AO joins forces with what3words to improve delivery


Online electricals retailer has partnered with the location company what3words so that all customers across the UK can benefit from AO’s customer service and delivery proposition. AO customers will soon be able to provide a what3words address for their desired delivery place – be it the front door, side entrance or a safe 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. AO comments that its delivery crews will bring hassle-free delivery to even the most remote locations, with customers receiving orders faster and without the need to provide additional directions. 

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% 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 3m squares, and given each one a unique combination of three words:  a what3words address. AO 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. The location technology will make life easier for both customers and drivers by improving the efficiency of deliveries and further enhancing customer experience.

Dave Ashwell, MD 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 CEO 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. It’s great to see AO, who are often delivering large appliances and need incredibly accurate drop-off locations, roll out what3words.”

With a what3words address, AO deliveries can arrive in precisely the right place and on time. Using what3words will also reduce delivery times, meaning customers get their products quicker and drivers can save on mileage.

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