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The shipping field seems pretty standard, meaning most platforms have the same fields.The three companies I analyzed are Amazon, Ebay, and Aliexpress on mobile. Their fields for adding a new address are:

  • Name
  • Address 1
  • Adddress 2
  • City
  • state/province/region
  • postal code/zip
  • telephone
  • country

ebay aliexpress amazon

Why do we ask users for their telephone number? Is this because they are big companies and want to be extra secure? Can smaller companies get away with this? My research also says you should never ask more than you need. So do we really need their phone number?

The order of the field drills from address > city > province/state > postal code/ZIP > country. This makes sense for users as it drills down to their location. However, my developer suggest we have postal code first as it can auto fill the city, province/state, and country. Although this is efficient, I feel like it would break the user's mental mapping of their location.

Should guest check out include their email address? It seems to be dropped in most cases to facilitate checkout and avoid cart abandonment.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because only one question per post is allowed. Please edit and cast a reopen vote. – Benny Skogberg Dec 16 '15 at 22:14
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    It wasn't my intention to make you leave UX.SE, and I apologize if this is what my actions made you do. I only wanted to address the fact that you ask several questions here which makes the question too broad. I've edited it a bit, but I want you to continue the edit and narrowing the question to the real issue. Or you could split the question into several posts. Whatever you chose will make it easier for the community to answer you questions. – Benny Skogberg Dec 17 '15 at 5:39
  • @Bearsaur Very interesting point you make about using post code first. If filling a field, helps the user in filling 3 less fields - then there s certain value in it. And hope you understand Benny's point here. Also Benny, I think you were a bit harsh when you mentioned this to be off-topic ;) – Amit Jain Dec 17 '15 at 5:54
  • Depending on the courier's company, a phone number is asked. About the zip code... good luck, will be a very large list :D – pabloFdz Dec 17 '15 at 15:39
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I recommend reading Baymard Institute articles since they provide a lot of research on this exact topic. But to answer your questions.


Why do we ask users for their telephone number?

If you don't need a telephone number, you shouldn't ask for one.

All the examples mentioned (Amazon, Ebay and Aliexpress) are selling physical goods. And most (if not all) shipping companies require you to submit a telephone number so they can reach you when the order is about to be delivered. None of the mentioned companies above use your number to send you promotional offers.

What is interesting though, is the fact that the telephone number is grouped with addresses, and not with general contact information fields. But I guess there is a use case where you are sending a package to someone else, thus making your contact information irrelevant.


Breaking the user's mental mapping of their location.

It is not an issue.

I was also wondering about this one for a while. Since it goes against the well established pattern of writing an address down. But again, Baymard Institute did a very interesting research.

But there are things you should implement when working with auto detection. Like fallback for instance.


Should guest check out include their email address?

Yes.

Since we are talking about a checkout its safe to assume you are selling products on your website. It doesn't matter whether you are selling digital or physical products. Users are used to and expect a confirmation email saying "We got your order". It is also a good idea to include a receipt in such an email in case your customer needs one.

From business point of view you want to have your customers emails. You can then inform them about your product updates (if its digital) and new products (if they opted in somewhere during the checkout).


General tips for shipping/address form

This is how I design shipping forms.

enter image description here

  1. Name should always be in one field. Its the most comfortable way for your customer to type his/hers name. It also deals with a case where your customer has one or more middle names.

  2. Country should follow. If you are operating on only one market, you don't have to display this option. If you are available world wide though, this will determine whether to display State (which is not relevant, or the same as country for most of the countries). And also choose a dataset for your Zip code auto-fill. If most of you users are coming from one country though, you can preselect it.

  3. Address. Most forms have two addresses, one for a street number and the second for apartment suite or company name. Again, it is not relevant for most users so hiding it like this results in less noise.

  4. ZIP Code. As suggested by our developer, once your customer has chosen his/hers country, you can fill out the rest. Its also a good idea to format this field as well as prevent your customer from writing letters.

If you have country preselected, your customer has to write into as little as 3 input fields to fill out his/hers shipping info.

I generally have contact information input later during the checkout process.

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Taking mobile numbers is always good the reasons are as follows--

  1. you might become a big company one day so you will need extra security then.
  2. Also you might want to send mobile notification to the user in the future so you will need their numbers for that.

I agree with you in the postal code matter. I t can definitely harm users mindset.

If one user is using your site as a guest they might be reluctant to give their email address.So drop the idea if you don't REALLY need their emails for some other purposes.

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Why do we ask users for their telephone number?

  • Many times phone numbers are needed to give the information on the current status of the shipment.
  • Security is a legit concern
  • During delivery phone numbers can be used to quickly pinpoint the address if the delivery person is not able to find it.
  • Business Goal: Business can inform about new offers etc. why SMS.

About Zip code

  • I have seen taking zip code first in some apps. This is a legit way.
  • This autofills the state, province and that is really helpful.
  • If you get this first, you can inform the user if a certain item is unavailable in a certain area, saving her the time and frustration of filling entire form and then getting rejected.
  • In certain cases, it also helps calculate the shipping etc. instantly.

I did not get your third question. "Should guest check out include their email address?"

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