A postcode database can be utilised in multiple areas of business, including e-commerce, advertising and data collection.
You can use a postcode database to:
- Collect or cleanse data
- Send advertising to customers
- Validate delivery addresses entered on a website
There are several companies that provide a postcode database service. Below are some examples of providers and the benefits of each.
Postcode address file database (PAF) - Royal Mail
The database is made up of:
- 30M+ UK postal delivery addresses
- 1.8M UK postcodes
- 1.4M business names
The PAF receives up to 5000 updates every day.
You can use the Royal Mail postcode database to:
- Make sure your data is up to date - by verifying addresses in the database
- Make online transactions easier - by enabling fast address completion, reducing the number of abandoned baskets
- Improve customer experience - by increasing addressing accuracy and the ease of transactions
- Manage your address database effectively - by removing errors, duplicates and gaps in customer addresses
- Optimise route planning - by identifying addresses in specific areas to focus on your target audience
Doogal provides a free, full list of UK postcodes, including active postcodes and those that are no longer in use.
Doogal gets most of its data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) under the Open Government Licence. You can download the data set directly from them. The ONS updates information every three months.
You can use Doogal to:
- View maps of postcode areas
- View individual postcodes with local information
- Download the data for use in Excel and Google Earth
- Click on a postcode area to view individual postcodes and apply further filtering
- Search for full or partial postcodes
Loqate is a location intelligence company that provides address verification and data cleansing as two of its products. Loqate sources its data from providers, such as USPS, Canada Post, the UK's Royal Mail and Australia Post.
You can use Loqate to:
- Capture addresses - allowing for quick address lookups for customers
- Cleanse addresses - by verifying, formatting and standardising addresses automatically
TravelTime postcodes is a platform that allows you to find out which postcodes are within a certain travel time. Using journey time rather than distance means you can select the mode of transport your customers are most likely to use and create a catchment area.
You can use TravelTime postcodes to:
- Target advertising - by creating a travel time shape, such as 'all locations within 15 minutes drive from my new retail store'
- Create a personalised database - by exporting postcode units, sectors and districts
- Target Google Adwords campaigns - by calculating the percentage of the postcode that is covered by your travel time shape
- Plan for service provision - by understanding the potential users within a postcode district, such as the number of potential patients within a GP boundary