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How Your 3PL Can Help You Get Shopify Traffic (Without Paid Ads)

Shopify and ecommerce in general can feel pretty darn competitive these days. Paid ads on Google used to give you a good bang for your buck. But today the same keywords that you spent $.20 per click on back in 2016 now are costing you as much as $2.00 per click.

Everyone is in on paid ads and it feels like all of the other avenues for marketing are quickly becoming saturated: YouTube, TikTok, and other social media are all packed shoulder-to-shoulder with high-budget Shopify operations. Are there any places left for you to reach that your competitors haven’t?

Have you ever thought of using your third-party logistics (3PL) partner as a channel?

It’s easy to compartmentalize the different parts of your business. CRMs are for sales, social media is for marketing, and 3PLs are for well…logistics.

But here’s the funny thing about marketing, anything can be used for it – even your 3PL.

Sounds strange? Here are a couple of ways you can work with your 3PL to market your Shopify business and bring customers to your store that may surprise you.

🤫 Psst, great shipping and fulfillment will help market your business too. Check out OTW Shipping if you want affordable, quality fulfillment in the US.

Put Branded Packaging Inserts in Your Packages

Promotions aren’t just for the internet. If your 3PL is game, ask if you can throw fliers, marketing materials, or swag in your packages.

These inserts can include:

  • Discount codes

  • Product catalogs

  • Pretty much anything you used to find in a mailer back in the day

Direct mail was a proven marketing method for years before the rise of email. Even now, it has a much higher response rate than most other forms of marketing. So, having a physical card or insert in your customer’s orders can work! Make your promo interesting and you might get more return customers. They may even share their discount codes with family or friends.

Here's an article on things to think of when making a mailer promo. You’ll want to make sure your insert is cost-effective with the highest chance of increasing new or returning business, so it may take some iterating to find what works best for you.

Partner With Your 3PL’s Clients

Chances are, if your 3PL is an ideal fit for your business, they may have clients who could make for good marketing partners for your business as well. They likely sell to similar audiences in similar locations with complimentary products. They might appreciate exposure to your customers in exchange for your exposure to theirs.

While there is no simple, systemized way to cross-promote between businesses, get on a call with your 3PL. Ask if they can put feelers out among their clients to see if anyone is willing to work with you.

Who knows? You may find opportunities for guest content, backlinks, or even cross-promotions on other storefronts. If you run a sunscreen brand and your 3PL also fulfills for a beach towel brand, you may be able to go as far as to cross-sell your products on each others' sites.

Here’s an article on how to cross-promote from the US Chamber of Commerce.

Make Joint Content With Your 3PL

Pretend you’re an office chair brand. Your B2B customers likely want to set up their workspaces quickly. They have workers who need somewhere to sit after all! They won’t bother with a brand that can’t fulfill a bulk order in time. Or one that sends damaged or incorrect items.

A hyper-niche piece titled “How We Ship Office Chairs Quicker” on your blog could help attract customers to your website. It would also build trust that orders for your brand will arrive on time and in good condition.

A video showing your delivery process could accomplish a similar goal. Ask your 3PL if they can film some footage of your orders being picked and packed in their warehouse. We’ve all seen stories and videos of warehouse workers or delivery drivers carelessly handling inventory. It’s great for customers to see some content of someone doing things right. This type of content also helps your customers feel more connected to your brand in a sea of repetitive ads.

As a plus, creating collaborative content means you’ve got two teams and business resources working towards the same project. Your 3PL can use that content as well which gets additional eyes on your brand who may not have otherwise seen it for free. It also secures a backlink for one party depending on which website you publish on.

Great Service Make People Talk About Your Business, 

Finally, this goes without saying. But if you consistently deliver:

  • The right items

  • On time

  • For a good price

  • Undamaged 

  • In nice packaging

... then you’re in the top 10 percent of businesses, and people will notice and talk. SEO platform, SEM Rush says word of mouth influences 90 percent of all purchases. It has an even greater role in big-ticket items like electronics. And in the age of social media, your product will be talked about one way or another, so make sure they have good things to say!

Even if everything about your product and service is perfect, your logistics provider makes up a massive part of your customers’ experiences. 

They are the final touchpoint before your customer gets their product. You can’t afford to skimp if you want to grow your store. You should think about your customer’s delivery experience as an investment, not a cost-center.

So if you’re a growing US-based business that wants to ship like the best, consider calling OTW Shipping.

OTW Shipping Acts as More Than a Warehouse

Most 3PLs treat client relationships like transactions. We designed our business to feel like in-house fulfillment for your business. We created OTW Shipping for growing ecommerce brands that crave the same service large brands receive every single day! And if you need some action shots or videos for your site, we have no problem getting you some content.

When you ship with OTW, you get:

  • 99.99% order accuracy

  • Transparent rates and custom quotes

  • 2-day ground shipping to 90% of the US

  • Access to a Slack-like channel where you can chat with any member of our team directly

  • State-of-the-art warehouse management software

  • Partnerships with some of the best ecommerce growth agencies in the business

  • And much more

Interested in a quote? Get your personalized rates now. We're happy to chat.


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