A while back, we wrote about Payment Processor Errors and how they can be easily reviewed with the addition of the Merchant Alerts feature in ShopSite Pro v11 SP2. Today we’re going to review another common alert tracked in Merchant Alerts – Shipping Errors.
Where Is It?
Merchant Alerts is in ShopSite Pro starting with v11 SP2 and it’s available on the Commerce Setup screen. You can configure what alerts to track, whether to email you when an error occurs, and you can view prior error details.
While sometimes they can be a little overwhelming on larger stores, the email alerts that ShopSite will send are pretty concise and let you know right away if a customer had a problem.
When you receive an alert email from your store, it will usually have a subject line looking something like this:
ShopSite Alert: Failure in FedEx for *store-id*, Tracking ID: d61fee80-548d-11e4
The “Failure in” part will tell you which module had an error, the “*store-id*” will be your store ID (helpful if you have more than one store) and the “Tracking ID” will be the ID for the issue.
The email will contain details for what the error was, as well as a link to view the details.
There are a whole variety of errors that ShopSite will track and here are a few samples from alert emails that we have seen customers report recently:
Error code: There are no valid services available.
Common Cause – Invalid zip code or one not serviceable by FedEx, such as an APO address.
Error code: The Ship To postal code is invalid for the selected location. (Error code: 113021)
Common Cause – Invalid zip code or one not serviceable by UPS, such as an APO address.
Error code: The Destination ZIP Code you have entered is invalid.
Common Cause – (You can see the trend here!) Invalid zip code entered by the customer
When In Doubt – Click The Link
At the bottom of all merchant alert emails will be a link to the details for that alert in your ShopSite backoffice. So if the alert email doesn’t have enough information or if you are curious for more details go ahead and click the link to login to your backoffice and view that specific error. The link will look like this:
To view this error, go to the ShopSite back-office for the store at:
Viewing the details will allow you to see what Country & Zip Code were selected, and even what was in their shopping cart. You may even see a message saying the customer was able to complete their order. That looks like this:
The order for this error ended successfully as Order#1455.
If you see that then you know the customer resolved their issue and placed their order correctly.
Replicate & Research
If you don’t see anything obvious for the cause of the error, like a 6 digit zip code, then you can use the details from the merchant alert to try and replicate the error. To do that just place a test order for the same products it shows the customer had in their cart, and use the same country and zip code. That will allow you to see if there is an issue or if it was just a temporary issue with that specific shipping service.
TIP: When researching the issue, be sure that the products the customer ordered all have weights assigned to them. If they do not then a real-time API rate cannot be calculated.
To check zip codes, the USPS has a lookup tool here:
Click “Cities By Zip Code” on that page to enter a zip and view its cities. If it’s invalid that will explain the issue, or if it shows something like “APO AE” then you know it’s a military location and only USPS can deliver there.
If you suspect there was an outage with a shipping API, we have a monitor site here that tracks API outages:
As you will see most shipping alerts come down to user error, usually by accidentally typing an invalid zip code or having the wrong country selected, but it only takes a few minutes to go into the backoffice and review the details to see what happened.
Shipping API Monitor – What Does 1 Year Tell Us?
ShopSite Tip – Payment Processor Errors