If you use real-time shipping rates in your shopping cart, it’s crucial to know when these shipping APIs are down. One of these systems being down / slow can also bring down your ordering system, confuse customers, and result in lost sales.
You need to know the moment FedEx, UPS, or USPS are down, so you can provide alternate shipping options. But it’s not enough to know when they are down. You also need to know when they come back up and are stable!
(…and the “plan” of waiting until customers complain to alert you to this issue is not the right solution.)
That’s why we developed a new website that does all of this for you:
The site provides real-time tracking of the shipping API systems for rates being returned from the big three – FedEx, UPS, and USPS. It monitors for their system being up and returning valid rates every minute from 2 geographically diverse locations. Any outage is displayed on the site, and after 3 consecutive rate failures, we mark the shipping API as down, which does 4 things:
- 1. The website is updated showing the shipper down, as well as logging the start of the outage in the history page.
- 2. The RSS feed is updated noting the outage.
- 3. An email is sent to the mailing list for that shipper alerting subscribers about the outage.
- 4. A tweet is sent out to Twitter (@shipapimonitor) with the outage details and link to the site.
Once the shipper’s system has returned 3 consecutive rates, we’ll mark the system as recovered. The four steps are above are taken again alerting you that the system has recovered.
We also retain a history of all outages, so you can see when outages occurred and match them up with times when sales were slow or customer complaints spiked.
We’re excited to offer this service to the ecommerce community. We always get calls and emails when one of the shipping APIs goes down, and we’re often caught off-guard just like you. Now we can see when issues are happening, and know when the service is back up and running consistently.
If you have ideas on how we can improve this new monitoring service, don’t hesitate to let us know.
So check out www.shippingapimonitor.com today!