About 4 years ago, Andrew Boellstorff, Director of Digital Product & Technology, noticed a concerning trend. Site visits were going up, but conversions to sales were going down. Speedway Motors was also experiencing a shift in visitor source from desktop computers to mobile devices. He decided to start at the base of the sales funnel—the eCommerce checkout process—and start making user interface (UI) improvements from there.
The first step toward improving UX flow and checkout optimization? Adding Smarty's US Address Autocomplete to the checkout experience. "Address autocomplete was a big deal for us, especially when you think about how hard it is on a mobile phone to key in an address," said Boellstorff. As more visitors became mobile users, creating a better mobile checkout UI was essential. They needed to improve their online checkout process.
Smarty's US Address Autocomplete provides typeahead address predictions quickly and flexibly, which prevents typos and saves the online shopper's time when filling out the checkout form. Typing into tiny form fields on a mobile device is especially annoying, and in the eCommerce world, the more time it takes potential customers to fill out their shipping details on your forms, the more likely it is they'll give up, resulting in shopping cart abandonment.
By predicting only validated addresses, Smarty minimizes the number of inputs needed to identify an address. Customers can find the correct address in as few as the first 3-5 characters which can eliminate checkout steps like city, state and ZIP Code fields. It even includes apartments, units, floors, suites, PO boxes, APOs and FPOs in prediction results—information that's essential for accurate package delivery and improving the checkout abandonment rate.
Smarty US Address Autocomplete can also be set up to give top priority to address suggestions that are close to the user's geographical location—suggesting the correct address sooner. With address autocomplete, customers get a sleek, painless eCommerce checkout flow experience.
Based on the positive experience using Smarty's autocomplete product to provide a better checkout UX flow, Speedway Motors also decided to switch from the UPS address validation tool to Smarty's US Address Verification.
One of the benefits of using Smarty Address Verification is that the tool differentiates between residential and commercial addresses. "Shipping to commercial versus residential has different ramifications as far as surcharges and on time deliveries. That's something we were missing and needed to build in," said Boellstorff. "We used Smarty to identify an address as a commercial address." This enabled the Speedway Motors team to add additional form fields to the checkout flow if an address was commercial.
In addition to the mobile checkout page design, Speedway Motors even uses Smarty's address verification service to aid their call center staff when taking orders over the phone. The customer service agent receives the mailing address and billing address spoken over the phone and types it into the system–where it then goes through Smarty's address validation. Having address verification in this step gives the customer service agent the opportunity to ask for corrections from the customer if the address comes back as invalid, before submitting the order.
"Conversion rates are very strong now," said Boellstorff. Speedway Motors also experiences fewer issues with misdelivered or returned packages using Smarty's validation over UPS. Shipping costs rank as one of the company's biggest expenses, so anything to reduce unexpected costs helps the bottom line.
The team at Speedway Motors is familiar with web development and programming and had no issues integrating Smarty's tools into their e-commerce checkout flow. "Everything was well set up on the Smarty side," said Boellstorff. "I've enjoyed working with the service."