I recently contracted with FedEx to do my shipping. FedEx has some programming that has streamlined our shipping process, but there are two things I would like to add to my Magento 1.9.1 Community addition checkout process. I use OneStepCheckout 4.1.3. I would like my customers to see the expected time in shipping or delivery date (depending on shipping option). In other words my customer could see next to the HomeDelivery option the date FedEx calculates that order to be delivered to the given address. The needed information is passed by the FedEx APA when it returns the costs, so it should be fairly easily available.
FedEx also returns an address verification - if the shipping address is commercial or residential. As it stands, Magento allows me to choose to ship to residential addresses, in which case it displays Home Deliver and SmartPost as shipping options along with any of the Express options available. It does not allow commercial accounts to select Ground, which is usually their best option. If I say no to Residential Delivery in Magento's configuration then only Ground is an option, not HomeDelivery of SmaryPost, and price is calculated for a commercial delivery. I end up paying more for shipping than the store calculated. With cost and time, the FedEx API returns just such an address verification - commercial or residential. I would think this information would be enough to create a switch between displaying residential shipping options and commercial.
The only extension that I have found that comes close does several things I don't need and requires a monthly payment. It seems to me that an extension that does these things would be desireable by anyone who ships FedEx from a Magento Store. I am looking for such an extension, or a developer who can program this ability.
I believe that ShipperHQ should meet this, but does require a monthly fee. The total cost would still be less than developing from scratch, if I had to guess. You could reach out to the ShipperHQ team directly to see if their solution meets your requirements exactly. It's the most robust shipping solution for Magento that I'm aware of.
Hope this helps!
Hi Jenna, and thanks,
I looked at Shipper HQ, even contacted Karen there. Again, I would be paying for so much more than I need. Multiple shippers and a dashboard, for example. And ShipperHQ isn't yet ready for address verification in FedEx extension.
Am I oversimplifying this in my own head? I don't know if you are a programmer, but hopefully you or someone reading this post can help me understand. When a customer creates an order and proceeds to checkout, Magento contacts the FedEx API. That API returns the costs for the applicable shipping options so that they can be displayed, each on a line, in the checkout window for the customer to choose. The Fedex API, at the same time, returns to my store the delivery date as well as an address verification. It seems that a simple line of code could display the delivery dates. A second line of code could read the verification and feed it to an if/then/else to display the proper ship options.
Or is there so much more to it?
Thank you for your reply,
They've put the API docs behind a registration form. That prevents a quick check by interested developers. And they change stuff around without ample warning - which conjure visions of support nightmares. In addition to that, they're not interesting for parts of the world outside North America.
Add all this and it is not surprising at all, that progress is slow. Your best bet is patience or contract someone, like Alan Storm.
I agree that it seems simple (and really should be), but also agree with Melvyn's comment about FedEx's API changing often. I've seen that firsthand. I absolutely understand your frustration.
Additionally, keep in mind that Magento couldn't just quote the date FedEx says it would be delivered, because that assumes same-day shipping all the time. I'm assuming you don't always ship same day, and have some holidays as well. That is why solutions like ShipperHQ allow for rules on when you ship, etc. Each business is unique in their shipping practices, and sometimes its even product specific, seasonal, etc.
We (Creatuity) have built custom extensions for clients that need custom FedEx integrations. It is not inexpensive or easy unfortunately. I am not a developer myself (I'm a Solution Specialist), so I'm not certain of all the caveats from a technical perspective. I am sure that a developer here could fill us in regarding those, but it wouldn't change the facts or the complexity/costs unfortunately. I wish there was more I could do to help.
There are lots of great Magento freelancers and agencies out there - perhaps your best bet could be to hire one of those. I personally really like ShipperHQ but know that its not the perfect solution for every business. Maybe someone else has another recommendation?
Good luck with this project! Let me know if I can help further.
Thanks, Jenna, for your thorough response. I hadn't thought through the same-day-shipping scenario completely. We do ship same day for orders in by 2pm - usually. Then there's Saturday and Sunday. . . Unfortunately we are a small business, and wheras we try whenever possible to make shopping as easy as possible for our customers, we do have a limited budget for development. Perhaps it is time for me to look at ShipperHQ once again.
Thans for this information, Melvyn. I hadn't thought of that. All of us is smarter than one of us. I'll see if Alan perhaps has a solution.
Your request is quite interesting and may seem easy to implement. But in reality it might occur not so simple.