Shopify Basics | Updated October 19, 2023  

Don’t Know How To Fulfill Orders On Shopify? The Only 3 Ways in 2023

The Basics of Shopify Order Fulfillment

After the purchase is done and the customer has hit the final button, it is time for another pivotal part of the process — the fulfillment process in Shopify.

The whole fulfillment processing and knowing how to fulfill orders on Shopify is essential and you won’t get away without learning how to do it the proper way.

After your customer sends a buyer request, it is your job to learn how to fulfill orders and do everything right.

So, what does fulfill mean? And what does fulfilling an order mean?

In this article we'll take our time to expand your knowledge about Shopify orders, Shopify order fulfillment, fulfillment pending status and Shopify pre-orders. We'll to synthesize an order fulfillment definition that will help you do it on your Shopify Store.

Not only that, we're going to answer some of the frequently asked questions by both online merchants and customers, some of which you might be interested in at the moment:

  • What does fulfillment processing mean?
  • What happens with the fulfilled and unfulfilled items?
  • What is fulfillment status?
  • When does Amazon preorder charge you?
  • What does pending fulfillment mean?
  • What does in fulfillment mean?

Let’s start with some basic knowledge first.

There's three different options which you can choose when you fulfill Shopify orders.

The 6 Step Process To Automatically Fulfill Orders

Let’s begin with a method on online order fulfillment on Shopify that merchants prefer.  

As you can guess from its name, automatic fulfillment is the most streamlined method but will not be a solution for all.

Here's when this method is suitable:

  • You do not provide products for Shopify pre order.
  • You do provide digital downloads.
  • You already use a fulfillment service.

The process to set the automatically fulfill orders is straightforward.

You can do it fast from your Shopify admin panel.

1. Enter the admin section of your store.

2. Click on “Settings”.

3. Then, click on “Checkouts and accounts”.

4. Below “Checkout settings” look for the “Orders Processing” section:

6. Find “After an order has been paid” and select the “Automatically fulfill all of the order’s line items”.  There’s also an option to “Notify customers of their shipment via email” and would be great to do so. Plus that, you can use third-party Shopify shipment software to deal with the many questions of customers.

5. Click on “Save” and that’s about it. You now can successfully fulfill Shopify orders and not worry about fulfillment status “unfulfilled”.

The 6 Step Process To Manual Order Fulfillment

Most stores are managing their orders with the manual order fulfillment feature.

This not only helps with managing your inventory but builds the feeling of control over your store and knowing where your products go each time.

So, how to fulfill an order on Shopify using manual fulfillment?

First, make sure you haven’t selected the “Automatically fulfill all of the order’s line items”.

Then, follow the steps to fulfill Shopify orders manually.

1. Go to “Orders” on the left side of your admin panel.

2. Click on the Unfulfilled section and then the unfulfilled order number.

3. Scroll down and find the “Request fulfillment” button.

4. Be sure that all of your product and shipment details are correct. Choose models, quantities, and sizes as well. Enter the Shopify tracking number in the Optional tracking number field and look for a tracking carrier from the drop-down menu.

5. Remember to include sending notification emails to your customer.

6. Choose the “Fulfill Items” section and mark them as “Fulfilled” when ready.

The 10 Step Process To Partial Order Fulfillment

When your client has purchased multiple products and you have a couple of them out of stock, or available for Shopify pre-order, it would be ideal for you to handle it as a partial order fulfillment.

By doing this, their purchased items can be sent separately after that. This also allows the opportunity for a Shopify partial refund, which can be demanded by clients.

So, here is how the process works step-by-step:

1. Enter the order section of your admin panel.

2. Choose any order number that has “Fulfillment Status” as “Unfulfilled” or “Partial” and two line items or more.

3. Choose “Start Fulfilling” to mark the order.

4. In your dialogue box in the fulfillment page, change the number of all the products you do want to fulfill for each line item under “Quantity”.

5. Enter the tracking number of your customer into the Optional tracking number area and choose a tracking carrier.

6. Make sure you keep the customer updated on all changes, refunds, out-of-stock items, and details with “Send a notification email to the customer”.

7. After that, you click on “Fulfill Items” to mark the order as complete.

8. All of the items that are fulfilled will be showing up with a green checkmark, so you should know if the fulfillment is successful or not. Look for “Payment Accepted” or “All Items were shipped” info.

9. At the bottom of the page, you can see the new entry on Order History or Timeline and look for changes.

10. If there are items you didn’t fulfill at first, you can always go back and do it later as a part of the order fulfillment process.

Those were the important steps on fulfilling Shopify orders.

Combining them with an app to track the delivery status, you can integrate more convenience while shopping for your customers.

By doing this you can be certain that items sent to fulfillment will go all the way.

Yes, of course, for pre order Shopify items you should use the third method and check information for them if you use a Shopify fulfillment app.

There may be situations like “order fulfillment status: unfulfilled” and some “Shopify cancel order” cases but you should follow the basics on how to fulfill orders and there would be no problems with customers during the process.

You should think that choosing a Shopify fulfillment app to manage any Shopify order is crucial.

If you're using Oberlo, then you have to get the settings right.

If you work with print-on-demand apps, most of them will mark the order automatically as fulfilled on your behalf.

Buying Shipping Labels With Shopify Shipping

Shopify gives you the option to use their own platform to buy & print shipping labels and packing slips.

This make it convenient for you, as an online business owner to have everything under 1 roof, without using 3rd party software.

Shopify shipping supports shipping carriers from the USA, Canada, Australia, UK, France, Italy & Spain. You're eligible to create and print shipping labels every time when you fulfill an order and your fulfillment location is supported.

Be sure you are entering the correct shipping details to support the shipping service of your choosing regardless of the fulfillment method. The order's fulfillment process depends on that.

The ordering and shipping process provided by shopify shipping isn't a complicated one, especially with Shopify's added value.

Shopify Fulfillment By Amazon

You can use the Amazon fulfillment center to fulfill orders for you directly from the Shopify admin.

Make sure you have an Amazon Seller Central account and you are good to try it. For more information about how to succeed in this process, you can read here.

The Shopify Amazon fulfillment is preferred by many store owners and works well.

More On How To Fulfill Orders On Shopify

When you want to cancel or change a fulfillment, you can check if you are using a custom fulfillment service.

Make sure you contact that fulfillment service and make all the changes you want.

When it comes to requesting fulfillment, you can include tracking information and provide clients with on-time notifications when you mark an order as fulfilled.

You can also go the extra mile, and provide information last-mile carriers, tracking orders at all times, and showing details about delays and other delivery changes by using a branded tracking page.

Sometimes changes and delays may happen from Shopify – no tracking information will be present and that’s why you need to use a tracking app that will go the extra mile for you and your customer.

Sellers shipping method tracking is a tough process and someone has to take care of it the proper way.

Some situations like the well-known problem to many: “there are no shipping methods available for your cart or destination.  Shopify” can be resolved by threads on the Shopify forum. Check this one out.

When it comes to Shopify partial payment, you can find useful apps on the Shopify app store for this case.

Another serious situation is if you are dealing with a Shopify return label. You can read more here on how to get all products your client no longer wants.

Finalizing Fulfillment Processing And Shopify Orders

Well, to sum this article about the fulfillment process, we say you should stick to the three basic methods - Automatic order fulfillment, manual order fulfillment & partial order fulfillment.

It’s easy to fulfill orders when you learn the process. With this knowledge of Shopify order fulfillment, you'll be able to successfully run your online store, increasing both productivity and happy customers. The goal is to be flexible, proactive, and responsive to both operational demands and customer wants.

And after you know what fulfill means, how to deal with Shopify pre orders and the three types of the Shopify order fulfillment processes, you can be confident you will do right on your Shopify store. This is regardless if you fulfill orders manually or automatically.

You can use an additional tracking software app to make the experience for the clients better and let them have information about their delivery at all times.

Follow the basic steps on how to fulfill orders on Shopify and if you still have questions, revisit the article.

You can find great answers in the Shopify help center, forum, and even on other sites like Quora.

You're not the first and won’t be the last shopify seller to be dealing with order fulfillment.

Be brave! Learn how to fulfill orders on Shopify and find answers when you bump into a problem along the way.


How do I fulfill dropshipping orders on Shopify?

Fulfilling dropshipping orders on Shopify is pretty much the same as normal orders. You choose one of the 3 methods, them being automatic, manual or partial fulfillment. These are the technical details. You of course, need to have your supply chain worked out before that.