There are over 35 million people in Canada and in 2014, 56% of them made online purchases. E-commerce orders within that country are expected to reach 34 billion dollars by 2016. Are you doing anything to get your products in front of this growing market? Whether you are currently serving this huge market, hoping to expand your Canadian presence, or looking to start shipping orders to Canada, Fulfillment.com (“FDC”) can help. If you have been thinking about expanding into the Canadian market, read on to learn everything that you need to know about shipping Canadian E-commerce orders and fulfillment services in Canada.
Just Starting Out
Let’s start with the basics of what you need in order to begin shipping in Canada and the types of products you can and can’t ship within that country. Anyone shipping natural health products, or NHPs, which now also includes non-prescription and disinfectant drugs, must have a site licence, which is issued upon meeting certain requirements such as proper maintenance of distribution records; following good manufacturing practices; procedures for the proper handling of product recalls; and acceptable procedures for product storage and delivery. In this case, Fulfillment.com’s Canadian facility has its site licence and can prevent you from having to jump through all of those hoops if you are shipping that type of product.
Furthermore, every NHP is required to have a Natural Product Number (NPN) in order to be sold in Canada. These licenses are issued upon review of detailed information about a product, including: medicinal ingredients; dose; source; potency; non-medicinal ingredients; and recommended usage. The 8-digit NPN or Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) must also appear on the product label. Seeing this number on a product assures Canadian consumers that Health Canada has reviewed and approved the product. Depending on the health claim that a product makes and any overall risks, Health Canada may require additional evidence such as clinical trials or published studies to support product acceptance. By working with an established Canadian fulfillment house like FDC, you can greatly reduce your learning curve and time to get your products to market in Canada.
Once a product is approved, Health Canada has additional requirements for labeling to further help consumers make informed choices about the products they voluntarily ingest. Required information includes: product name; product licence number; quantity of product in the bottle; complete list of medicinal and non-medicinal ingredients; recommended use (including health claim or purpose, method of administration and dosage); any warnings, contra-indications, cautionary statements, and possible adverse reactions associated with the product; and any special storage conditions (refrigeration required, keep away from heat, etc.).
The reason for all of these regulations and requirements is to ensure a clear channel from product manufacture to consumer receipt of the product. In the event that a product is recalled for any reason, there needs to be supply chain transparency in order to best notify those consumers who would be affected. So, you can see why partnering with a reputable company like Fulfillment.com would benefit your business if you are just starting out with shipments in Canada. Looking to expand your product selection? FDC has site licenses from many of the top health and beauty manufacturers to assist with your product needs. Our Mississauga distribution center is Health Canada registered and ready to serve you NOW. Finally, we stay abreast of industry trends and can recommend the hottest products to increase your offerings, sales, and profits!
Speaking of profits, the number one complaints we hear from foreign Internet retailers exporting to Canada are orders refused by customers because they unexpectedly arrive with customs or duty taxes due. Shipping to a Canadian consumer from within Canada’s borders is much simpler than importing or exporting orders, where you get into Value-Added Taxes (VAT), customs, duty taxes, and other fees that can eat into your profits. In general, it is easier and more cost-effective to ship within Canada’s borders from a facility also located in Canada, such as FDC’s Ontario distribution center . We also have relationships with customs and regulatory compliance consultants that we can recommend if you have specific questions about any of the above as well as importing/exporting your product to/from Canada. Make sure you are well versed in understanding these issues, or have a consultant on hand to help you know the concrete cost details in black and white to avoid incurring any surprise fees. The information is easily accessible and can help you from making costly mistakes and having your product seized and shipments held up.
From electronics to apparel to jewelry, and anything in between, FDC can pick, pack, and ship your product orders from our state-of-the-art, climate-controlled distribution center. Our system integrates with over 40 of the top E-commerce CRMs and allows FDC clients real-time online access to their inventory, shipment history, and a wealth of reporting tools. All fees are detailed , with no blanket charges that you are just expected to pay without clarification. Automating your fulfillment to this level allows E-commerce providers to focus more effort on marketing and selling their products, thus increasing sales and growing their business. It’s working smarter, not harder.
Currently Shipping in Canada
If you are currently using fulfillment services in Canada but are looking for better rates and improved customer service, consider switching to Fulfillment.com. We have negotiated rates with carriers that are based on our total shipments worldwide, so our volume discounts are certain to save you money on your shipping costs. We also provide an online tracking engine for you and your customers. If the carrier service you choose for shipments supports tracking, then our tracking tool automatically provides the information for tracking a shipment in real time.
Another benefit to choosing FDC is that each of our clients is assigned a dedicated Account Executive, so they have one point of contact who knows the ins and outs of their business. No more waiting on hold while someone unfamiliar with your company checks the account notes in order to assist you. When you come on-board with FDC, your Account Executive will schedule a call to go over all of our system’s functions and show you the ropes on navigating our user-friendly real-time online dashboard. Imagine if all of the services you use on a daily basis could provide such excellent support!
We can also help if you are looking to increase order shipments in Canada as our system is built to scale and has numerous functions to accommodate order growth, whether gradual or dramatic. Regardless of how you sell your product (Amazon, EBay, your own website, affiliate marketers, etc.), FDC provides the complete back end for your business, shipping orders within 24 hours of receipt, offering discounted shipping rates, and, perhaps most importantly, providing you real-time online access to your customer data, unlike other fulfillment service providers. After all, it is far less expensive to sell to your existing customer base than it is to find new customers. FDC is unsurpassed in providing the level of service you need to delight and retain your current customers. Our people and technology work together to create a seamless experience for your order shipments as soon as they are received in-house. Our added protocol of weigh stations provide one more step in auditing postage pricing by weight and dimensions to be sure our clients really do pay the best rates for their shipments.
In the event your product is returned, each shipment from an FDC facility has a return address to the facility from which it was shipped. We have in-house returns experts who will review the returned product to ensure it is unopened, undamaged, and reusable in your inventory. Once an item is added back into your inventory, you can view it in real time just like any other inventory item or data related to your account. If you want us to store unusable returned product and ship it back to you once we reach a certain amount, we also provide that service. Additionally, if you wish for us to recycle or properly dispose of damaged or unusable product, we can do that as well.
FDC is continually updating its systems to stay on top of the latest technology trends and advancement, so our clients benefit from our tech-savvy development team’s updates while avoiding sinking their own capital into costly technology maintenance and oversight. Our firewalls and additional security measures further insure your data is safe as well as your customer’s information. Our order grouping and address validation tools also help save our clients time and money by automatically grouping multiple shipments to the same address into one order, thus reducing extra packaging and postage fees, and ensuring valid addresses prior to authorizing shipment to avoid re-ships, cancellations, and charge-backs. So much of doing business today is contingent on having the right tools, and at Fulfillment.com, we provide our clients with all the tools they need to successfully grow their business domestically and internationally.
Expand Your Canadian Business Now
Canadian e-commerce growth across industries includes a 43% increase at mass retailers; 28% in housewares and home furnishings; 24% in fashion; and 17% in consumer electronics. Could over 15 million online Canadian shoppers use your product? What are you waiting for? Fulfillment.com makes worldwide fulfillment easy.