Shopify announced their multi-location inventory functionality, which offers merchants increased control and visibility across their growing, multi-channel business.
Shopify’s announcement comes at an exciting time for merchants as more and more brands focus on delivering an exceptional and holistic customer experience. Shopify’s new multi-location inventory functionality allows merchants with POS locations to get a better handle on inventory at each store as well as the ability to sell each location’s inventory online.
As a Shopify technology partner and the industry’s leading inventory and order management solution for high-growth brands, we’re very excited about this new direction from Shopify.
Here’s a Q&A with our Chief Technology Officer Owen Wendland to discuss what Shopify’s new multi-location functionality means for merchants, and how this new functionality is a big step forward in the marketplace.
Q: What is multi-location support?
A: In a nutshell, Shopify’s multi-location functionality is support for merchants with inventory in more than one physical location. For its initial rollout, Shopify is focused on merchants with multiple POS locations, giving those merchants visibility into inventory at each location. Previously, the only way to get this visibility on Shopify was through workarounds like duplicate products or duplicate stores.
Q: What does Shopify’s multi-location mean for brands and why are you excited about it?
A: I’m very excited for where Shopify is heading with this announcement. By tracking inventory levels per location, brands using Shopify can more accurately organize their business on the Shopify platform.
As an inventory management solution for high-growth brands, this is something we’ve always focused on. What’s particularly exciting for us about Shopify’s new multi-location support is that it opens up a whole host of greater integration opportunities for our shared customers. Shopify and Stitch can both speak the same language now, and as two companies dedicated to helping brands grow, we’ll be able to provide even greater value to the brands we both serve.
Q: In Shopify’s announcement, they talk about increased support for fulfillments. What does this mean and how does it impact brands?
A: Shopify’s multi-location support is beginning to give brands more flexible fulfillment options. With better visibility into stock and inventory at each location, brands gain a little more flexibility in picking and choosing where to fulfill certain orders from based on stock, order location, and more.
For us, it’s really great to see that Shopify is moving in this direction. Fulfillment is an area where we’ve made significant investments and it’s exciting that Shopify also sees this as a major area to focus on for retail brand growth solutions.
Especially for our shared customers, Shopify’s increased support for fulfillments will allow us to send much more detailed information to Shopify and allow for a much more seamless experience for merchants and their customers This means fewer workarounds, less context switching, and greater control over allocation, availability, and fulfillment. Shopify will let you see how much stock you have in a given location and Stitch will show you how it got there.
Q: Inventory is primarily what Stitch focuses on. How are we different and what do we bring to the table?
A: I think about it less in terms of how we’re different and more in terms of how we complement one another.
Inventory and order management is our bread and butter. We’ve invested heavily in solutions for brands with complex multi-channel and multi-location requirements. What we bring to the table is a layer of automation and control that you can’t gain through visibility alone. Our job isn’t just to track inventory; our job is to move inventory through the entire lifecycle—from planning and purchasing to allocation and fulfillment.
Where Stitch really shines is in serving large and growing brands with complex operational requirements: order routing by location, warehouse priority, and/or stock availability; purchase order management; virtual and physical stock allocation; etc. We give our customers the operational capability to complement Shopify’s best-in-class sales and merchandising platform.
Q: What can we expect to see in the future between Shopify and Stitch?
A: It’s encouraging to see that as two companies dedicated to helping brands grow, we’re both moving in the same direction, and that the next big area where merchants need the most support is multi-location, multi-channel order management and fulfillment.
We’re hyper-focused on inventory and order management for high-growth brands, but we know that the need for visibility and control is felt widely across Shopify’s merchant base and early in the life of every brand. Multi-location support unlocks a wealth of operational possibilities for the brands we mutually serve, and we’re excited to help them explore everything this capability offers.
Commerce is indeed changing and the flexibility of your fulfillment operations will either be what holds your business back or what accelerates its growth. As Shopify continues to make a more seamless multi-channel shopping experience, driving sales for our shared customers, we’ll continue to ensure they have the tools to scale their operations to meet the need.
Shopify has always been an amazing partner and they have one of the best ecommerce platforms we work with. As Shopify continues down this path, I’m incredibly excited for the benefits and capabilities it will afford the amazing brands and retailers we work with.