FedEx is one of our built-in "live rates" shipping providers that you can use. This is especially convenient for U.S.-based stores. When you enable this provider, your shipping rates will be dynamically requested from FedEx and displayed to your customers. You should create a FedEx method for each type of FedEx service you wish to support.
The following prerequisites will be necessary to accomplish the goals of this article:
- Have access to your Hotcakes store administration
- Be familiar with shipping method settings
- Have a valid FedEx account
In order for this shipping method to work, your products need to all have weights and dimensions assigned to them. You'll also need to create your FedEx account, if you haven't already done so.
Shipping Method: FedEx
When you manage this shipping method, you have some of the standard shipping method settings, as well as a number of local and global settings that are specific to FedEx. This grouping of settings are local to this instance of the shipping method. When you create another FedEx shipping method, you'll have the opportunity to fill these in differently.
|Name||This is the language friendly name that you'll see in the shipping methods list, and your customers will also see this value in the checkout, receipt, and e-mail notifications.|
|Highlight Color||By default, this value will be "None" but if selected, it will highlight this order in the order manager, when the customer chooses this shipping method during checkout.|
|Shipping Zone||Choose the shipping zone that this method will be used with.|
|Service||This drop down list will contain each of the shipping services the FedEx offers. You should choose the service that you wish for this instance of the FedEx shipping method. Don't worry. If you want to support more services, you simply create another FedEx method and select the other service.|
|Packaging||Choose the packaging that you plan to use when shipping the products. This information is used by FedEx to make customer shipping estimates more accurate.|
|Use Negotiated Rates||This setting is enabled by default. When enabled, the rates returned from FedEx are the rates that you contractually agreed to. Every FedEx account potentially will pay different rates, usually based upon the volume at which you'll use their services.|
|Adjust Price By||In addition to the rate table below, you can specify an amount to add or remove from the total shipping rate. This value can either be a currency value, or percentage, depending on the amount type you choose. If you enter a negative value, the amount will be deducted from the shipping rate.|
The global settings are those that only need to be set once. For example, it would be really irritating if you had to look up your FedEx account information each time you wanted to add another FedEx service to your store. You'll need to first create an account with FedEx before you can enter and save this information.
|Key||Your key is assigned you upon your FedEx account being approved. You'll be able to look this information up in their administration area.|
|Password||Your password is assigned you upon your FedEx account being approved. You'll be able to look this information up in their administration area.|
|Account Number||Your account number is assigned you upon your FedEx account being approved. You'll be able to look this information up in their administration area.|
|Meter Number||Your meter is assigned you upon your FedEx account being approved. You'll be able to look this information up in their administration area.|
|Default Packaging||The value you choose here will be selected by default in the local settings when you first begin creating any new FedEx shipping methods.|
|Drop Off Type||You'll find a listing of the ways that FedEx supports you getting packages to them. You should choose the one that you primarily use to make your rates the most accurate.|
|Force Residential Rates||This setting will generally make your returned rates more expensive, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Estimated rates and actual rates don't always match up. If your target customer is businesses, leave this unchecked. Otherwise, it might be a good idea to enable it.|
|Use Development Service URL||This setting should be checked at all times when you're developing or testing your FedEx integration anywhere outside of your live website. When enabled, your requests are made to their test servers, instead of their live ones. This will ensure that your account isn't unfairly charged.|
|Diagnostics Mode||If you are having issues with your shipping rates and need to troubleshoot them for any reason, check this setting. You shouldn't leave this checked for long term on any site. When checked, the Event Viewer in the Admin menu will be populated with information sent to and returned from FedEx. This could easily fill up your event log over time, which could end up slowing down your website.|
Once you save your settings, you can test them to see if rates are being returned, and if those rates are what you expect. This is a useful way to troubleshoot your FedEx rates above specifically, without having to enable the diagnostics mode.
The first section is the source address, followed by the destination address. Both addresses will be pre-filled with the store address. You can change either address, but you should only change the destination address to simulate actual shopping conditions. All of the address fields are using and expecting the same information as any other address section in the administration area. All that's required here to get rates will be the street, city, state (maybe), and postal code (maybe) - depending on if the address is in the U.S. or not.
The next section is the packaging. Here you can enter sample dimensions and weight to send to the FedEx service.
|Package||Choose the type of package that you want to test. You can test as much as you want, so feel free to test each if you feel it to be necessary.|
|Length||Enter the length of the packaging that you wish to test. This should be a full integer or decimal value representing inches, such as 12 or 12.25.|
|Width||Enter the width of the packaging that you wish to test. This should be a full integer or decimal value representing inches, such as 12 or 12.25.|
|Height||Enter the height of the packaging that you wish to test. This should be a full integer or decimal value representing inches, such as 12 or 12.25.|
|Weight||Enter the weight of the packaging that you wish to test. This should be a full integer or decimal value representing pounds, such as 12 or 12.25.|
Once you have your information entered into the test rates fields, click the Get Rate button to see the results of your test. It will look something like the results you see below. It's that easy.