Ecommerce Order Fulfillment

What Does Order Awaiting Fulfillment Mean?

Ngoc Lee
What Does Order Awaiting Fulfillment Mean?
Share this:

For online shoppers, the "Order awaiting fulfillment" status can feel like an unresolved itch. A Retailwire study revealed that 98.3% of respondents expressed the desire to be informed in case of order delays. 

As an e-commerce business owner, maintaining effective communication with customers becomes paramount. Keeping customers well-informed about their orders is crucial, especially when dealing with discerning individuals.

But, some terms like 'Order awaiting fulfillment' can sound confusing. For those not familiar with the 3PL industry, this term might sound like your order is stuck somewhere.

So, what does it mean “Order awaiting fulfillment”? This blog will explain it in simple terms so you can understand and improve your order process.

What is Order Awaiting Fulfillment?

“Order Awaiting fulfillment” means a status that tells you your order has been received but hasn't been packed and sent out for delivery yet.

It's in the process of being prepared for delivery. As a result, when you see the "Order awaiting fulfillment" status, it means that your items are still on their way to you, and the seller is trying to get everything ready for shipment.

Awaiting fulfillment doesn’t mean your order is missing, it’s in progress

The order awaiting fulfillment could occur due to a variety of factors, such as waiting for items to be restocked, completing quality checks, or just being in line to be processed.

While awaiting fulfillment order status indicates that the order is in progress, it also means that the full fulfillment of the order, including shipping, has not yet taken place. Customers often check this status to track the progress of their order and estimate when it will be shipped to them.

👉 Read More: What Does Order Status Fulfillment Mean? 

👉 Read More: What is the Order Fulfillment Rate? How to Calculate it?

Awaiting Fulfillment, Pending Fulfillment and Shipping Fulfillment

Once your customers place an order on your online store, it goes through different steps, from being confirmed to getting fulfilled.

Aside from order awaiting fulfillment definition, the order will go through additional phases in the process, such as "pending fulfillment" and "shipment fulfillment".

If you're running an online store, you must understand the order fulfillment process and be familiar with industry terms to effectively communicate it to your customers.

The breakdown below will help you comprehend the additional terms which are often mistaken with “order awaiting fulfillment", allowing you to speak with consumers with confidence.

Awaiting fulfillment vs. pending fulfillment

Essentially, a "pending fulfillment" status means the order is in a queue, waiting to be processed, while "awaiting fulfillment" signals that the order is actively being prepared for picking and packing before shipping.

An example of pending fulfillment

However, some companies may interchangeably use "pending fulfillment" and "awaiting fulfillment".

Similar to the "awaiting fulfillment" status, when an order is in the "pending fulfillment" stage, the company has received and accepted the order for fulfillment. However, the picking and packing process is still pending.

At this point, a team member is either on their way to collect the item from its designated location, or the item is about to be picked.

Sometimes you may also see tracking info saying "on hold", which means some information is missing. Once necessary details are provided, the order processing will resume.

Awaiting fulfillment vs. awaiting shipment

Both have the term “awaiting”, so what does awaiting shipment mean? how it differs from “awaiting fulfillment”

“Awaiting shipment” is a status in the order processing cycle, signaling that the order is prepared for dispatch but hasn't been given to the shipping carrier yet.

The order progresses from "awaiting fulfillment" to "awaiting shipment" once the packing and preparation are complete.

At this stage, the items are packed and ready for shipping, with the next step being the pickup of the shipment by the designated carrier for delivery to the customer. Retailers often notify customers when the order transitions to "awaiting shipment," providing details on the impending dispatch.

How Long Does Awaiting Fulfillment Take?

After buying something online, the message "awaiting fulfillment" might make customers anxious to get their stuff. Rest assured! This status typically takes from 48 to 72 hours.

The duration of the “awaiting time” status all depends on the companies

In fact, how long it takes to go from "awaiting fulfillment" to the next step can vary a lot. It mostly depends on the specific rules of the company you ordered from.

Besides, various factors affect the duration of "awaiting fulfillment", including the company's processing time, the availability of the ordered items, and any extra steps like quality checks or restocking.

Not to mention, not all products are available in a company and may need to be purchased outside. In such cases, the timeframe will be completely provided by the supplier. The seller can only estimate how long it will take to send the order.

👉 Read More: Fulfillment Center vs. Warehouse: Definition and Comparision

In general, companies aim to fulfill orders as quickly as possible to provide a positive customer experience. To get an estimate of how long it might take, customers can check the company's website for information on processing times or contact customer service for more details.

But keep in mind that busy times or holidays might affect the processing time.

A fun fact: Smaller businesses usually handle orders faster than bigger ones. They have quick teams and fewer tasks to deal with.

Why an Order Might Be in the Awaiting Fulfillment Stage?

Although "awaiting fulfillment" is usually a quick step in the order process, there are still various reasons making an order might be stuck in this stage for longer than expected.

Here are some potential reasons:

Trouble locating inventory

If an order is taking longer than expected, it could be because it's tricky to locate the items ordered. This usually happens when the warehouse is messy and ineffectively organized.

Besides confusion in communication also leads to the inability to locate the right items. That's why the order might be stuck in the "awaiting fulfillment" phase, more seriously the picker may get the wrong items.

To avoid these delays, your company needs to plan how you arrange the items in storage and where they fit into the whole supply chain. When figuring out this plan, consider putting heavy or big items on lower shelves and making high-volume inventory easy to pick.

Trouble locating inventory and ineffective management lead to long awaiting fulfillment status

Ineffective inventory management

This issue often happens to growing brands. When businesses are growing, they might struggle with keeping products in stock, facing delays, and dealing with inefficient storage. This can make orders take longer in the "awaiting fulfillment" stage than planned.

For growing businesses, it's important to set up systems that can handle more orders and tasks. In such cases, teaming up with a third-party logistics (3PL) expert, who has solutions for order fulfillment and integrated inventory management, could prove advantageous.

3 Ways to Make “Awaiting Fulfillment” Faster and Enhance Your Fulfillment Process

As per the findings of the "Last-Mile Delivery: Customer Perception Report 2022," 76% of survey respondents indicated that a negative delivery experience would give them pause before placing another order. This figure rises to over 81% for millennials and even higher, reaching 86%, for Generation Z.

In today's competitive e-commerce landscape, meeting high customer expectations is a must. Giants like Amazon set high standards such as same-day shipping, making the race in the fulfillment industry more fierce. If your brand doesn't deliver a great experience, you will be left behind.

To succeed, growing businesses must continuously enhance their efficiency. Here are three ways to make your order fulfillment process better for customers.

Manage returns better

Although returns are often seen as a cost, they present an opportunity to gather feedback and create an outstanding customer experience.

Enhance the returns process to make it more efficient and customer-friendly

Returns can be categorized into 2 types: controllable and uncontrollable.

  • Controllable returns come from issues like unclear communication or packaging problems, and you can manage them carefully.
  • Uncontrollable returns, however, depend on what customers plan to do and are not in the brand's control.

If you are looking to improve controllable returns, try these steps:

  • Talk to employees handling returns to find and fix problems, like refining how things are packed.
  • Listen to what customers say about returned products to understand why they're returning them and make changes if needed.
  • Clearly explain the returns policy on your website so customers know what to expect.

Implement automated order processing

Scaling your business? Consider employing automated order processing if you are expanding your company but are unclear on how to manage extra work. It means using technology to process orders faster without manual effort.

Automate order processing offers a lot of benefits

Using technology helps reduce the chance of mistakes, make things run smoother, boost productivity, get greater visibility, save labor time and expenses, and improve the entire customer experience.

According to Gartner, a management consulting company, robotic process automation has the potential to save finance teams up to 25,000 hours of redoing work caused by human error.

And here's the thing: it's not just big online stores doing this anymore. Smaller businesses are also realizing the benefits and teaming up with third-party logistics companies that offer automated order systems.

Forecast customers’ demand

To give your customers a smoother experience and cut down on delays like "awaiting fulfillment", you need better control over how you plan your inventory.

A crucial part of effectively managing inventory is forecasting. By engaging in forecasting, you gain valuable insights and data that allow for a deeper understanding of the impact of promotions on stock levels, the movement of different product types (SKUs), and the timing of inventory restocking, among other factors.

Forecast customer demand to plan inventory more effectively

Having this information helps you make smarter decisions, improve your inventory, and, most importantly, offer a seamless experience to your customers.

Good forecasting not only speeds up the time customers spend waiting for fulfillment but also makes your overall operations work better.

EFEX: Transforming Your Order Fulfillment for Peak Performance

Overwhelmed with numerous tasks that hinder quick order fulfillment, resulting in a daunting backlog of 'awaiting fulfillment' orders? Look no further – it's time to team up with an experienced third-party logistics provider like EFEX.

You can expedite the fulfillment process and surpass customer expectations with EFEX at your service. From tracking and prioritizing to fulfilling e-commerce orders, we've got every aspect covered. Your job is just to sell more and more.

EFEX Order Fulfillment Warehouses

Our fulfillment solutions are committed to revolutionizing the way you handle orders, ensuring seamless processes and heightened customer satisfaction.

Discover the EFEX advantage:

  • Spacious Warehousing: Benefit from ample warehouse space spanning up to 15,000 square meters, equipped with modern facilities and advanced management software.
  • Global Delivery Network: Deliver orders to customers worldwide promptly and within budget. Enjoy transit times typically ranging from 1-5 days, contingent on the origin and destination.
  • Expedited Order Preparation: Accelerate the process of preparing online orders for shipping by leveraging pre-arranged pickups, and streamlining your logistics for enhanced efficiency.
  • Comprehensive Auditing: Continuously examine and audit e-commerce order fulfillment operations meticulously, ensuring top-tier efficiency from top to bottom.

EFEX goes beyond just logistics – we offer a comprehensive suite of services designed to elevate your business. Your primary focus? Simply boost your sales – we'll take care of the rest.

Final Thoughts

Failure to speed shipment is hurting businesses' earnings, with a significant 56% of abandoned carts attributed to delivery-related concerns.

It comes as no surprise that the speed of delivery has become the decisive factor in over one-quarter of abandoned carts, ranking second only to pricing among customers intending to make a purchase.

Businesses must prioritize the optimization of their order fulfillment process, starting from addressing issues as small as the "order awaiting fulfillment" status to enhancing communication effectiveness with customers.

Lucky for you! EFEX can help you take care of the smallest things. Don't hesitate to contact us today!

Ngoc LeeNgoc Lee is an Content Creator Manager at EFEX. She wields her long-term expertise in Logistics and Supply Chain, harnessing her top-notch writing and research skills to bring incredibly valuable content. Whether you're a small startup or a well-established enterprise, Ngoc Lee is here to equip you with the essential knowledge of e-commerce, fulfillment, and all things business-related.