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In the order process we ask the visitor the address he want us to ship the ordered products and the address he want us to send the invoice

Most of the time, both are the same. We don't want the visitor to type the address twice in that case. after the shipping address, should we put:

☑ Send invoice to the same address

or

☐ Send invoice to another address

In both case the default is to no do anything if the address is the same. but is one better than the other? I think I like the second better but I can't figure if I'm right or why

-- edit:

in each case (shipping and invoice address), the user is presented with a dropdown to select an existing address, when one is selected, the complete address is displayed underneath. there is also an option to add a new address in which case, the block displaying the address is replaced by a a form where the user have to type it's address

but most of the time, there will be no form

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

In an online shop shipping physical goods you really need a shipping address, otherwise it's hard to know where to send the goods. In a few cases customers might want to enter a different billing address, but mostly not (make sure by doing some research in the existing customer database if you can). So it's preferred to give the option "[ ] Send invoice to a different address"

So you're right to default to both being the same which makes the form look much easier in the beginning. Those users actively selecting to enter a different address will not be surprised if the form has more fields after they ticked the checkbox. In other words, the default should be a checkbox that is not selected.

Addition:
The edit of the original question changes this from my point of view and opens up for another solution. How about displaying not displaying a checkbox but a dropdown? Default option in the dropdown is "same address". The other options are the other addresses that are stored in the system and would display the corresponding address if selected. The last option in the dropdown is "new billing address" which would reveal the form to enter a new address.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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I really like your suggestion, might to just that. thanks –  Mathieu Oct 15 '13 at 22:43
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I would suggest "Bill to" instead of "Send invoice to", as it doesn't use the ambiguous verb "send" which I associate with the action happening to my package, not my invoice. –  harbichidian Oct 15 '13 at 22:47
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I think first one is better, as it allows the application to pre-populate most of the fields by itself. Even though invoicing address is not same as shipping address, it could be nearby so fields like City, Pin-code, country, or even town doesn't have to be entered again.

In case of second one, website is not telling the user explicitly where the invoice will be sent (or whether it will be sent or not) if this Check-box is not selected.

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There are two ways to look at pre-population: Copying the address might save time if it's really similar. But while the address might be similar it's most likely not the same. So it requires the user to change something and then add instead of just adding, basically two tasks. However, I think pre-population would work with both options. –  greenforest Oct 15 '13 at 10:52
    
@greenforest That is true. But having worked on many such enterprise apps, I can tell you that it is almost never the case. Very rarely is invoicing/billing address different from shipping address, or at least they are quite nearby. –  gurvinder372 Oct 15 '13 at 10:55
    
@gurvinder372 I've update the answer to add more informations: in our case, most of the time there is no form. and in every case, the invoice is not sent, the second address is just displayed on the pdf. Does those informations changes you answer? –  Mathieu Oct 15 '13 at 14:06
    
@Mathieu Not really. What matters here is what message you are giving to the user. If invoice is not mandatory then why suggest the user that if checkbox is not selected then we 'MIGHT' send the invoice to same address? Why not specifically indicate then if you want to send invoice to another address (if they want to send the address), then only select the address? Hope you get what I am trying to suggest. –  gurvinder372 Oct 15 '13 at 17:34
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