handling mutiple country warehouses? emphasis on customer experience

shoptube56
Excursionist
26 0 9

UK based shop currently fulfilling from UK only.  I'm opening a second shipping depot in USA very soon. 

 

There appears to be more than one way to handle the customer experience side of multiple country fulfillment.  Is there a best practice?  From my research, it looks like the following options are generally used:

 

1. create specific shopify instances for each country.  This seems expensive and complicated and lots of duplicate work. 

 

2. Hide items between warehouses by using a geo-blocker app of some sort?  seems prone to failure and brittle. 

 

3. create multiple shipping zones with SKUs scoped to specific zones.  I have almost 1000 SKUs so this option seems like a management nightmare.

 

4. third-party warehouse management app that managers orders and fulfillment, but again overly expensive and a lot of duplicate work.

 

Anyone have any tips or best practices when it comes to rolling out a new country fulfillment center?

Replies 2 (2)

PageFly-Theodor
Shopify Partner
630 78 94

Hi @shoptube56 ,
This is Theodore from PageFly - Shopify Page Builder App.

You're opening a second fulfillment center in the USA for your UK shop. Here's how to handle the customer experience for multi-country fulfillment:

Options:

  1. Separate Shopify Instances (NOT RECOMMENDED): Expensive, complex, duplicate work.
  2. Geo-Blocking Apps: Simple setup, but limited functionality and prone to errors with large catalogs.
  3. Multiple Shipping Zones: Good for basic fulfillment, allows different shipping rates per zone. Management complexity increases with SKU count. (Considerable for your 1000 SKUs)
  4. Warehouse Management Apps: Streamlines fulfillment, automates inventory, reduces errors. Can be expensive and require integration effort.

Best Practices:

  • Start Simple: Consider a multi-warehouse management app if managing zones feels overwhelming.
  • Inventory Management: Ensure accurate inventory levels across locations to avoid overselling.
  • Customer Communication: Clearly communicate shipping times, delays, and return policies based on fulfillment location. Update product pages accordingly.
  • Scalability: Choose a solution that can grow with your business.

Additional Tips:

  • Research multi-warehouse management apps in the Shopify App Store.
  • Contact Shopify Support for additional guidance.


Best regards,
Theodore | PageFly

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shoptube56
Excursionist
26 0 9

Hiya!  Thank you for the excellent explanation!  It looks like the path of least resistance is to setup multiple shipping zones first.  If it gets too complicated to manage, I will try looking in the Shopify App Store. 

 

For SKU/Barcoding, I think if I embed the warehouse location into the SKU schema, it will make management a lot easier.  e.g. 222-333-USA-01 vs 222-333-UK-01.  I will have identical products split across locations.  Any tips on this strategy? 

 

Thank you so much for your help!