How to Split Orders

Rules can tell Order Desk how to split your orders and where to send them once they're split. When orders are split, the tax, shipping, handling and discounts are split proportionally between the new and original order.

This guide covers splitting options and how to create rules for after orders split to tell split orders where to go.

If you aren't familiar with the Rule Builder, take a few moments to read through the How to Work with Rules guide.


Shopify and BigCommerce Instructions
Manually Split Orders
Automatically Split Orders with Rules
Instructions for Each Method
Take Action After Split Happens

Shopify and BigCommerce Instructions

Splitting orders that come from Shopify or BigCommerce will be a slightly different process than what is explained in this guide. For instructions, read the guides on how to split by vendor for Shopify or for BigCommerce.

If your Shopify or BigCommerce orders need to be split using another method, continue reading this guide for options.

Manually Split Orders

To manually split an order, open the order page and select the item(s) that need to be split into a new order. Click Split Order.

The order will be split into two separate orders based on the items selected. After the split takes place, you will be redirected to the new order.

Automatically Split Orders with Rules

Orders can be split automatically with rules using these different methods:

  • CODE/SKU: split specific SKUs out of orders.
  • ITEM NAME: split specific items out of orders based on their names.
  • CATEGORY CODE: Category Code is a unique field used for the Foxy integration allowing you to categorize your items. If you are using Foxy, you can use it to split your items into separate orders. Shopify vendors will also be placed in this field.
  • DELIVERY TYPE: Delivery Type is a unique field for FoxyCart shops. If you set the Delivery Type on your items in FoxyCart, you can split using this method.
  • VARIATION: split items with specific variations out of orders.
  • ITEM METADATA: split items with specific metadata tags out of orders. This is the most versatile, fully customizable method for splitting orders.
  • ALL: split every item into a new order.

Creating a Split Rule

From the Rule Builder, choose the Order Rule type:

Select the event that you want to split orders on. This is typically going to be  Order is Imported, but any event can be used.

Under the Filters & Actions tab, select the Split Order action:

While setting up your rules, be mindful of capitalization, spacing and punctuation. In most cases, names and values will need to be an exact match to what is on your items for the split rules to work.

Do not add any additional actions to a rule that splits orders. Use a second rule for when Order is Split to tell Order Desk what actions to take on a split order. This way the split action has a chance to complete before any additional actions start running.

Instructions for Each Method

Split By
Code/SKU | Item Name | Category Code | Delivery Type | Variation | Item Metadata | Split All Items

Special Features
Split Method Wildcard | Split All Items of Specific Type

Split by Code/SKU

Choose Code/SKU as the Split Type. This method works if you have a small number of product SKUs to split out of orders. If you have more than a dozen or so SKUs you want to split out, another split method will be more efficient.

You can also add multiple SKUs by separating them with a comma: SKU1,SKU2,SKU3 and so on. This will split these SKUs, if they come in with an order, into a single order. This will not create separate orders for each SKU.

Split by Item Name

To split orders by the item name, choose Name as the Split Type.

Under Names to Split add the actual item name to be split out. For example, split the Apple Treats item into their own orders with:

You can add more than one name to a split rule, separating the name values by a comma:

This will split the targeted items into a single order rather than separate individual orders. If you need to separate the treat items into individual orders, set up two separate rules. Also give your split a Reference Name.

Split by Category Code

The category code comes in on items from certain shopping carts. If your shopping cart supports this field, you will see it in the item details directly in an order:

To split by the category code, choose Category Code as the Split Type. In Values to Split add the actual category code you are using, and separate multiple values by commas. Also make sure to give your split a Reference Name.

Split by Delivery Type

The delivery type field only works with FoxyCart shops. If you have set the delivery type on your items in FoxyCart, you will see it come through in the item details directly in the order:

Delivery type values are: Ship, No Ship, Download and Future.

To set up your rule, under the Split Type menu choose Delivery Type, then add the type of delivery to the Values to Split line, and give this split a Reference Name

Split by Variation

You can use the variation field set on your items to split orders. Under the Split Type menu choose Variation:

In Field Name enter the exact name of your variation (size, color, pattern, etc.) being mindful of capitalization, spaces and punctuation. Under Values to Split add what the variation is (8oz, small, red, argyle, etc.)

You can also combine variations of the same type into the same split orders, such as:

This would split items with "Red" and "Blue" values into their own order together.

Split by Item Metadata

Splitting by an item's metadata is the most versatile and easily customizable option for splitting your orders. In many cases, metadata will come in from your shopping cart with your items, such as these metadata fields that came in from Shopify:

If the data you need doesn't come in from your shopping cart, add it directly to your saved inventory items here in Order Desk:

When an order comes in from the shopping cart, metadata fields will be synced into the item in the order (Add Inventory Details to Order Items must be enabled on your store for this to work):

You can use any metadata field on your items or that come in from the shopping cart to split orders. Using the above screenshots as an example, we could use the metadata field we've set called pattern to split out all snowflakes items like this:

The most commonly used split rules are set up to look at the inventory location on an item, specifically called inventory_location:

When you have different vendors or fulfillment services, you can set their names in this location field and use that to split your orders by vendor:

Once split, you can set up rules to send the newly separated orders to each separate vendor, integration or fulfillment service, which we'll go over in the next section.

If you need to split all vendor/location names into their own orders, skip down to the Special Features: Split All Items of Specific Type section below for instructions on setting up one rule to split all orders rather than one rule per vendor/location.

Split All Items out of Orders

If you need to split every item into its own order, choose All Items as your Split Type.

Split orders cannot be merged back together, so be certain this is what you intend to do before creating a rule to split all items into separate orders.

If you also want to split multiple quantities of a single product into separate orders you will first need to use a rule with the action Convert Item Quantities to Separate Items. Once converted, you can run an ALL split rule on your orders.

Special Feature: Split Method Wildcard

If you add the * symbol to your split rule, it will act as a wildcard, that is, it will look for anything like what is in the rule. For instance:

This will split any items with mug in the name. Capitalization does not matter when using the wildcard.

Another wildcard example is to look for a specific piece of information, such as the middle part of a set of SKUs, and only splitting those items out. For example, if you need to split out any SKU with -A- in the middle of it, use:

Special Feature: Split All Items of Specific Type

If you want to split all items of a specific type, under the Split Type choose All Items, then give your split a Reference Name.

This works for every method type.

If you work with multiple vendors, instead of setting up a split rule for each vendor/location name, choose Metadata as your Split Type, then add inventory_location as the Field Name.

Take Action After Split Happens

After orders have been split, you can tell Order Desk what you want to happen to them, such as submitting them for fulfillment, moving them to a specific folder, emailing someone about the order, tagging the order a certain color, etc.

To do this, you will need to create a new rule.

Add New Rule

Create a new rule using the Order Rule type, this time selecting Order is Split as the event:

Set Filters

Use the filter that matches your split method:

  • If Item Code
  • If Item Name
  • If Item Category Code
  • If Item Delivery Type
  • If Item Variation
  • If Item Metadata

Choose your operator:

You will most likely want to use Equals, In List or Contains:

Equals Must be an exact match for a single value. Case and space sensitive. "If it equals this value."
In List The exact match must be in a list of values, separated by commas. "If it's in this list of values."
Contains Does not need to be an exact match and is not case sensitive. "If it's like this value."

Set your value(s). For instance:

If Item Code Equals SKU1
If Item Code  In List SKU1,SKU2,SKU3
If Item Name Contains mug

Variations and item metadata need to include the name of the field as well as the value like in the split rule itself. For instance:

If Item Variation color Equals red 


If Item Metadata inventory_location Contains BuckLtd

Add Actions

To finish your rule, add the actions you want applied to a split order. Actions include Submit to Integration, Send Email to Customer and Change Folder, among others.

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