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What Does it Mean When an Order is Fulfilled?

For those new to the order fulfilment industry, you may be asking yourself what does it mean when an order is fulfilled?

Let’s break it down:

‘Order’ is when you instruct something to happen or make a request. According to dropshipping experts Oberlo, the number of digital buyers in 2019 was 1.92 billion, a staggering figure when you consider that’s 25.6% of the world’s entire 7.5 billion population! This number is also expected to rise to 2.14 billion by 2021. When one in four people is an online shopper, we’re pretty sure most of you know what order means in the eCommerce sense!

‘Fulfilment’ means to achieve something or deliver on something you promised or were entrusted to do. For instance, one fulfils an obligation, or sets in motion a series of events or takes action that results in something being fulfilled. One can also feel fulfilled but this is refers to experiencing contentment because they are getting everything they wish from life.

So, what does it mean when an order is fulfilled?

If an order is fulfilled a seller has delivered on their promise of ensuring their customer receives the item they ordered. This order fulfilment process naturally involves processing and delivery stages. Businesses like ourselves offer a fulfilment service, meaning we’re a third-party company that offers the order fulfilment steps of processing and delivering orders on behalf of our clients, so they can deliver on their promise of order fulfilment to their customers.

Different Types of Orders

  • B2B – Business-to-Business: Businesses can order items from fellow commercial businesses or organisations like schools, hospitals or charities and vice versa.
  • B2C – Business-to-Customer: Customers (members of the public who are acting as consumers) can order products from businesses, such as retailers. Business have their products supplied by manufacturers. Once their products are supplied the businesses sell their products to customers.
  • D2CDirect-to-Consumer: This is a strategy involving a manufacturer promoting and selling a product or service directly to customers, cutting out the need for any business to sell the product or service and act as an intermediary.
  • Of course, individuals (members of the public) can sell items to other members of the public via platforms like eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

Different Types of Commercial Fulfilment Services


This service involves customers making an order online (and often paying for their items using the internet). With the convenience of tracking packages, the rise of swift next-day deliveries and the reassurance of secure online payment facilities, it’s no wonder the growth in popularity of online shopping has accelerated.

Point of Sale Fulfilment

Point of Sale Fulfilment can include the delivery of items such as labels, display stands, shelf stickers, counter-top racks, dump bins for storing products in and so on. These items all appear at the point or area where a transaction or sale tends to be made between a retailer and customer. For example, storage to display smaller, cheaper products that catch customers’ eyes at the last minute so a business can increase their sales as the customer adds to their purchase on impulse. Another example is promotional material to grab customers’ attention while they are waiting in the queue to pay.

Mail Fulfilment

This service entails the distribution and transportation of print materials such as booklets, leaflets, catalogues, vouchers or business cards. Often these items are used in marketing or fundraising campaigns. Different options include high volume or low volume Mail Fulfilment jobs featuring inserts, pre-printed envelopes, mailings in different languages and even manual hand-fulfilment for more bespoke jobs.

The lists above are by no means exhaustive, but we hope they go a long way in answering the question what does it mean if an order is fulfilled? We have written before about how the right items have to arrive at the correct customers’ door undamaged and in the right quantity with the correct paperwork for the order fulfilment process to be successful and covered how to improve this process.

If you have any more questions about Order Fulfilment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.