It’s important that retailers respond to customer requests for quicker delivery in today’s digital world.
How do you make it happen? Smarter order fulfillment processes.
Customers are likely to be located anywhere in the country or world. Using a single fulfillment center may make it difficult to reach everyone who purchases from you. Distributed inventory allows you to use fulfillment centers or distribution centers near your customers to fulfill every order that is placed in your store.
With multiple locations, you have greater control and visibility of your inventory. This is what Shopify locations does to make it even easier.
Continue reading to find out more about Shopify locations, how they can help your ecommerce business prioritize and manage inventory, and establish new distribution points.
What are Shopify Locations?
Online selling makes it easier to fulfil orders and scale up. Location is crucial in this multichannel online environment. The places you store and manage your inventory will expand as well.
Shopify locations are physical locations, such as an internal warehouse or dropship supplier, from which you can sell merchandise, stock inventory or fulfill orders. You can also have a brick-and-mortar physical store.
Are There Limits to the Number of Shopify Locations That You Can Manage?
The number of locations that you can create depends on your Shopify subscription plan. These maximum locations per plan are:
- Shopify Lite: 3 Locations
- 4 locations for Basic Shopify
- Shopify: 5 locations
- Advanced Shopify: 8 locations
- Shopify Plus 20
Inventory apps that store inventory for you are considered locations. These can be third-party logistics apps, dropshipping app, or custom fulfillment services. You might create an app to fulfill orders for you. Apps like these will be listed in your Settings as well as your custom fulfillment areas, but they won’t count towards Shopify’s location limit.
Also, deactivated locations don’t count against your plan limit. Shopify allows you to see the number of locations that you have created.
Multiple Shopify Locations
As you probably know, inventory management and fulfillment becomes more difficult as your business expands. Shopify’s multiple-location management function allows you to manage inventory at all your locations. It makes it easy to manage inventory and fulfill orders, regardless of whether you store inventory in warehouses, shopfronts, dropshipping centers, or anywhere else.
Shopify’s multi-location feature makes it easy to track inventory in all locations. This allows you to concentrate on other aspects of the business. Shopify gives you the ability to create multiple locatings in your Settings for inventory tracking and fulfillment at multiple locations.
This feature allows you to see where products are lacking or overstocked, and whether it is necessary to move them. This feature will allow you to see if it is time to place an order and ship your inventory to a particular location.
Shopify locations are seen as fulfillment centers that track inventory levels for all your SKUs. Shopify assigns customers to locations based on their order and priority. Flxpoint, an ecommerce operations platform such as Shopify can be used to pull inventory from all or any of your Shopify locations.
If you are a merchant and want to set up Shopify locations in multiple locations, it is a great idea.
If you are a merchant and have multiple locations, it is possible to sell at more than one location.
- If another source is out stock, you want to route orders to another fulfillment centre
- You need certain orders from specific locations to be routed to your warehouse or fulfillment center and the rest to another location
- Preorders that you will fulfill later in Shopify should be accepted by Shopify
- International orders are accepted
Why multiple locations?
Multichannel strategies are becoming a common strategy for ecommerce. There are many distribution channels available. Dropshipping suppliers can be used to stock inventory in retail stores, pop up markets, warehouses, and other locations. Shopify’s multi-location feature allows you sell products, ship orders or fulfill them, and manage inventory independently for each channel.
Effective Multi-Warehouse Management
Ecommerce retailers face challenges in maintaining stock levels and stock flow. Each process and component must also be properly handled. Products can be shipped faster if you have multiple warehouses. This not only reduces the labor required to deliver the products to customers but also lowers shipping costs.
Multi-warehouse inventory management solutions allow you to track your stock through one, single system. You can reap the benefits of a distributed inventory system that includes multiple locations as you grow your business.
Providing Unique Shopping Experiences
You can sell to more niche customers by creating separate Shopify shops. You can offer a personalized experience to attract new customers.
One could open a boutique that is high-end, another outlet that is more affordable, and still have a general shop. However, you can segment your customers to ensure they get exactly what they are looking for.
This simplifies the purchasing process by allowing customers to skip the tedious task of navigating through a multitude of menus in order to find what they are looking for. It is important to make ordering as simple as possible, so customers are more likely complete purchases.
Local Pickup and Delivery
If you have multiple brick-and-mortar stores, you can easily route orders using an accurate view of inventory data from all locations. You can also offer customers the option of ordering products online and picking them up in-store, if stock availability permits.
Exploring New Dropshipping Opportunities
Shopify locations allows you to add more supplier catalogs and track your inventory by location. This option allows you to expand your product range and offer more products to your customers.
Fulfilling Shopify Orders from Multiple Locations
Customers place orders online and orders are assigned to fulfillment locations based on their priority preferences and stock availability. To fulfill orders, you will need to indicate the priority sequence for your store.
If there is sufficient inventory available, the inventory of that location will be used. Shopify creates a split order if none of your locations can fulfill an order. It is then fulfilled at several locations. You can modify the fulfillment location of an order from the order details tab.
All Shopify POS orders will be allocated to the inventory available at the point-of-sale. Orders placed at Shopify POS for delivery to customers’ addresses are fulfilled based upon delivery priority.
Add and Prioritize Shopify Locations
Shopify locations can be set up and prioritised:
- In your Shopify admin dashboard, go to “Settings” > Locations.
- Click “Add location”
- Enter the address and name of each location. (Note: Shopify’s shipping rate feature requires that you enter the full address.
- If you wish to have the inventory of this location available online, check “Fulfill online order from this location”.
- Click “Save”
Each new location will be added to your fulfillment priority list as the final location. Edit the fulfillment priority list by clicking “Edit fulfillment priority.” Drag and drop each location to change its order.
The following example shows that the internal warehouse is the first on the list and is therefore set as the primary location. If an item is not in the warehouse, fulfillment priority will be given to the Supplier A location.
Stock Quantities Can Be Changed
Shopify will show a product as stocked in one place when you create it. This is your shipping origin. The product information tab shows the inventory at each location if your store has multiple locations.
To ensure accuracy in your inventory quantities, you must update each location’s inventory quantities. Unless you have an alternative solution, you can either update the inventory quantities by yourself or import inventory using the bulk editor.
To update the quantities
- Navigate to the product you are looking for.
- Scroll down to “Inventory” and click on the quantity for a specific location in the column “Available”.
- You can adjust or set the actual inventory quantity using positive or negative numbers
- Click “Save”
What are the challenges in using multiple Shopify locations?
Yes. Yes. However, multiple Shopify fulfillment locations adds flexibility and differentiation to your fulfillment process. Here are some things you should keep in mind before you dive in.
It can be difficult to track inventory at multiple locations. Multiple-location fulfillment restrictions have made it harder to accurately update and track inventory. Retailers face multiple limitations because of this:
It is harder to offer “Pick up in-store” options
It’s almost impossible to set up a pick-up program in your brick-and mortar stores and have your inventory count at all locations. If you want to efficiently track inventory across your supply chain, real-time inventory tracking will be essential. You risk stockouts, fulfillment nightmares, and other problems that could damage your brand, anger customers, or cost you money.
It’s more difficult to manage orders and fulfillments
One of the challenges in managing multiple fulfillment centers is managing orders. There are many factors that can lead to confusion and errors when customers place orders for identical products from multiple sources.
A central order management system will make it easier to manage orders and returns. You should look for a system with prompt order processing and tracking. It also has the ability to process orders from one application and sell from multiple locations.
Combine Shopify locations with Flxpoint to create a smarter multichannel fulfillment strategy
Shopify allows you to set up multiple locations, which can be used to create new distribution points, improve inventory levels, manage inventory and more easily fulfill orders. It takes just a few steps to assign and prioritize inventory based on location. However, multiple Shopify locations may require more work and leave more room to error.
Flxpoint helps you solve many problems associated with multiple locations. It allows you to track inventory levels, sync inventory and assign orders. Flxpoint allows you to sell inventory through multiple channels by using pre-built connectors for ecommerce platforms. You can also set channel-specific pricing, categories, attributes, and pricing.