What is order fulfillment, and why DTC brands should know about it?

What is order fulfillment, and why DTC brands should know about it?

By Zoe Nguyen on June 21, 2023
Understanding the fulfillment process is vital for your e-commerce business. It helps you choose the right partner and ensures proper handling of your goods. This post highlights the basics of order fulfillment and its importance for your online venture.


If you are running an e-commerce business, it is important to understand the basics of the fulfillment process. 

Knowing a little bit about how the process works can help you choose the right partner to work with and help you know how to make sure your goods are being handled properly

In this post, we run through the basic aspects of order fulfillment and discuss why order fulfillment is so important for your e-commerce business.

What is involved in order fulfillment?


The initial stage of fulfillment involves obtaining inventory from your manufacturers or suppliers.

 Regardless of whether these products are received at your own facility or directly at a fulfillment center, the overall process remains similar. 

To begin, it is crucial to conduct a thorough count of each item upon its arrival to ensure that the quantity matches the number of items ordered from the supplier(s). 

Second, a meticulous inspection of the inventory is performed to identify any damaged goods. If you employ a warehouse management system (WMS), you can enhance your inventory management by assigning unique SKUs to each individual product, enabling efficient tracking of their location, quantities, and sales figures. 

Finally, if any SKUs lack barcoded labels, barcode labels need to be affixed for improved tracking and management purposes.


Now it's time to make sure that your products are properly organized and stored for a seamless fulfillment process. 

Don't let disorganization be the bottleneck in your business growth! With an efficient storage solution, you can maximize your space and make the most of your inventory. Whether you're leasing a warehouse, have a small storage room, or a large warehouse, setting up an accountable organization system is key. 

Utilize shelves, bins, boxes, or pallets to store products based on their SKUs, and you'll be able to easily locate items when it's time to fulfill orders. By taking the time to properly organize your inventory and inventory levels, you'll also be able to set up an efficient picking process that will save you valuable time and resources.

Order Processing - Pick and Pack

To begin the order fulfillment process, your dedicated warehouse personnel will retrieve newly received orders containing individual SKUs and pertinent order details. 

Navigating through shelves, they will gather the precise quantities of each item/SKU, preparing them for transportation to the designated packing station. This area could range from a simple kitchen counter to a specialized room or workstation within a larger warehouse.

At the packing station, top emphasis is placed on quality control. The team carefully examines each item, ensuring its alignment with the order specifications and guaranteeing the absence of any blemishes, dents, scratches, or other damage.

 It is imperative that every product leaving your warehouse attains a superior standard.This attention to detail will help to distinguish your operations from competitors in the industry.


As we approach time time to send out your products, it is important to decide which shipping method will work best to take your parcels on their final journey to the end customer

For companies with a limited product range, a straightforward delivery option from a single carrier, such as the U.S. Postal Service may prove sufficient. 

However, when dealing with diverse products that necessitate specific shipping requirements, particularly for international shipments, the process becomes more difficult..

Once the most suitable shipping method has been determined, it is time to proceed with the operational tasks at hand. 

The products undergo scanning and verification for accuracy, accompanied by the inclusion of packing slips and inserts. Careful attention is paid to securely seal the package.

However, you aren’t done there. Whether it is your own shipping department or your fulfillment provider’s team, somebody needs to update the order status. 

This allows both you and your customers to track the package’s progress and anticipate its timely arrival.


Returns are a pain, but they are part of the game. 

The ease of returning purchased items holds significant weight in the purchasing decision for online consumers. 

Efficient management of returns is indispensable for e-commerce businesses, as it directly impacts fulfillment operations and overall business prosperity. Therefore, its important to establish thorough and honest return policies that encompass both internal and external aspects. 

The external policy should be prominently featured on the company’s website, providing clear instructions to customers regarding the process and destination for returning items. 

The internal policy should outline procedures for handling returns upon their arrival at the warehouse, ensuring seamless coordination with your staff or chosen fulfillment provider.

How can my fulfillment process influence my business’s success?

Order fulfillment is a crucial aspect of e-commerce success. It involves the entire process from receiving an order to delivering the product to the customer's doorstep. By ensuring that every step in the process is streamlined, e-commerce entrepreneurs can benefit in several ways.

Aids in customer satisfaction

First, a smooth order fulfillment process helps ensure customer satisfaction. 

Customers expect their orders to arrive on time and in good condition. By implementing an efficient system, e-commerce sellers can fulfill orders quickly and accurately, increasing the likelihood that customers will return for future purchases.

Reduces costs

Second, a positive order fulfillment experience can lead to cost savings. 

An efficient system can help e-commerce sellers save money on shipping costs and inventory management, reducing overall costs and increasing profits.

Boosts brand reputation

Third, a poor order fulfillment experience can have a negative impact on a brand's reputation. 

Negative feedback from dissatisfied customers can harm a brand's image, reducing the likelihood of repeat business. On the other hand, a smooth and efficient process can help build trust and loyalty among customers, leading to positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Final thought

Logistics is complex, and not all fulfillment centers possess the same capabilities to handle both forwarding and return orders (also known as omni-channel fulfillment). 

It is crucial for DTC brands to find the right fulfillment center that can effectively manage the entire end-to-end order journey. Additionally, the individuals responsible for handling your fulfillment should prioritize and take ownership of your needs. 

In the digital world, the mindset of win-win is often overlooked, yet it holds great value.

At CBIP, we have implemented a standardized order fulfillment procedure that encompasses both forwarding and return orders. 

Our goal is to serve as a reliable partner and support system for DTC brands. With a strong focus on key performance indicators (KPIs), we prioritize timely order fulfillment. We understand the significance of these processes for your business, and we are committed to meeting your needs. 

To learn more about our services, please schedule a call with us by visiting the contact page on our website.

About Author

Zoe Nguyen

Zoe Nguyen is one of CBIP's Sales & Marketing Managers with a robust background in full-service logistics and e-commerce logistics across the Asia Pacific. In the logistics industry, she leverages her expertise to provide strategic guidance to E-commerce/DTC brands on optimizing their logistics for cost-efficiency and operational excellence. 


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No, we do not charge the higher fee associated with long-term storage. No matter how long the goods remain in our warehouse. They are charged the same rate for inventory storage.

Yes! We can store your inventory and replenish Amazon as necessary, helping you adhere to Amazon’s strict rules and regulations for packaging, labeling and shipping.

We charge for storage by either cubic meter, sqft or per pallet / racking space per week. It depends on the request from the customer as one-size doesn’t fit all. It would be better if you schedule a call with us

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