Some carrier companies provide web services that allow online stores to access information about the shipping options and rates provided by these companies in real time. Online stores integrated with such services can provide real-time carrier-calculated shipping quotes to their users.
X-Cart 5 provides integrations with some of the most popular real-time shipping rate calculation services, including:
During checkout, after a customer has submitted the shipping address, X-Cart sends the order information to the API of the carrier (for example, FedEx). The carrier then uses the information submitted by X-Cart - including the information about the origin and destination addresses, the weight of the products in the order and, if specified, the expected parcel dimensions (length, width, height) - to calculate the shipping cost. The customer is then provided with information about the shipping options and rates applicable to the order.
For buyers who are not registered or not logged in, shipping rates are displayed at checkout in exactly the same order in which they have been arranged in the admin area (first comes the first active shipping method from the shipping settings page (Store setup -> Shipping)).
For registered customers, the first shipping method displayed at checkout will be the one they used for their previous order. The rest of the shipping methods will come in the order in which active shipping methods are sorted in the Admin area.
Since the shipping costs are calculated automatically by the carrier at the exact time when the order is created, this method allows you to get the most accurate rates.
To use carrier-calculated shipping rates, configure shipping as outlined below:
1. In your store’s Admin area, go to the Shipping methods section (Store setup > Shipping):
2. Click the Add shipping method button:
3. On the Carrier-calculated rates tab within the popup window, locate the carrier whose real-time rate calculation service you would like to use. Click on the respective icon.
If the selected shipping integration addon is installed and enabled at your store, you will be redirected to its settings page. If not, you will be redirected to the X-Cart App Store from which you will need to install the respective addon.
5. If necessary, configure a surcharge that will be added on top of the carrier calculated shipping rates to accommodate additional expenses. For details, see the article on Handling fee.
6. Make sure the shipping method you have configured is active.
7. Make sure you have specified your ship-from address in the store’s settings. When calculating shipping rates for an order, the carrier’s shipping rate service will use this information as the origin address from which the order will be shipped. For more info on how to set up your ship-from address, see the article Managing Your Ship-From Address.
8. Make sure that all the products that will be shipped using the shipping method you have configured:
- have the option Requires shipping enabled (in older X-Cart versions - Shippable);
- have a non-zero product weight specified.
That is all. Now you should be able to get shipping rates for your products.