On the Democratization of Canal

Liam Kinney
March 31, 2022
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At Canal, our mission is to help trusted brands sell more, their way. Since our founding, we’ve interpreted the term “trusted” as “trusted by us”, and released our category-defining technology only to the select few whom our team could vet personally. That changes today.

Starting with the recent launch of our public app, we’re reinterpreting “trusted” as “trusted by one another”. Anyone with a Shopify account can now use the Canal platform to manage their brand partnerships and share inventory with other brands in their network— on their own terms, with no upfront costs or monthly fees.

As most meaningful product advancements are, this change was motivated by our users. Our original interpretation of “trusted” drove us to assemble a network of the best direct-to-consumer brands in operation, including Fly By Jing, Brightland, Andie Swim, Fellow, Aeropress, Calm, and many more. In collaboration with these brands, the Canal team developed category-defining technology for managing brand partnerships.

That technology earned us a reputation, and that reputation garnered tremendous inbound from brands that wanted to upgrade their antiquated partnership management solutions (emailing CSVs of orders, subscription-based apps with high fees and undesirable partnership terms, etc). Some of these brands were not yet mature enough to merit access to Canal’s highly competitive network, but we didn’t want to leave them out in the cold. We’re technologists at heart, and great technology is meant to be shared.

Over the past year, we’ve seen partnerships do amazing things for brands in our network. With the right partner, some users have seen AOV boosted 15%, repeat purchase rate up 64%, and LTV raised over 50%. You read that right — a 50% lift to their most valuable customers.

We’ve overcome doubts that third-party products distract from a brand’s core products by demonstrating that the right partner products in your collections can actually increase first-party sales.

Successful partnerships take many forms, whether you’re adding brand partners’ products to an in-cart upsell, bundling them with your own to motivate a higher-AOV purchase, or dropping a limited-time seasonal marketplace. All these opportunities (and the many more on our website) are now available to any Shopify store. I can’t wait to see all the new ways to leverage partnerships that you, our new users, think up.

If you’re reading this and you run an e-commerce site, or you’ve always wanted to but haven’t had the inventory, the time has come. Reach out to those brands you respect, trust, and have always wanted to partner with. Tap your networks, Slack your communities, ping your mailing lists. Install Canal: Manage Partnerships today and send an invitation to your partners, new or old, to get started.

P.S. Even though we’ve democratized our core technology, Canal maintains an advanced suite of tools and an in-house team of e-commerce experts for our in-network brands. To be considered for our network, please request access here.

Liam Kinney
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