Dynamic Fulfillment

Mothership as a fulfillment service

Upon request, Mothership can be configured so that your connected suppliers are each set up as a fulfillment service in your Shopify store. When Mothership creates a fulfillment service for a supplier, Shopify will also create a separate fulfillment location in your Shopify store for all of the supplier's inventory. This presents a two notable advantages to you as the retailer: 

  1. By associating Mothership products with different fulfillment locations, Shopify is able to calculate shipping charges much more accurately during checkout. For example, if your customer is located in New York, your warehouse is located in Connecticut, and your Mothership supplier is located in Los Angeles, Shopify can now calculate a compound rate that reflects the true cost of shipping an order that is fulfilled from both the fulfillment locations. 
  2. You can now prioritize fulfillment from physical inventory that you have on hand before fulfilling through Mothership. For example, let's say you are a swimwear retailer and one of your customers wants to return a swimsuit that was fulfilled through Mothership. When the customer returns the item to you, you can configure the product in Shopify so that the next order for that item is fulfilled using your on-hand inventory instead of the supplier's inventory made available through Mothership.

Fulfilling from non-Mothership inventory

To fulfill from on-hand inventory (or inventory located through another fulfillment service), navigate to the variant's configuration page in your Shopify admin. Next, change the value under Inventory managed by to 'Shopify' (or another fulfillment service) and then click Save at the top. 

Next, set the new inventory quantity to the number of items you have on-hand. Then click save. 

Mothership will not accept orders for this variant while the new inventory count > 0. Once you sell all of your on-hand items, Mothership will automatically switch the variant's fulfillment and inventory management services back to Mothership so you can start accepting drop shipped orders. 

Order Processing

When a variant is configured to be fulfilled through a Mothership supplier, Mothership will automatically request a fulfillment. Items that are fulfilled with your on-hand inventory are not accepted by Mothership for processing. In the image below, we have an order for 2 sets of bike wheels. The first set of wheels (the blue ones) are configured to be fulfilled with on-hand inventory. As a retailer, you will need to route this through your normal fulfillment processes. The second set of wheels (the orange ones at the bottom), were automatically brought in to Mothership and routed to the supplier for fulfillment. 

Shipping Configuration & Profiles

One of the key benefits of using dynamic fulfillment is the ability to create shipping profiles that allow you to charge shipping rates based on product and shipping origin. To create a shipping profile you will first need to enable multi-origin shipping in your Shopify store. This is an action that cannot be undone, so please ensure that you want to configure your store to support that functionality. 

Once you've enabled multi-origin shipping, you will need to set up a new shipping profile for each vendor you're connected to through Mothership.  

On the next page, fill out the form to create your new shipping profile for each vendor. After you enter in the name of the vendor-specific profile, you will need to select the products you want associated with the profile and ensure that the supplier's mothership fulfillment location is the only location connected to the profile. Once you've done that, create your shipping zones (they should match the ones offered by your vendor) and add your shipping rates. 

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