Last Updated on by Dan S
Originally Published June 22, 2021.


Managing shipments efficiently is crucial for any Shopify store, especially when dealing with orders that need to be split into multiple shipments. This situation often arises in dropshipping scenarios, where different products in a single order may ship from various locations.

Ensuring that customers receive accurate tracking information for each shipment is vital for maintaining transparency and trust.

This guide will walk you through the process of splitting orders into multiple shipments in Shopify, ensuring your customers stay informed every step of the way.

Why Shopify Merchants May Need to Split Orders

Dropshipping: Many Shopify merchants rely on dropshipping, which often means products are shipped from multiple suppliers. Splitting orders allows for accurate tracking and communication with customers.

Bulk / Large Orders: When orders contain bulky or numerous items, it might be necessary to ship them in separate packages to ensure safe delivery.

Stock Availability: Sometimes, not all items in an order are available at the same time e.g backordered. Splitting the shipment allows you to send available items immediately, enhancing customer satisfaction.

Shipping Constraints: Different shipping carriers may have limitations on package size or weight, necessitating multiple shipments. Additionally, different items in an order may need to be shipped separately due to customs regulations or international shipping policies.

How to Split Orders in Shopify

Before diving into the process, it’s important to understand that once you mark an item as ‘fulfilled,’ you cannot add a second tracking number for it. Here’s how to manage your orders efficiently:

1. Identify Items for Separate Shipments:

  • Before fulfilling the order, determine which products will not be included in the first shipment.

2. Fulfill the First Shipment:

  • On the order fulfillment page, mark the shipping quantity of the products not being shipped as 0.
  • Enter the tracking number for the first shipment and complete the fulfillment process.

3. Fulfill the Second Shipment:

  • Return to the order and select ‘fulfill’ for the remaining products.
  • Add the second tracking number for these items and complete the fulfillment process.

By following these steps, you can split one order into multiple shipments, providing separate tracking numbers for each part of the order. This process is particularly useful in dropshipping scenarios or when an order is shipped in multiple packages.

Splitting Orders with an App

Managing multiple shipments manually can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Fortunately, there are apps designed to automate and streamline this process. One such app is Order Fulfillment Guru, an Order Management System (OMS) specifically designed for Shopify and Shopify Plus.

This app offers robust features to help you efficiently split and route orders to multiple vendors, suppliers, dropshippers, warehouses, or 3PLs (third-party logistics providers).

Key Features of Order Fulfillment Guru:

  1. Automatic Order Assignment:
    • Automatically assign order locations, partners, or 3PLs based on predefined routing rules. This ensures that each part of the order goes to the right place without manual intervention.
  2. Order Splitting and Sending:
    • Easily split orders and send them via email, web portal, ShipStation, or even to other Shopify stores. This feature is particularly useful for multi-vendor or multi-warehouse setups, ensuring each item reaches its destination efficiently.
  3. Real-Time Synchronization:
    • Sync orders, products, and inventory between Shopify stores in real-time. This helps maintain accurate stock levels across all your stores, reducing the risk of overselling.
  4. Advanced Routing Rules:
    • Set up advanced routing rules to determine how orders are split and routed. This customization allows you to manage complex order fulfillment scenarios with ease.
  5. Specific Order Routing:
    • Instead of routing all orders to ShipStation, you can choose to send specific orders to particular ShipStation stores and accounts, providing flexibility in your order management process.
  6. Additional Features:
    • The app also offers prepaid shipping labels, auto-invoicing, and the capability to turn your warehouse into a 3PL service, providing comprehensive support for your fulfillment needs.

Handling Existing Orders

If you need to manage an order that has already been fulfilled, you cannot unfulfill it. Instead, you can create a draft order for the remaining items.

Here’s how:

1. Create a Draft Order:

  • In your Shopify admin, navigate to Orders and then Drafts.
  • Recreate the order by entering the product information and customer details.
  • Set the total to $0 since the customer has already paid.

2. Fulfill the Draft Order:

  • Fulfill this draft order with the new tracking number for the remaining items.

Conclusion

Splitting orders into multiple shipments in Shopify ensures that your customers receive timely updates and accurate tracking information for their purchases. This process is essential for dropshipping, handling large orders, managing stock availability, and adhering to shipping constraints.

By following the outlined steps and understanding the use cases, Shopify merchants can improve their order management system, leading to better customer satisfaction and streamlined operations. Implementing these practices will help you maintain a professional and efficient fulfillment process, ultimately boosting your store’s reliability and reputation.