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Cart troubleshooting guide

We try to make connecting your Shipwire account to your marketplace, ERP or shopping cart connections of choice point-and-click simple. Some solutions require a web services connection, while others require the installation of a script.

If you are experiencing issues getting your Shipwire account connected, please walk through the troubleshooting tips below and read the installation instructions for the particular cart. If the issue persists and you need to submit a support request, please follow the instructions below to help us resolve the issue quickly.

As you might imagine with the large number of connections we support, and the constant changes being made to these, keeping our documentation up-to-date can be challenging. If you do find any inconsistencies, or were confused by something you read, we would greatly appreciate your feedback.

Best Practices for Support

  1. We understand that it can be frustrating if your connection to Shipwire is not working. Please work with us to address the issue. In many instances, minor configuration changes can get a connection working.

  2. Please don’t wait until the day before your big launch to test your connection.

  3. If you have a connection problem and need to send us a support request, please provide the most information available in the initial support ticket – this can only speed-up resolution. See some of the useful information:

  • Shipwire login
  • Cart version you are using
  • Implementation status – where did you get stuck? Does any part of the connection work?
  • What part of our documentation was helpful or confusion? ( Did you find the cart help guide in our support center?)
  • If it’s a third-party module, did you contact the third party and do you have a support ticket?
  • What testing have you done to date? Have you gone through all the troubleshooting tips here? Did you try anything else we should know about?
  • Do you have any test orders we can look at? Send us the order ID
  • Point of contact if you have a developer or third party helping you out.

Troubleshooting Tips:

1. Is there a known e-commerce connection? If not, what should you do?

If your desired shopping cart doesn’t have a connection to Shipwire listed on this page then you can help us get a connection started. Contact the shopping cart provider and tell them you want a Shipwire connection. You can do this in their forums or by e-mailing company representatives. If you hear back from the company, feel free to send Shipwire the contact and ask us to get in contact with them.

If you need a connection done quickly and don’t want to wait for Shipwire and the company to figure it out, then consider hiring a developer. You can find them on Craigslist, elance or oDesk. Tell Shipwire what you are doing so we can help.

2. Do you have a Shipwire account?

In order to get shipping rates and orders to pass correctly to the Shipwire Platform, you need an account. Create your free account now. Don’t pay until you start storing or shipping product from our fulfillment centers.

3. Do you have the right credentials for the connection? (Types of connections)

There are typically two types of connections between a shopping cart and your Shipwire account

  • Web services connections – These are server-to-server connections where your Shipwire account talks to your shopping cart or marketplace. These are usually very simple to set-up and the instructions on Shipwire will guide you to do this through your Shipwire account. If Shipwire did not build the connection we try and keep links to the most updated help files on the third-party website. Examples of Web services connections include: Shopify, ProStores, Yahoo, Volusion and Amazon.
  • Scripts – Some shopping carts require you to insert a script into your shopping cart scripts to connect Shipwire your cart. Some examples include: Zen-cart, OS-commerce and the shipping rate connection of Magento.

Credentials and lingo:

  • Shipwire log-in – is the e-mail account you used to sign-up for your Shipwire account
  • Sync types – if Shipwire built the connection, in most cases we will ask you if you want to sync orders and inventory separately.
  • API Key or Key – Many Web services connections require you to install a code or key as part of setup. Most of these are given to you by the cart you are attempting to connect via your Shipwire account. We try and keep our instructions up to date on where to get this; but, sometimes the cart may move it so please work with us to help us keep our documentation up to date.

4. How do I get the real-time shipping rates to work with my cart?

Not all carts can/will support Shipwire’s real-time shipping rate API. For those that do, you need to prepare your Shipwire account to serve up shipping rates to your cart. This is a reasonably complex Web services call to make and it will generate an error if your shopping cart and your Shipwire account are not speaking the same language.

In plain English, here is what happens for our shipping rates to work when they are set up correctly.

  • A buyer puts product/SKU in your carts checkout basket. When the buyer goes to checkout and needs shipping rates, your cart makes a call to Shipwire (XML Web services call) and tells Shipwire a minimum of 3 things: 1. Who is calling? (your Shipwire ID and web services call), 2. What products are in the shopping cart (by passing the product SKU info), 3. where the buyer is located (ship to address).
  • Shipwire gets all this info via XML through our API. Shipwire takes this information and looks up 4 things in your Shipwire account: 1. Are you a valid Shipwire user? (Shipwire ID/known key) 2. Where are your product located across our warehouse network, or in your Shipwire Anywhere locations? 3. What are your shipping preferences? (This tells us what ship methods we can present to the buyer) 4. What is the most cost effective location to ship from (given your inventory location) and what carrier and price do we recommend?
  • Shipwire then sends back the the Shopping cart via XML a confirmation that we can ship and shipping rates that match your preferences for the following shipping types: 1 Day, 2Day, Ground, Freight and International.     We send back 5 types of rates so that your shopping cart doesn’t need to call back to Shipwire if you buyer changes ship method in your shopping cart. For example, Ground shipment get switched to a 1 or 2 day express shipment.

Here is a checklist to walk through if your shipping rate connection is not working:

  • 1. Set up products. You must have products defined in your Shipwire account.   Defining products tells us the dimensional weight of the product and the SKU Id.   We can’t display shipping rates until we know the dim/weight of the product.
  • 2. Product SKU must be the same between your cart and your Shipwire account. When your cart tells Shipwire what is in the checkout “basket”, the cart is sending across a Product ID (SKU Id) and it needs to match what is in Shipwire. So if Widget 1 is called W1 in your shopping cart, it needs to be called W1 in your Shipwire account.
  • 3. You need to have Inventory reported to Shipwire. In the plain English description above, you can see how important inventory location (city, state, zip) is to the quoted price back to the price. If you have inventory in more than 1 Shipwire location we will quote the rate from the warehouse closest to the buyer location. For instructions on sending inventory to Shipwire.
  • 4. What if Inventory is on the way to a Shipwire warehouse? Rate request can work if Inventory is expected to 1 location. So we can quote rates from the Shipwire warehouse expecting inventory. If an order comes in, it will generate a back-order and will ship out once the inventory has arrived. Please note, if you already have inventory “good” in another warehouse (its arrived and in inventory), Shipwire will favor the good inventory over the pending inventory for the rate request.
  • 5. Set up Shipping Preferences. The Shipwire rate request connections will respect your account shipping preferences. So set them up in your account.
  • Shipping rates testing using a customer defined location: To test your cart integration before you have warehouse inventory you can use the Shipwire My Location feature of Shipwire Anywhere to instantly setup your own virtual warehouse and add inventory. However there are a few things to be aware of in order to have our API’s to produce valid results:

    1. When you setup your location make sure the address you use is valid. When rating shipping cost both the from address (your location) and the to destination need to be valid.

    2. Please note, Shipwire can not remove your test location so please name it appropriately.

    3. Create a product for your new location. If you create a pick-n-pack product SKU please read #4.

    4. When your location is created, Shipwire does not make an assumption as to the type of packaging that you will be shipping with if your test products are “pick and pack”.   The way to produce packaging is to make an order manually using your Shipwire UI and to go through the fulfillment process. As part of this you will define a package and a shipping weight. We will then save the package for future shipments. Once packaging is defined then shipping rating will work.


    5. Tips to managing Inventory and back-order management

    • Some carts connect to Shipwire’s real-time inventory API. This serves to sync the inventory counts in the Shipwire warehouses to the shopping cart inventory. Many of the carts that have integrated to Shipwire give you the option to manage inventory manually or sync with Shipwire. Whether or not you want to select manual or sync with Shipwire, may depend on what you are trying to accomplish.
    • Read about Inventory states and inventory Manager.
    • Sell inventory you have in stock in a Shipwire warehouse (or your location) – In this case the inventory is in the warehouse so it is GOOD. Most carts will sync “Good” inventory in the warehouses with their available inventory counts in the cart.
    • Over sell or back order (sell what you don’t have in inventory): Read the faq above on getting shipping rates to work so you understand why Shipwire asks you to tell us about your products and what is coming. If you want to sell inventory that hasn’t arrived at the warehouse and you want to still maintain inventory counts, here are a couple tips.   FIRST, confirm how your shopping cart works with the Shipwire Inventory API. Does your particular shopping cart ONLY count inventory if it is Good (ie. in the warehouse)? OR will your shopping cart also recognize “Pending” (ie. inbound to the warehouse) inventory? IF your shopping cart manages pending inventory then, Shipwire inventory sync should notify your cart when you create an ASN (Advance Shipping Notice) to inform Shipwire that inventory is coming. IF you shopping cart only looks for GOOD inventory to sync, then you must turn off inventory synch and manually manage inventory until inventory has arrived at Shipwire.
    • Managing inventory sync can be done separately from the real-time shipping rates. So you can display the cost to ship without the inventory sync.
    • Backorder – If you send Shipwire an order or a product that has no “good” inventory; but, inventory is “pending”, then Shipwire will hold the order until the inventory arrives and then send it to the warehouse for shipping.
    • Search the help center and look at your particular cart page for additional tips.

    6. How do I see the XML I’m submitting to Shipwire?

    If you think you have set up the cart correctly and it’s sending some data to Shipwire; but, there are still errors we recommend you look at the XML for the particular order. To test your connection see the test harness and DTD for each of our XML API’s here.

    Shipwire can also look up the XML for any order submitted that is generating a “weird” outcome. If you need to see this please submit a support case with your order number(s) and ask for the XML.

    7. Who should you contact for support?

    Shipwire didn’t build every cart connection on our list. For the ones we didn’t build we link off to the help pages on the third-party site.

    If you have a problem getting a third-party connection to work with Shipwire we recommend you start a support case with the third-party and share the support case with Shipwire.   Candidly, we may not be able to quickly solve the problem; but, we will do what we can.

    If the instructions demonstrate Shipwire built it, we will support it!

    8. How do all these cart connections work with Shipwire Anywhere order management?

    Shipwire Anywhere locations will work with all shopping cart connections just like they are a Shipwire warehouse. So all existing connections will work and the order will flow to the Shipwire Anywhere location rather than the Shipwire warehouse. You get to decide how orders should route if inventory is in your Shipwire Anywhere locations and with Shipwire warehouses. See your account preferences for this.

    9. Are you working with the right version (dot release) of the cart?

    Many of the scripted cart connection modules are going to only support select versions of a shopping cart. So please confirm the version of the cart you are using and the version of the cart that Shipwire module is built to work with.

    In some cases our shopping cart module is not up-to-date with the latest version of the module. This doesn’t mean we no longer support the cart; but, we ask for your patience as we update our module. Sometimes these are complex to upgrade and your patience and support during testing is very helpful to our team.

    If we have attempted to update the module and some new functionality of the shopping cart is incompatible with Shipwire we will note that in a solution or on the cart help page. So search the support center.

    10. How are Shipwire Service Levels used to select a carrier? How does Shipwire decide what carrier to use for my Cart Order?

    In order to support multiple warehouses in different countries Shipwire employs the concept of using Shipping Service Levels in order to accommodate multiple countries and the various carriers available in those countries. Currently we support four levels:

    • GD – Ground (also call Deferred). This is any shipping method that would generally be sent via Ground shipping. This is also the default service level when a service type is passed that can not be interpreted.
    • 2D – Two day service
    • 1D – Expedited 1 day service
    • INTL – Any order that results in an International Shipment

    Although a shopping cart could pass a specific carrier and service type to us like USPS Ground, we would then interpret that is GD. When then  translate the service level to the available carriers based on the Merchant Shipping Configuration for the country the warehouse is located in and the carriers locally available. This also lets us choose the warehouse closest to the customer. The advantage of this is your cart and integration does not need to now the specific carriers available in each country. By using generic service levels we can translate the service level into the appropriate carrier and service type.

    Service Level Examples

    As an example let’s say we have a US based retailer with inventory in LA, Toronto, and the UK. The cart is setup to use generic shipping types like Ground, Overnight, Second Day Air, and so on.

    In our first example the merchant has a customer in France who places an order and selected ground shipping. When this is submitted to Shipwire it is passed to us as GD (ground). We then note it is an international shipment and that inventory is available in the UK. We pass the order to our UK Warehouse and use the Merchants UK Warehouse International shipping setting to determine the shipper. If you have selected “Let Shipwire Choose” we would rate the least expensive International method, which would likely be “Parcelforce Euro 48”. If optimization is off we would try and use the specific carrier selected by the Merchant if possible.

    A second example would be a customer located in Winnipeg, Canada. They select Ground shipping. Shipwire notes that their is inventory in the Toronto warehouse and maps the shipper based on the Canada Warehouse “Deferred” selection. Likely this will be Canada Post Ground.

    A third example would be a customer located in Portland Oregon. They select 2D shipping. Shipwire notes that there is inventory in the the LA warehouse and maps the shipper based on the US Warehouse “2D” selection. This may be mapped as UPS 2nd Day Air for example.

    More FAQ’s regarding Shipwire Service Levels:

    Q – What if my cart passes a specific carrier and service type, how will Shipwire interpret this?

    A – Most common carrier type and services will be mapped to the proper service level. For example UPS 2nd Day would be mapped as 2D, USPS First Class Mail is interpreted as ground (GD).   Shipwire attempts to map most common carrier  names to the appropriate type, however is is not guaranteed. As always you should thoroughly test your cart integration.

    Q – What if my service type passed is not understood by Shipwire?

    A – If the shipment is domestic then the  Defered shipping service option would be used. If the order is international then the international shipping option would be used.

    Q – How does Shipwire interpret International carrier selection?

    A – When Shipwire notices that your shipment will be an International shipment we always map that to the International shipping setting in your shipwire account. This happens regardless of the service level passed to Shipwire.

    Q – What if my Shipment is International,  can I pass a service level?

    A – If your shipment is to an International destination the carrer selection is always  determined by your International shipping selection.

    Q – What defines an International Shipment?

    A – International shipments are any shipment that is from a Shipwire warehouse who’s ship-to address is in another country.

    Q – How can I have my cart show the optimal carriers available for my order? What is the Real Time Rating Module?

    A – You need to use the Real Time Rating Module.   Many of the carts have as part of their integration the Real Time Rating module. This presents your customer with a list of specific carriers for each of the service levels and with the exact cost needed to cover your shipment from Shipwire. In addition the Rating Module will rate the order from the optimal warehouse closest to your customer and with inventory. For a list of carts that support the Rating module you can review the list of carts supported and look for carts with a check-mark in the Shipping Rates column.


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