I wanted to name this article How to Change Your Shopify Order Numbers. Unfortunately it just isn't possible. I'll show you what you can change, how to do it, and why you'd want to make that change.
Keeping Things Tidy
If you're like me you probably want to keep things tidy. You want to keep all of your order numbers sequential. And this can be especially tricky if you're switching from another eCommerce platform where you may already have orders (& order numbers).
You don't want to have two order #100s do you? That would be messy for your customers, your customer support, and accounting.
Add a Prefix and/or Suffix
The solution with Shopify is to add either a prefix of suffix. Under your Shopify store you can go to Settings -> General and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page.
There you'll see where you can enter the prefix & suffix. And you'll also see that order numbers start at #1001.
So if your existing system has an order number less than a thousand you can switch without having to do anything.
If you are already past order #1000 then you'll want to set either a prefix or suffix. I like the default
# as the prefix and then I add a suffix. Don't make it too crazy just a character or two will suffice.
- Either a -SH representing your Shopify store (if you have multiple storefronts)
- Or something like -BG for my hypothetical board game store.
Don't Count on a Perfect List of Orders
Again if you're like me you might want a perfect list of orders. Where order #1 is the first order. And order #100 is the hundreth order. Makes total sense – that's how numbers should work right?
Unfortunately things with eCommerce can get messy. Let me give you an example.
- Someone adds several products to the cart & they proceed to checkout
- They choose PayPal and head over to the PayPal website. To do this Shopify has to create a draft order and send that draft order information to PayPal.
- The user can't remember their password and they abandon the purchase
It's that easy. There's countless weird situations like the one above where for one reason or another your order numbers will get messed up. And you can't do anything about it. If you want you could setup a separate accounting system with different order numbers but it isn't worth the hassle. Just get used to the order numbers always incrementing and sometimes there's a failed order that messes things up.
I wish it were possible to change your order numbers but it isn't. You can add a prefix or suffix which should help.
Good tip on the Order Name suffix & prefix!
The scenario you describe with Paypal Express would not cause an Order Number discrepancy, however. Order Numbers are only generated at the Thank You page of the order, after a customer completes payment and is redirected back to Shopify. If they abandon their checkout pre-payment on Paypal’s side, no Order (or Draft Order) is created, and no Order Number is reserved.
Successful orders would still go from 1001 to 1002 even if there’s a failed checkout in between them.
You can add a bunch of random numbers to the prefix to make it less obvious.
can you do this on single orders to help identify ?
Great article! Thanks for sharing your precious article.