In this article we'll address:
Google Address Autocomplete suggests addresses when typing begins in an address field (Company Name, Address Line 1, or City). This improves the checkout and account creation experience because it's easier and faster for customers to enter their shipping and billing addresses with less data entry. This is especially powerful for mobile customers because checking out on a small screen otherwise can be a frustrating typing experience.
Especially when used in conjunction with an Address Validation tool (Compatible Software/Online Shipping Tools preferences/ UPS and FedEx Address Validation), which we recommend, autocomplete also improves the quality of address data, thereby reducing a merchant's time spent on incorrect deliveries and returned shipments.
How It Works
When in use, autocomplete applies in the storefront to all addresses related to orders, vendors, customers, reviews, and affiliates.
So, for example, when customers check out and begin to enter the first few characters of their address, Google Autocomplete will instantly provide a dropdown list of potential matching addresses. Customers select an address and the rest of the fields are filled automatically.
You must have a Google account set up with billing in which you create an API Key.
You must enter your Google API key into your Order Management System (OMS) at Settings / Compatible Software / Google Address AutoComplete / API Key.
Generate an API Key
There are a few ways to begin navigating Google's materials to set up your account and generate an API key. One way to begin is with Google's Getting Started page which, as of the date of this article, looks like this:
You may select Get Started if you have never used the Google Cloud console to create a billing account or Project, or you may follow the alternative Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 tabs below the Get Started button.
While the process is short, navigation within Google to accomplish these tasks can get a little confusing. Don’t be discouraged, the video you see next to the steps on the Google Getting Started page will assist. Also, regardless of what you click on that page, the Getting Started page will remain open as a separate tab, and between each step, you can return to that page to see what to do next.
Note that when you first begin use of the Google Cloud console, that will initiate a free trial for up to $300 of transactions – and your card will never be billed unless and until you manually upgrade to a live account. After the live account is activated, you will receive a $200 monthly credit from Google, which, as of the date of this article, appears to cover approximately 70,000 transactions (see the Google Places pricing table for complete info. Only the "Places" section on that pricing table applies.)
API Key Restrictions
API keys should be well managed as they are access credentials, like passwords. If you do not restrict your API Key, it results in public exposure and possibly could lead to unexpected charges on your account due to use by others.
1. From the credentials page, click "+Create Credentials" / API Key:
2. Once you click this, you will see a popup box. Then click "Restrict Key":
3. Under Application restrictions, select HTTP referrers (web sites), and then click ADD AN ITEM:
4. Enter the value *.nexternal.com/* and then click Done:
5. If you are using a Domain Alias (Settings/Site Options), click ADD AN ITEM again and enter Domain Alias/* . Then click Done.
Do not skip this step! If you skip this step #5 while using a domain alias, Google Address Autocomplete will not work and will produce a result that looks something like this:
6. Do not attempt to apply IP address restrictions or any other Application restrictions. Also do not make any changes to the API restrictions section, which will look like this:
7. Click SAVE at the bottom of the page.
8. Copy your API key and you are now ready to paste it into the Nexternal OMS per the Requirements above.
Once your API key is entered into the OMS (and you've clicked finish at the bottom of the page to save it), Google address autocomplete should work in your storefront - check it out!