Major issue with local pickup feature

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Tourist
4 0 2

When shopify released the new “local pickup” and “local delivery” features I was very happy. We have a warehouse from which we ship online orders, and a small brick and mortar point of sale in the city center. Local pickup was going to help us get through the covid crisis.

There is one big issue though. As explained on the official documentation you need to:

“Let each pickup location fulfill online orders” 

The official documentation continues explaining:

“This also means that non-pickup online orders can take inventory from your pickup or retail locations. Make sure that you review your fulfillment priority and modify it if necessary.”

 

Why is this a major issue ? In other words it means that your brick and mortar stores are now becoming “warehouse” for your online orders and must now fulfill online order. 

This makes absolutely no sense as most brick and mortar stores (at least in the city center) are not equipped to fulfill online order (employees are vendors, there is no equipment and room to pack and ship orders, ect)

What are the consequence of allowing you brick and mortar point of sales to fulfill online orders ? The available inventory on the online store will now consist of the total inventory of all your point of sale locations. 

  • Customers will be able to order products that are not available on the online store warehouse but available in one of your store locations. 
  • Customers will be able to order more item quantities than there are in the online store warehouse, causing split order fulfillment

More consequences:

  • Split orders to be fulfilled between your online store warehouse and your brick and mortar stores. This means more shipping/packing costs, and having to do the packing and shipping with people that are in store vendors (not qualified) and without the proper tools
  • Some online orders will have to be 100% fulfilled by you brick and mortar stores (same as above without proper tool and resources)

In conclusion: if you are running an online store and have several point of sale, enabling local pickup will be catastrophic. I don’t understand how this feature was designed and who thought it was a good idea, but clearly this is a feature designed by people who don’t know how business works.

I have spent hours explaining this issue to the shopify support but never had any follow up and was always been considered like I am an idiot and there is no problem, but I strongly believe there is one and it seems shopify don’t see it. Maybe this post will give this topic some importance.

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Tourist
9 0 1

Hello, I'm facing the exact same problem.

I have a store and a warehouse 300 km away from each other. Due to COVID-19, I had to stop (again) operations starting last week.

I was thrilled to see that it was possible to have both, but one major issue I have is that I cannot discriminate both inventories.

I made a couple of posts trying to get some help over here about that issue:

I also spent some time discussing with the Shopify Support Team, but unlike with your experience, the customer support agent was really empathetic and understood my situation, even though there was little he could do. Also, I tried all the In Store Pickup apps, but none solved that issue for me. I'm trying to further get some support with Zapiet's Pickup+Deliver support team, but I am yet to hear some solution from them.

@jbaptisteln, did you get near a solution in the end? The only way I can think of, at the moment, is to open a second shop, which would be a duplicate of my first shop but with a different checkout. That's a terrible UX, and that would make both my stores in competition in SEO... But I'm out of solution after a full week trying to hack my way around the issue.

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Tourist
4 0 2

Hi @zmo , glad we are 2 now ! Like you I am not interested in third party pickup apps because they don't offer a fully integrated experience in contrary to shopify annonced feature.

Our solution is what we always did way before shopify pickup feature: we use a third party shipping calculator app (bespoke shipping). With some php code we are able to enrich cart inventory item levels at each locations. Based on the availability of products at our store/warehouse location and customer address we propose different shipping method. Its not as good as the shopify feature because the customer has to enter his delivery adress before choosing the pickup shipping method

For example: a customer who has each product in his cart available at our pickup location we propose a shipping method called "pickup in store". More generally we propose different shipping methods based on address, time and products availability in our locations thanks to this app. There are other calculated shipping method apps (like Parcelify) that allows to do similar things.

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Tourist
9 0 1

Actually, I was happy with the Shopify integrated way, though I don't care whether I got to use an app or not, I just want my customers to be able to get what they want!

Ok, I did not look at shipping calculator solutions, if it can get inventories at locations and cross reference it with the customer's cart, then I'm happy with that! I'll give those solutions a try, then.

I actually don't care for the location of the customer and their address, someone in Germany can ask for a pickup for our store in France, that someone will have to figure out themself the way they'll manage the pickup (probably through a third part).

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Tourist
4 0 2

If you are not a developer the easiest solution is to use a pickup app on the shopify app store. Personally I use the calculated shipping method because I am a developper but it demands some skills. I hope shopify can fix this fundamental flaw in their solution because the end result is much better from a user experience perspective. I have been waiting for some month and sent them multiple messages. Maybe if there are other replies from other store owners on this forum they will fix it. I have seen a demo video of shopify local pickup with many stores. I would like to see what happens in real life when someone makes an order on the storefront that has to be splitted between 4 different store locations. 

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Highlighted
Tourist
9 0 1

I'm actually a developer as well, but what I lack is time I have too many projects, and not enough time.

Though, what I'm trying to achieve is set up the tool so that it accepts checkout only and only if there's a possible checkout.

That means that for a line_item in the cart, there should be inventory for that product's variant on the locations where it can be fulfilled, and if there is not prevent the customer from checking out.

I'm doing some RTFM on the Bespoke Shipping documentation to see if there are more data I can request for a line_item (like the location inventories), and at the same time, I'm creating a new store. In both cases I have to open the click'n collect tonight.

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Highlighted
Tourist
6 0 3

We have the same issues, it's just not possible to work with the pick-up feature as it is. We needed to close all our 5 pick-up locations as our warehouse team had to adjust (customer notifications, inventory shipping from a store to warehouse, etc) a lot of orders manually which is consuming way to much time and also is not a great service for our customers as we want to have the pick-up orders ready in 24h.


In conclusion: if you are running an online store and have several point of sale, enabling local pickup will be catastrophic. I don’t understand how this feature was designed and who thought it was a good idea, but clearly this is a feature designed by people who don’t know how business works.

I fully agree, we need to be able to set "available for pick-up" and "available to fulfill online orders" separately. As well as pick-up should only be available if the full cart is available at a certain location. This can't be that tricky to achieve?

Please update, urgently!
X-Mas is approaching and the pick-up option would be very much needed.

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Tourist
9 0 1

Hello Manu,

Yes, this is frustrating, but on the other hand, I do understand why.

They made created a feature, chose one scenario amongst many and chose to release it. Because you have a lot of edge cases, and my guess is that it represents many customers, which is the case where the store and the warehouse are close-by, and where you can easily make transfers between inventories to balance them all. The whole idea being that they would prioritize features that can always lead to a sale, instead of features that would prevent a sale.

All in all, I chose to open a second shop, use a tool to centralize inventory management (and product description) between the two shops, and link every product on their counterpart on the other page. It's not much more expensive than many apps I found that would enable complex shipping rates or in store pickup.

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