E-commerce has disrupted businesses of every niche- the way they function and the way they are managed. More than mere home delivery, customers expect products to be delivered the very next day.
Businesses have their ways to handle demands quicker and minimise the eCommerce delivery times. One of the conventional means to do this is having multiple warehouses. Leading E-commerce platforms like Shopify have extended their support at helping merchants to effectively manage all their distribution channels.
Through this blog, we will delve deeper into the possibilities Shopify can create for your business and the ease it brings at managing multiple warehouses. Let’s get started!!
Managing Inventory in Multiple Locations on Shopify
Not very long ago, Shopify introduced Locations for an effective multi-location management feature. Merchants can add all their locations at Settings>Locations, as shown below. The Shipping Origin marks your primary store location.
With this initiative by Shopify, it is now easier for merchants to move their existing business online, and streamlining their existing distribution channels. They can track inventory at every warehouse on their desktop or Shopify POS and their fulfilment centres with ease. And all this can take place without having to spend hours analyzing long spreadsheets and manual tracking processes. However, all of this doesn’t come that easy and merchants will seek experts’ help at getting things done.
On a recent account, our Shopify development agency had the opportunity to serve a client for effective multiple inventory locations management on Shopify. Our team helped the client with a tailored Shopify app that precisely serves the purpose
But why did the client need a custom multi location inventory Shopify app in the first place? Let’s find out.
Need for a Custom Shopify Multi Warehouse Inventory App
The client owns a Shopify store for vaping products and related accessories. The business optimizes quicker product supply across the country via a streamlined supply chain that includes multiple warehouses.
Shopify’s support for multiple locations was surely helpful at creating an online space for the business. However, the default features are raw and inefficient to support a full-fledged business. The client wanted an easier way to track every product, variant and their quantities across all the warehouses.
Shopify app store has a couple of pre-made apps for this purpose. However, the fact they weren’t the easiest in terms of operating left the client with the only option: a custom Shopify app. The need was to break down everything into simpler numbers
- Available quantities
- Minimum stock levels
- Required quantities in the coming times.
and all of this had to happen on a clean and organized Shopify admin.
Our experts were more than willing to help the client.
Shopify Multi Location Inventory App Development
The Brihaspati Infotech is a pioneer in eCommerce development. The agency has received excellent ratings on the leading business review firms like Clutch for its services. In the past 10+ years, our experts have developed several business-specific eCommerce solutions for clients. The solutions are tuned to the industry and the client’s existing infrastructure.
The team has developed several apps from scratch. This time around, we used Shopify’s inbuilt functions to build the app.
Shopify App for Multiple Inventory Locations
The app serves three warehouse locations owned by the client. However, the client can expand it up to 5, based on his current “Shopify” plan. If you aren’t aware of this much, Shopify sets a limit to the number of locations merchants can add, based on their plan:
Going by conventional means, merchants with a “Basic Shopify” plan need to upgrade to “Shopify”, if their business expands to the 5th pickup store. An ambitious owner might upgrade to “Advanced Shopify”, for the added flexibility it will provide (8 locations instead of 5).
A custom Shopify development, however, frees the merchants from any such limitations.
Our team of Shopify experts have customized the default Locations limit, letting them add as many stores as the business expands. As a result, our client is free to add an infinite number of inventory locations, without having the need to upgrade the plans.
Managing Products across Warehouses
The next challenge that shows up at managing multiple warehouses is the inventory. A merchant would like to assess the available inventory levels for each product and if each warehouse has the required safety stock.
Larger the list of products your store accommodates, the more difficult it is to monitor your product quantities. Multiple warehouses only make it more challenging.
Our custom-designed multi warehouse inventory management Shopify app is a complete solution here. We have customized Shopify’s multi-location features for effective admin control. The app fetches products from the respective warehouses along with their available units.
The app adds a nested filter here. The merchant can monitor inventory for each product variant based on the locations. We have offered a highly organized dashboard for the merchants. They can easily switch between warehouse locations to monitor the respective inventory.
The merchant thus has the required space to have an eye on each warehouse, every product, their respective variants and the available product units, all in the same place.
Managing Safety Stock
Demand for a given product continuously varies. Not only with time, but also with the locality it serves. For obvious reasons, a chopstick store in Japan has more visitors than its US-based outlet. Merchants accordingly need to strategize the minimum units for given products in their warehouses and if the distribution channel is really prepared to meet further demands.
Our Shopify app shows stock levels for multiple locations. It offers an easy panel to manage the safety stock and available stock levels. The best part, they can manage these levels for each variant separately, as the demand comes.
The “Stock” signifies the real-time inventory of the Shopify store. The merchant can either sync it with the “Sync with Shopify” option or manually add the quantity. The app breaks down the available units for product variants. That gives the admin an upper hand with inventory management across multiple locations.
Refilling Inventory in Advance
One of the primary reasons the client wanted this tailored app was to monitor product quantities. We have added a custom variable named ”Order” that tracks all the products that are low on stocks. Now that we have the product quantities in the inventory and the minimum stock level count, we used them to calculate the required number of orders.
The formula is simple. A product or variant with more “Stock” quantity than the Minimum “Levels” are actually safe. The Shopify store is capable of meeting the upcoming demands. However, a product or variant with a lesser “Stock” quantity needs attention.
For easier insights, we have added colour to the “Order” variable. The app determines the number of product units by the difference between “Minimum Stock levels” and the “Available Stock Units”.
We have furthered the abilities of the app by adding a separate view for the product variants that are low in stocks. The merchants can select the “Only Show to Order” option to list all of them together. The option is located at the top, as shown in the following picture:
Shopify inventory management across multiple locations made easier!!
Our Experience with Custom Shopify App development
With that, our Shopify multi location inventory app development company has delivered an innovative solution to the client. The merchants can now have complete control over all of their warehouses and the inventory levels. Our app further makes it easier for the merchant to monitor all the products and variants that are hitting the minimum stock levels and need to be refilled immediately.
In our decade worth of industrial experience, we have built several out of box solutions for our clients. Being tailored for the said business, the app is perfectly aligned for the online store and precisely meets the requirements. In one of our recent blogs, we have talked about a custom product builder Shopify app that provides nested options for customizing online products. The project was one of a kind.
If you too have a similar requirement or seeking help on how to manage multiple Shopify store locations online, you can contact us. Now that we have already designed an app that solves this roadblock, delivering a similar solution gets easier at our end.
In its initial years, e-commerce was seen as a part of a retail business. Decades later, e-Commerce is the reason we have several physical businesses, nobody knew would exist. The market keeps changing with technology.
In any case, if you are looking to streamline your e-commerce business or need to set up a modern-age online store with all the admin tools at their place, you can hire Shopify experts from us.