Getting started with locations

Inventory tracking for multiple locations is being enabled in all Shopify stores. To check if locations is enabled in your store, from your Shopify admin go to Settings > Locations.

If locations is enabled in your store, then there is a notification prompting you to Learn more about locations. Follow the steps below to set up your store with locations.

Notification the Locations page that locations are enabled

If locations isn't enabled in your store, then you see the option to Enable inventory at locations. Read the sections below to learn how enabling locations might affect your store. You can then decide if you want to enable multiple locations.

Notification the Locations page that locations aren't enabled

Locations

The maximum number of locations that you can have depends on your Shopify plan:

  • Shopify Lite - 3
  • Basic Shopify - 4
  • Shopify - 5
  • Advanced Shopify - 8
  • Shopify Plus - 20 (Contact Plus Support if you need more than 20 locations.)

Locations that you deactivate don't count toward your location limit.

If you use apps that physically stock inventory for you, then they are treated as locations. Inventory apps include dropshipping apps, third-party logistics services, and custom fulfillment services. For example, an app could be a warehouse that fulfills orders on your behalf. Although these apps are treated as locations, they don't count toward your location limit.

After inventory tracking for multiple locations is enabled in your store, check that the locations listed in your Shopify admin match the locations that you use to stock and manage your inventory.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Setting > Locations. Your locations are listed beside Locations and App and custom fulfillment locations.

  2. Optional: You can create and modify locations, or deactivate locations that you no longer use.

Locations and private apps

If you have a private app that was developed specifically for your store, then you might have to update it to use inventory tracking for multiple locations. You receive a notification on the Locations page that lets you know which apps need to be updated. However, it’s best to check with the app's developer to verify if the app needs to be updated.

Developers can learn more about migrating to support multiple locations.

Location filters

When you have locations set up, a location filter appears in the Shopify admin on pages and sections where it applies, such as the Orders page and the Inventory page. The following example shows the filter in the Variants section of a product details page:

Locations menu on the Product page

When you select a location in the filter, the page keeps your selection until you change it. The selected location for a page is stored in a browser cookie, so it isn’t maintained between devices or browsers.

Inventory quantities

When inventory tracking for multiple locations is enabled, all your existing inventory quantities are allocated to your shipping origin location. Your shipping origin location is the address that is used to calculate shipping rates.

You need to update the inventory quantities at all your locations to ensure your inventory quantities are correct.

If possible, update your inventory quantities when your retail outlets are closed and when you're not having big online sales events. You can do a physical count of your inventory at each location and record that data to ensure your inventory quantities are correct in Shopify.

If you have a small number of locations and products, then update the quantities on the Inventory page

If you have a large number of locations and products, then use the bulk editor, or use CSV file exports and imports.

Small number of locations and products

If you have a small number of locations and products, then you can update the amounts individually on the Inventory page.

Steps:

  1. Go to Products > Inventory.
  2. Update the inventory at each location:

    1. Select the location.
    2. Update the inventory quantities for each product. If you don't have inventory for a product in the list, then either you are not tracking inventory for that product, or the product isn’t stocked at the location.

    For details, read about assigning inventory to locations.

Large number of locations and products

If you have a large number of locations and products, then update your inventory quantities by exporting and importing inventory with a CSV file or by using the bulk editor.

For details, read Exporting or importing inventory with a CSV file or Change the inventory quantities by using the bulk editor.

Example of updating inventory quantities

Suppose you have a store with three locations. Currently, for one product, you have 20 items in total shown as a single inventory quantity:

Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto: 20 items

After you enable multiple locations, you need to update your inventory quantities so that each location shows its specific amount of inventory:

  • Ottawa: 10 items
  • Montreal: 6 items
  • Toronto: 4 items

Example of inventory tracked at multiple locations

In this example, after conversion, a product is stocked at three locations, and the inventory quantities are shown for each location on its details page:

Example of three locations and the inventory amounts

Shipping rates when using multiple locations

Shipping rates are calculated based on the address of your store's shipping origin location, not the fulfillment location for each order. This means that all your locations share the same shipping zone.

If you offer free shipping or flat-rate shipping for all your orders, then you don't need to change your shipping settings.

If your shipping rates vary significantly between locations, then you can change the location that is set as your shipping origin.

Fulfillments

For stores with multiple locations, fulfillments change in the following ways:

  • When orders are placed through any online sales channel, they're assigned to a location where they should be fulfilled from based on a priority list and available inventory. You use a fulfillment priority list to decide which locations are assigned orders first. If any location can fulfill the entire order, then the inventory is drawn from that location. If no location can fulfill the entire order, then a split order is created and assigned to multiple locations. For each order, you can switch the location where you fulfill it from on the order details page.
  • Shopify POS orders use available inventory from the location where the sale is made.
  • You can choose whether or not a location fulfills online orders.
  • For draft orders, the order creation process doesn't change. Items added to a draft order are assigned to fulfillment locations based on priority and available inventory.

The following example shows three locations that are ordered by priority:

Example of fulfillment priority

To change your fulfillment priorities, set the priority of locations for fulfilling orders.

Example of fulfillments

Suppose you have a store with three locations. Currently, for one product, you have 100 units in total stocked as follows:

  • New York flagship - 18
  • New York popup - 20
  • New York warehouse - 62

You can prioritize locations for fulfillment based on your preference:

  1. New York flagship
  2. New York warehouse
  3. New York popup

A customer places an order for 20 units.

Based on the fulfillment priority, the order attempts to be fulfilled at the New York flagship location.

The New York flagship location only has 18 items in stock, so an attempt is made to assign the whole order to the next location in the priority list: the New York warehouse. The whole order can be fulfilled at this location, so the order is assigned to the New York warehouse.

For a more detailed example of fulfillments, read Example - Online order fulfillment.

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