a customer uses the postcode lookup on your website. You pay for this by buying a number of credits, which are then reduced with each use. As you're accessing a live service every time, you'll always have the most accurate data as postcodes and addresses are added or updated. This billing model also reduces the risk because you'll only pay as your customers increase.

What's next?

We're also excited about the new Capture+ tool, which takes the postcode functionality a step further with instant 'predictive' search. Customers simply start typing their address and their address will be suggested. Mobile customers can even see suggested addresses based on their current location.

If you want to integrate postcode searches into your website, get in touch. Sign up for Loqate here. Find out more about our web software process.