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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Booking Engine address fields

    I'm developing a booking / reservation system. I notice most take the customers postal address, but why?
    Why do you need to take the postal address... is it not simpler just to take only the name, phone number and email address.
    I want to make the booking process as simple as possible, so removing the need for customer not to have to enter a postal address would be good.

    I would like people's opinions / thoughts on this.

  2. #2
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    JeffWalden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Los Angeles
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    Welcome to SitePoint!

    Having developed reservation systems for restaurants I can share my experience, whether that's applicable to your industry or not is up to you. We give merchants (restaurants) the ability to collect the postal address for two reasons:

    1. Some restaurants such as Melting Pot require a credit card guarantee with a reservation. The booking occupies such a large chunk of time that they can't chance having bogus reservations in their system. To get the best rate on a credit card authorization/sale, the postal address is used to return an AVS match.
    2. Most of the hospitality industry is still in the stone age when it comes to technology. These people are insanely busy and have very little time or interest in learning and dealing with technology. They're generally more interested in their own industry. When they think of marketing they can't imagine building a database without a postal address.

    That being said, notice that I said we give the merchants the ability to collect a postal address, not mandate the workflow one way or another. Despite my generalizations many merchants want to collect the data, many want to collect it and require the fields to be completed and still others couldn't care less.

    My recommendation is that you give the merchant as much flexibility as possible here. It's going to be much easier to create this flexibility in the initial development phases than it would be to retrofit the change request in live software.


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