Behind-the-scenes innovation

A new solution by PayPal and Canada Post relieves a major pain point for small online retailers – leading to faster shipping for shoppers.


When it comes to small online retailers, innovations often occur behind the scenes. For instance, customers may not know exactly what has happened, only that for some unknowable reason the end-to-end shopping experience has just become more positive.


Case in point: the new shipping and payment solution from PayPal and Canada Post. It improves the way small businesses process payment and shipping information. Though an invisible innovation to the customer, for the small business it relieves a major pain point and can be leveraged to increase the speed and efficiency of its shipping and fulfillment operations – and ultimately deliver more satisfied customers.


Karen McClelland, Director of Small Business Marketing at Canada Post, summarizes the net effect: “Small businesses always need more of two things: time and money. This solution gives them both.”

So what’s the secret to creating a small business innovation that can make a big impact? McClelland tells us the story behind this new integrated shipping and payment solution.


Understanding the challenges

Small businesses have a lot of needs and pain points. They have to deal with rising operating costs, and must continually contend with how to find and keep customers. They’re constantly looking for operating efficiencies. They face complexities of all kinds and are competing with multiple players in the market vying for business from a common customer base. They are constantly searching for information and solutions to take trial and error out of doing business better and easier. They don’t always know what the best solution is, nor do they have time to research or test it.

Generally, small businesses attribute their biggest increase in success to technology and solutions that have immediate impact.


Knowing where you can make a difference

Most people don’t realize how important and complex shipping can be for an e-commerce business run by one, two or a few people. Shipping and order fulfillment is a pain point. These logistical areas are increasingly complex and small businesses know that delays can result in unhappy customers. It’s something that keeps them up at night.

Shipping is also one of their biggest monthly operating costs. The smaller the business, the greater percentage of costs is allocated to shipping.

So, we created an integrated shipping and payment solution, which saves them time and puts money back into their pockets.


Working with the right people

Basically, Canada Post and PayPal worked together and took something that was historically complex and time consuming and streamlined it into a simple integrated solution.

What it means is that businesses no longer have to flip from one environment to another and manually re-enter customer information, they can quickly access Canada Post shipping (find rates, print labels) directly from their PayPal account, and print a label in literally a few clicks. The process is now so much easier and faster – it makes a significant difference in their day-to-day operations.


Taking the time to get it right

When it comes to innovation, good intentions are not enough – you need flawless execution. And that is especially the case for technology.

We rigorously tested this solution end to end. While we wanted to launch it as soon as we possibly could, when we came across some issues that may have impacted the customer experience, we made the difficult decision to delay the launch and address the issues so that we could make sure it was the best possible customer experience.


Respecting the bottom line

With this integration, sellers can easily link their PayPal account with their Canada Post Solutions for Small Business™ account to be eligible for significant savings – up to 36% on domestic shipments and 47% on international shipments. That’s huge for small businesses. And if a seller on PayPal isn’t already a Solutions for Small Business member, then they can seamlessly sign up right within the PayPal environment so that they can take advantage of savings on shipping.

As a special launch offer, until July 31, 2017, eligible businesses can save an additional 15 per cent on Expedited Parcel™ when shipping within Canada.


Looking beyond

Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. There are over 1 million small businesses in Canada, representing 28% of the country’s GDP, employing 48% of its total labour force and accounting for 25% of all exports.

When you consider “casual sellers” or entrepreneurs who may have a full-time job but also have a small business on the side, the number of Canadian small businesses could be more than double this. So helping small businesses isn’t just good for us or an individual business – it’s good for the country.

To learn more about the new solution visit