Rate Shopping

What Is Rate Shopping?

Rate shopping is the process of retrieving estimated shipping rates via an external rate shopper, such as ShipEngine.

This process happens once a routing group is determined to obtain a real-time rate that can be factored into the Lowest Cost Routing Priority (see Routing Priorities).

Getting Started

Rate shopping needs location data and valid item dimensions/weights to determine an estimated shipping rate, so the following are required:

Rate Shopping Requirements

  • Sources must have an address configured (at least country, state, and postal code).
  • Sources must have source shipping methods that are mapped to a global shipping carrier/method.
  • For each source shipping method, you must enable the Best Fit Package toggle or manually select the specific package options you would like to use during rate shopping.
  • Inventory Variants (or Product Variants) must have dimensions, dimension unit, weight, and weight unit listed as discussed below.
  • Orders must have a valid customer shipping address.

Once the above requirements have been met, follow these steps to complete the rate shopping configuration:

  1. Create & connect your ShipEngine account.
  2. Connect your carrier accounts.
  3. Enable rate shopping at the global level.
  4. Enable rate shopping at the source level.

After these prerequisites are set up, all eligible fulfillment request/fulfillment order that are generated will now have rate shopping estimates applied to them (as well as estimated package size, etc.) and can be viewed in the UI:

Missing Requirements

If any of the requirements outlined above are not met, rate shopping estimates will not apply.

In these cases, the order will continue to process without active rate shopping.

For further information on why rate shopping did not apply, view the FR/FO Generation Logs on the order.

Enabling Rate Shopping

Global Level

To enable rate shopping at the global level, navigate to Global Settings → Orders → Rate Shopping and click the toggle.

Disbabling Rate Shopping

If you disable the above toggle, rate shopping will be disabled across your entire account.

Good news! Your source settings will be preserved if you chose to re-enable rate shopping again at a later time.

Source Level

To enable rate shopping at the source level, navigate to Sources → Gear Icon for Desired Source → Settings _ _and click the rate shopping toggle.

Dimensional & Weight Measurements

Measurements Required

To utilize rate shopping, dimensional and weight measurements are required on all items included in the order.

By default, Flxpoint uses all the data (dimensions, dimension unit, weight, and weight unit) provided directly from the source the order line item is being fulfilled by.

In the event, your source does not provide complete data, then Flxpoint will leverage the data from the product variant to attempt to fill in the gaps.

When a source only has partial data (i.e. only weight & weight unit), then we copy down the data we have and supplement it with the missing data from the product variant.

  • If all dimensional and unit data are not present at the inventory and product levels - it’s not eligible to copy down
  • If the weight and unit data is not present at the inventory and product levels - it’s not eligible to copy down

Managing Source Inventory Dimensions

Dimensional information is imported directly from your sources during the Get Inventory Primary job.

If you do not want to import dimension data from a particular source, you can set the dimension fields to 'Don't Map' on the Get Inventory Primary mapping template for the source. You may choose to do this if your source does not provide reliable dimension data.

Managing Product Catalog Dimensions

The dimensions listed at the product catalog level are determined by the source priority you set within the product builder. When merging products, the product builder will take all information from the first source. If the first source is missing dimension data, the product builder will attempt to pull dimension data from the next source.

If you would like to keep your #1 global source priority source as-is but are aware that source priority #4 has better dimensional and weight data, you can add field-specific source priorities to target the dimensional data.

Keep in mind, that you will need to set a separate field-specific source priority for each of the following: dimension unit, length, width, height, weight unit, weight, and dimensional weight.

Flxpoint Pro Tip

If you are missing dimension information completely, you can add dimensions to the product catalog using our bulk customization tool.

Here's a useful Dimensions Customization Template to help you get started. Make a copy of this template, fill in your data, and upload the file into our customization tool.

Package Sizing

You have two options to determine the package sizing for your rate shopped order:

1. Enable Flxpoint's Best Fit Package Feature

If you enable Flxpoint's Best Fit Package Feature, Flxpoint will automatically compare the order line item's dimensions and select the smallest package option available. Oversized items will be routed to the largest box possible.

2. Manually Select Specific Package Sizing

If you manually chose specific sizing, rate shopping will only consider the selected package sizing.

Errors & Notifications

Successful Notifications

Once an order has been successfully rate-shopped, you will find notifications in two areas:

  1. Rate shopped icon displayed on the fulfillment request
  2. Success notification in the FO/FR generation logs

Error Notifications

When rate shopping does not find any eligible packages set, the order will continue to process. It simply will not include the rate shopping estimates and routing logic associated.

If your fulfillment request does not have the rate-shopped icon shown above, rate shopping encountered an error. You can view more information on the exact error in FO/FR generation logs.