Why Shopify Invested $100m in Klaviyo + Full Klaviyo Review


By September 9 2023

The eCommerce giant, Shopify is taking its partnership with Klaviyo to the next level with a $100 million investment in the email marketing startup.

Klaviyo is also set to become a recommended email solution for Shopify Plus merchants.

Here’s how Klaviyo CEO Andrew Bialecki described the deal:

“The big analogy was like, ‘We’re dating, and how do we make this a little more formal? - this is a culmination of all that.”

While Shopify has cut back in some areas, the Klaviyo announcement shows the platform is still investing big and looking to scale its offerings.

The announcement follows the news of the Shopify Layoffs this year. You can read all about the layoffs and what it means for eCommerce store owners in our blog post.

So why is Shopify teaming up with Klaviyo now, and what does it mean for eCommerce store owners?

That’s what we’re going to reveal in this post.

We’ll also take a deep dive into the Klaviyo platform with an in-depth review. You’ll get a closer look at the best features so you can decide if it’s the right platform for you.

Let’s dive in.



Why Is Shopify Investing in Klaviyo?

To answer this question, we need to look at the big picture. The way eCommerce brands market their products and acquire new customers is changing.

In 2021, Apple’s iOS 14 update hugely impacted Facebook Ads and direct-to-consumer advertising.

Tracking and targeting specific consumer segments in-app and across social media became much harder. Facebook blamed Apple’s privacy changes for a predicted $10 billion loss of ad revenue in 2022.

So what does this have to do with Klaviyo?

Well, Klaviyo is a email marketing platform that aims to help brands transition to a more personalized marketing model that doesn’t rely on third-party tracking.

Here’s how Klaviyo CEO Andrew Bialecki describes Klaviyo’s mission:

“Retail is shifting from a transactional model where you sort of treat every customer like you have no idea who they are — you treat them all the same — to a world where every customer gets treated differently based on their browsing behavior, their purchase behaviors, their interactions with customer support when they make returns. That’s what we’re powering.”

So Klaviyo sees itself as much more than an email marketing tool. And so does Shopify.

With 86% of the U.S. general population saying data privacy is a growing concern for them, platforms like Klaviyo will be key for eCommerce.

So should you be looking to add Klaviyo to your marketing stack?

Let’s find out in our in-depth review.

Klaviyo Review 2022

Klaviyo

We’ve looked at the reason behind Shopify’s investment, so now let’s take a close look at the Klaviyo platform and what it has to offer.

Every tool has its advantages and disadvantages, and Klaviyo is no different. It’s got some great features, but it’s lacking in some aspects.

If you want a quick overview, you’ll find the key ratings and the pros and cons of Klaviyo below:


  • Features: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Flexibility: 9/10
  • Support: 6/10
  • Pricing: 7/10

Klaviyo Pros and Cons

  • Great selection of email templates that you can customize in the drag-and-drop builder.
  • Advanced segmentation to help you strengthen relationships with your customers.
  • Integrates with almost every platform so you can run multi-channel marketing campaigns.
  • Marketing automation to capture more sales from abandoned carts, create a welcome series, and more.
  • Visual email workflows that make it easy to build sales funnels.
  • Use customer data to create personalized product recommendations.
  • Some dashboard and analytics features have a steep learning curve that many beginners will struggle with.
  • Pricing is staggered depending on the size of your email list but is typically more expensive than rival platforms.
  • Lack of customer support options and slow response times.

Features Score: 9/10

Klaviyo has some really useful features to help you get started with dropshipping and generate more sales. This is where the platform outperforms competing email marketing tools.

Let’s take a look at the standout features.

  • Email and SMS Marketing

    Creating attractive emails is straightforward and easy with Klaviyo. We’ll show you exactly how later on in the review.

    When you set up your account, Klaviyo uses your website URL to adjust its pre-built templates to match your existing branding automatically.

    And there’s an extensive selection of templates to choose from:

    Once you’ve found a template you like, you can use the drag-and-drop builder to customize it until you are happy with the design.

    Klaviyo also has great A/B testing tools to help you discover what resonates with your audience and make data-driven decisions about your email marketing campaigns.

    Unlike some competing platforms, Klaviyo also comes with SMS marketing capabilities. You can segment your customer list and create personalized SMS marketing messaging.

    Klaviyo helps you to manage audience consent, so you only send SMS and email messages to the customers that have opted-in.

  • Marketing Automation

    Automation tools can help you achieve more and meet your revenue goals faster. There are a bunch of ways you can automate your dropshipping business, including marketing automation.

    Klaviyo’s marketing automation tools are one of its strongest features.

    After adding a snippet of code to your website to set up onsite tracking, you’ll be able to track your visitors and launch campaigns based on user interactions.

    The workflow builder makes it easy to set up triggers and automated actions. For example, you can quickly build and customize an abandoned cart email sequence using the workflow template.

    It’s easy to scale your workflows to account for the multiple customer journeys at your eCommerce store. You can build different branches based on user actions onsite and in response to messaging.

    From repeat purchase emails to abandoned carts, you can use Klaviyo’s marketing automation tools to generate sales and grow your eCommerce store.

    Want to learn more about how to reduce abandoned carts? You can learn the best practices here in our guide on abandoned cart emails.

  • Personalization

    Personalization is one of the biggest trends in marketing.

    According to SmarterHQ, 72% of consumers will only engage with marketing messages that are personalized to their interests.

    Klaviyo helps you create the personalized messaging and recommendations today’s online shoppers want.

    You can use the intuitive form builder to gather more information on your customers for segmentation and personalization.

    Klaviyo also pulls user interaction data from your website to help craft personalized messaging for each customer. You can segment audiences based on purchase history, engagement, demographics, and other data points.

    Automation capabilities allow for personalized offers and rewards, such as onsite popup promotions, birthday discounts, and coupons.

    Klaviyo’s segmentation and automation tools are an area where the marketing platform excels and sets it apart from most email marketing providers.

  • Reporting

    The last standout feature is the reporting and analytics tools.

    You can use Klaviyo’s pre-built dashboards to gain insights into campaign performance, audience segments, and revenue generated by your messaging.

    But you can also create custom reports to narrow in on specific aspects of your eCommerce store and marketing campaigns.

    Klaviyo’s reporting features are set up to help you get the information you need to generate more sales. It can take a little bit of time to get used to the dashboards.

    But there’s heaps of valuable information that Klaviyo collects and shares with you, including insights into your best-performing products.

    As a bonus, there’s even a predictive analytics tool that helps you to predict the risk of customer churn, customer lifetime value, and the optimal times to send out promotional messages.

    Are you looking for new dropshipping products? We’ve got you covered. Check out our list of the 50 most lucrative dropshipping products for 2022.

Ease of Use Score: 8/10

Any new tool you add to your marketing stack must be relatively easy to use.

If you have to spend days learning how to use a platform, you’re probably better off using something more straightforward.

So, how easy is it to get started with Klaviyo?

Well, the sign-up and campaign setup process are super-easy. But it can be a bit tricky if you want to create custom reports and analytics.

Let’s take a look at the sign-up and campaign launch process.

From the moment you click the “Sign up” button, the setup wizard guides you through the process.

First, you’ll need to provide details about your business:

Klaviyo also requests your eCommerce store URL. The platform uses this to customize and recommend email templates later during the campaign setup process.

Next, you’ll be asked to choose a top business goal you want to achieve with the platform:

Klaviyo uses your answers to make suggestions to improve performance when you launch a campaign.

Then, you’ll be sent a confirmation email and asked to verify your account.

Once you complete the confirmation, you can explore what the platform has to offer.

You can create your first campaign by clicking “Campaigns” in the left-hand menu and then “Create Campaign” on the next page.

You’ll be able to choose between an Email or SMS campaign.

Depending on your subscription, you may only be able to access Email campaigns as SMS is limited to plans with a higher monthly cost.

Next, you’ll need to provide some details about your campaign, including any audience segmentation.

After completing this step, you can start creating your first email.

You can choose between the drag and drop builder, text only, or HTML emails.

Then, select a template and start creating your email in the editor.

Not sure what to put in your email? You can learn the crucial components to include in our guide to email marketing.

Overall, you can complete the sign-up and start writing your first email in minutes. Klaviyo makes it super-easy to do the basics.

But it’s not always as intuitive and easy to use.

When it comes to the reporting and analytics features, you’ll find yourself switching between Klaviyo’s Help Center and the dashboard to get everything set up the way you want.

Still, ease of use is where Klaviyo does well compared to some rival platforms.

Flexibility Score: 9/10

Any new tool must work well with the existing tools and platforms that you use.

It’s why we developed SaleHoo Dropship. The tool makes it easy to add trending products to your Shopify store in a few clicks. You can find handpicked AliExpress products, add them to your store, and start selling in a couple of minutes.

That’s how your tech stack should work. Everything works together seamlessly.

You don’t want to invest in a tool that doesn’t integrate with the rest of your stack and waste your time and money.

With Klaviyo, you don’t need to worry about integrations. We’ve already discussed how the platform is becoming more connected to Shopify, but it also works well with all other major eCommerce platforms.

You’ll be able to connect your eCommerce store and start pulling real-time customer data to inform your campaigns.

Overall, the flexibility and integrations available with Klaviyo are some of the best in class.

Customer Support Score: 6/10

Customer support is an area where Klaviyo struggles.

This is a common complaint of many marketing platforms and tools, as anyone who has tried to contact Mailchimp, Wix, or other prominent vendors will be able to verify.

But it’s not as bad as some rival platforms.

There are a bunch of free live training webinars to help you get to grips with the platform. You’ll also find many guides and tutorials in the Help Center on everything from segmentation and automation to email templates and reporting.

There’s also a very active Community Forum if you get stuck with something. You can ask a question, and you’ll generally receive an answer from customer support or another user relatively quickly.

But this will be the primary way to seek support when you need help with the platform.

There is no customer support phone number you can call if you have any problems.

You can send an email or request chat support during Eastern Standard Time business hours, but this isn’t ideal if you have an issue you need to solve now.

Klaviyo’s reviews on Trustpilot are generally good, with an average rating of 3.8 out of 5. However, there is a sprinkling of bad reviews, which almost always complain about the lack of customer support.

It isn’t unusual for vendors like Klaviyo to struggle with customer support. But you would expect more support options as you climb through the pricing tiers.

Pricing Score: 7/10

We’ve covered all the standout features, ease of use, support, and more.

But for most eCommerce store owners, any decision on a new tool comes down to pricing.

So how much does Klaviyo cost?

Well, it’s difficult to give an exact cost as pricing depends on the number of contacts on your email list. The bigger you list, the higher the price.

A free tier allows up to 250 contacts and 500 emails sent per month. But that’s not enough for the vast majority of store owners.

You can use the calculator on Klaviyo’s pricing page to see how much it will cost you to use the tool.

The pricing tiers go up to enterprise-level custom plans for brands with 150,000+ subscribers.

You’ll also need to pay more for SMS marketing capabilities.

Overall, Klaviyo is competitively priced. It is slightly more than SendinBlue, MailerLite, and some other vendors.

But you get more advanced features that you won’t find elsewhere with similar tools.

And the pricing tiers are flexible, so you can easily upgrade your plan as you scale and grow your customer base.

Best Klaviyo Alternatives

MailChimp

If you’re looking for another email automation platform that has been around for years, Mailchimp is a good Klaviyo alternative to consider. It was created for businesses to use email to reach out to their target audiences. You can create custom email templates, manage mailing lists, nurture your audience with custom workflows, and automate entire marketing campaigns.

Customer.io

If you want to build sophisticated automated messaging campaigns, you’ll want to check out customer.io, a customer engagement platform that allows marketers to design email campaigns and custom workflows, create personalized messages to engage your customers, and access real-time behavior data.

Omnisend

Omnisend’s email and SMS marketing capabilities are what makes this software super popular. You can grow your business on autopilot by quickly building high converting emails and texts to engage and retain your customers. Features like no-code editing and pre-build automation workflows are what makes Omnisend easy to use.

ActiveCampaign

With 500+ pre-built automations, ActiveCampaign is also a popular alternative to Klaviyo. It combines the power of email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM to effectively segment and personalize your messaging whether you’re using email, chat, or text. It can seamlessly integrate with Shopify, Square, Facebook, Microsoft, SalesForce, and more.

Drip

Drip uses your eCommerce customer data to create personalized email campaigns that target customers based on what they’re clicking on, browsing, and buying in your store. Drip is more catered to eCommerce brands, making it a very popular alternative to Klaviyo.

Klaviyo Review: The Bottom Line

Klaviyo is one of the best email marketing platforms out there. It comes with lots of advanced features that are easy to use. With scalable pricing, it’s also built for growth.

And its ever closer relationship with Shopify means it will play a significant role in eCommerce in the future.

Shopify is investing big in Klaviyo while scaling back in other areas. That shows Shopify’s confidence in Klaviyo and what it can offer eCommerce brands.

You can sign up for Klaviyo for free and test out some of the features. The free plan offers amazing value if you’re starting out with less than 250 subscribers.

For larger stores, you pay a fair price for powerful marketing automation and personalization tools.

If you have questions about eCommerce marketing tools or how to get started with dropshipping, reach out to our live chat support team. We’ll be happy to help and answer your questions.

 

 

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