Q: What is Google Autocomplete?
A: Google Autocomplete speeds up the checkout by reducing the number of keystrokes and offering suggestions as the user types. It looks like this:
Google Autocompletion is provided by Shopify and BigCommerce
Q: What is Address Validator?
A: Address Validator checks addresses for deliverability to reduce failed deliveries and delays in shipping. It looks like this:
Address Validator checks for deliverability
Google Autocomplete is great for speeding up the checkout, but can potentially cause issues
Autocomplete issue #1: Missing apartment numbers
Many urban addresses require an apartment number and omitting this component often results in a failed delivery. Address Validator checks to make sure an apartment number is specified when necessary, Google Autocomplete does not.
For example, Infinity Towers in San Francisco has 650 units and is located at 301 Main Street. Google Autocomplete does not offer any suggestions with apartment numbers. Some customers may select an address from the list and forget to specify the unit number:
Address Validator issues a warning if the customer proceeds without an apartment number:
Autocomplete issue #2: Non-existent addresses
Customers inadvertently transpose two characters. For example, they may type in "310 Main Street" instead of "301 Main Street". The former does not exist and will result in a failed delivery.
Google Autocomplete does not check for deliverability. For example, 300000 Main St does not exist, but Google Autocomplete still populates a list of addresses for the customer to select:
Address Validator issues a warning if the customer proceeds with an address that does not exist:
Autocomplete issue #3: Missing street number
Some customers may choose suggestions without street numbers, resulting in failed deliveries:
Address Validator checks to make sure all the address components, including the house number and apartment number, are specified.