Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair. Canada is right next to the US, and yet, what’s status quo in terms of shopping and shipping in the US is not necessarily applicable up north. We want to just take you on a little time traveling journey from the gMachine (that’s what we would call it IF we had a time machine), to help our friends in Canada understand that we’re doing the very best we can to bring gDiapers to you, online and in stores.
When we first launched in the US (in 2005) it was a big deal. Just a handful of folks trying to revolutionize diapers in North America, starting in Portland, OR. Then the phone calls and emails began to trickle in from customers in Canada. “Ship to us, too, please! We’ll pay the shipping!” So we hmm’ed it over, talked with our third party warehouse in Ohio, and despite the complication of shipping over the border and the high shipping fees, we took a deep breath and went ahead with it. To us, it was worth it if even one household wanted to make the switch to gDiapers. You gotta start somewhere, right? We were then able to open up to actual retail distribution within Canada, bringing our product to the shelf in places like Whole Foods in Vancouver, BC.
So…that was good. It was requested and we did our best to deliver. Literally. Trouble was, it truly was complicated and expensive. It was hard to track orders from our warehouse to our customers in Canada, the shipping cost was through the roof (for us and for our customers), and the back end function was pretty clunky (kinda comes with the territory of being a small start up).
But. The endeavor to improve the circumstances for our friends in Canada continued. Finally, in 2011, we found a third party warehouse within Canada that we could work with to fulfill our customer’s orders. We opened up our own online shop specifically for our Canada customers (gDiapers.ca/shop) and even kicked off with a free shipping promotion for orders over $125. Because we’re now shipping to Canada customers from within Canada, the costs are less and the ship times are faster. Win and win.
We know it’s still not apples to apples. Zappos learned in March 2011 that online retail just can’t be conducted the exact same way between the two companies. They actually discontinued their Canada shipping option because it simply wasn’t sustainable, nor was it maintainable at the high-bar level of service that had earned them such an incredible reputation.
Our plan is to keep the diaper revolution rolling along. We will do all we can to keep that happening, but we too have to bear in mind sustainability, on the earth front and people front, because if we burn out either of those, well, then we don’t have a leg to stand on. We will continue to do our best to bring new products to our Canada shop, and continue to strengthen retail distribution within Canada. Promise.