Product inventory information might not be exactly what comes to mind when you try to think about important features missing on Shopify. But, here’s the thing- it gets worse. For quite some time, I also believed that Shopify had everything that a typical online entrepreneur would ever need. Because, let’s be honest- if a specific functionality is not included in the default package, you can always find it in one of the Shopify App Store apps.
Well, that was until I met a merchant who happened to own multiple stores in different locations. Then I learned about something that many people, including Shopify’s developers, have always overlooked- the importance of an ecommerce ecosystem that’s capable of streamlining inventory information control across multiple locations, both online and offline. And that’s basically why the much-needed Product Inventory Information Shopify app came into being.
Thankfully, Shopify’s developers ultimately swung into action in 2018, and released the Locations feature to facilitate multi-location retailers. At last, the merchants had something they could easily leverage to update and track inventory numbers across multiple store locations.
Well, it seemed like the issue had finally been sorted out. Shopify had made it possible for store owners to conveniently follow up on their location stock levels, and subsequently enhance their order fulfillment processes.
But, as it turns out, all was still not well. As Shopify’s developers prioritized on merchants, they seemingly forgot about the other side of the equation- customers. Consequently, the Location feature has since been providing information to only the store’s backend.
Now, let’s face it. To achieve a well-rounded customer experience, shoppers should also be let in on the precise product locations. Otherwise, multi-location store merchants stand to lose out to large established enterprises with a more holistic product information framework.
Realizing this challenge, a developer known as Thomas Lang came to the rescue of multi-location retailers by releasing the Product Inventory Information app for Shopify in March 2019. It essentially acts as a bridge for channeling relevant inventory location information from the store backend to the frontend.
As a result, Shopify ecommerce sellers with supplementary brick and mortar stores can now display their respective inventory quantities on the product pages. Customers then get to view the availability of specific items in various store locations.
And that’s how they eventually order for stuff that is closest to them. It really is that simple and straightforward.
Going by the app’s average rating of 5 stars after 9 reviews at the time of writing this piece, I’d say Product Inventory Information is showing strong signs of growing big on Shopify. It has also attracted a considerable amount of confidence votes on various developer forums, including Shopify Community.
So, let’s see what the app is really made of. This Product Inventory Information Shopify App review provides all the critical details you’d be interested in- its features, pricing, weaknesses, overall usability, plus all the hidden bits of information.
Now that it’s available on the Shopify App Store, you can bet that installing the Product Inventory Information app to your ecommerce website is pleasantly straightforward. As a matter of fact, it even comes with a 14-day free trial in case you’d like to test it out before committing.
But, don’t get me wrong. Not just any seller can use it. You need to have a multi-location store set up to leverage the app accordingly.
If you’ve got that covered, getting started shouldn’t take long. Simply search for “Product Inventory Information” on the App Store, proceed to the app’s page, then hit “Add app”. After installation, just copy its div code to your product template, and voila! You’re now good to go.
Learning the ropes here is not difficult either. Using the app basically entails tweaking a couple of settings here and there based on your product preferences.
The interface itself is clean and uncluttered, with clear options laid out in a systematic manner. You can enable various product information options by marking their respective checkboxes, and then implement everything by clicking the “Save” button placed on the top right corner of the screen.
The Product Inventory Information app also features supplementary text boxes, which come in handy when you need to specify what you’d like your customers to see. You could, for instance, set the system to display “Out of Stock” when the inventory number hits zero.
Then as soon as you save your settings, you’ll notice that everything will reflect almost immediately. Customers will subsequently view the corresponding inventory details directly from your store’s product pages.
And that’s it. That’s all it takes to run the Product Inventory Information app on your Shopify store. Although it doesn’t offer a lot of features, it’s extremely reliable at its job. In other words, it does exactly what it claims it can do.
Overall, I find the whole concept of excluding extra unnecessary functionalities to be refreshingly satisfying. It keeps the whole layout simple for everyone, including beginners.
In the event you face any issues with the app, you can reach out to its developer directly via email. But then again, I guess the chances of that occurring are fairly low.
Inventory Per Location Display
The best thing about the Product Inventory Information app is the fact that it not just about stock levels. We already have many apps that are capable of that. So, Product Inventory Information goes beyond this basic level to display the numbers with their precise store locations.
And how does it work?
Well, it simply rides on the Shopify multi-location framework to relay selected inventory details. Consequently, customers get to know each location they could source a specific product from, and the corresponding number of units available.
Thankfully, the information displayed for each location is not static. You can choose what you’d like your shoppers to view. Although most merchants would probably prefer dealing with numbers, you could alternatively proceed with relative statements. The Product Inventory Information app allows you to display “Out of Stock” or “In-Stock” on each location instead of exact product quantities.
Apart from that, you can also set the system to display user-defined text when the inventory quantity for a location hits a specific threshold. Choosing a statement like “low stock” when the number of items at a location drops to five, for instance, could encourage bulk shoppers to go for the next best option to prevent disappointment.
Now, when it comes to order fulfillment, Product Inventory Information gives your customers the freedom to select how they’d like to collect the products. For convenient delivery, you could allow your customers to select “ship to me” right from the product page. Or alternatively, save themselves from waiting by simply choosing to pick up their orders from specific locations.
Well, come to think of it, this alone could win you tons of sales that would otherwise have been lost, since shipping-related issues usually account for more than 60% of abandoned carts.
But get this. At the moment, only Shopify Plus users can take advantage of the pickup option. That’s because, apparently, a Shopify script is required to introduce this functionality on your product page. On the bright side, however, the app’s developers are reportedly trying to find easier ways of extending this feature to other users.
We all love simple applications. But, admittedly, we also hate the limited flexibility that most of them come with. So, of course, I was pretty curious about Product Inventory Information’s versatility, especially after seeing its extremely simple layout.
Interestingly, while it might not be the most dynamic inventory app, Product Inventory Information offers a host of decent customization options.
The store location names, for instance, are not constant. You can rework your entire selling structure by renaming all your locations. Come to think of it, such a strategy could help you boost your sales by capitalizing on names that resonate best with your target market. It also favors freelance merchants who shift their store locations a regular basis.
And speaking of temporary locations, it’s also possible to exclude selected stores from your product display. This option is particularly useful to sellers who’d like to promote certain locations while blocking out buyers from the rest.
That said, the problem with multi-location selling is this- their corresponding sales patterns are often irregular. Customers might repeatedly buy their products from what they consider to be a conveniently-placed store while ignoring other possible locations. Ultimately, you end up selling substantially from only a fraction of the stores at the cost of other locations.
Now, it turns out you can help the poor performers catch up with the rest by setting the system to automatically hide out of stock locations from the list of store options. Customers, therefore, are left with only the valid inventory locations to choose from.
An in case you’re unsure about how your shoppers will perceive the inventory quantities, you can choose to use stock indicators instead of actual numbers. Such a move would also be effective against competitors who may possibly be monitoring your sales numbers.
The bad news here is that Product Inventory Information is not a free app. Although it still feels new, this app is seemingly not planning to sell itself short with free offers for its first few users.
However, on the bright side, it’s generous enough to offer a 14-day free trial period. It might sound short, but that should be enough time to give the app a good test run.
After that, it will only cost you $6.99 each month to leverage Product Inventory Information on your website. And yes, that applies to both large-scale and small-scale sellers on all Shopify plans, except one.
If your store happens to be an established one that runs on Shopify Plus, it’s going to cost you three times more to adopt the Product Inventory Information app. All Shopify Plus users are charged $24.99 per month.
Ok, now that’s a bit surprising. So, why exactly does the Shopify Product Inventory Information app cost more for Shopify Plus users?
Well, ironically, the answer is in the question. A Shopify Plus (read our Shopify Plus review) store is not a regular online shop. The plan itself costs at least $2,000 a month because it offers the most advanced features to large enterprises with extensive ecommerce needs.
Sadly, the consequent heavy resource load is not only Shopify’s problem. It also spills over to the supplementary services that Shopify Plus websites adopt. And that, of course, translates to excessive strain on Product Inventory Information’s infrastructure.
Therefore, considering it will cost the app a substantially larger amount of resources to host Shopify Plus stores, I guess it makes sense why they have a dedicated pricing plan.
Who Should Consider Using Product Inventory Information Shopify App?
Are you an ecommerce seller with multiple Shopify online stores? Well, this app is not for you.
Now, make no mistake. “Multiple online stores” and “multiple store locations” are two completely different business setups. While the former only entails online ecommerce selling, the latter is usually a dynamic combination of several stores, including online plus brick and mortar shops.
The Shopify Product Inventory Information app was developed precisely for the latter group of businesses. It seeks to facilitate merchants who sell on both online and offline stores concurrently.
They can take advantage of the app to coordinate multi-store order fulfillment, allowing customers to purchase online then proceed to pick up their orders from brick and mortar locations. In the end, the app streamlines the whole multi-location order fulfillment process by letting customers in on the product availability details.