Fulfilling orders

After your customer makes an order, you need to ship it. This process is referred to in Shopify as order fulfillment. There are a few things that you need to do to make sure that your orders are processed and fulfilled correctly.

Fulfill complete orders manually

You set up your order fulfillment preferences when you configure your Checkout settings.

Manually fulfilling orders lets you easily keep track of your inventory and control when an order is sent. Manually fulfilling orders might be the best order fulfillment method if one of the following situations applies to your business:

  • make products to order
  • have products available for pre-order
  • sometimes run out of stock
  • want to be able to easily offer your customers partial fulfillment without having to issue a refund.


You can also fulfill orders in bulk from your Shopify admin.

Fulfill part of an order manually

If a customer has placed and paid for an order of multiple products, and one or more of the products are out of stock or a pre-order, then you might want to fulfill only part of the order so that you can ship its contents separately.


Fulfilling orders for multiple locations

If a customer has placed and paid for an order of multiple products, and one or more of the products are stocked at different locations, then you can fulfill parts of the order separately based on the location of your inventory. You can set location priorities to specify the priority sequence for order fulfillment.


Fulfill many orders at once manually

By selecting several orders at once, you can use the Actions button to fulfill them at the same time. This applies to stores that manually fulfill orders. If you aren't using Shopify Shipping, then you need to add tracking numbers to the corresponding orders.


  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Orders.

  2. Click the Unfulfilled tab to view only the orders that need to be fulfilled:

    Bulk fulfill

  3. Select the orders you want to fulfill by clicking their checkboxes:

    Bulk fulfill

  4. Click Actions.

  5. Click Fulfill orders:

    Bulk fulfill

  6. Optional: Select the Send a notification to the customer checkbox to send your customers a notification.

  7. Click Fulfill.

Cancel a fulfillment

When you cancel a fulfillment, the fulfillment status of the order returns to Unfulfilled, and you can buy a new shipping label or create a new fulfillment for the order.

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Orders.

  2. From the Orders page, click the number of an order in the list that has a Fulfillment status of Fulfilled.

  3. In the Fulfillments section, click More, and then click Cancel fulfillment:

    Cancel fulfillment

Fulfill orders automatically

If any of the following situations apply to your business, then automatic fulfillment can help you ship your orders more effectively:

  • selling digital downloads
  • using a fulfillment service.

If you are using Oberlo, then you can't use automatic order fulfillment. To learn more, see Configure your Shopify order fulfillment settings for Oberlo and Fulfilling Oberlo orders.

Setting up automatic order fulfillment

You can set up automatic order fulfillment from the Checkout page in your Shopify admin.

Fulfillment through a third-party service

Third-party services fulfill orders in different ways:

  • Dropshipping apps - Some dropshipping apps automatically mark the items as fulfilled when they ship the order. Others require you to order for your customers' items within their app. Contact your dropshipping app developer to determine the best workflow when orders using their service. If you're using Oberlo, then you need to configure your Shopify order fulfillment settings for Oberlo.

  • Print-on-demand apps - Most print-on-demand apps automatically mark the items as fulfilled on your behalf when the order is shipped. Check the recommended settings and workflow with your app developer.

  • Custom fulfillment services - If you have partnered with your own fulfillment service and added them as a custom fulfillment service, then you need to mark the order as fulfilled when you are ready for your fulfillment service to process the order.

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