Inventory management for B2C / B2B from stock / B2B pre orders

13 0 2

Hi. I'm new to Shopify but will soon be launching my store.

I sell items B2B and B2C. I will be using a third party fulfilment center to handle most of the deliveries to business and consumers. The fulfilment will be keeping one single stock.

One thing I do perhaps a little differently is that when shops order wholesale from me, they can place large pre-orders a long time in advance (and get better rates), or they can order from what I have in stock. This means I never carry too much stock, thus reducing liability.

I am trying to do 3 things, and not sure the best way of getting it done (and perhaps you might even make some better suggestions!)

1. Selling items I have in stock direct to consumers (at retail prices). Customers will just buy on Shopify.
2. Selling items I have in stock direct to shops (at trade prices, different shops might have different prices though according their requirements). I will prob use some wholesale app for this.
3. Allowing shops to pre-order items. Here is where I have the problem, explained below

Say I have 100 items at the fulfilment center. I will "split" the stock on Shopify into 2 locations. For example 20 items goes to "Webstore location" and then 80 items goes to "B2B from stock section". Once both stocks reach 0, customers or shops will not be able to buy more.

With option 3. I would like to give the store a another option to choose when they login, that is to pre-order. Here the stock would be fictitious and not exist, and could go below 0. The shops could order say 1000 items, and I take these orders in. But then I do not want the 1000 order to impact in any way the stock from the other two locations, which are real stocks. If they place an order of 1000, then I will order this from the manufacturer, and once I receive it then I will adjust the stock levels, and fulfil their orders.

If you are still following, perhaps you could suggest to me if this is the right approach. And if is it, how if you recommend a particular way of achieving this, or which app to use.

Thanks for your help 🙂

Replies 5 (5)

Shopify Partner
897 101 159


Very interesting use case, I think you can figure out the solution for first two. For third, I would suggest creating duplicate products with some tag to identify them as goods for pre-order, they may actually be a separate collection too. The inventory policy for these items will be continue selling when out of stock. On PDP you would display that these are long lead items and are being pre-order.

You could further create a logic to conditionally display the pre-orderable goods only to B2B customer when the stock is low or you have a stock out on regular products


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13 0 2

Thanks for the response.

Yes I could create a parallel inventory, only for preorder items for example, with an SKU prefix. Say "ItemA" would be "PRE-ItemA" on the pre-order page. However, then comes an issue which I am trying to avoid. Say I receive 1000 x ItemA in stock finally. The when I issue the invoice/deliver the goods to the shop, then I would like ItemA in the inventory to be adjusted. The original order was for PRE-ItemA and hence there is a mismatch. I could manually create a new order, but this will be time consuming and subject to errors.


How do other shops do it 🙂 ?


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I have the same issue as the above - did you manage to find a resolution please? I would really appreciate your help! 


Thanks! Lauren.

13 0 2

Hi Lauren.


It has been a while since I posted, and tbh I still don't have the best solution. However, here is what I have done.


- My website is only for B2C. That's it. No trade login for shops. I keep stock for the webstore, and that's it.

- I am still processing the B2B order manually

- I get all shops to pre-order at the same time, as best as possible. I collate all order on Excel or similar. I do not look at the stock of the webstore

- With Excel, it might be primitive, but it does allow me full flexibility. The only issue is transferring data of orders from one software to another, as mistake can be made.

- I have increase the stock (on my website) for the top sellers. Just in case I need to supply a shop who has not pre-ordered.


Not sure if this helps. But if you want, just drop me a PM with approx what you are doing, and perhaps I can help further.

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Hi Yann,


I have the same issue as you. Did you find a solution? 


Thank you in advance,