How to add USPS as an integrated carrier in Auctiva Commerce

Auctiva Commerce will integrate with USPS to provide its shipping services with accurate shipping charges for your customers at checkout. This tutorial will show you how to configure USPS in Auctiva Commerce.

How to add USPS

It's important to consider the shipping parameters (i.e., warehouses, shipping zones and user groups) associated with this shipping method in advance to adding the integrated carrier. As soon as shipping services are added from this integrated carrier, it becomes instantly available to all warehouses, all shipping zones and all user groups by default. You will need to quickly edit each shipping service to define these parameters. Otherwise, an order could be made that is not intended to be shipped by this method. The safest way to add a new integrated carrier is to enable the Suspend Purchasing mode (Store> Configure> Store Settings). Enabling this mode will hide all the "Add to Cart" buttons. Once you edit the shipping methods so that they have the correct parameters, you can disable the Suspend Purchasing mode to resume ordering on your store.

If an order is eligible for an integrated shipping service, the integrated carrier checks the customer's order information (i.e., shipment weight, shipment dimensions and origin/destination addresses) to assess an estimated shipping charge. Most often, the carrier uses only the Zip Code and not the entire address to compute the estimated charge. The actual shipping charge may slightly vary due to fuel surcharges and other fees when you create the actual delivery using the exact origin and destination addresses that the carrier requires to make the shipment. If this becomes a problem, you can consider adding a small handling fee to each integrated shipping method to help cover the spread between estimated shipping charges and actual shipping charges.

Step 1. Register for USPS Web Tools.

Make sure to read the terms of agreement and be aware of any fees associated with this service.

  • Go to the USPS website to register.
  • Fill in the appropriate information. You should receive an e-mail within 24 hours containing your user ID. You will need this value to integrate USPS with Auctiva Commerce.
Step 2. Register with the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Go to Store> Shipping> Integrated Carriers.
  • Click the Add a Carrier button.
  • Click the U.S. Postal Service link.
  • Enter your User ID in the box provided. This is the ID use to log into your USPS account.
  • Click the Next button.
Step 3. Activate your USPS account.
  • Click the Run USPS Tests link. This will check to see if the USPS integration is functioning properly.
  • Once you have a successful test, contact the provider's Internet Customer Care Center to get your username activated and the account moved to the Production USPS server. Mention that you are using Auctiva Commerce. You will not be required to show test logs.
  • Once this is done, check the box next to "Activated."
  • Click the Finish button. This will take you to the Configure USPS page. Here you will find two tabs: Configuration Settings and the Services (Shipping Methods). The tab displayed will be the Configuration Settings.
Step 4. Configure USPS.

This is an important step, as the settings you enter here can affect the rates USPS returns after you enter the weight and dimension of your goods.

  • Instance Name: Entered the desired name. You can leave this field with the default value.
  • User ID: You user ID should already appear in the box. If not, enter it.
  • Don't edit the Live Mode, Test Mode and Tracking URLs. These come pre-configured when you create a shipping account through Auctiva Commerce.
  • Debug Mode: When debug mode is enabled, all messages sent to and received from USPS are logged. This should only be enabled at the direction of qualified support personnel.
  • Click the Save button.
Step 5. Configure shipping services.

It's highly recommended that you enable the Suspend Purchasing mode if you haven't done so already. This next step will add services to your store. By default, it will make the shipping services available to all warehouses, shipping zones, and user groups. This means you could get an order that uses a shipping service not intended for that type of order in the time it takes to edit each service.

  • Click on the "Services (Shipping Methods)" tab to go to the Provider Shipping Methods menu. On this page, you'll see "Provider Services Configured" box on the top. The services that you have not yet configured are in the "Provider Services Not Configured" box at the bottom. Services in the bottom section are not yet available to your customers.
  • Check the boxes next to the shipping services you want to offer. Be sure to review the service details.

Note: In order for the USPS First-Class Mail service to work on your store, the unit of weight for products must be in ounces. You can change your store settings to ounces after completing this tutorial by going to Store> Configure> Store Settings in Auctiva Commerce administration. The Configure Store page will load. In the Locale Settings box, select "Ounces" from the Unit of Weight field. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page.

  • Click the Default Configuration button. Selected methods will now appear on the top portion of this page and will be available to your customers.
Step 6. Customize your shipping service.

Now you're ready to customize each of the shipping services.

  • Click on the Edit icon for a shipping service you just added. Each shipping service you added in Step 5 will need to be individually edited.
  • Name: Enter in the name of the shipping method. This name will appear on your store at checkout.
  • Service: Do not change this option. By default the service selected in Step 4 is automatically assigned to this shipping method.
  • Handling Fee: Enter in any handling fees to be added to the shipping charges. Choose whether the handling fee is a Fixed Amount or Percent. The Fixed Amount will be the value you enter into this field and the Percent amount will take that percentage from the order amount to create the handling fee charge.
  • Choose how you want the handling fee to show if there is a handling fee.
  • Warehouses: Choose which warehouses that will be assigned to this shipping method. Choosing the All Warehouses option will apply this shipping method to every product in your store.
  • Zones: Choose which shipping zones will be assigned to this shipping method. Choosing the All Zones option will allow customers in every shipping zone that you've created to receive shipments by this shipping method.
  • Groups: Choose which user groups will be assigned to this shipping method. Choosing the All Groups option will allow all customers with eligible orders and shipping addresses to use this shipping method.
  • Minimum Purchase: Enter in the minimum purchase value that a customer needs to spend on their order to be eligible for this method. Leave this field blank if there is no minimum purchase required.
  • Tax Code: Choose a tax code option if you wish to assess taxes on the shipping charge. Don't choose a tax code if no taxes should be assessed on the shipping charge.
  • Click the Save button. This will take you to the Configure Shipping Methods page, where all your shipping methods are displayed. Continue to repeat Step 6 for all the services you've added until each is properly set up.

Remember to disable the Suspend Purchasing mode if you're ready to start taking orders. Otherwise, keep it enabled as you set up additional critical store features.

This completes the task of integrating USPS into Auctiva Commerce. It's a good idea to check your storefront to make sure the USPS shipping methods do appear where you expect to find them.

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