On Shopify or any other e-commerce website, order fulfillment is the process of shipping purchased products to end customers. Here, you have a choice to completely automate the process or keep it manual. You can even choose to manually fulfill partial orders placed by the customer.
While you may believe that automatic order fulfillment may be popular on Shopify, manual fulfillment is equally beneficial. Many businesses need to have control of when they send out orders, how they keep their inventory, and how they calibrate everything else. For this reason, sometimes manual order fulfillment makes sense.
In this article, we have discussed, partial, manual, and automated order fulfillment methods. Read on and explore how it works.
Before we understand the process of manual or automatic order fulfillment, let’s explore what is included in order fulfillment on Shopify.
When a customer places a product order on your website or dropshipping store, you need to accept the order and ship items. After reviewing the items of the order, these products are pulled from the inventory, packed, and shipped. Once the order is packed, it is marked as fulfilled and it goes to the shipping stage.
Sometimes, we place orders on hold during fulfillment, and this can be because:
- We are upselling and we believe the customer may order more.
- The item is not available in inventory but might come back in stock in a day or two.
- You create custom orders, so you need to prepare the order
The above processes are carried out in the case of Shopify order fulfillment, but there’s also reverse order fulfillment, which happens when the customer returns the product. In this case, we need to:
- Track returns
- Share shipping details
- Restock the inventory
- Issue the refund to the user
How do we exactly fulfill orders on our online or dropshipping store? In this section, we have explained three major processes used to fulfill orders on Shopify. Have a look:
Automatic Order Fulfillment
As the name suggests, automatic order fulfillment is automated and you don’t need to manually achieve anything. When an order is received, it is automatically moves to the shipping stage. This is possible in the following cases:
- You are using a third-party service for the same. So, they fulfill the order and ship it.
- Your products don’t need packaging. For example, you are selling online products and services.
- You are a dropshipping model, so the order is automatically placed on the marketplace.
Partial Order Fulfillment
There may be instances where you may need to fulfill an order partially. For example, one product is not in stock and you are waiting for it to be back in stock. This way you need to partially fulfill an order and send the remaining order later.
Manual Order Fulfillment
The third section in the list is the most important one: manual fulfillment on Shopify. How can you manually fulfill your orders?
Here are some steps you should follow before we discuss the actual process:
1) Log in to your Shopify account.
2) Visit Settings>Checkout. You will find the option on the bottom right.
3) Visit Order Processing.
4) Once you reach this page, you will be able to set up whether you need automatic or manual order fulfillment.
5) If you choose automatic fulfillment, visit the above steps for more details. If you choose manual fulfillment of orders on Shopify, visit the following section.
6) Save changes.
Now, the actual process of manually fulfilling orders start.
1) Find the Orders Section and click on it.
2) This will take you to the Shopify admin page. Here, you can start the fulfillment of orders because your orders will appear here after a user has made a purchase.
3) From the given list, click on the order you wish to fulfill.
4) You need to select the shipping carrier and add the tracking number. It is possible that your shipping carrier is not on the list. In this case, you need to select others and paste a URL for tracking orders here.
5) Click on customer notification so that your user is informed of the shipping information.
6) Once you have completed the above, click on Fulfil Item.
7) In case you don’t have the tracking information right away, you can add the URL at a later point. But, you can complete the steps to inform your customer that the product is shipped.
8) Under More Actions, it is possible to print packing slips. You have to select the relevant option and print out slips.
It is possible for the user to cancel an order while in fulfillment. When that happens, you should be ready to revoke the order, change inventory values, and reverse the entire order without hassle.
In case you are canceling the fulfillment, you can select the 3 dots on the order page of the product. You will find an option to Cancel Fulfilment here.
Till now, we have discussed how you can fulfill orders on Shopify manually, automatically, and partially. But, one of the major questions is still not answered: what is your strategy for fulfillment?
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By the time you are on the page checking your orders on Shopify, you should know the shipping details and your strategy.
Here are some options for the same:
1) Ship products from your warehouse or house or office. You need to manually put labels, pack orders, and choose the courier partner. This will take time, but many small businesses use this strategy initially.
2) Outsource the entire fulfillment process or use a third party, as we discussed earlier. This third-party will pack, store, and ship your products. They will also update the status of shipping or send you URLs.
3) The last, most favorable option on the list is dropship. When a user places an order on your Shopify, you place it in the marketplace. The marketplace takes care of the fulfillment and sends the product to the customer. To automate this fully, you can use a dropshipping tool like DSers. This will help in automating order placement on the marketplace and updating tracking IDs on your dashboard.
Businesses often face several challenges during order fulfillment, significantly impacting their operations and bottom line. Some common problems include inventory management, order accuracy, shipping and logistics, and customer retention.
Upselling can help businesses address some of these challenges. By offering customers additional products or services, businesses can increase the value of each order and boost revenue.
Selleasy is an upsell and cross sell app specially designed for Shopify merchants to help drive their Average Order Value (AOV). Selleasy lets store owners display high conversion pre-purchase and post-purchase upsell offers that prompt customers to buy related products/accessories.
There is a wide variety of upsell offers such as the Frequently Bought Together Bundle, Product Add-ons, Cart Page Upsell Funnel, Cart Add-ons, Post-purchase Upsell, and Thank you page Add-ons. You can even show a pop-up for a cart upsell funnel or add-ons based on the items in the cart to increase your AOV further.
The process of how to fulfill orders on Shopify is explained in the above steps. If you are like many other businesses, you can use the manual process for fulfilling your orders on Shopify. However, as a dropshipping business, it is best to automate the entire process using a dropshipping tool. This will allow you to place orders in an accurate manner without wasting time. A lot of manual work is reduced in this way.
Whatever fulfillment method you wish to use, go through the above data once and explore the details of every method for clarification.