Canada Post has struck a deal with online retailer Etsy to create seamless shipping for Etsy members in Canada without a trip to the post office.
Etsy is a global website for sellers of handmade goods, often small one-person operations or small businesses that rely on postal services to ship goods.
Canada Post has integrated its services with the Etsy online platform so sellers can print out mailing labels, weigh their shipping package and remit payment to the post office, without leaving their office.
It’s part of a move by the postal service to integrate its services with e-commerce platforms, building its profitable package shipping business by offering easier access for shippers of goods.
Canada Post has created similar integrated selling and shipping platforms for other e-commerce retailers, among them Miva Merchant, which supports 300,000 merchants who do business online, and 3dcart, with more than 16,000 online merchants.
The integrated networks allow the merchant to track their packages and take returns via post, with a tracking number they can send to shoppers once the package is shipped.
With the rise of e-commerce, Canada Post sees its future in handling packages, as revenues from letter mail decline.
The Etsy platform was tested with 3,000 Canadian sellers before being rolled out to every Canadian handicraft maker this week. Canada Post says it currently handles 95 per cent of shipments by Etsy sellers.
Eric Fixler, Etsy's director of shipping, said the sellers need nothing more than a printer to make their labels as the Etsy platform is integrated with the platform at Canada Post.
"Most of our members would prefer to spend their time doing their craft, rather than handling the shipping," Fixler said. "We make it easy for the seller."
The company was able to negotiate a discount on postage with Canada Post, he said.