Name of the product or service



Product or service description

When it comes to e-commerce companies being able to offer fast and efficient deliveries, accurate addressing is crucial. However, street addresses are often inaccurate and generally don’t specify an entrance or access point for deliveries.

In Germany, about 55 million people have an address that does not lead directly to the door of their home or business property, and three quarters of German residents (73%) say that deliveries, services and visitors struggle to find their homes or businesses.

This is a problem what3words is positioned to solve.

what3words has divided the world into 3 metre squares and given each square a unique combination of three random words: a what3words address. For example, ///filled.count.soap (///fenster.ausgleichen.nahezu) is the what3words address for what3words' office in London, UK. what3words is available as a free app and online map in 50 languages, including German, and works offline. It is also easily built into checkout pages, logistics solutions and navigation softwares.

Improving customer satisfaction

It's easy for people to say exactly where they want their packages – a safe location for a contact-free delivery for example. This reduces failed deliveries and prevents ‘Where is my order?’ related queries, which are inconvenient for customers and retailers.

Enabling greener more efficient deliveries

When e-commerce companies integrate what3words at checkout their customers can easily specify their exact delivery location. This can help the logistics partners to find homes and businesses more easily, enabling successful deliveries to very precise locations like specific building entrances, sheds or a hidden spot in a customer's garden.

By helping drivers to find precise delivery locations easily, routes are planned more effectively, which helps to reduce overall time on the roads and emissions.

Distinction from the competition

Other attempts have been made to simplify addressing. These have used combinations of letters and numbers, which are far less human-friendly. what3words is unique in that it is based on words. This makes it accessible and easy for people to remember, use and share with others. Most alternatives also require each address to be created or generated, whilst what3words addresses already exist for everywhere on earth (in 50 languages), meaning they can be used immediately, without needing to be set up. Also, our system is based on an algorithm, rather than a database, so it works offline in regions where there is no connectivity.

what3words is also the only addressing system built for voice – using a list of dictionary words that are easy to program into voice-controlled assistants. We account for similar sounding words like toffee and coffee, and words that are easily confused, such as stole and stolen. what3words addresses are all unique, and similar sounding ones are placed far apart to make any mistakes obvious to the user. what3words is a robust and scalable solution in a world where Voice is the next frontier of user interaction and an exciting area of innovation and development in e-commerce.

Product or service innovations

what3words saw over a 1000% growth in its usage in e-commerce partners during 2020.

During the first round of national restrictions alone between March and July, the number of times a what3words address was used in a check-out page increased nearly 5x and saw further growth later in the year during the UK's second lockdown as Black Friday week saw a nearly 3x increase in what3words addresses.

In the last 12 months alone what3words has been built into the products and services of 100s of partners globally including Mercedes-Benz, Lotus cars, Lamborghini, Hermes, Quickpak and others.

Customer case study

Mercedes-Benz and DPD carried out a recent delivery test with what3words that resulted in a 15% efficiency gain. ‘The test has shown that the system is a big improvement especially for new drivers and those that have to work in an unfamiliar delivery area. It also removes a lot of stress from the driver and makes his job much easier. In times when the number of packages is continuously increasing, there is a clear competitive advantage’ said Steffen Raiber, Manager Industry Management CEP & Logistics at Mercedes-Benz Vans. In a similar time trial with Aramex in the Middle East, a driver delivering to what3words addresses travelled 22% less distance than a driver using traditional street addresses.

Positive feedback & testimonials

Chris Ashworth, CIO at Hermes UK, said: “We’re really excited to team up with what3words and become the first delivery company in the UK to provide what3words addresses for any parcel. This marks the latest development in our innovation portfolio that we had been planning for some time, however given the pandemic, when we have experienced five years’ growth in five months due to online shopping behaviours changing, we have expedited the use of this tech to further enhance our contact-free deliveries option, at a time when both our clients and their customers need efficient, safe deliveries.”



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