The image below is our stock in the back-end, using Shopify's locations:
What Shopify currently does is display the TOTAL (red circle) value. We want to be able to show the individual values to our customers (blue box). Why? If one store is OUT of stock, customers need to be aware that their shipping may take longer and that they can't just walk-in and pick it up on the day. With the combined stock (left), the customers don't know where that stock is. We want to be able to show stock by location (right) to make this clear.
It seems like an easy fix. But unfortunately Liquid doesn't support it, only a combined total. We are currently using variant.inventory_quantity to display the stock. I also looked into the product's JSON and it only displays a total quantity.
I have talked to Shopify support twice about the situation and they have suggested that it is a development issue. That it is possible and that I should reach out to the theme developer or get someone to develop it for us. I actually reached out to Shopify Experts about the issue and the general consensus I got is: it's not possible. Because Shopify does not give access to the inventory numbers by location. But they exist, at least on Shopify's end.
I am here because I was told by Shopify Support (via call) that this is the way to reach out to Shopify Developers and get help with this functionality. So... help? Please!
(And while i am here: petition to account for shipping geographical location when assigning a warehouse. Right now you just set your primary and secondary location and it defaults to the primary and goes to the secondary if it can't fulfill. We would love if we could set it by province, so that orders from Western Canada default to our Vancouver warehouse and orders from Eastern Canada default to our Toronto warehouse.)
More than happy to be proven wrong because I too would love if the variant object in Liquid was location aware re: inventory levels.
It should be so simple yet it isn't because it cannot be done without an app or private app.
Context - multi-location was introduced but a few gaps were left. Most notably the ability to access inventory levels per location through Liquid or Storefront API. As you all are already aware, you only get the aggregate inventory.
One approach would be to use an external inventory management service, pay a handsome monthly fee, forgo all the Shopify managed inventory features and pray the 3rd party inventory system can integrate real-time stock status in your storefront without costing you an arm and a leg.
Another approach would be to seek cheaper apps that aren't full inventory management systems, but can do what you need as I am sure you aren't the first who'd like this sort of feature. I don't know of such apps and don't use any so I cannot judge or give recommendations in this regard.
Alternatively, you can go the custom route and setup webhook notifications for the inventory_levels/update (or orders/create, products/update as either are triggered when an order is placed and either can be used to get current inventory of line items > inventory items > inventory levels @ locations). You'd handle the webhook by updating the product metafield with it's "current" inventory levels per location. Once in the product's metafield, you can easily access that using vanilla Liquid to display in your storefront. In fact, Shopify even mentions this much here (though do not mention how that metafield info is kept up to date).
Yet another variation would be to use periodic polling of inventory levels to do the same as above albeit without webhooks. Webhooks aren't guaranteed to arrive or arrive in order. Polling on the other hand is very wasteful. SUmmary - it depends and requires careful consideration. Ultimately, the "inventory levels per location" for storefront display purposes using the approach I suggest here would not be absolutely real-time and would not necessarily be absolutely accurate i.e. they'd merely be informative rather than definitive.
And last but not least, you may all decide to wait for an official reply by a Shopify developer which is fair enough by me.
In regards to your last point, is this going to be addressed by the developer? Or do you mean simply sit tight and wait until it's eventually addressed?
Well the original question was posted 3 weeks ago. No response from Shopify staff. The question/answer I link to in my first reply regarding the same issue was posted 6 weeks ago. No response from Shopify staff. The issue of inventory levels not being location aware in Liquid or Storefront API has been raised a few times throughout late 2018 since introduction of multi-location and Shopify have responded with "currently not possible".
Not taking a stab at Shopify or Shopify staff here. This is how it is anywhere else and I do feel Shopify is doing a grand job a cut above their competitors.
So my view is - support staff cannot address this issue and to be fair it's not within the scope of their duties / expectations. The more tech savvy staff do frequent the forums and answer / provide feedback what's up & coming or acknowledge shortcomings that they pass on to developers. Developers also frequent the forums but much less so - which is good, otherwise they wouldn't be developing :-D Regarding this specific issue / feature, we must remember that multi-location was one of the biggest changes introduced to the Shopify platform in recent years and it was only made public to all merchants around September 2018 IIRC? In other words, this is still hot off the press and will be improving over time. What timeframe that is... hard to tell... looking around the forums even way back to 2013, some feature requests have been hanging around ever since.
So yes, sit tight and wait or take matters in your own hands and get the job done. As with anything else I suppose.