Fulfillment is the series of steps taken from the moment a merchant receives a purchase order until the customer takes delivery of the item. These are:
- Order received.
- Order registered in the inventory system.
- Order confirmation sent to the customer.
- Order request sent to the warehouse.
- Item located and prepared for shipping.
- Item shipped.
- The customer notified of the shipment.
- Order delivered. If the item is returned, a refund is granted, and the inventory is updated.
The main eCommerce fulfillment models are:
- “Dropshipping,” where the seller sends the order to the supplier, who then ships the item to the customer.
- “In-house fulfillment,” where the seller receives the order and ships it to the client.
- “Third-party fulfillment,” where the process is outsourced to another company.