As your retail business expands, effectively managing inventory across multiple locations can pose challenges. Whether you have inventory at your storefront, pop-up shop, or warehouse, ensuring accurate counts across all these places can take time and effort.
Shopify’s multi-location inventory capabilities present numerous opportunities for both existing Shopify users and those considering a switch to a new eCommerce platform. We are thrilled to witness merchants embracing this feature and encourage you to explore how it can expand your business and enhance your fulfillment capabilities.
What is a Shopify Multiple Locations?
Shopify locations are a feature in Shopify that represent physical locations from which you sell merchandise, store inventory, or fulfill orders, among other things. This functionality was launched in mid-2018 as an improvement on their previous point-of-sale (POS) system.
Before the location launch, existing Shopify stores needed to enable and update the location functionality, although it was not mandatory. Most store owners chose to update and utilise this feature.
A store can now have multiple POS or other physical locations with the introduction of locations. This enhanced functionality enables the storage of inventory in multiple locations. Products can be present in various locations, or they can be exclusive to a specific location. Each individual location will have its own unique inventory count.
What Does This Mean for Business?
Here are a few ways in which sellers can leverage these new capabilities:
For Online and Multi-Store Brick-and-Mortar Merchants
Businesses operating online and offline stores can now efficiently manage order routing between their various store locations. It allows customers to buy online and pick up in-store purchases based on inventory availability at each location.
Additionally, merchants can now easily split orders for fulfillment. Each line item on an online order can be fulfilled by a different location if necessary. This flexibility enables intelligent prioritisation of locations for fulfilling items, optimising efficiency and ensuring timely delivery.
For 3PL Users
Order fulfillment, especially for high-volume merchants, is a complex task. If you utilise a third-party logistics (3PL) provider for part or all of your fulfillment processes, Shopify’s update simplifies collaboration with them. You can diversify your shipping locations, accelerating the fulfillment process.
Dropshipping offers a quick and affordable way to launch a business, expand product offerings, or offer customers an extensive in-store product selection. However, dropshipping can be challenging, and improper execution can adversely affect your business.
Tracking inventory by location lets dropshippers add more supplier catalogues and integrate shipping processes. It allows merchants to manage multiple suppliers effectively and offer a broader range of products more efficiently.
How To Use Multiple Locations in Shopify?
Each location in Shopify serves as a dedicated fulfillment center, whether physical or virtual. Its primary function is to monitor inventory levels for your SKUs. When a new order is placed, Shopify assigns it to the most suitable location based on priority and SKU availability. To fully leverage this setup, including I-Fulfilments as one of your designated locations is highly recommended.
Why should you use multiple locations?
Having multiple locations offers several advantages for you as a merchant, particularly if:
Order Routing for Stock Outs
In the event that one source or location experiences stock shortages, having multiple locations allows you to route orders efficiently to alternative fulfillment centers. This ensures that orders can still be fulfilled promptly, even if one source is unable to meet the demand.
Customised Order Routing for Specific Locations
You can optimise order routing by leveraging multiple locations to match specific requirements. This means that orders designated for certain locations can be efficiently routed to your own warehouse or preferred fulfillment method. In contrast, orders for other locations can be directed to a different facility. This allows for tailored and streamlined order processing based on location-specific needs.
Pre-order Acceptance and Fulfilment
If you plan to accept pre-orders through your Shopify store with the intention of fulfilling them at a later date, multiple locations provide a significant advantage. With a distributed network of locations, you can effectively manage and fulfil these pre-orders in a timely manner. This ensures customer satisfaction while allowing you to gauge demand and plan inventory accordingly.
International Order Fulfilment
Having multiple locations becomes even more beneficial if your business accepts international orders. By strategically locating fulfilment centers, you can reduce shipping costs and delivery times for international customers. This enables you to offer efficient and cost-effective shipping options, expanding your reach and catering to a global customer base.
Streamline Your Business with Seamless Integrations for Shopify
By connecting your Shopify platform to BladePRO, you can ensure smooth data flow and enhance operational efficiency. I-Fulfilment offers a range of pre-built and customisable connectors designed to seamlessly integrate Shopify with your ERP/Accounting, POS, and 3PL providers.
Our connectors serve as a centralised hub, streamlining and automating workflows to enhance operational efficiency. By harnessing the power of our solutions, you can gain comprehensive visibility into your processes, boost productivity, and achieve your online revenue objectives.
The advantages of integration go beyond data sharing; BladePRO provides various essential functionalities:
Expedite order processing and automate returns and refunds, ensuring prompt customer service.
Shipping and Tracking
Offer your customers a wide range of shipping options at competitive rates, informed with timely shipping statuses and tracking information.
Prevent overselling by updating online inventory availability in real-time.
Effectively manage extensive and intricate product catalogues, seamlessly synchronising with your ERP or POS system to Shopify.
Maintain accurate and dynamic price lists, making real-time updates to align with your business needs.
Effortlessly manage customer records across systems for a streamlined customer experience.
From EDI compliance to kitting, bundling, and re-labelling, our global and scalable solution is tailored to meet your brand’s unique needs.
Use our multi-location functionality to split orders for fulfillment from multiple locations effortlessly.
Seamlessly integrate with 3PLs or drop shippers to enhance your supply chain operations.
Partner with I-Fulfilment to optimise your operation and gain comprehensive visibility into your fulfillment processes.