Answers to common questions


What is Canal?

Canal is a brand channel. We bring the world’s best Retailers and products together and help them sell better through marketplaces, pop-ups, campaigns, and more. We combine curatorial expertise, built-for-brands technology, and a highly-curated network of brands to power a new layer of third party merchandising. 

For online Retailers, Canal is a simple way to boost customer LTV with higher AOV and retention rates. We make it easy to discover high-quality, vetted brands for 3rd party selling, and offer the tools and expertise to manage those partnerships. Offering more of the right products to your shoppers means larger, more frequent orders. 

For supplier brands, Canal offers access to new, risk-free distribution channels. Build your brand as a part of the Canal Discovery Network, and keep a greater percentage of MSRP than traditional wholesale relationships.

For creators with active shops, or those looking to create one, Canal is an easier way to stock your shop and monetize your audience. We offer higher commission rates than affiliate linking and give you access to your customer data post-sale.

How do Retailers use Canal?

Retailers use Canal to manage third-party product collections from start to finish. After applying to join, you’ll meet with a member of our Brand Partnerships team who will get to know your goals and walk you through a Success Plan. 

From here, you’ll work with curation experts to identify the right mix of brands and partners to hit your goals, target your customers, and reinforce your brand ethos. You can explore Canal’s Discover Catalog to find brands you’d like to partner with and send them proposals to begin working together. (You can also refer brands currently not on the Canal network and begin selling with them for free for 90days!). Using the Canal app, you can select which products and variants you’d like to sell and set proposed commission terms for the brand partner’s review.  

Once you’ve got your brand and product collection sorted, you’ll work with Canal’s Implementation experts to set your launch up for success. This includes optimizing visual merchandising across the site, setting up brand email, thinking through shipping logistics, customer support, and more.  

When your launch is live and customer orders start coming through, these orders will automatically flow directly to your partner’s sites, which will manage shipping and returns. 

How do Suppliers use Canal?

As a Supplier, it’s totally free to join Canal’s exclusive network of brands and get discovered by Retailers looking to sell new third-party products.  

Once you download the Canal app, you can list your products , set commission terms, and provide customer service and shipping preferences. The Curation team will review your brand for potential inclusion in our Discover Catalog. Once you’re accepted, Retailers will begin to send you proposals within the app, which you can accept once you mutually agree on terms.  

When a proposal is accepted, it’s smooth sailing. The products and PDPs (images, copy, pricing, and inventory levels) will feed into a Retailer's site directly via our integration tools. Retailers can build collections, upsells, and bundles with your products, and begin selling your goods directly to their customers.  

Retailer orders will appear in your Shopify queue and be tagged with ‘Canal’ for easy differentiation. You’ll fulfill and ship on behalf of your Retailer, and get paid out via Stripe on a weekly basis.  

More brand awareness and money in the bank – it’s that easy. 

How do creators use Canal?

Creators use Canal to bring together the personal brands they’ve built and the products they love so fans can shop their world. With Canal, you can sell your favorite things and monetize your taste with just a few clicks.  

With Canal’s Discover Catalog and curation experts, Creators can find new brands to partner with and send them proposals to begin selling together.  

For creators with existing marketplaces and partnerships, Canal provides easy access to new inventory, plus expert input to supercharge your business. For creators just starting to monetize their taste and recommendations, Canal offers an easy way to start working with brands, with much more lucrative terms than traditional affiliate networks. 

What does Canal do?

Canal is an app for channeling partnerships between brands who make products and brands who sell products. We are designed specifically for brands built on modern tech stacks and offer integration services for brands operating on other platforms. As a Retailer, our app allows you to discover new products on the Canal Network, invite new brands, and manage every partnership nuance from commissions to post-order payment reconciliation within the platform. 

In addition to our tech, Canal offers data-driven curation and implementation expertise for ideating and executing brand pairings, and setting up your launch for success from start to finish.

There is zero cost to start selling on Canal – we take a modest cut of the sales that our platform generates for you. Our success is your success. 

How is Canal different from competitor platforms?

Our network of products is truly high-quality. Unlike competitive offerings who feature thousands of brands, we feature hundreds of hand-selected products that reflect what today’s shoppers want to buy. We spend time vetting each and every brand to ensure quality and demand so that your team doesn’t have to. 
Canal is built to give you more control over how you sell your products. You’ll have full customization options including those allowing you to opt out of the discover network, choose between a number of shipping options for your customer, and set commission  rates down to the variant level. We are proud to offer brand-empowering control features you won’t find anywhere else in the ecommerce ecosystem.


How is this different from the dropshipping I'm used to?

Think of Canal as a conduit between online stores. No more clunky software to navigate — everything is managed in a clean and simple Shopify app that links your inventory with the retailer. Your PDPs (including images, pricing, variants, and inventory #s) flow directly from your store to your partner’s store, and appear as native products on their site.

How is it different than wholesale?

Put simply:
1.  You can earn more (70-80% commission per product)
2. You control distribution (you approve a proposal from every store who sells your goods)
3.  It’s more streamlined (your PDPs sync automatically to a store’s Shopify, orders flow through to your Shopify queue, and all inventory mirrors your Shopify in real-time)  
4.  You know your customer now and have the opportunity to build a relationship directly, beginning with fulfilling that first order

When a customer places an order from a Retailer, a supplier will receive the order in their normal Shopify or another back-end queue, tagged with “Canal.” Suppliers then ship products on behalf of each Retailer. Supplier inventory syncs live with each Retailer, so products will not get oversold. 

How does Canal impact my inventory tracking?

Inventory is mirrored from the supplier’s e-commerce backend in real-time and cannot be modified by the Retailer.


Are there fees for using Canal?

As a Retailer, we offer customized pricing based on your brand's needs and use case. This comes in the form of SaaS-based pricing or a hybrid SaaS and success-based pricing.

As a Supplier, we take a small transaction fee for every successful sale.

You decide with your partners how much commission you want to earn on the products you sell, then let the orders roll in.

How do payments work?

When a customer purchases a supplier’s item from the Retailer, the Retailer is then charged for the supplier’s cut. The supplier is then sent their cut of the MSRP from the Retailer.


How will my brand be represented on Partner sites?

The standard fields that make up the product page/PDP (e.g. images, description, price) are copied from your product page to the Retailer's when the Retailer chooses to add the product. From that point on, the Retailer has complete control over the product data except for price and inventory.

Does Canal integrate with non-Shopify brands?

Yes, we offer full API integration so we can operate on any retail back-end.

I’m interested in partnering with Canal. How do I get in touch?

We are always excited to meet new partners and would love to hear from you. Please email as us at partnerships@shopcanal.com and we will reach out if there is a fit.

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