How to fulfil orders based on inventory locations on Shopify


Suppose you have 3 warehouses - one in the US, one in India, and one in France.

Now, when a customer orders from the US, ideally you would like the US warehouse to fulfil the order - as it is closer to the customer. Similar for France - you would like the France warehouse to fulfil the order, and for an Asian customer you would ideally like the Indian warehouse to fulfil the order.

This makes sense as you are fulfilling the order based on how far the inventory is from the shopping address of the customer. This is the right way to do it as your customers receive their deliveries quicker, and it saves you shipping costs.

But Shopify does not easily let you do this -  Shopify does let you prioritise locations, so that when an order is received the location at the top is assigned the order first.

 

This means that if a customer from Paris orders from your store, and you had set 'New York' to be the number one, Shopify will attach the New York location to the Paris customer. This is not good, as it increases your costs.

Let's look at how we can fix this so that you can assign locations based on how far a customer's shipping address is from your location - rather than the default Fulfilment priority on Shopify. These are the only options you have:

  1. Manually change the fulfilment location so that the order is fulfilled based on the warehouse closest to the customer.
  2. Maintain multiple stores per warehouse. If you choose this option you need to make sure that you keep the different but identical websites upto date and similar at all times.
  3. Use an inventory management service like Bright Pearl or Skubana that lets you manage inventory across multiple warehouses and products. The drawback with these options are that they are more expensive, and you are paying for a lot more inventory features which you may not really need.
  4. Use a third party app from the app store. As of writing this blog - many of the apps in this space did not have good reviews. So make sure to contact the app developers and test the app before you commit to any. Here are the ones that are trying to solve this problem: Location Based Fulfilment, Advance Shipping Manager, Easy Ship, Product Inventory Information