If you use ShopSites UPS, USPS or FedEx real-time quote system (called API’s) this is a great feature from Lexiconn you will want to use.
Why was this developed? As you may know if you use any of these services in ShopSite, if the service is down and you have not set up any other way for customers to pick shipping, they will not be able to place their order. This is obviously very troublesome for customers. Yes, you can have a flat fee table setup and turned on, but that means it is always turned on and may not give accurate information to customers when they are trying to pick shipping.
Lexiconn has created a new website, Shipping API Monitor, http://www.shippingapimonitor.com/ that can let you know when any of these services are down and also just as important, when the service is back up. The site provides real-time tracking of the shipping API systems for rates being returned. It monitors for their system being up and returning valid rates every minute from 2 geographically diverse locations. Any outage is displayed on the site, and after 3 consecutive rate failures, they mark the shipping API as down. You can find this out in a varied of ways … their website, an RSS feed, via email, via twitter.
Once you are notified the service is down, you can turn on your flat fee rate table that customers can use in lieu of getting a real time quote. Yes, it won’t be exact shipping, but you won’t lose any sales this way. Then when you are notified that the service is back up, you can turn this table off again.
Be proactive with your shipping systems and make sure your customers can purchase from you without problems this holiday season. Go to Shipping API Monitor and signup to get an email, follow them on twitter or get the rss feed.