Naveen Gupta • 04 Jan 2024

Understanding Order Status: What Does 'Awaiting Fulfillment' Mean?

Ever wondered what 'Awaiting Fulfillment' or 'In Fulfillment' means when you shop online? Check out our easy guide.

Understanding Order Status: What Does 'Awaiting Fulfillment' Mean?


Have you ever clicked the 'confirm order' button and then found yourself eagerly tracking every update? Well, you are not alone, there are 274.70 million other online buyers in the United States as of 2023 which means more than 81% of the total population in the United States are online shoppers and more than two-thirds of customers say they are less likely to shop with a business if delivery is late by only two days.

The need to understand and control order management and processing is crucial as it plays a major role in customer retention and satisfaction.

When you place an order online, it goes through several stages before it reaches your doorstep which include:

Order Management Process Flow

Order Placement: This is the first step where you, as a customer, select products and complete the checkout process.

Payment Authorization: The retailer checks to ensure that your payment method is valid, and the necessary funds are available. This step is crucial for the order to proceed.

Order Processing: At this stage, the retailer is preparing your order. This involves confirming product availability, gathering items from a warehouse, and getting them ready for shipping.

Awaiting Fulfillment: Your order has been acknowledged and is in the queue to be processed but hasn't yet been dispatched. During this phase, the retailer is organizing the logistics of getting your order packaged and ready for shipment.

Shipping: Once your order is packed and ready, it's handed over to a courier for delivery. The status often changes to "Shipped" or "In Transit." Delivery: The final step is where the order reaches your address.

What does "Awaiting Fulfillment" and “In Fulfillment” mean?

Order Fullfillment Process

"Awaiting Fulfillment" is a status indicating that your order has been logged into the retailer's system but has not yet begun the physical processes of preparation and shipping. It sits between the initial order placement and the physical handling of products. This stage is often about inventory checks and logistical planning, ensuring that what you've ordered is available and ready to be processed.

While “In Fulfillment” means that your order is actively being processed. It's moved from the planning stage to action - items are being picked, packed, and prepared for shipping. "Awaiting Fulfillment" is about queuing and planning, "In Fulfillment" is the execution phase, where physical handling of your order occurs.

What does “Fulfilled” mean on an Order?

When an order reaches the "Fulfilled" status, it means that all the necessary steps - picking, packing, and labeling - have been completed. The order is either ready for customer pickup (if that's an option) or has been handed over to the shipping carrier. At this point, the responsibility for the order shifts from the seller to the shipping carrier. The retailer's role in the processing of the order is complete, and the focus now turns to delivery.

The final stage of order processing

  • Pre-Transit: Carrier has received information about the package but it has not yet been scanned and picked up.
  • In Transit: The package is now on the move. Depending on the shipping method and distance, this stage can vary in duration.
  • Delivery Attempts: If the delivery requires a signature or can't be left in a safe place, the carrier may make several attempts to deliver.
  • Delivery Confirmation: Once the package is successfully delivered, the order status may be updated to "Delivered," confirming its receipt by the customer.

Shipment and Fulfillment Statuses

Each of these statuses provides an idea of where your order is in the fulfillment process. They are essential for both customers and retailers to track progress, manage expectations, and ensure a seamless delivery experience. Here we have discussed a few common terms:

  • Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending: This status indicates that the shipping carrier has received information about your package, but it has not yet been officially scanned and entered into their system. It's in a transitional phase, waiting for the carrier to officially acknowledge its receipt and begin the shipping process.
  • Pending Remote Fulfillment: When you see this status, it means that your order is set to be fulfilled from a location that is not the primary warehouse. This could be a secondary warehouse, a distribution center, or even a third-party supplier. The order is awaiting dispatch from this remote location.
  • Processing Order: This signifies that your order is being actively handled. It's in the stages of being picked, packed, and prepared for shipment. This is an action phase where the order moves from being a mere entry in the database to a physical parcel ready for dispatch.
  • Open Order Status: An open order status means that your order has been acknowledged but is not yet completed or closed. It's still active in the system, possibly in the stages of processing or awaiting further action.
  • Order Processed: This indicates that the initial processing of your order is complete. The necessary steps, like payment verification and inventory checks, have been successfully conducted. It's a sign that your order is progressing smoothly through the fulfillment chain.

As we mentioned in the beginning two-thirds of customers say they are less likely to shop with a business if delivery is late by only two days thus navigating the complexities of delays and uncertainties in the fulfillment process is essential for retailers. These delays are often due to a range of factors, and understanding them can help in managing expectations and reducing frustration. Here are a few common reasons for delays in fulfillment:

  • Technical Issues: Problems with order processing systems, such as software glitches or errors in order information, can cause delays in order processing.
  • Poor Warehouse Management: One of the most common causes of delays is the lack of available stock. Products might be sold out or back ordered, leading to a wait for restocking.
  • High Demand Periods: During peak shopping seasons like holidays, the volume of orders can overwhelm the processing capabilities of retailers, leading to delays.
  • Customs and Import Delays: For international orders, customs clearance can add significant time to delivery, especially if there are issues with documentation or import regulations.
  • Logistical Challenges: Issues with shipping carriers, such as limited capacity, transportation delays, or routing problems, can slow the delivery process.
  • Weather and Environmental Factors: Severe weather conditions, natural disasters, or other environmental factors can disrupt transportation routes and delay shipments.

Why is it important to understand order statuses for customers?

Knowing the meaning of each status helps set realistic timelines for when an order will be processed, shipped, and delivered. Suppose you've ordered a birthday gift online, knowing that the status has changed to "Shipped" with a tracking number allows you to anticipate its arrival, ensuring you receive it in time for the occasion and also helps quickly identify when an order is delayed at a certain stage, allowing them to follow up with the retailer or shipping company.

Certain statuses indicate imminent delivery, helping customers prepare for the arrival of their order, especially if they need to be present to receive it, if the status indicates "Out for Delivery," you can make arrangements to be present to receive a package, particularly important for high-value items or those requiring a signature. These statuses also help in preventing fraud and addressing discrepancies, for instance, if the status is "Delivered" but you haven't received anything, it could indicate a delivery error or worse, theft, prompt action can be taken to investigate and resolve such issues. Also, a customer may have second thoughts or might have made an error while ordering, statuses play a crucial role in indicating that if the order is still in a phase where changes or cancellations are possible.

Addressing Common Queries

The shipment is currently awaiting the next available cycle"

The status "The shipment is currently awaiting the next available cycle" means that your package is waiting for its turn to be moved to the next stage of the delivery process. Think of it like waiting in line at a bus station for the next bus to arrive. Your package is essentially in a queue, waiting for the next available opportunity (like a transport vehicle or a processing slot) to continue its journey towards its final destination. This status often occurs in busy periods or when there's a high volume of shipments being processed.

What does "Pending Remote Fulfillment" mean?

This status indicates that the order is to be fulfilled from a location other than the primary warehouse. It could be in a queue waiting to be processed at a secondary distribution center or a partner facility. This often happens when items are not available at the nearest location and need to be sourced from elsewhere.

What does "In Fulfillment" mean in shipping?

"In Fulfillment" means that your order is actively being processed. This includes the stages of picking the items from the inventory, packing them for shipping, and getting them ready for dispatch. It's a signal that your order has moved from a planning stage to physical handling and is closer to being shipped.

"What is the meaning of 'Backordered'?"

When an item is back-ordered, it means it's currently out of stock but has been ordered from the supplier. Your order will be fulfilled as soon as the item becomes available.

"Why is my order 'Partially Shipped'?"

This status is used when an order contains multiple items, and some, but not all, have been shipped. The remaining items are usually shipped separately as they become available

Why is my order status 'Exception'?"

An 'Exception' status indicates an unexpected issue in the delivery process, such as a delay due to weather, customs hold-ups, or address problems.

"What does 'Delivered' mean if I haven't received my package?"

This status means the carrier has marked the package as delivered. If you haven’t received it, it’s important to check the delivery location, with neighbors, or contact the carrier for clarification.

Addressing Uncommon/Rare Statuses

Several order statuses are less common and might confuse customers, here are a few statuses you might find confusing:

  • Fraud Hold: This status means that the order has been temporarily stopped because the company's system flagged it for potential fraudulent activity. They will review the order more closely to ensure everything is legitimate.
  • Awaiting Vendor: This status is used when the store is waiting for products or information from their supplier or manufacturer before they can complete your order.
  • Transfer Order: This status can appear when an item needs to be transferred from one location to another within the company's network before it can be shipped to you.
  • Awaiting Compliance Verification: This status is relevant for items that need to meet certain legal or regulatory standards before they can be shipped, especially in international orders.
  • Pending Supplier Acceptance: This is used when an order has been placed but is waiting for confirmation or acceptance from a third-party supplier.
  • Consolidation in Progress: If you've made multiple orders that are being combined into one shipment, this status shows that the consolidation process is underway.
  • Customs Documentation Pending: For international orders, this status means that there's some paperwork or documentation needed for customs clearance that is still being processed.


Understanding order statuses has become more than just a convenience—it's a necessity. From the moment you click 'confirm order' to the time the package lands at your doorstep, each status update is a crucial piece of the delivery puzzle. Understanding these statuses not only enhances our shopping experience but also prepares us to efficiently handle any hiccups along the way. Remember, each status update is a step in the lifecycle of your order, reflecting the complex interplay of inventory management, logistics, and customer service. So, the next time you place an order, keep this guide in mind, track your order's progress with confidence, and enjoy the seamless experience of modern e-commerce. Happy shopping! 🌐🛒📦

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