What is a fulfillment service?
A fulfillment service is a third-party warehouse or vendor that prepares and ships orders for you.
Some examples of fulfillment services, that have integrations with Shopify are Fulfillment by Amazon, Shipwire, and Rakuten.
But there can also be custom fulfillment services that you use for dropship vendors, or separate warehouses for your operation.
Shopify offers some really basic functionality for custom fulfillment services — mainly sending an email to a vendor of only the products in an order that belong to that fulfillment service.
Many shipping label printing apps ( like ShipStation, Shipping Easy, etc. ) will disregard products in an order that belong to a custom fulfillment service, assuming that a 3rd party will be responsible for the shipments of those products.
Programmatically created fulfillment services vs. manually created fulfillment services.
Either you can create a custom fulfillment service in the Shopify shipping settings.
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Or apps like ours, or other fulfillment providers can automatically create fulfillment services.
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For instance, when you install and use Printify or Pixel on-demand printing apps, they programmatically create fulfillment services and assign products created through their apps to that fulfillment service.
Essentially fulfillment services are attributes on product variants that explain where the products is being shipping from.
How products are assigned to fulfillment services.
You will notice there is a drop-down select on all variants for fulfillment service. You can assign products to any fulfillment service, both manually created and programmatically created fulfillment services.
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Fulfillment services created by our app.
Our app allows you to create and assign fulfillment services to variants very easily, without having to use the cumbersome and perhaps trickier to use version of manually fulfillment service creation and assignment.
If you have never thought of fulfillment services before and have not created any custom ones yet. Then we recommend that you just use our app for the creation and assignment of fulfillment to products.
Fulfillment Services created manually.
If you have already created fulfillment services manually, when you first install the the app will notice this, and ‘import’ them for you to be able to set up shipping rules for.
If you delete or add or edit a fulfillment service manually after you have installed the app you will need to go to the General settings in our app and click Sync Fulfillment Services.
Changing fulfillment service assignments in the app.
When you assign products to a fulfillment service / product group in our app, we will automatically update that product to that fulfillment service.
You can see this opening a variant in the Shopify admin and looking at it’s fulfillment service.
Then go into the app and assign that product to a product group in a different fulfillment service.
Then go back to that variant in the admin and refresh the page, you will see that our app has changed the fulfillment service.
Changing fulfillment services in the Shopify admin.
If you change the fulfillment service of a product in the Shopify admin, then our app will see that some update has been made to a product.
There will be a notice to sync products in our app. When you click sync, we will switch that product to the default product group of the fulfillment service you manually changed it to.