Can you use Shopify Locations for Dropshipping?

Sep 06, 2022 | 6 min read

inventory feeds

Table Of Contents

1. What is Shopify Locations?

What is Shopify Locations?

Shopify Locations allows you, the retailer, to set up several locations in Shopify. As such, you can monitor inventory and fulfill orders at each location. Some examples of locations include retail stores, warehouses, pop-up stores, and vendor drop shippers. At the most basic understanding, a Shopify Location is anywhere you manage or stock inventory.

Equally, a Shopify Location can be an app where you: sell products, ship or fulfill orders, and stock inventory. For example, Duoplane’s dropship automation software operates as a Shopify Location.

How Do Shopify Locations Work?

Now that you understand what Shopify considers a location, let’s dive into how Shopify Locations work.

Shopify assigns online orders and in-person sales to locations to ensure inventory quantities are updated in real-time. Should a product be out of stock at one place but another site has the same product in stock, Shopify will automatically split the order. Once the order is split, it will be fulfilled by multiple vendors according to inventory levels.

Why Should I Consider Using Shopify Locations?

Multiple locations give you better visibility into your inventory across your business. Shopify Locations works well for new retailers just starting with a few fulfillment locations, as a limited number of locations are included with your Shopify plan. Furthermore, the system can automate routing decisions between locations, saving you and your team a lot of time.

Shopify Locations let you distinguish if a location is a warehouse, pop-up, retail store near the end customer, or a vendor who dropships. It is advantageous to have a retail location, as you can show the end customer what is in stock in your stores.

flow chart of how shopify locations works with duoplane to apply advance routing logic to optimize dropshipping fulfillment operations
A chart demonstrating how Duoplane works with Shopify Locations

Things to Consider Before Switching to Shopify Locations

Before making the leap to Shopify, there are some challenges and caveats you should be aware of.

Firstly, if your business has many locations, you will need to upgrade your Shopify plan, as each subscription has a location limit. As mentioned, this location maximum includes third-party applications that sell products, ship or fulfill orders, and stock inventory. This includes dropshipping apps, third-party logistics services, and custom fulfillment services.

Additionally, there are some challenges when it comes to vendor relationships. On Shopify, the only way to get inventory feeds directly from your vendor is through a CSV file. Similarly, you cannot send purchase orders directly to vendors through Shopify.

Regarding order routing, Shopify uses a simple priority system to decide which location should fulfill your orders. Additionally, all of your locations must operate under the same SKUs and costs.

Overall, Shopify Locations is a great system for handling the basics of multiple locations. If you have only a few additional locations and want to leverage simple order routing technology, Shopify may be a great solution.

Do you dropship some or all of your products online?

Duoplane can automate sending POs, inventory syncing, & shipment feeds. Get in touch with us to start your free trial!

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Are There Other Solutions for Retailers with Multiple Locations?

If your business has more advanced location needs than Shopify Locations can handle, some solutions may be better suited for you.

A dropship automation solution, like Duoplane, uses advanced order routing logic. This means the system will automatically route orders to be fulfilled by the closest supplier or the lowest-cost vendor, depending on your preference.

Unlike many alternatives, Duoplane allows unlimited suppliers at no extra cost. You can even customize how and when orders are sent to each supplier. For instance, you can select which days POs are sent to specific vendors and have many options to send POs in different formats, such as PDF, CSV, XML, JSON, and X12 EDI files. Additionally, you can easily automate supplier inventory feeds and receive tracking updates.

A solution like Duoplane is far more focused on serving multi-vendor retailers and is considerably more customizable. While Shopify Locations is excellent for beginners, a solution like Duoplane readily fits the needs of larger operations and retailers.

Should I use Shopify Locations for Dropshipping?

If you’re considering Shopify locations, they provide enough features for basic multiple locations needs. This includes simple order routing, inventory visibility, and management across suppliers.

However, if you have more complex needs, we suggest looking at a more robust, sophisticated solution. Systems like Duoplane can complete the same tasks as Shopify Locations but with much more customizability. This includes intelligent routing decisions, automating inventory feeds and tracking updates from suppliers, customizing how and when orders are sent to suppliers, and the ability to serve an unlimited number of suppliers.

Are you interested in learning how distributed warehousing and multiple locations can improve your ecommerce operations? Check out our complete guide here. 

Try the dropship automation app that retailers and vendors love.

We’ve been the industry-leading solution to automate dropshipping operations for over 12 years. Check out our reviews page to learn why our clients love us.

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Shopify Locations allows retailers to set up multiple locations within Shopify to monitor inventory and fulfill orders. Locations can range from retail stores, warehouses, pop-up stores to vendor drop shippers. This feature provides better visibility into inventory, enabling businesses to efficiently manage and stock their products.

Shopify assigns both online orders and in-person sales to specific locations, updating inventory quantities in real-time. If a product is out of stock at one location but available elsewhere, Shopify will split the order, ensuring it gets fulfilled by various vendors based on inventory levels.

Yes, there are some limitations to consider. Each Shopify plan comes with a maximum number of locations, so businesses with many locations may need to upgrade their plans. Additionally, direct inventory feeds from vendors require CSV files, and purchase orders can’t be sent directly to vendors through Shopify.

While Shopify Locations is great for basic multi-location needs, solutions like Duoplane offer advanced order routing logic, customizable order formats, automated supplier inventory feeds, tracking updates, and the capability to serve an unlimited number of suppliers, making it more suitable for larger operations and retailers.

Shopify Locations can cater to extremely basic dropshipping needs, such as simple order routing. However, for more intricate requirements, it’s recommended to explore robust systems like Duoplane, which provide advanced features and customizability.

We Empower E-commerce Retailers to Automate Dropshipping Operations.

Duoplane is a dropshipping automation software built by dropshippers, for dropshippers. We’re here to help you streamline your ecommerce retail fulfillment operations and automate order routinginventory syncingshipment feeds, and more.

Don’t just take our word for it – check out our reviews and case studies to learn why we’ve been the industry-leading solution for over 12 years, assisting over 300 retailers in onboarding over 2000 vendors and 3PL warehouses.

Experience the best dropshipping automation software risk-free with our 14-day free trial. Our dedicated onboarding specialists will guide you through the setup process, ensuring you’re ready to hit the ground running.



Automated Order Routing

Duoplane intelligently and automatically routes orders to the right vendor or warehouse.

Vendor Portal

Keep everyone on the same page and save time by allowing vendors to manage their orders.

Inventory Syncing

Automate vendor inventory feeds to keep your product catalog accurate.

Accounting Automation

Stay on top of your books by connecting with your accounting system to sync vendor invoices.

Multi-Channel Support

Streamline your operations and centralize orders from all of your e-commerce channels

Complete Order Management

Manage the full order cycle, including changes, shipments, returns, and order exceptions.

Seamless Integration

Duoplane connects to your existing systems to minimize manual effort by you or your team.

Vendor Scorecarding

Provide feedback to vendors using actionable performance metrics.

Automate Dropshipping with Duoplane

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