One inventory for multiple locations

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Excursionist
18 0 4

I have a retail business which consists of one permanent store (using Shopify POS) and also sell the same inventory via our online shop (again Shopify).  When 'Locations' were enable I added two other locations as we have stock for sale in another location and we have a regular 'pop up shop' at a variety of locations.

 

I've cancelled the second location, as having 3 inventory lists was causing more problems, as we haven't got the time to manually update.

 

I've still got the third location, for our 'pop up events' but haven't ot the time to manually transfer stock from the first inventory to this third inventory.  So stock is shown as -1 if I sell one item, and this isn't reflected in my original inventory.

 

Is it possible to have one 'master' inventory list for more than one location?  The current situation is causing problems when customers order something which is shows as 'in stock' but has actually been sold at a 'pop up event' but the original inventory hasn't been automatically updated, and we haven't got the time to do this manually.

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Excursionist
22 0 6

We have the same issues. Still trying to figure out a work around. 

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Shopify Partner
97 0 8

Hi @Lowri_Roberts 

 

We've now had a few clients that have solved the exact same issue with our app, and by syncing their inventory information to Airtable. If you sync your data you can map the inventory at each location to go into a separate column within your Airtable worksheet, and can then modify the quantities quickly and send them back to Shopify. Another useful tool here is Airtable's phone app that allows you to change pop-up inventory levels on the go. Check out our help article on how to track and update Shopify inventory quantities with Airtable.

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Tourist
3 0 1

We are experiencing the same issue. Have you found a solution or third party app to sync inventory for multiple locations on one Shopify store?

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New Member
2 0 2

Same problem here. I have one (large) inventory I sell from through my online store and at in person events. I take my inventory with me, and sell it through the POS app. 

I miss the way it used to be, and I hate that Shopify made the new locations feature mandatory.

I don’t have separate inventories when I’m selling at POS events, so when I sell something, I want it to become immediately unavailable online so it won’t be sold twice. My products are handmade and aren’t quickly reproduced. I want the inventory availability to be accurate at in person events—not only does it help me quickly find the item for sale in the correct size/color, it also means when I’m ringing up the sale, the customer doesn’t see an error that what they’re purchasing is out of stock.

I need the location from which I’m physically selling to be accurate for sales tax reasons, and it’s also just nice to have for analytics and records—being able to break down sales by location is hugely helpful. 

So far my only workaround is to manually change my store address each time I sell from a new pop-up location, but that’s not ideal, either. Online sales I have during that time show as being ordered from the new temporary location as well, even though they’ll really ship from my actual shop location, not the op-up location.

Please fix this, Shopify!

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New Member
1 0 0

The issue I'm thinking is that Airtable and Shopify don't sync in 'real-time', correct? If I have 1 item that gets sold quickly, I won't have enough time to mark the other locations inventory to 0.  There will be 10,000 individual products that have no variations and can be picked up from 1 of the 3 locations, depending on the location the user chooses.

How can I remove the product, offered in 3 locations, from the store without having it in stock at the other 2?

Is there a formula I could use for the 3 location columns to say, IF location 1 = 0 then location 2 & 3 inventory = 0 as well?

Even then, can it sync fast enough to not be bought again?

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Shopify Partner
2294 117 356

 


@birdsofafeather wrote:

How can I remove the product, offered in 3 locations, from the store without having it in stock at the other 2?

Even then, can it sync fast enough to not be bought again?


'real-time' is highly subjective most apps get triggered by webhooks, or are polling stores for a change, but both those methods can be in terms of minutes  not seconds which is enough time for existing inventory mismanagement to become a real-time problem.

Even with apps that market themselves as "real-time", there will always be a timing issue where out of stock purchases can be made.

Which means ultimately the other parts of the fulfillment process need to be resilient enough to handle that situation gracefully,  such as customer remediation.

If your using automatic fulfillment then that exacerbates existing logistics problem that aren't being solved with custom solutions.

 

Trying to have 1 stock of an item everywhere in shopify locations is trying to use a virtual workaround to solve physical problems.

The only 98%* way to guarantee prevention of selling sold out products is to not have it listed in multiple inventory locations.

*Even with systems like tracking, checkout reservations,etc race conditions apply if the traffic and sales volume is high enough.

If it's a big enough problem then you'd want to either:

  • place add-to-cart, and other calls to action, behind a check inventory gate (where all locations must have positive inventory)
  • build an app to automatically, or on customer action|request,  pre-emptively transfer items  between locations as the item is viewed, or added to cart|checkout
  • item reservation ( https://apps.shopify.com/reserve-in-store-by-fera

 

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Excursionist
20 0 11

I, too, have a brick and mortar store where I use Shopify POS, and I have online orders. But, several times a year I do markets/shows to increase my exposure and advertise that I am here. I have a nightmare of a time because the geolocation function that is supposed to assign the sales tax does not work for me for some reason. After spending many hours talking with support we did a workaround and created several locations with their own sales tax. But now because Shopify POS is going PRO I have a huge problem. I am not going to pay $89/month for every location just to use it once per year!

I think that Shopify is leaving a ton of money on the table by not catering to this facet of shops.  Shopify's purpose is to cater to small business people, but this is a huge gap in service that tens of thousands of us need because they do not make it easy for those who do shows/markets/pop-ups to reconcile our inventory, assign the proper sales tax for the area, and choose where the inventory draws from.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION - HERE IS WHAT I SUGGEST FOR THE SHOPIFY DEVELOPERS: (Shopify - Please, Please take this under advisement!)

  • Create a Temporary Location functionality that we can enable/disable as needed. 
  • Do a one-time fee around $25 for one week or $5/day to run the POS Pro on the temporary location. That way we don't have to pay crazy amounts of money for one time per year use and the permanent location users won't be inclined to use it because it would be more than $89/month for them. 
  • Give us the ability to manually enter in what we would collect for sales tax for that Temporary Location. A lot of places in the US require that we pay the sales tax separately through a special events license within 10 days after the event concludes and not with our regular quarterly sales tax. We HAVE to be able to differentiate between it and what is selling through our store at the same time.  Not to mention the sales taxes at all of my events are different! 
  • We should be given the option to either add an inventory manually for the Temporary Location or to select an already established inventory to fulfill from (ie. - the same inventory my B&M/online store uses). If I could toggle to use the inventory that my B&M store uses, then I will have real-time inventory syncing ability and if something sells out at a show then it won't be showing as available online, preventing overselling.  I pull all of my inventory from my store, but I don't want to spend 6 hours creating an inventory for my "temporary location" or the same amount of time doing a huge stock take at the end of the show. I definitely don't want to upset customers by not being able to fulfill their online order.    

This seems to be an easy feature in my mind. It doesn't seem to be difficult  I just think everyone would win with this functionality. Shopify would capture a huge portion of the market and those of us who need this will save hundreds of hours and dollars a year.

Please, Shopify! I love you guys, but please help us.

Roshan Richards

Soaplicity

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