Many registration forms need to capture an address from the customer. Often the address captured is the customer’s home address or a delivery address.
The typical registration form will ask the customer for their address in a format such as:
- Address Line 1
- Address Line 2
You can attach the widget to the Address Line 1 field (in the example above), and configure it to automatically populate the existing address form fields when the user selects an address.
When you add AddressFinder to your registration form, we suggest that you reduce the number of fields captured to just a single address line. When the user selects an address, all of the address components will remain within the one address field.
Depending on your requirements, you will probably want some or all of the individual address elements. You should store these in hidden form fields.
Capturing address data
As described above, we suggest that you display the selected address on a single line, but store the individual address elements separately in hidden fields.
Hiding these fields from the user will reduce the size of your form, which may lead to a higher conversion rate. In addition, hiding these fields will reduce the opportunity for the user to tamper or adjust them.
Have a look at the response documentation on the address elements returned. We suggest you store everything, so as to future proof yourselves against any future requirements.
Capturing address meta data
As well as the address elements, we also make available additional meta data about the address. We provide the following meta data for most addresses:
- GPS coordinates (latitude and longitude)
- Meshblock identifier
- New Zealand Post Delivery Point Identifier
- Territorial Authority [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_authorities_of_New_Zealand]
- Region [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regions_of_New_Zealand]
At a minimum, we suggest that you capture the GPS coordinates.
Filtering the address autocomplete
For example, if you are asking your user to select their billing address, you probably want deliverable addresses only. Alternatively, you may want exclude PO Boxes when selecting a delivery address.
Storing the SOA address
Some organisations take advantage of New Zealand Post’s offer to reduce postage rates for accurate addresses. The rates are reduced when the organisation’s address database has a very high match rate with New Zealand Post’s PAF database.
AddressFinder uses the PAF database as part of our dataset, and returns the exact PAF-compatible address data in our result set. Our response documentation contains further detail on these fields (postal_ prefixed fields).
Handling missing addresses
Sometimes an address will appear to be missing from AddressFinder. Our data comes from authoritative sources such as New Zealand Post, Land Information New Zealand, Statistics New Zealand and others. These data sets are occasionally out of sync with reality for a number of reasons - for example, delayed notification of new subdivisions. Or unofficial “grey addresses” that should really be submitted to New Zealand Post.
In cases like this, it makes sense to allow your users to provide their address in a manual manner. We suggest adding a link such as “Enter your address manually” which displays a set of hidden address fields when clicked.
AddressFinder is a very stable platform with an impressive uptime. Our infrastructure has multi-site redundancy and handles failure well.
But, no service can ever be 100% reliable, and occasionally there may be a problem.
We suggest that you allow users an option to manually enter an address for when AddressFinder is unavailable. You could use the approach suggested above.
Our AddressFinder knowledge base has further information about how to use AddressFinder on your website. We are happy to help, so please click the Help button on the bottom right corner of this page to contact support at your leisure.