What Happens When You Click ‘Buy’ to Order Online

Ever wonder what happens after you make an online order to when your package shows up at your door? Whether it takes 5 days or 5 weeks for you to get your order, a lot goes on behind the scenes.


As soon as you complete your order, the order is sent to the vendor you purchased from and the item is subtracted from their inventory system. The ability for real-time view of inventory depends greatly on the complexity of the vendor’s inventory system. This is why you’re not always guaranteed your purchases until you actually complete the order; simply putting them in a virtual shopping cart is not enough.

The order is then added to a warehouse control software and a unique order ID is created. Your order, along with other orders, is sent to someone who collects the items from their physical locations.

Your item is then sent to a packing area and scanned against the invoice for quality control. Your item is packed along with any other items you ordered. The box is taped and placed on a conveyor system.

Next, your box ID is automatically scanned, weighed and dimensioned. A shipping label is applied and scanned to verify it is the correct one. Finally, your box is sorted to the proper carrier and shipped until at last – it arrives at your front door.

Phew! That is quite the journey.