Ecommerce Efficiency: Canada Post Wants to End Parcel Deliveries to Empty Households

Canada Post has launched FlexDelivery, a service that allows customers to direct the items they order online to a post office near their workplace, their child’s caregiver, their cottage, or a travel destination.

Roughly one in three households has nobody at home when Canada Post attempts to deliver a parcel at the door, the postal service says, so FlexDelivery can mean no more missed deliveries.

It’s free for consumers to sign up for FlexDelivery.

They choose their preferred post office locations and receive their unique identification code and a FlexDelivery address to use for each location. When they’re shopping online, they enter one of their FlexDelivery addresses rather than their home address. When the item has arrived at their chosen post office, they’ll get an email telling them it’s ready for pickup.

“Consumers are demanding flexibility and convenience when it comes to delivery,” says René Desmarais, Senior Vice-President, Parcels, at Canada Post. “FlexDelivery meets that need by being the most convenient delivery experience available.”

Canada Post has more post offices than McDonald’s and Tim Horton’s, combined, have restaurants in Canada.

While 76 per cent of Canadian households are shopping online, 1.5 million did so for the first time only last year, according to Canada Post. But once they test the waters of online shopping, many Canadians dive right in: one in five first-time online shoppers in 2013 became frequent shoppers (11 times a year or more) in 2014.