Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Which platforms are best for ecommerce businesses in 2019?

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Which platforms are best for ecommerce businesses in 2019?, Aeolidia
Choosing an email marketing platform for your business can be hectic, to say the least. Shopify has its own systems, so do most CRMs (Customer Relationship Management), and there’s a plethora of different services like Klaviyo, Mailchimp, and more at your disposal.

There are lots of resources out there already that do things like feature comparisons and product reviews, but this week we want to dive in to the side of the discussion that we think is most relevant for our clients.

Our advice is always to go with the system that works best for YOUR business, not most businesses. With that said, we often find Klaviyo to be the more powerful tool for creative ecommerce stores, and there are a few reasons why…

Want to know about the email marketing set up services we offer? You can see that right here.

So, what is the difference between Klaviyo and other services like Mailchimp?

In a word, integrations. There are lots of powerful tools floating around the internet, but Klaviyo is built from the ground up to work well with Shopify. Further, it can still easily accomplish the same kinds of standard newsletter and broadcast (single-send emails) goals that all businesses tend to have.

Klaviyo makes it incredibly easy to populate custom data fields directly from your Shopify store. This is vital, especially since Mailchimp not longer integrates with Shopify. There aren’t any fancy APIs or add-ons you need to make this work; all of Klaviyo’s primary Shopify integration features come out of the box and ready to use once your store is connected.

Now, where do CRMs fit into this equation? First things first, some have better email functionality than others. But for ecommerce businesses, it’s often more heavy lifting to get your CRM to do what Klaviyo can.

Hubspot and others are great for triggering emails based off of things like lead stage and sales actions, but this isn’t often useful for businesses that aren’t service-based. From an ecommerce perspective, it’s a bit of an uphill battle making these systems work well.

What does Klaviyo actually do?

Lots of really awesome things, actually. Let’s break it up into a few different categories.


Most serious email services offer personalization at some level. Those are things like “Hey [insert subscriber name here]!”

What’s great about Klaviyo is that pretty much any data field you have in Shopify can be used in an email. Everything from name, to geographic information, to demographic and personal information can be used as a custom field in your subject lines, email copy, and more.

Event Triggers

This one is a big deal. Because Klaviyo integrates so well with Shopify, you can set automated email flows (or individual emails) to send based on what your customer has done on your site.

This makes it much more feasible to create “abandon sequences,” where your customer receives an email if they viewed a product but didn’t add to cart, or maybe if they added to cart but didn’t purchase.

Event triggers also work nicely for upsell and “replenishment” sequences. If a customer buys a product that tends to pair nicely with something else, you can send an email suggesting they buy the accompanying item in your store any time they purchase product x. If it’s a product that tends to need frequent reordering (things like bath & body products, for example, that might run out after awhile), you can set email sequences that remind them to buy again before they run out.

It’s also much more powerful for setting up emails that send customer thank you or offer messages on birthdays, purchase anniversaries, or any other event specific to each unique subscriber.

Key Takeaways

In short, Klaviyo is usually the best option for the types of businesses we work with at Aeolidia. We’re just not seeing any systems out there that integrate as seamlessly or offer the kinds of features that Klaviyo does.

While Klaviyo certainly makes it easier to accomplish these things, it doesn’t mean setting it all up isn’t sometimes a bit in-depth on the technical side of things. That’s why we offer a variety of email set up services to our clients that need some help getting their email marketing rolling.

You can read more about our Klaviyo services here.

If you want to know a bit about what we can do with Mailchimp (because it’s still a great option in the right situations), you can find all of that info here.