Tips for formatting store addresses

When you add stores to Stockist, one of the most important tasks we do is called geocoding - it's the process of looking up geographical coordinates for each store so that we can show a pin in the right spot on the map.

There are a few tips you can use when formatting your addresses to ensure you get great results.

Things you don't have to worry about

First, the good news! Our system can automatically find and correct some common problems:

U.S. Zip codes missing a leading zero

Some tools (notably Excel) love numbers and will try to convert zip codes that start with a 0 into a number, so e.g. 06141 will end up as 6141. If left alone, the geocoding process can get confused because Zip codes are expected to be 5 or 9 digits long.

Fortunately, we can detect and fix this problem automatically. As you go through the import steps, if your file has this problem it'll be called out on the Quick Fix page. Simply select the "US Zip codes missing leading 0" fix and we'll instantly correct this throughout your file.

Things to do

There are still some other tips you can follow to get the best results:

Leave out extraneous information

Extra details in the address fields can reduce the accuracy of matches, for example:

  • In care of (name)
  • Suite or floor numbers
  • Shopping center names
  • Human directions (e.g. "next to Safeway")

The geocoding process is designed to identify addresses based on the street address alone, so extra data can cause confusion. For best results, remove these unnecessary details.

Don't use PO boxes

We can't identify a specific physical location for PO boxes, and they're not somewhere your customers can visit, so it's best not to use these. We suggest replacing these with a physical street address or removing them entirely.

If you want to keep the store but don't have a physical address, consider removing the PO box details and just leaving the city and state.