AO partners what3words for precise deliveries

AO has partnered with location company what3words so that customers across the UK provide a specific address for their desired delivery place.

The partnership will shortly be rolled out nationwide, with all drivers having access to the app and all customers able to share their what3words address.

Close to 46 million people in the UK have an address that does not lead directly to the door of their home or business property, according to research conducted by what3words. Using a traditional street address for delivery will only take the driver to the precise front door for 30 per cent of houses, with the majority directing people to an inexact point outside a building or on a road. The problem is even more pronounced in rural areas, with delivery drivers often left searching for the correct property.

What3words, which is also used by emergency services across the UK, has divided the world into a grid of three metre squares, giving each one a unique combination of three words: a what3words address.

The online electricals retailer began piloting the technology earlier this year, asking customers to provide the keywords over six weeks in Leeds and Avonmouth, testing how the system made it easier for drivers to reach tricky locations.

Dave Ashwell, managing director of AO Logistics, said: “It can be difficult for our drivers to find certain addresses, due to duplicated road names, the UK’s many unnumbered houses and single postcodes covering extensive rural areas.

"Our new partnership with what3words means we can always deliver to exactly the right location and guarantee our customers the excellent AO experience, regardless of where they live.”

Chris Sheldrick, co-founder and chief executive of what3words, said: “I grew up in a rural part of Hertfordshire, and constantly felt the frustrations of poor addressing - I’d have to flag down delivery drivers who drove past our house, and as we shared a postcode with our neighbours, spent my childhood running their parcels over to them."

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