Order fulfillment is an important aspect of running an e-commerce business. Yet it's one of the most complicated processes sellers have to undertake. To run a successful e-commerce business, you must meet fast and free delivery standards. Otherwise, you'd face the risk of closing down. Streamlining your order fulfillment process also goes a long way in influencing buyers' perceptions of your business.
Avarto's study of 2000 US online shoppers resulted in the following findings:
· Over 54% of shoppers will abandon making purchases if the delivery costs are expensive.
· Free delivery is critical for 83% of shoppers considering online order fulfillment.
· 53% prefer speedy delivery
· 25% will cancel orders if the delivery is slow
The findings show the importance of having a seamless order fulfillment process. Let's focus on Shopify's fulfillment process—which involves daunting aspects that new sellers must understand to thrive in the dynamic online marketplace:
Three ways of fulfilling your Shopify orders
Shopify order fulfillment begins from the Orders page, where your orders appear after buyers' requests to make purchases. Understanding how this works is a must for new and experienced sellers.
Depending on the nature of your Shopify store, there are three different days of fulfilling your orders, including:
· Manual order fulfillment
· Automatic order fulfillment
· Partial order fulfillment
Manual order fulfillment
Fulfilling orders manually on Shopify involves opening and fulfilling the line items. Most stores consider manual order fulfillment because it allows them control over their inventory levels.
However, note that you must ensure that your automatic fulfillment order is off when using the manual order fulfillment feature. With manual order fulfillment, sellers are more involved in ordering and shipping items.
Automatic order fulfillment
Automatic order fulfillment is critical for those sellers who don't have time to fulfill orders manually or find the manual order processing pretty demanding. Sellers set their orders under automatic processing with the automatic order fulfillment feature. The orders are then marked fulfilled after buyers have made payments.
Automatic order fulfillment often applies to people selling digital downloads or gift cards. The process involves sending emails with download links to customers and then marking the orders as "fulfilled."
Partial order fulfillment
Sometimes, customers may place an order for multiple products, and one or more of those items may not be available in the stock. Also, some customers may take pre-orders for items. They even pay for these multiple items regardless of whether all of them are available or not. In such instances, sellers must fulfill part of the order by shipping the items separately. This is known as partial order fulfillment.
Using the fulfill by date to sort orders
Some sales channels require sellers to view and sort orders that need fulfilling based on the dates buyers made the products. Tower, this feature is available to specific merchants. The process begins at the Shopify admin, where you check for the latest date for specific items on the orders page. You must ensure to deliver the order within the estimated delivery window.
Fulfilling entire orders manually.
· Tap Orders on your Shopify app
· Tap orders marked Unfulfilled.
· If you prefer using a different carrier, tap MARK AS FULFILLED. Enter shipping details such as tracking number or tap the barcode icon to scan a shipping label barcode to connect tracking with your phone.
· Tap to mark orders as fulfilled. For Shopify shipping, select shipping service and tap Buy shipping label.
Fulfilling part of an order manually.
There are instances when customers place an order with multiple items, out of which one or some items are unavailable or are pre-orders. When this happens, a seller has to view and sort part of the items on stock and fulfill them separately.
To sort orders separately, you must disable the automatic order fulfillment feature.
· Tap orders on your Shopify admin
· Click the number of unfulfilled orders on your orders page.
· Create a shipping label to purchase a shipping label for your order.
· You can change the number of products that need fulfilling in the items section from the fulfillment page.
· Go to the shipping service section to choose your preferred shipping method
· Tap Buy shipping label
Follow the following steps if you prefer a different Shipping:
· Go to the orders section on your Shopify admin
· Tap the number of an unfulfilled order and mark it as fulfilled
· From the Fulfillment page, change the number of products you wish to fulfill
· Provide the shipping details in the tracking information section, including the tracking number. You'll then send the tracking URL to your customer via email.
· Click fulfill items to confirm they are fulfilled and unfulfilled items.
Fulfill multiple orders simultaneously.
Simultaneous fulfilling multiple orders applies to stores that prefer to fulfill orders manually. You need to select your multiple orders and tap the Fulfill orders feature to sort all of them simultaneously. However, if you're using a different carrier other than Shopify shipping, you must include tracking numbers in the orders.
· Go to your Shopify admin and tap on Orders.
· Click the checkboxes to choose the orders you want to fulfill
· Tap the Fulfill orders button
· Tap Fulfill
· After fulfilling the orders, you can manually include tracking numbers in your orders.
Fulfilling orders for multiple locations
Sometimes, customers place and pay for an order of multiple products. One or more products may be at different locations. Shopify allows you to view the items in the order separately based on the location. Also, you can set the location priorities to fulfill your orders easily.
· Tap Orders on your Shopify admin
· Tap the number of an unfulfilled order
· If all the items are available in a single location, a list will show in the unfulfilled section. But if the items are available at different locations, the items will show up by the location.
· If you want to make changes to the location of fulfilling the order, you can click the location's name on the fulfillment card and tap change location. Choose your preferred location, and save the changes.
· For Shopify shipping, create a shipping label in the unfulfilled card to buy a shipping label for your order.
· If you prefer a different carrier, choose Mark as fulfilled, and enter your shipping provider's tracking number. You can then send these details to your customer.
· Tap Fulfill items to mark the order as fulfilled.
New and experienced Shopify sellers must pay attention to the various ways of fulfilling orders. Knowing this will help you streamline the order fulfillment process, which will enhance your customers' experience and create a huge impression among many buyers.