Canada Post is hoping to spur more online shopping among Canadians with the introduction of its new FlexDelivery service, the postal organization announced on Wednesday.

FlexDelivery will allow customers to have the packages from online purchases shipped to them at one of 6,000 post offices across the country. This way, a package won’t be delivered to a home when no one’s there to receive it – a problem that Canada Post says happens to one in three households.

The service is free to sign up for and it’s explained by Canada Post in this video:

Canada Post says that providing this service will help bolster Canada’s e-commerce activity because its research shows that half of Canadians that frequently shop online would buy online more often – and buy more expensive items – if they had an option to deliver the package to a convenient pick-up location. Customers can use several post office locations and have a package sent to the one most convenient for them at the time.

Canada Post isn’t the first to try and solve the problem of missed connections on package deliveries from online retailers. Waterloo, Ont.-based BufferBox started a business that rented out lockers in public locations, such as transit hubs, and then emailed recipients with a special code to use to retrieve the package from that location. Google thought it was a good enough idea to acquire BufferBox for an undisclosed sum in November 2012.

Canadian retailers might want to seize on Canada Post’s cue and educate their shoppers about the new shipping options. After all, those shopping for a birthday present for a loved one may want to know they have the option of not having the surprise spoiled when the package shows up on your doorstep.

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