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International Friendly Cart Design
How to design flexible address and telephone fields

 1:09 pm on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

This pretty much just applies to those of you who have your own custom carts....

I searched around the web and this site but haven't found a good reference for shopping cart fields. We are currently US only and adding international sales.

Telephone fields that are US 123-456-7890 won't work. Also there are provinces and often letters in the postal code field etc etc.

We have always been pretty strict about data conformity - like no letters in the zip field - in order to minimize errors. So, we could make bigger fields which would be flexible, but the quality of user entered data would surely suffer.

Thought about having some kind of java app that would ask your country first, then serve up a custom form with appropriate fields like province etc.

Anybody know of a good reference?



 1:15 pm on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Take a look at the LIBPHONENUMBER library file.

The Java and Javascript versions are complete. The C++ version isn't quite ready for primetime, but will likely be ready in a few weeks.

There's metadata for more than 200 countries included.

There's a parallel project for address data and address formats also running. I don't know how complete that is.


 1:30 pm on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>Also there are provinces and often letters in the postal code field etc etc.

and some countries do not have postcodes eg Ireland, HongKong

also remember that once you've got the address data, formatting the address can be quite different in different countries.

i custom built both the front end form and the back end stuff for us before knowing about the library g1smd mentions above.

an interesting address reference is:



 4:52 pm on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

DrDoc recommends free text [webmasterworld.com]


 2:02 pm on May 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's difficult to get this right first time.

Some of the characters I have seen entered in telephone fields include:
1) +44(0)4040404949
2) 0203933993 ext 433

So the telephone field is best left as general text entry.
You should just limit it's length and validate it so that it only contains certain characters.

Of more concern to me was foreign letters in name and address fields. These are more tricky to handle.

I would set up a system to email you when someone has problems registering or logining into your site - its a revelation.

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