Mailchimp & Shopify Split: What You Need to Know & Your Next Steps

Shopify and MailChimp: Most business doing online marketing have heard of these two goliath e-commerce operations.  As a matter of fact, it’s safe to say a large majority have used at least one or even both of the two platforms at some point. Practically on the heels of the Jeff Bezos’ divorce comes another divorce of two eCommerce giants that impacts online store owners. Shopify – the largest e-commerce store Content Management System and Mailchimp one of the largest email service providers are parting ways. Each one says it is to better serve their customers, which is ironic since it leaves many shop owners scrambling to fill a big hole in their eCommerce strategy.

In a Nutshell

Most have heard of Shopify and Mailchimp and I’d say it’s safe to say a large majority have used the two platforms at some point. Almost right on the heels of the Jeff Bezos amazon divorce comes another divorce of two eCommerce giants that actually impacts store owners. Shopify – the largest ecommerce store CMS and Mailchimp one of the largest email service providers are parting ways. Each one says it is to better serve their customers, which is ironic since it leaves many shop owners scrambling to fill a big hole in their eCommerce strategy.

In a Nutshell

On Friday, March 22, 2019, both Shopify and MailChimp made their respective announcements about the demise of their integration.

According to Shopify, the split is due to MailChimp’s refusal to respect their Partner Program Agreement which requires app partners to share all important data back to the merchant using Shopify’s API to help them run their business.

They explained further in their online community last week:

“It’s critical for our merchants to have accurate, complete insight into their businesses and customers, and this isn’t possible when MailChimp locks in their data. Specifically, MailChimp refuses to synchronize customer information captured on merchants’ online stores and email opt-out preferences. As a result, our merchants, other apps, and partner ecosystem can’t reliably serve their customers or comply with privacy legislation.”

 We will never put our merchants’ trust on the line like that. The data captured on behalf of our merchants belongs to those merchants, it’s as simple as that. MailChimp was not willing to agree to these terms. That’s why MailChimp has been removed from the Shopify App Store.”

All the while Mailchimp tells a different story:

 “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. From our perspective, that’s not our data to share.”

Keep in mind, Shopify changed its privacy policies recently and this is what Shopify’s VP of Product said:

 “Shopify’s a platform and ecosystem that is open and operable,” said Satish Kanwar, VP of product at Shopify. “For us, it’s about valuing the integrity of our policy and our data. Preventing bad faith actors in the ecosystem. We don’t have any concerns when we have other partners that work with other ad partners. That’s a natural part of how commerce and the ecosystem works but it’s really about the intentions about how the information flows.”

Seems to us that Shopify changed its terms and Mailchimp was not going to go for them.

As marketers, we are all too familiar with the concept of cross-platform data integration.

Overcoming the challenges of trying to get applications to communicate is as much an art as it is a science. That is why custom integrations like the one being shut down between MailChimp and Shopify, are so helpful.

What this Means if you are a Shopify Store Owner or Manager

As I mentioned above, it appears Shopify data will stop synchronizing with Mailchimp on or about May 12, 20019.  Depending on the nature of your integration this could mean that no new users may be added for ongoing marketing and/or order updates. Take heed: Shopping cart abandonment and receipts may no longer be delivered!

And then what?  How will you communicate with your customers?  How will you retarget the customer that didn’t complete the checkout?  How will you automate your “Thank you for your purchase” or “Back in Stock” emails?

Steps to Take

If you aren’t sure if your store will be affected or if you need help migrating from Mailchimp to a new Email Service Provider and getting all of your data transitioned, as well as setting up your new automated email flows and templates, we can help. You can schedule a time for a no-cost review at this link https://calendly.com/danzanel or fill out the form below and we’ll reach out to you directly.

Randi Campbell

Randi Campbell is a Social Media Strategist who has been in Marketing for over ten years working with startups to large companies generating online visibility and leads. Randi believes that a powerful brand story opens up the mind to new opportunities and new choices. As a Social Media Strategist, she has developed strategies that have grown client’s social media communities, as well as, generated qualified leads that led to sales.