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A Shopify Merchant’s Shipping Guide for Canada

Simplify and Automate Fulfilment with ShipStation

Returns, End of Day Forms, and Carrier Pickups

An order is not complete when you box up a shipment and slap a label on it. You still have to get the package to the carrier as you and its recipient wait for final delivery. Combine this with every other shipment you have going out to a customer and any returns you have to deal with and you have a separate shipping vertical to worry about altogether. This final step may be stressful, but properly dealing with delivery and returns is a great way to elevate your brand’s image with customers. Figuring out how to offer returns and hand packages to the carriers are the last things you need to know to get started with ShipStation. 

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Mastering Returns 

Returns are no one’s favorite part of shipping. As we mentioned in an earlier section, returns are expected by consumers and 90% of them expect them to be simple. Ecommerce is rapidly evolving. Gone are the days when you have to call someone to get assistance with an order—ironic, considering so much shopping and business is now done on phones. Since people can place orders online so easily, the same expectations are beginning to emerge for returns. And having a seamless strategy for printing return labels is a great way to cut down on processing time and find the most cost-effective ways for your customers to return their items. 

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How to Create Return Labels 

Creating a return label can be done in a few ways. You can create it yourself and email it to the customer. You can include a prepaid or a pay-on-use label with the outbound parcel. You can also have a customer send a return back by going to a carrier facility, creating the return label, and reimbursing them. Or, you can create allow the customers to create the return label themself. 

Types of Return Labels You Can Create in ShipStation

Pay-On-Use Return Labels

Pay-on-use return labels are return labels that you only pay for if you use them. These are generally only available through invoicing carriers such as FedEx or UPS. However, some USPS account types offer this, but it is rare and usually only reserved for really high-volume accounts—50,000 shipments or more a year. 

FedEx and UPS Return Labels

UPS return labels and FedEx return labels offer an advantage over USPS—pay-on-use returns. This allows merchants who deal with a high volume of returns to include the return label in the box with the outbound shipment.

Offering Returns

Return Policy

Ecommerce shopping has become so hassle-free that customers and retailers alike have become accustomed to not having to actually communicate with the other party. This has become so commonplace that it is extending to returns.

Creating a winning returns policy doesn’t have to break the bank, and again, customers will check a website’s return policy before placing an order. Generally, 14-day, 30-day, or 60-day return policies are what merchants offer. This return window increases some during the holiday season too. 

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Self-Service Returns

Self-service returns are a favorite among customers. Instead of having to deal with long wait times or waiting for you or someone on your team to generate and send them the label, you give them the option to create the return label without reaching out to you. Or, at most, they get email authorization containing a link to initiate the return. We found that 81% of customers prefer the option to print the label at home over going to a carrier facility to print one.

Free Returns vs Charging for Returns

Obviously, customers prefer free returns. However, it’s not always possible to offer. Unless items can be returned using something affordable like Canada Post Regular Parcel, free returns can affect profit margins, making it too expensive to offer. A key reason Amazon wins customers is their commitment to “The customer is right.” This is why many merchants don’t list their highest-cost or heaviest items on Amazon or similar marketplaces. So if you can’t offer returns for free, find a way you can offer returns affordably!

Flat-Rate Returns

Customers hate surprises. This is why offering easy-to-understand flat-rate returns may be the simplest option. Something like $5 returns that gets deducted from a refund can be a good compromise. But, the customer first needs to know they are getting a complete refund on the item cost.

Post Shipment Features

So, you’ve printed your shipping labels and your shipments are ready to go out. Now what? Shipping doesn’t end with the shipment being created. There are still documents that need to be printed, packages to drop off, and, worst of all, returns to deal with. 

End of Day Forms

End of Day forms are advised for Canadian carriers, but UPS, and FedEx don’t actually require them to charge for shipping the way other carriers do around the world. These allow you to hand over your day’s shipments to the carrier without the driver needing to scan your parcels in one by one. 

Schedule a Pickup

When you’re ready to have your packages shipped, you don’t have to drive them to a carrier facility. With ShipStation, you can request a carrier pickup. This schedules a provider to come to you to receive the parcels on the next business day. At this time, you can schedule a pickup in ShipStation for the following carriers:

  • DHL Express
  • FedEx


Shipping doesn’t have to be complicated. ShipStation’s main goal is to simplify and streamline your fulfilment process so you can focus on growing your business. As ecommerce expands and transforms, you need an adaptive shipping platform that can keep up with your growth. If you’re using Shopify, you’re good on the selling side. ShipStation just fills in your warehouse strategy. As you incorporate more elements into your tech stack and you expand beyond your current scale, ShipStation and Shopify can grow with you.

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