Has anyone been getting those pesky "Shipping rate problem" emails from customers who shop on your Shopify site and are unable to access a FedEx shipping rate for their destination zipcode?
We've gotten dozens of these over the last several months and it is really obnoxious. At first Shopify told us that perhaps Shopify was unable to access the rates from FedEx because of busy holiday volume. We contacted our FedEx rep. who looked at our account and said that the issue is on Shopify's end. Shopify is now acknowledging a "time-out" problem but has not been able to fix it.
Also, when is Shopify going to offer SmartPost shipping rates? Also, why can we not add different surcharges to the real-time rates based on service level (i.e. $1.00 per FedEx Ground package and $2.00 per FedEx Overnight package)? We can distinguish between International and Domestic but not by various service levels.
Additionally, is there any plans to fix the problem with not properly distinguishing between FedEx Ground (i.e. Commercial) and FedEx Home Delivery (i.e. Residential) as we get a number of Home Delivery that are mis-classified as Ground and thus we have to absorb the extra cost. Especially as someone else said people will put in a business name for the delivery address even if they are a residential address.
We're seriously considering leaving Shopify over these issues that are not getting resolved...
Shipping rate issues may be because some of the products being added to your site's cart has a weight value of zero. When this happens, the shipping carriers determine it as un-shippable and display the error.
That may or may not be the issue but thought I would provide my past experience with the real-time shipping carrier feature.
You can always contact Shopify directly at email@example.com also.
Thanks. We did check our items and they all had physical weights. It was almost like Shopify was timing out for our customers because we would email them a link from their abandoned cart - after they had gotten the shipping rate error - and almost always they could complete their order then.
We did contact Shopify's support numerous times and they were unable to resolve the situation. They said they were aware that it was happening though. We would not want to go through another Christmas mail order season with this problem. It is frustrating for customers and time consuming for us.
We switched over to BigCommerce not long ago. We have found them to be better in some respects. For one, we have a FedEx account number for our domestic shipments and a different FedEx account number for our Canadian shipments. Shopify did not seem to allow you to use multiple accounts for different service destinations. BigCommerce does allow this. We had issues with miscategorization of Commercial vs. Residential with Shopify. BigCommerce asks you to choose one for default. So with BigCommerce, everyone is defaulting to Residential. While this is not ideal, most of our shipments go to Residential addresses. BigCommerce gave us a way - somewhat complex - to display both Commercial and Residential but then the customer chooses the rate and I think many would just choose the lower rate not understanding the difference between FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery.
BigCommerce also does not give rates for SmartPost but they are planning to in the future.
Also, one REALLY BIG plus for BigCommerce is they allow multiple shipping addresses in one order. This was one of the biggest reasons we switched. We would have customers with Shopify who would place 20 separate orders - all to different gift addresses. Now, they can place it all in one order and it calculates the shipping to each address.
So far we've been very happy with the support team at BigCommerce as well.
We used BigCommerce for almost 6 years and some things went wrong so we switched. Shopify is okay for us since we don't need too many features on the store front, just enough to get the customers flowing in.
The good thing is that because we started at BigCommerce and switched over to Shopify, we already had a dedicated customer base which makes things 100 times easier to work with Shopify than it is without any customers.
All in all, I think you will be happy with what BigCommerce has to offer. Just remember, make money! :)
Although it has been a while since the query was raised, I'm answering this so that it may be helpful for others.
The FedEx Rates, Labels and Tracking app can solve the issue.
Coming to the FedEx Ground and Home Delivery issue,
When your customer goes to the checkout page and gives an address, the FedEx Rates, Labels and Tracking app uses the FedEx address validation process to confirm whether the address is commercial or a residential address. Based on this validation, accurate rates are displayed at checkout, ie.
There are a lot of questions asked in this thread. Let me try and answer them one by one.
Shipping is sometimes not offered to the customer for certain postcodes because :
- There may be a problem from the solution that you are using (in this case, you mentioned that it was a timeout acknowledged by Shopify).
- Certain services are not present in some locations.
- For that packaging type, FedEx does not deliver to the postcode.
I have mentioned these reasons as someone would benefit from this thread if he sees it. I assume your problem would have been resolved by now.
Regarding Smartpost integration, i think that would take a long long time, as the Shopify's focus is more towards covering international width rather domestic depth. However, you can still get Smarpost in Shopify using the Multi Carrier Shipping label app. In addition, if you are looking to adjust the cost of each service, this can be also be done in the app. Finally regarding proper distinction of Ground and Ground Home Delivery, you have to atfirst get address validation enabled on your FedEx account. Once you do that, then you can use the above app that will automatically classify the address as residential or commercial.