It’s important for a package to reach its correct destination safely. FedEx, in particular, puts in a lot of effort to ensure it happens every time. They have FedEx Address Validation service to determine locations and get shipments delivered to their right addresses.
In this guide, we will explore FedEx Address Validation service and look at the benefits of using it along with your WooCommerce or Shopify store. We will see how this service works in WooCommerce FedEx shipping plugin and Shopify FedEx App.
Read along to know more.
What is FedEx Address Validation service?
FedEx offers its users with a premium service called FedEx Address Validation. With this enabled for your account, you can confirm if the address entered into the form is a valid address or not. Like how certain software notifies you when entered a wrong password.
Notifications, error messages and pop-ups generally appear in instances when an address that is entered fails its FedEx Address Validation check. This prevents the customer to proceed with their checkout until and unless a valid address has been entered.
How does FedEx Address Validation work?
This service checks if the entered street, city, state (province in some cases), or postal/zip code is correct or not. In some cases, FedEx Address Validation may be able to add missing information depending on the verification of the provided information against reference data. However, it cannot add missing secondary information (i.e. apartment or suite).
It also checks if the street number is within a valid range for the street entered. The service informs you when an address cannot be resolved (address verified against reference data) based on the street number, street name, city, state or province, or postal/zip code entered.
To sum up, here are the details required by the service to validate.
- Address with at least 1 address line
- State/Province (if applicable)
- Postal/zip code (if the country is postal aware)
How to enable FedEx Address Validation service for your FedEx Account?
The process of enabling FedEx Address Validation is really simple. You would find it as an option while setting up your FedEx Account.
- Call 1877 339 277
- Once you are in contact with a FedEx Web Service Representative, ask him or her to enable the FedEx Address Validation service for your account. For that, you will need your FedEx Account and Meter number, and your company name, address, phone number.
- Ask for a reference number, and save it for future reference in case you need to follow up with them later.
- The change should be completed while you are on the phone so you can have a product in the checkout with an address. When they tell you it is complete, click on the zip code field and then scroll down to the shipping area. The FedEx methods should appear. If not, let them know you are not getting rates yet.
If you’re using an online shipping solution like WooCommerce FedEx shipping plugin or Shopify FedEx App, you may have to make sure it works with the FedEx API. You can refer to getting FedEx production credentials guide to know the necessary steps.
What are the benefits of using FedEx Address Validation service on your online store?
As a store owner, it is important to make sure that your customers have a seamless experience while completing their checkout formalities. You can use when submitting an online registration form, using to fulfill shipping addresses in e-commerce websites, and much more. Here are some of the benefits of using this service.
- Provides street level matches
- Receives monthly updates to its address database
- Checks addresses in several countries in these regions – U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific
- Can distinguish between business and residential addresses (for the U.S. and Canada addresses only)
- Up to 100 addresses can be checked in one Web Service request
Note: FedEx does not normally deliver to P.O. box addresses for U.S. or U.S. inbound shipments. However, FedEx may deliver to post office boxes in some rural locations if the P.O. box is associated with an address.
You may also use P.O. box addresses for certain international locations, including shipments to Puerto Rico, but you must include a valid phone, fax or telex number on the label. You can read more about FedEx international shipping if you want to know more.
The FedEx Address Validation helps both the shipper as well as the Recipient on an e-commerce level. It helps you by,
- Speeding up the checkout process for customers by cutting keystrokes by nearly 80%
- Restricting duplicates addresses and ensuring that the addresses entered are done so in a standard and consistent format
- Populating accurate addresses and ensuring that deliveries and invoices get shipped to the right place thus cutting down on missed deliveries
- Utilizing an advanced search logic which provides accurate addresses regardless of the spelling entered by customers
Does FedEx Address Validation support international addresses?
Yes, FedEx Address Validation works with international/overseas locations. It provides users with the ability to choose language and format for the specific country. Here are the countries where it supports.
|Dominican Republic||Trinadad and Tobago|
So you can have the addresses on packages sent to international addresses in their appropriate language and format. Doing this will also decrease the chance of misspelling.
What is the difference between a Commercial and Residential address?
In general, FedEx ship items to two types of locations—Commercial/business and Residential. Depending on the type of address, FedEx determines the shipping cost. So it is important you understand both of them.
Commercial addresses are generally the locations which are considered as commercial real estate. These locations are usually classified as a warehouse that has tractor-trailer access and a loading dock.
Residential addresses, on the other hand, are any business location that is operated from a home, apartment, or any other similar area where people live. Delivery trucks usually enter these areas to perform the final delivery. In addition, the overall shipping charges are slightly higher than that of commercial addresses.
For instance, FedEx Ground charges $10 to deliver a package while FedEx Home Delivery charges $13 for the same address (residential) and package. Let’s see how the WooCommerce FedEx shipping plugin helps in determining a commercial and residential shipping address.
How does FedEx Address Validation work in WooCommerce?
WooCommerce does not provide FedEx Address Validation service as a standalone feature. In fact, it does not even support FedEx shipping and you need to install the WooCommerce FedEx shipping plugin to enable such feature.
With WooCommerce FedEx shipping plugin, you can enjoy an end-to-end FedEx shipping experience. You can have FedEx real-time shipping rates displayed on your Cart/Checkout page, print FedEx shipping labels right off your store, schedule FedEx pickups and much more.
In particular, you can use the FedEx Ground for commercial addresses and FedEx Home Delivery for your residential addresses. Let’s take an example to see it working in real-life.
Note: Given that FedEx Address Validation service works only under a live/production environment, you cannot use your test account. Please follow the FedEx production credential setup process to do that.
The FedEx Address Validation is pre-defined within the plugin. It will automatically determine if the Zip/Postal code entered is valid and matches that of a location which is serviceable.
A real-life example
Proceed to the cart page and try entering a wrong or incorrect ZIP. The error message will appear above the cart as shown in the red banner (below). Stating ‘No shipping options were found for…‘.
But when you enter a correct one, you should be able to see the shipping rates. Check out the image shown below.
The customer is notified when a wrong/incorrect ZIP is typed out on the checkout page. The same message again reappears saying, ‘No shipping method has been selected. Please double check your address, or contact us if you need any help.‘ This will not permit a customer to proceed to complete payment for the order.
In the instance where there is Flat Rate shipping services or Free Shipping services; the order will get processed and is up-to-the Store owner to get in touch with the customer to obtain the right address or the order will get canceled.
The store owner will receive this error message in the Order Details page of his store. This will not permit the store owner to ship the product nor Generate packages and create Shipping labels.
How to default the delivery address to Residential?
But let’s say you ship to both business and residential addresses. Then how will the shipping cost is passed from FedEx be the residential or commercial delivery rate? And what if you want to default to the residential address rate in case the FedEx API fails to detect?
Well, the address validation service identifies whether the address is commercial or residential. To get accurate rates, it is considered a good practice to have the address validation service. If you have address validation enabled, it does not matter whether you marked the address residential or not, the FedEx API will validate the address on its own and return the rates on the basis of that.
In addition, the ‘Default to residential delivery’ option allows you to set the fallback address as residential. So if ever the FedEx API doesn’t work or is broken for some reason, the entered addresses would be defaulted as residential. You can read more about the FedEx residential delivery and FedEx Home Delivery.
How does FedEx Address Validation work in Shopify?
Shopify shipping provides shipping from carriers like UPS, USPS, and DHL. But it does not provide advanced features like the FedEx Address Validation. You need to install the Shopify FedEx App to do that. This App allows you to provide real-time FedEx shipping rates on your Checkout page. This intuitive shipping App provides end-to-end shipping by providing FedEx shipping labels, shipment tracking, FedEx pickup, and more.
The App automatically identifies the address type by interacting directly with the FedEx APIs. So whenever a commercial address is entered in the Customer Information page, commercial shipping rates would show up. And whenever a residential address is entered, residential the corresponding shipping rates are displayed.
Coming back to the point, this App sends the request for residential address check to FedEx API every time a customer enters an address in the Cart page. FedEx then checks for the address and validates the request if correct. It sends the valid shipping service along with rates back to the App which then displays on the Checkout page.
However, Shopify shipping process focuses on making the shopping experience better. The process is different when compared to that WooCommerce where customers can see the shipping rates on the Cart page.
In Shopify, customers would have to enter the address first before they can see the shipping rates. The Customer Information page takes care of that and the address is validated at this step. Have a look at the image below.
This means that customers would not be allowed to see the FedEx shipping rates unless they enter a correct address. In addition, letting customers know about the incorrect address right then and there is good practice.
In this article, we discussed how the FedEx Address validation works in FedEx and how it identifies a commercial and residential address. We also saw how the WooCommerce FedEx shipping plugin and Shopify FedEx App helps you do that on your store.
If you have any query regarding this article then feel free to contact our customer support. They would be more than happy to help you out and set up shipping on your online store.