fulfillment based on country using locations

fschaal
Shopify Partner
2 0 11

Hi,

 

I'm trying to set up the following scenario but can't figure out what would be the best approach to set this up in Shopify.

 

  • There is currently one online shop for US and EU.
  • The US warehouse and the EU warehouse both have their own stock.
  • The US warehouse only fulfills orders that are for the US and Canada but the EU warehouse fulfills all EU orders. 

 

I've been reading through the documentation regarding Shopify locations and that seems to be almost perfect. The only thing that seems to be missing is that you can not assign orders based on country to a specific location. As far as I can see this is only priority based. Working without location-based stock would mean that we have global stock and cannot show accurate if a product is available in the EU for example.

 

The quick-fix seems to be to create a US store and an EU store but I was wondering if there is anything possible to achieve this in one store?

 

Thanks!

Replies 78 (78)
Paul78
Excursionist
12 0 10

I hope there is a solution for this, as I am looking for the same thing.  I have stock in Canadian fulfillment centers and separate stock in US fulfillment centers, and would like each order sent to the respective fulfillment center based on the customers location.  There must be an easier way than setting up two separate stores.

antoinelescun
Tourist
4 0 1

Did you find a solution?

Paul78
Excursionist
12 0 10
No, seems like it should be easy to do.
horsti2010
New Member
2 0 3

Hi everyone,

Has by any chance anyone an update on this issue?

 

We are a German-based merchant and stuck in a similar situation. We sell exactly one single product to Germany (DE) and Austria (AT) and we also have two warehouses run by external fulfilment providers, one per country. Both warehouses are connected from Shopify to the provider separately and successfully. But this setup obviously means we need to trigger the correct connection, meaning the correct warehouse (DE or AT), based on the customers shipping address/country.

 

But I have not come across any option to specify the warehouse depending on the country given by the customer. The locations function in Shopify does not help as it only allows prioritisation of warehouses and automatic selection based on the available quantity. What is absolutely missing is the option to link one (or multiple) warehouses to a country to which shipping is offered. And that is a scenario that is highly common, because a dedicated warehouse per country saves you money in terms of shipping costs, etc..

 

For me, the only options we have are these:

  1. Only use one fulfilment provider that is used to sell to all countries we offer -> Costly as you must pay abroad shipping costs
  2. Copy the existing shop to have two separate instances, one for DE and one for AT -> Costly (two shop subscriptions needed) AND additional administration workload to keep both instances updated regularly
  3. Create two instances of the same product and restrict shipping per product to DE for the one, and AT for the other product. And then ask the customer “somehow” before s/he enters the product/checkout page in which country s/he wants the product to be shipped to (DE or AT) à Very inconvenient for customers and it will likely produce many dropouts.

So, as none of the options are really options, our question remains: How to solve this in Shopify by linking a warehouse based on the shipping address (country) given by the customer during checkout?

 

I also searched for an app that adds this functionality but could not find any. Does anyone know such an app or any other solution?

 

Thanks and regards

jasperking
Tourist
8 0 10

Not adding any new information to the thread so I apologize.

But I just wanted to +1 on this requested functionality. Allowing Shopify Locations to prioritize fulfilling orders based on customer location instead of just inventory levels/static priority order would solve so many issues for stores that commonly sell in multiple countries/regions.

That being said, is setting up multiple stores on separate/sub domains for different countries still considered "best practice" within the Shopify framework? If so, that would require so much manual configuring, and be a lot of work to maintain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Paul78
Excursionist
12 0 10
I can provide an update to what I have discovered while trying to find a solution to multi-country fulfillment, as it has opened up a huge can of worms and a lot of manual work to set up.

I have proceeded to set up a shop-ca and shop-us subsomain to create 2 separate Shopify stores. One is connected to US fullfillment, the other to Canada fullfillment. This was straight forward and not that difficult to duplicate stores using the Replay app. But all the connections to Shopify now become very difficult:

1) I use Drip for email marketing. Drip can only connect to a single Shopify store. I am supposed to create a second Drip account and manage 2 separate email lists, which I don’t want to do. So I am in the process of using Zapier to connect both Shopify sites to my single Drip account.

2) Google Merchant Center for Google Shopping Ads can only connect to one Shopify site. I am in the process of setting up a multi-channel account with Google, which creates two sub-accounts, one for each site.

3) FB Business Manager only connects to one Shopify store. I would have to create a second FB Business Manager account, which requires a separate FB Page. This is a show stopper, since it affects customer experience by having to use a Canada FB Page versus a US FB Page. I haven’t determined how to address this roadblock yet. I may not need to, except for point 4.

4) Shopify Ping only connects to one FB Business account. Although I have Apple Business Chat set up on both sites, I am only able to receive messages from one of the sites since Ping is only connected to one. I also cannot connect FB Messenger to both sites. If I sacrifice FB Messenger and Apple Business Chat, I can probably make 2 sites. But it is unfortunate I cannot use these capabilities with 2 sites.

5) I haven’t got this far yet, but I imagine setting up Google Tag Manager and Data Studio will be double the work for both sites.

In my mind, a simple IF statement in Shopify based on the customer’s shipping address to select the fulfillment Center would allow me to use a single site and eliminate the issues above.

If I have missed something or there is an easier way to get around these roadblocks, please let me know.
jasperking
Tourist
8 0 10

@Paul78 wrote:

In my mind, a simple IF statement in Shopify based on the customer’s shipping address to select the fulfillment Center would allow me to use a single site and eliminate the issues above.

If I have missed something or there is an easier way to get around these roadblocks, please let me know.

Hey Paul78, thanks for the reply and sharing your experience in dealing with this issue. I am sort of confused about what you wrote here. If you are using 2 separate Shopify stores (one for US and one for Canada) - each store would have its own fulfillment centers list, and so, couldn't you just map the correct fulfillment center to the corresponding store?

I could be wrong, but I believe selecting/prioritizing a specific fulfillment store is more for when you have multiple fulfillment centers in a SINGLE shopify store. But to continue off your thought on selecting the proper fulfillment center -- according to Shopifys docs, it seems your Shopify store auto selects a fulfillment center based on your store's set "priority list" (which is static, btw) and inventory levels (I couldn't find an answer to selecting a fulfillment center based on customer location).

 

I don't know if you can directly select a fulfillment center by hard coding it in your checkout.liquid. If you do manage to do it, however, could you update me on your findings? Thanks so much.

Cheers.

jasperking
Tourist
8 0 10

^ Edit: I'm sorry I can't read apparently.

I see now that you mean to use a proper fulfillment center list for the purposes of using a single site.

Still, I couldn't find an answer in the forums as to set the priority based on customer location. But if you do find an answer (or workaround), please do share. Thanks again.

mccaly
Shopify Partner
89 3 17

Hi @fschaal ,

 

1) If you don't need to offer EU and US customers different shipping options / prices AND you are using the same fulfillment company for the EU and the US you could simply use one store for both, send the order to the FC and let them sort out which location should fulfill the order based on shipping address. 

 

2) Two separate stores (as you stated) - a bunch of our clients use this method successfully. However, they use 2 separate fulfillment companies (one in the US, on in the EU) so couldn't use option 1.

 

 

- Andrew
kickpay.com - Intelligent inventory finance.
Paul78
Excursionist
12 0 10
I can provide a bit more context with a hypothetical example of how I would like to set things up. Say I have a fulfillment Center in Vancouver operated by Company A and a fulfillment Center in Seattle operated by Company B. Company A and Company B are unrelated and do not talk to each other. What I would like to set up is a single Shopify site that sells to all of North America (Canada and US). When a customer makes a purchase, the single Shopify site would do the following during payment/checkout:

If Customer_Country = Canada
Send order to Vancouver fulfillment
ElseIf Customer_Country = US
Send order to Seattle fulfillment
Else
Sorry, we do not ship to customer country
EndIf


Instead, because I have not found a way to do this in Shopify on a single site, I have had to set up two separate Shopify sites with domains shop-ca.* and shop-us.*. In the hypothetical example, shop-us is connected to the Seattle fulfillment Center and shop-ca is connected to the Vancouver fulfillment Center. This was straight forward, but in doing this, several other technical challenges were created as listed in my previous post.

Some further progress I have determined - I have connected all apps/channels to the shop-us site as normal, since this site should get the most traffic. For the Drip connection, I will use Zapier to connect the shop-ca site to Drip as well to trigger each respective workflow. I will not have a FB Page, FB Messenger, or Apple Business Chat connection to the shop-ca site due to the limitation of only connecting one Shopify site to one FB Business account, and will have to find an alternate messaging method for customer’s to contact us. Google Merchant Center is setting up 2 separate sub-accounts, each to connect to one of the sites.

Thanks everyone for responding and sharing.
jasperking
Tourist
8 0 10

hi @mccaly,

 

Thanks for your reply.

 


1) If you don't need to offer EU and US customers different shipping options / prices AND you are using the same fulfillment company for the EU and the US you could simply use one store for both, send the order to the FC and let them sort out which location should fulfill the order based on shipping address. 


So basically, there's no way to automate which Fulfillment center to use directly in Shopify based on customer location. It would be nice if Shopify gave us  more control over the FC priority. If one store can prioritize fulfillment centers based on inventory levels, I don't see why we can't have it prioritize based on customer address?

It also means, we can't modify a single store's products' prices based on location either?

 

2) Two separate stores (as you stated) - a bunch of our clients use this method successfully. However, they use 2 separate fulfillment companies (one in the US, on in the EU) so couldn't use option 1.


While many Shopify users do successfully set up multiple stores for the purposes of selling multi-nationally, as stated in the discussion above, this is not a path, I think, most of us want to go down. (So much manual configuration!) Does Shopify have any plans in the near future on actually releasing a more embedded feature for selling internationally without having to set up multiple stores? My company in particular is considering expanding our market to overseas, and it would be really helpful to know if Shopify will have more support in this in any way.

Thank you.

mccaly
Shopify Partner
89 3 17

Hey @jasperking ,

 

1) To confirm - I was meaning if you use the same fulfillment center company in both locations you wouldn't need to automate the sending of the order to a specific FC (although as you stated that would be nice). You could send all the orders to the Fulfillment company and they would act as a filter to which fulfillment center location to send the specific order to since all locations would be under their control.

 

2) Afraid you'd have to ask someone at Shopify directly about this one. Would be very interested to know myself. 

- Andrew
kickpay.com - Intelligent inventory finance.
Glen720
New Member
1 0 0

I asked support about this and got this answer: 


Alright, so I've just heard back from our Shipping team and unfortunately this is not a native feature in our platform (not yet!), but there are many shipping apps that can help you do this. Shipping apps do require carrier calculated shipping to be enabled, which is currently not a feature on your plan. It can be added for $20/month though or if you switch to an annual Shopify subscription (you save $36/year) you will get this feature for free. Some of the app that allow you to do this are Better Shipping, Shipping Rules & Intuitive Shipping

GhostApps
Shopify Partner
145 1 15

Hi,

 

In response to this post and a few requests I have created Location Based Fulfillment which does exactly what is described in this post, you create rules which are made up of a Country that you want to route Orders from and the location (or fulfillment service) you want to route it to. It is currently awaiting approval to be included in the app store but it would be great if you guys could install it and try it out now. Its free to use until it's included in the app store.

 

To install it simply replace <shop_name> in the link below with the name of your shop.

 

https://lbf.ghostapps.co.uk/install?shop=<shop_name>.myshopify.com

 

Any questions please PM me

Paul78
Excursionist
12 0 10
I installed the app.  But wasn't clear to me how to select Amazon US FBA versus Amazon Canada FBA.  Does the app route to either Amazon Fulfillment based on country?
Anna_Rauch1
Tourist
3 0 1

You are heaven sent!!! Do not understand why Shopify can't easily add that feature... Just installed it. So far so good. Adding a new fulfillment center soon and will report back. Anyone else made any experience with this app, yet? 

Anna_Rauch1
Tourist
3 0 1

The app actually does not work. Is it based on Billing or shipping address? Setup all orders for certain country to go to App Location (our fulfilment in Germany). And it didnt do it. Is that because there is no stock there? Or simply because the app does not work? In the audit it says that it did match to the right location, but the order does not show it. 

loicnosh_t
New Member
2 0 0

Hi @GhostApps, This is real nice. Instead of mark them to the right location only from your app side, do you think it's doable to edit order's location_id in real-time? Using Order API I guess. This is what, everybody's here, looking for I think 🙂

 

BTW it should be an action available with Shopify Flow, what do you think dear Shopify developers and managers? 😉

 

Thanks.

GhostApps
Shopify Partner
145 1 15

Hi guys, I thought I would update based on the feedback from beta testers of the app.

Currently it only supports merchant managed locations and not fulfillment services due to limitations in Shopify's API, I'm hoping the new Edit Order API and FulfillmentOrder API may help but I'm not sure yet @Anna_Rauch1 @Paul78 .

@loicnosh_t it does update the order with the new location once fulfilled.

Please keep installing and testing it, I hope to be in the app store soon.