How to fulfill orders on Shopify

How to fulfill orders on Shopify?

Different order fulfillment methods

For an online store on Shopify, one important thing to think about is how you will fulfill orders as efficiently and effectively as possible. Different methods of order fulfillment have their advantages and difficulties.

Self-fulfillment

Self-fulfillment means the store owner or their team completes the order fulfillment process. This includes picking and packing before sending it out with handling customer services.

Advantages

Process Control: You can manage the entire fulfillment process, giving great flexibility and a chance for customization and personalization.

Cost-Effective for Small Volumes: For small businesses with low orders, self-fulfillment is more cost-effective as it eliminates third-party charges.

Direct Customer Interaction: With this, you can talk to customers and get more about what they want. This could help in enhancing the overall customer experience.

Challenges

Resource Intensive: It demands a lot of time and effort, which may be difficult for small businesses or when there is high demand.

Scaling Challenges: As the business expands, overseeing all steps could get harder.

Shipping Costs: You might not be able to get the same reduced shipping expenses that big operations or 3PLs can bargain for.

Setting up fulfillment in Shopify

Shopify logos

Choose a Fulfillment Method

The first stage is to choose the method that aligns with your business model and operational abilities.

1. Self-Fulfillment: For businesses having fewer order amounts or those who desire to manage every step of the process.

2. Dropshipping: Suitable for businesses that do not want to manage inventory or shipping directly.

3. 3PL Fulfillment Services: For businesses looking to scale and outsource their fulfillment operations. Partners with third-party logistics providers to manage inventory, packing, and shipping.

Configure Product Fulfillment Options

After selecting the fulfillment method, proceed to set up your product fulfillment options in Shopify.

1. Visit your Shopify admin, open the Products tab, and select “Add product” to form new products or alter the ones already available.

2. Decide if you want inventory to be tracked for every product, which could be done per variant.

3. You can arrange the shipping rates and choices in the Shipping settings. You can choose to fix flat rates, calculate rates by weight/size, or use shipping calculator apps.

4. If using a 3PL or FBA, add the respective services in the Fulfillment settings.

5. Set up packaging options if you want to offer branded or eco-friendly packaging.

Select Between Manual and Automatic Fulfillment

The next decision to make is whether to set up manual or automatic fulfillment.

Manual Fulfillment

1. For small-scale, low-volume businesses or those needing a high degree of personalization.

2. Orders are not automatically sent to a fulfillment service. You manually process each order.

3. Provides more control over the fulfillment process but requires more time and effort.

Automatic Fulfillment

1. Ideal for businesses with higher order volumes or those looking to automate their operations.

2. Orders are automatically sent to your chosen fulfillment service upon purchase.

3. The process is simpler and decreases the chances of mistakes, but it demands meticulous arrangement and oversight.

How to manually fulfill orders on Shopify

1. Log in to Your Shopify Admin

Access your Shopify admin dashboard by logging in with your credentials.

2. Access the Orders Page

Go to the dashboard, and click “Orders” on the side menu. This will bring up the orders page where all incoming requests are shown.

3. Select an Order

Select which order you want to complete from the given list. You can utilize filters to locate a particular order by its status, date or other criteria that fits your requirements.

Marking an Order as Fulfilled

1. Open the Order Details: Click the order number, this will open a new page showing details of that particular order.

2. Locate the Fulfillment Area: Scroll down to the “Fulfillment” section within the order details.

3. Mark as Fulfilled: If the order is prepared for shipping, select the “Fulfill” option. This will alter the order status to “Fulfilled,” enabling you to enter shipping information.

Tracking Information and Shipping Carrier Details

1. Input Tracking Number

After you have finished marking the order as fulfilled, a question will pop up asking for the tracking number. This is where you enter that unique number given by your shipping carrier which helps in tracking your shipment.

2. Select Shipping Carrier

Select the shipping carrier that you are using for this order from the list provided. It could be USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, or another carrier.

3. Add Shipping Details

Input additional shipping details if necessary, such as the shipping method or service level.

4. Save Changes

Click “Update Fulfillment” to save the tracking information and shipping carrier details.

One inputs the tracking number in a laptop.

Sending Shipment Details to the Customer

1. Draft an Email

When you change an order to “Fulfilled,” Shopify will send an email to the customer. But, if you prefer, you can write a customized email too.

2. Customize the Email

In the details of the order page, press “Send an update to the customer” and then choose “Resend the fulfillment confirmation email.” You can modify your email template by adding a personal note or more details.

3. Review and Send

Check the email’s details for accuracy, such as the tracking number and carrier information.

4. Confirm Delivery

After the customer receives the package, you can go to the order details page and choose the option of “Mark as Delivered”. This will change the order status to delivered and make a record of successful delivery.

How to automate order fulfillment on Shopify?

To automate order fulfillment on Shopify, you can use the platform’s built-in features. This will help make your operations smoother and save time and resources by automatically handling shipping tasks. Additionally, you may integrate with third-party fulfillment services to better manage logistics and enhance customer experience.

Utilizing Shopify’s Automatic Fulfillment Features

Enable Automatic Fulfillment:

Go to the Shopify admin dashboard, click on “Settings,” then choose “Fulfillment” and turn on the button for “Automatic Fulfillment.”

Create Fulfillment Orders:

When someone makes an order, Shopify will generate a fulfillment order for you. This order contains all the needed information such as what was ordered, where it needs to be shipped and its payment state.

Location Settings:

Make the warehouse or the fulfillment center a location in Shopify. Doing this will allow the system to automatically allocate orders to the right place according to your inventory settings.

Fulfillment Service Integration:

If you are employing a third-party service for fulfillment, then it is necessary to link this with Shopify. The process can be accomplished by accessing “Fulfillment Services” part in your Shopify admin area.

Integration with Third-Party Fulfillment Services

Research and Select a Fulfillment Service

Select a fulfillment service that matches your business’s requirements regarding growth potential, expense and available services.

Install the Fulfillment Service App

Most fulfillment services have their apps on the Shopify App Store. You can simply install these apps and follow the instructions they provide to set up the integration.

Configure the App

When you finish installing it, you must adjust the app settings. These settings are necessary for connecting your Shopify store with the fulfillment service. You might need to provide API keys, details on where the warehouse is located and how shipping should be done as well as other preferences.

Sync Inventory

Make certain that your inventory matches up with the fulfillment service. This lets the service get updates about stock levels in real time to stop overselling.

Test the Integration

Test the integration by making fake orders, this will confirm if it is functioning correctly and handling orders as needed before you go live.

Tracking system integrated with 3pl fulfillment services

Managing Automatic Order Processing

Set Up Workflows

Make sure to create explicit workflows for your fulfillment process. This includes how you receive, pack and ship orders.

Customize Email Notifications

Modify emails of order shipment as well as tracking details using Shopify’s “Email Templates.”

Monitor Performance

Keep checking how well your fulfillment service is doing. Look out for any delays, problems with order accuracy or customers complaining.

Adjust as Necessary

Make changes to your fulfillment process based on how the performance data is showing. You might switch to a different fulfillment service, make adjustments in inventory management or modify shipping strategies accordingly.

Scale with Your Business

With the growth of your business, there could be alterations in your fulfillment requirements. You might need to expand or change the locations for fulfillment, switch to a different service of fulfillment, or modify how you handle orders and inventory.

How to fulfill orders on Shopify dropshipping?

Dropshipping as a Fulfillment Method

Dropshipping is a preferred way of fulfilling orders for internet-based enterprises, particularly those at their beginning phase or with restricted abilities to manage inventory. It involves selling items but not keeping them in stock. The product gets delivered straight from the supplier to your customer’s location.

Advantages

Low Startup Costs: No need to invest in inventory upfront.

Scalability: Easy to scale as you don’t manage physical stock.

Focus on Marketing: Allows you to concentrate on marketing and customer service.

Wide Product Range: Offers flexibility to add or remove products easily.

Challenges

Less Control: Limited control over product quality and shipping times.

Dependency on Suppliers: Reliant on the supplier’s reliability.

Lower Margins: Can have lower profit margins due to supplier costs.

Setting Up Dropshipping with Shopify

Choose Your Dropshipping Suppliers

Investigate and choose trustworthy suppliers who provide the products you aim to sell. Think about the quality of items, the standing of suppliers in the market, and how quickly they can deliver orders.

Integrate with a Dropshipping App

You could employ an app called Oberlo, Spocket, or AliDropship that works with Shopify for dropshipping. Such applications assist in locating suppliers and handling inventory as well as orders.

List Products on Your Store

Bring in products from the catalog of your dropshipping partner to your Shopify store. Make sure you have the correct descriptions and pictures for each product.

Set Up Shipping and Packaging

Agree on your shipping rules and how you want items to be packed with the dropshipping associate. Confirm that people who buy from you know about delivery periods and expenses.

Create Order Fulfillment Workflows

Set up a process for when an order is made, stating how you will communicate this to your dropshipping partner and handle any returns or customer inquiries.

FAQ

Should you automatically fulfill orders on Shopify?

For businesses seeking efficiency and scalability, automatic fulfillment can be highly beneficial. Automatic fulfillment is frequently linked with third-party logistics or dropshipping and can assist in saving time, decreasing mistakes, and growing together with your business.

How to handle orders in Shopify?

You begin by opening the Orders part of your Shopify admin, where you can see and control all incoming orders. For every order, look through its details to verify the products, amount, and shipment data.

In case of self-fulfilling, get ready the items, pack them carefully, and type in shipping details such as carrier name and tracking number.

For dropshipping, make sure that the order is sent automatically to your supplier, or use a dropshipping app to handle this step.

Keep communicating with customers and monitoring the fulfillment process for efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Can you bulk fulfill orders on Shopify?

Certainly, on Shopify, you can bulk-fulfill orders. This lets the process and mark numerous orders as fulfilled together in one action. You should pick several orders from your Shopify admin dashboard, select the ‘fulfill’ option in bulk, and then input shipping information for all chosen orders. This helps save time and effort, especially if you use the same shipping carrier and method with a group of orders. You need to make sure all the chosen orders are prepared for sending out so there are no delays or mistakes in this step.