Differing address formats around the world create several problems for Customer 360 and Single Customer View implementations.
Your customers will want to enter their addresses in the national format that is most comfortable for them. Since most forms and databases are created for specific markets, each market will tend to have a different format than the others.
Global luxury brands that want to create a personal experience in every market need to address these problems.
Customers will want to enter their address in the format that is most comfortable for them. If your forms do not match their expectations, they may put data in the wrong place. For example, in English-speaking countries, the postal or zip code usually comes last. Sometimes, it is written on a separate line. However, in much of Europe, the code preceeds the town name.
Another example is that in many Western countries, addresses are written from the smallest unit, such as street name, to the largest. However, in Hungary, and when Chinese, Japanese, and Korean customers write their names in their own character set, the opposite order is used. Some more detailed examples may be found in the Microsoft list of international address formats.
For global luxury brands, this creates two problems:
- Forms should reflect how customers want to enter their address. Therefore, e-commerce systems need to be adapable based on ther market.
- Since most country-specific databases are in data silos, a way needs to be found to bring together the data that may be stored in different formats.