Shopify and Mailchimp breakup

Last week MailChimp threw the ecommerce world into a panic by announcing that they would no longer integrate with Shopify. The two companies were apparently unable to resolve a disagreement overcome to an agreement over a data privacy issue.

In a statement issued on March 22, the popular email marketing service wrote, “For months, we’ve been trying to work with Shopify on terms that would be fair and equitable for both of our businesses. Throughout these negotiations, we refused to agree to terms that jeopardize our users’ privacy and require us to hand over customer data acquired outside of Shopify.”  MailChimp users have until May 12 to figure out how to connect their Shopify stores through available third-party apps.

It’s going to be okay

After the initial shock, Shopify developers and MailChimp experts began assessing the available fixes. Arianne Foulks of the web design firm Aeolidia says, “The good news is that this isn’t as drastic as it sounds, and it shouldn’t be a huge amount of trouble for you to keep things running the way you want to.”

According to Foulks there’s no reason to stop using MailChimp if it’s working for you. Instead, you should install a Shopify app that will sync you MailChimp data. There are a few options to consider.

The most highly recommended third-party app

MailChimp has recommended three third-party apps: ShopSync, Zapier, and Automate.io. ShopSync is free and has all of the capabilities users were accustomed to when MailChimp synced with Shopify, while Zapier, which starts at $20/month, and Automate.io, which starts at $25/month, have more limited features. (Check out this handy chart from MailChimp to see the individual features of each one.)

Note that MailChimp recommends connecting a third-party app before disconnecting your Shopify store.

How to install ShopSync

If you’d like to use ShopSync it’s relatively easy to install. From the Shopify apps store search for ShopSync and add the app. Once ShopSync is installed you’ll need to connect it with your MailChimp account. Sign into MailChimp and follow the prompts to connect it to the correct list.

Foulks warns, though, that you’ll need to do some additional work once ShopSync is installed. “Keep in mind you may have to re-create automations and signup forms that used the Shopify integration. This can be a lot of work.” So set aside some time to get this done before the May deadline.

For advanced users

For those Shopify stores that rely on advanced email marketing features Foulks has a different recommendation: move on from MailChimp. “Segmented emails, follow up sequences, and other email marketing automation are powerful tools for ecommerce businesses. If these are an important part of your strategy, we recommend Klaviyo and now is a good time to switch since you will be re-creating all your automations due to the Mailchimp integration problem,” she says. Klaviyo is free up to 250 contacts. Pricing goes up from there (it’s $30/month for 1,000 contacts, $110/month for 5,000 contacts, and upward).

The bottom line

Foulks says this announcement should not prompt you to make a rash decision about your ecommerce or email marketing platform. Instead, take your time and be thoughtful about your business’ unique needs. “There is no reason to leave MailChimp only because the direct integration with Shopify will stop working,” she says. “But if you have been looking for a more ecommerce focused solution, now could be a good time to switch.”

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