infoTECH Feature

August 28, 2020

How to Handle Shopify Order Fulfillment Like a Pro

Order fulfillment can make or break your online business. When a customer places an order, they expect a fast delivery with the products in great condition. If you are a seller on Shopify, you'll agree that order fulfillment can be a complicated process. Mastering it is a must if you are looking to compete successfully with giant established sellers.

A recent research study established that more than half of shoppers abandoned online shopping because of the high cost of delivery. It is also true that for many people shopping online, free delivery is crucial when considering online order fulfillment. Suppose you are selling or intend to start selling online, the delivery speed will determine whether you succeed or fail in your online business because many shoppers will cancel their orders if delivery is too slow.

New sellers on Shopify can be overwhelmed by the complex nature of the Shopify order fulfillment process. If this is happening to you, you are in the right place. We shall walk you through all the aspects of the Shopify fulfillment process to help you offer your buyers the best experience and grow your business.

3 Ways to fulfill your orders with Shopify

The whole process is initiated from the order page in your Shopify admin, where orders appear when a buyer places a request for a product. It's essential to familiarize yourself with how orders work in Shopify.

Shopify deploys three options you can use to fulfill the orders you receive:

  • Automatic Order fulfillment
  • Manual Order fulfillment
  • Partial Order fulfillment

Automatic Order fulfillment

The automatic order fulfillment means that you do not need to physically sit in front of your computer when it is received. The whole fulfillment process is fully automated. But when should you use the automatic order fulfillment?

1. If you have products that do not require packaging and shipping (e.g., digital downloads)

2. Your products are not available for pre-order

3. If you are using a third-party fulfillment service

How to set up automated fulfillment service in a few simple steps:

  • Go to the main admin section of your Shopify store
  • Click on setting
  • Under checkout, settings find order processing
  • Look for "After order had been paid," select the first option, “automatically fulfill all the orders line items”.
  • Click the "Save" button at the left corner.

Manual Order fulfillment

It's sometimes easier to fulfill your orders manually. This system ensures that you take charge when the shipment is sent out and gives you the chance to monitor your inventory.

Make sure not to select "Automatically fulfill all the orders" in the "Orders processing" section of your store admin.

How does the manual order fulfillment work?

  • Navigate to the orders section on the left-hand side of your admin panel
  • Click on any "unfulfilled" order number
  • Look for the "start fulfilling" buttons
  • Check that the product and shipment information is correct. Double-check items to be shipped and order the quantity. Select your preferred courier in fulfilling your shipment
  • In case your buyer's order is allocated a tracking number, enter it in the optional tracking number field, and select a tracking carrier from the drop-down menu
  • Press "fulfill items" to mark the order as fulfilled

Fulfill part of an order

Sometimes, a buyer can place an order and pay for multiple products, if some of the items are out of stock, you can decide to fulfill only part of the order so that the items can be shipped separately.

How does partial order fulfillment work?

Here are the steps to follow for the partial fulfillment of a customer's order:

  • Go to the Orders section of Shopify admin
  • Click on any order with fulfillment status as unfulfilled or partial and at least two lines items
  • Press "start fulfilling"
  • In the dialogue box change of products, you want to fulfill each line item under the quantity
  • If your customers' request has been allocated a tracking index, input the number in the tracking number field. You can now select a tracking carrier from the drop-down menu
  • If you want to send a notification email to the customer immediately, make sure to tick the box to the left of "send a notification email to the customer"
  •  "Click fulfill items" to mark the order as fulfilled
  • The order screen will confirm whether the fulfillment has been achieved

Note; you can return to this order again to fulfill the rest of the line items at any given time during this process.

Before you visit the order pages on your Shopify admin, you should have the shipping strategy you will use.

How will you handle your shipping?

You can choose to handle your shipping using the following methods:

1. Handle shipping yourself

In this method, you can decide to ship from home and either handle labels yourself or use an automated process. You can either mail them or have a courier pick them up for delivery.

2. Outsource your fulfillment

Work with fulfillment professionals to store, ship and do the tracking of your packages. Once they receive a notification that an order has been placed, they will take full charge of the fulfillment process.

3. Dropshipping

In dropshipping, as soon as an order is received, it is sent directly to your supplier or drop ship partner. Once it has been delivered on the other end, it is then sent directly to the customer. This method ensures that you will not have to worry about the inventory since it is handled by someone else.

For a business to remain afloat, it needs to work hard to keep existing customers happy and to generate more customers. Efficient services that are seamless will ensure that you get leverage to compete with e-commerce giants. We wish to strengthen your Shopify fulfillment process and hope that this guide will help you choose the best options for your business.


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