A little background on the issue we now have. My client has been selling services from 4 locations for the past year. Some locations have services that are exclusive to that specific location and most have services that can be purchased from any location. During the checkout process, the online customer is asked to select their closest clinic which is used to determine where the order/product is to be fulfilled from.
However, in the past month, we've been unable to fulfill these orders from our locations, with the default location being the only location the item can be fulfilled from. What's happened is Shopify has now deemed selling services (non-physical products) from multiple locations, 'outside typical use'.
This is a huge problem for us as the store locations manage their own customers, orders, and fulfillments. Once an order has been placed, the location will enter the order into their POS system and mark it as fulfilled from said location. Reporting needs to separate orders by location of the fulfillment to ensure there are no errors/discrepancies between systems.
Now we're being told that in order to keep using the locations feature, we need to change our services settings to enable this is a physical product. This is a big issue for us for our checkout flow, as now if a customer buys a service, we're asking for a shipping address. This causes confusion on checkout as the customer thinks their being sent physical products. We found this out earlier when a service was published as a physical product and we received numerous complaints and saw a dip in conversions for this product.
My issue is that this setting was working perfectly. It didn't matter what the product/service was, it was able to be fulfilled by the right location. Now with these restrictions, we're not only providing a worse service to our customers, but the product settings are just confusing. We're still able to set a location for fulfillment in the product settings for non-physical products, but unable to use these settings for fulfillments. Next, is the reason why? It doesn't harm the system to leave the option for location fulfillment available for non-physical products, otherwise, the feature wouldn't have been there in the first place for all this time.
I'm all for working within the means of the platform, however, removing a working solution and replacing it with an extremely bad workaround is clearly a step in the wrong direction. I hope that Shopify do roll back this update or give us another option to fulfill non-physical products from multiple locations.