Rate Shopping is a feature in ShipStream that allows a user to choose a "virtual" shipping method which will evaluate the available shipping options that satisfy the criteria and choose the cheapest one for you. It can even choose a different shipping method for different origins on the same order. For example, if you have a warehouse on the east and west coast and an order for items that are not available in both warehouses, choosing the "Cheapest 3 Day" method for the order may result in one part of the order shipping via "UPS Ground" for the closer warehouse and "UPS Three-Day Select" for the further warehouse. The methods that may be enabled are:
- Cheapest 2 Day - two-day air and ground methods from all enabled carriers
- Cheapest 3 Day - three-day air and ground methods from all enabled carriers
- Cheapest All - all enabled methods from all enabled carriers
- Cheapest Ground - all strictly ground methods from all enabled carriers
- Cheapest On Time - all enabled methods from all enabled carriers that can reach the destination by the user's provided "Desired Delivery Date"
- Cheapest Overnight - all 1-day methods from all enabled carriers
- Cheapest Postal - all postal service methods and last-mile postal service methods enabled (e.g. FedEx SmartPost)
When one of these methods is chosen, ShipStream will use all of the rating data provided to it to determine which carrier and service is the cheapest. The data required includes:
- Days In Transit Maps (map country and postal code to a maximum days in transit)
- Zone Maps (map country and postal code to a carrier's zone)
- Rate Plans (map package weight and zone to a shipping cost)
- DAS Maps (optional - tack on Delivery Area Surcharge for greater accuracy of cost to rural areas)
See Rating for more information on setting up the rating data.
Enable Virtual Methods
- Navigate to System > Configuration and click the Rating tab under Warehouse.
- Expand the Virtual Methods pane.
- Set Enabled to Yes.
- Select the virtual methods which you would like to enable. You may change to a specific merchant scope to enable or disable certain methods only for the desired merchants.
Choose the Best Rate
Rate shopping occurs when an order is allocated to a warehouse and any time these allocations are updated. To use this feature, create or open an order and select the virtual shipping method you wish to use from the shipping method list.
Once a Shipment is created it will be assigned to the appropriate shipping method which can be seen in the Shipment section on the Order page. The actual shipping method used may be updated any time an order's allocation changes such as when backordered items come in stock.