Mastering Shopify Inventory Management

Mastering Shopify Inventory Management

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Basics of Shopify Inventory Management
  3. Products vs Variants vs Inventory
  4. Import Tools for Products and Variants
  5. Fields for Products and Variants
  6. Managing Locations
    • Making a Location a Pickup Location
    • Making a Location a Delivery Location
    • Shopify Delivery Tools and Apps
  7. Custom Order Fulfillment
  8. Vendors and Their Role
  9. Kitting or Bundling Products
  10. Shipping and Delivery Settings
    • Local Delivery
    • Local Pickup
    • Setting Default Location and Priorities
  11. Managing Transfers and Suppliers
  12. Adjustments and Returns
  13. SKU Savvy Warehouse Management System
  14. Conclusion

Basics of Shopify Inventory Management

In this guide, we will explore the basics of Shopify inventory management and how to effectively manage your products and variants. Whether you are a new Shopify merchant or looking to optimize your existing inventory management system, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips.


Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform that allows businesses to create and manage their online stores. One of the key aspects of running a successful online business is efficient inventory management. With Shopify's robust inventory management features, you can easily keep track of your products, variants, and inventory levels.

Products vs Variants vs Inventory

Before diving into the details of inventory management, it's essential to understand the difference between products, variants, and inventory. In Shopify, a product is the main item you sell, while variants are different versions or options of that product, such as size or color. Each variant can have its own price, SKU, and inventory level. Inventory refers to the number of units you have in stock for a specific variant.

Import Tools for Products and Variants

If you have a large number of products and variants to add to your Shopify store, the import tools available can save you significant time and effort. These tools allow you to upload product information, including titles, descriptions, prices, and inventory quantities, in bulk. You can also import variant information and manage the connection between products and their variants.

Fields for Products and Variants

When adding or editing products and variants in Shopify, it's important to fill in the necessary fields to provide accurate and relevant information to your customers. These fields include the title, description, sales channels, images or videos, pricing, SKU, weight, country of origin, and more. Properly filling out these fields enhances the user experience and improves search engine optimization.

Managing Locations

Shopify allows you to set up different locations for your inventory management. This can be useful if you have multiple warehouses, retail stores, or pickup locations. You can assign inventory quantities to each location, track stock levels, and fulfill orders from the most appropriate location. Additionally, you can set priority levels for locations to determine the order fulfillment routing.

Making a Location a Pickup Location

If you offer local pickup as an option for your customers, you can designate specific locations as pickup points during the checkout process. This allows customers to choose a convenient pickup location, and you can set specific pickup times and instructions. Utilizing this feature can improve customer satisfaction and streamline order fulfillment.

Making a Location a Delivery Location

In addition to local pickup, you can also offer local delivery to your customers. By setting certain locations as delivery areas, customers within those areas can select local delivery during the checkout process. You can customize delivery fees, set minimum order amounts, and even use delivery management apps to optimize the delivery process.

Shopify Delivery Tools and Apps

Shopify provides various delivery tools and apps that can help you manage local delivery routes efficiently. These tools can assist in setting up delivery zones, assigning drivers, optimizing routes, and tracking deliveries. By integrating these tools into your workflow, you can streamline the entire local delivery process and ensure timely deliveries to your customers.

Custom Order Fulfillment

Shopify allows you to customize your order fulfillment process based on your specific business needs. Whether you choose to fulfill orders within Shopify, use external fulfillment services, or integrate with warehouse management systems like SKU Savvy, you can tailor your fulfillment process to optimize efficiency and provide the best possible customer experience.

Vendors and Their Role

Vendors play a crucial role in managing your products and inventory. A vendor represents the source from which you purchase a product or transfer inventory. By associating products with vendors, you can streamline the process of reordering products and managing stock levels. You can also track vendor performance, pricing, and fulfillment processes to make informed decisions.

Kitting or Bundling Products

Kitting or bundling refers to combining multiple products or variants to create a new product or bundle. Shopify offers native bundling functionality, allowing you to create bundles from individual products. However, if you need more advanced kitting capabilities, we recommend using SKU Savvy. With SKU Savvy, you can easily manage kits, track component inventory, and efficiently assemble bundles for fulfillment.

Shipping and Delivery Settings

Shopify provides extensive shipping and delivery settings that give you control over how you fulfill and ship orders. You can set up various shipping methods, rates, and shipping zones to cater to different customer locations and preferences. By configuring these settings effectively, you can offer competitive shipping options and streamline your order fulfillment.

Local Delivery

Shopify's local delivery feature allows you to offer same-day or scheduled deliveries to customers in specific areas. You can set up delivery zones, determine pricing, and establish delivery time frames. Local delivery is an excellent option for businesses that have their own delivery infrastructure or want to provide personalized service to local customers.

Local Pickup

Local pickup allows customers to collect their orders directly from your designated pickup locations. By enabling local pickup, you can provide a convenient option for customers who prefer to avoid shipping fees or want immediate access to their purchases. You can set specific pickup locations, time slots, and instructions to streamline the pickup process.

Setting Default Location and Priorities

When managing multiple locations, it's crucial to set a default location. The default location is where orders are routed if no specific location is assigned. You can also assign priorities to your locations to determine the order in which inventory is fulfilled. By strategically setting up default locations and priorities, you can optimize your order fulfillment process and ensure accurate inventory management.

Managing Transfers and Suppliers

Transfers are a crucial aspect of inventory management, especially if you have multiple locations or suppliers. Shopify allows you to create transfer orders to move inventory between locations or replenish stock from suppliers. You can monitor transfer status, expected arrival dates, and quantities to effectively manage your inventory flow and ensure stock availability.

Adjustments and Returns

To maintain accurate inventory records, it's essential to handle adjustments and returns effectively. Shopify provides tools to adjust inventory quantities and reconcile discrepancies. Additionally, the platform offers customer-centric returns features, allowing you to streamline the returns process and efficiently manage returns and exchanges.

SKU Savvy Warehouse Management System

For enhanced inventory management capabilities, we recommend utilizing SKU Savvy. SKU Savvy is a comprehensive warehouse management system that seamlessly integrates with Shopify. With features like visual warehouse layout, pick-pack-ship workflow, and inventory tracking, SKU Savvy simplifies warehouse management and ensures efficient order fulfillment.


Efficient inventory management is crucial for the success of your Shopify store. By understanding the basics of Shopify inventory management and leveraging the available tools and features, you can streamline your operations, minimize stockouts, and provide an exceptional customer experience. Remember to regularly review and optimize your inventory management practices to adapt to changing business needs and maintain optimal efficiency.

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