Setting up your location fulfillments

If you have more than one active location, then you need to specify how to fulfill online orders. There are several ways to set up your locations for fulfilling orders:

  • If you want all items for online orders to fulfill from a single location, then you need to make that your default location and prevent other locations from fulfilling online orders
  • If you want items for online orders to fulfill from a primary location, and fulfill from other locations if the product isn't in stock at the primary location, then you can set locations for order fulfillment priority. Make sure each location that you want to fulfill from has Fulfill online orders from this location selected.
  • If you want to customize which location fulfills orders based on location and products, then you can activate multi-origin shipping to use shipping profiles.
  • If you're using a dropshipping app or fulfillment service to fulfill all of your orders, then you don't need to make any changes to your locations or the default location. The default address of your store is set as your default location. Your default address isn't used by the dropshipping app or fulfillment service, and isn't shown to your customers.

In-store purchases that are completed using Shopify POS use available inventory from the location where the sale is made. If the orders are placed to be shipped to the customer's address, then they use inventory based on how online orders are set up rather than the store's location.

Change the default location

If you don't activate multi-origin shipping, then your shipping rates are calculated based on the location that's set as your default location. Your default location is indicated by a Default tag in your Locations settings.

You can set any of your active locations to be the default location. Apps and deactivated locations can't be set as the default location.

If you change the default location to a location where a carrier isn't supported, then the rates for that carrier are hidden at the checkout. For example, if you set a default location in the United States, then Canada Post rates aren't displayed at the checkout.

Rates for buying shipping labels from the Shopify admin are calculated based on the fulfillment location, not your store's default location.


Set locations for order fulfillment priority

When orders are placed through any online sales channel, they're assigned to a location where they should be fulfilled from based on the priority list and available inventory. If any location can fulfill the entire order, then the inventory is taken from that location. If no location can fulfill the entire order, then the location with the highest priority oversells the product. Overselling happens when you sell more of a product than the quantity that you have in stock for that product at that location.

For example, suppose you have two locations: Location A in top priority and Location B as second priority. Location A has 1 shirt and Location B has 2 shirts. If you receive an order for 2 shirts, then Location B fulfills it. If you receive an order for 3 shirts, then Location A oversells the shirt and finishes with an inventory of -2.

You can switch the location that you're fulfilling from on the Orders page.


Prevent a location from fulfilling online orders

Some businesses have locations that hold inventory for in-person sales only, or locations that are only for storage. Preventing a location from fulfilling online orders helps to prevent orders from sales channels such as the Online Store, Amazon, and Facebook Shop don't use inventory from these locations.

Preventing a location from fulfilling online orders removes any inventory assigned to the location from a product's online quantity. The online quantity of a product is displayed on the Inventory page, and is the number that's displayed to customers if you show your inventory levels on your online store.

Preventing a location from fulfilling online orders also prevents Shopify POS ship-to-customer orders from using inventory from these locations.

The location's inventory can still be used to fulfill draft orders and orders from other sales channels. Check with your sales channels to see whether they follow your store's inventory policies when they create orders.


Example for online order fulfillment

In this example, a store has four locations and receives online orders for various items. The orders are assigned to locations based on the fulfillment priority and the following rules:

  • Try to assign the order to a single location.
  • If required, assign a line item to a location that has enough inventory, but do not split line items between locations.
  • If an item is oversold, then assign the order to the priority location where the item is stocked.

Assume the following inventory is available at the locations:

Inventory at four different locations
Location Hats Shirts Mugs Shoes
New York 5 1 Not stocked Not stocked
Los Angeles 0 5 1 Not stocked
Chicago 1 0 5 1
Pittsburgh 10 10 10 10

The location priority is 1 - New York, 2 - Los Angeles, and 3 - Chicago. Pittsburgh does not fulfill online orders.

An order is assigned to locations as follows:

Assigned order locations
Order Assigned locations
1 shirt New York
1 shirt, 1 mug Los Angeles
1 hat, 1 mug Chicago
2 shirts Los Angeles
2 hats, 2 shirts Hats assigned to New York, shirts assigned to Los Angeles
6 shirts New York
7 shirts New York
1 hat, 1 shirt, 1 mug, 1 pair of shoes Hat and shirt assigned to New York, mug assigned to Los Angeles, shoes assigned to Chicago

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