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165. Shopify’s Investment into Klaviyo + Feature Updates

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165. Shopify’s Investment into Klaviyo + Feature Updates

You may have heard by now that Shopify invested $100 million dollars into the Klaviyo email marketing platform + that Klaviyo will be the official recommended email partner for Shopify Plus Customers.

I didn’t quite expect to dedicate ANOTHER episode to Klaviyo specifically so soon, but with so many of my clients and customers forwarding me the emails + reaching out asking questions, I figured you were probably wondering about it too. 

In addition to that announcement, there have been a few platform updates you’ve probably noticed in the last couple of weeks and they made even more in their Fall 2022 product update announcement. 

No doubt this is part of Klaviyo’s overall goal of entering the enterprise software space. If you remember it wasn’t that long ago Klaviyo announced the release of Klaviyo One, the enterprise version of their platform. I talked about all those changes on episode 141 if you want to take a listen. 

In addition to that announcement, there have been a few platform updates you’ve probably noticed in the last couple of weeks and they made even more in their Fall 2022 product update announcement. 

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How to Keep Up With the Klaviyo Changes

If you own the Klaviyo Badassery Course, which is my tech tour of Klaviyo, keep your eyes peeled for some course updates rolling out over the next couple of months. What’s in there now is still 100% relevant, what we’re seeing is enhancements to existing features, and don’t worry – I’m not going to let that course go stale. I have bought those types of courses before that you can tell haven’t been updated in years – that won’t be the case with this at all. 

I will say, if you haven’t snagged it yet, but want help navigating the platform I would grab it now while it’s still at its founding member pricing because I can’t guarantee it will stay that way – especially as it’s evolving so quickly and I am making so many updates. I’ll stick a link in the show notes. 

Shopify’s Investment in Klaviyo

Okay, so first let’s talk about the investment from Shopify. According to the press release and announcements from Klaviyo’s CEO, Andrew, this partnership, at its core, is really about bringing more data to the merchants that use Klaviyo. Especially with all the changes coming down the pipeline in terms of consumer privacy, etc. I also read that this partnership gives Klaviyo early access to updates on the Shopify side – which is great news for you as the merchant. 

And if you’ve been paying attention to what Shopify is doing, they’ve been making some other investments and acquisitions to in platforms like Deliverr. Ultimately, they’re on a mission to build what seems like the most epic eCommerce SaaS platform out there. 

And look, this is all conjecture. I have no inside track – but it makes sense. Essentially, Shopify + Klaviyo are both positioning themselves to serve the enterprise market, something neither of them has been all that well known for. And I expect them to continue to iterate on their platforms to serve this need. 

What Does Shopify’s Investment in Klaviyo Mean for Small Brands

And this should mean good things for even those non-enterprise level brands. As Klaviyo said when they first released Klaviyo One… they don’t intend on gating the features we’ve come to know and love that help us serve our customers. Klaviyo One is really about adding features that enterprise brands need to function. Let’s hope that continues to be true. 

As a side note. I was recently doing some of my own research on email marketing platforms for myself because as my business starts to take shape with both services and education, I’m really looking for a platform that can ingest all of the data across all of the different platforms I use and unify that customer data in one place. 

And at the end of the day, aside from a few specific features that I as a non-product-based business owner would like… Klaviyo is still hands-down the best at ingesting and segmenting that data. I haven’t 100% decided to switch to them for my business, but it’s pretty close. 

Klaviyo has always been pretty consistent when it comes to updating and improving its platform, something I consider very important for a SaaS product – there’s nothing worse than a stale product that doesn’t get developed to meet the changing needs of its users. With this new investment and this focus on Shopify, let’s hope that means even more updates at faster speeds. 

Interestingly, Shopify has laid off some employees and seen some revenue dips, but it looks to be more about correcting themselves after the COVID surge of online sales and making big investments to propel themselves forward. Kind of like a slingshot… you have to pull back to you can propel forward. And that’s a good business lesson for all of us. 

I think it was Wayfair who recently laid off a lot of people as well. When they were seeing insane growth during the pandemic, they hired to keep up with that demand and build a solid team that could sustain their growth… which didn’t continue in the same direction. Pretty much everyone on the planet already re-did their homes and now they're good. 

Okay, so what does this all mean for you? Well, if you’re already a Shopify and Klaviyo user – you’re in the right place. And if you’re not a Shopify user, don’t fret – Klaviyo’s CEO Andrew said we’ll hear about other platform partnerships soon. 

Recent Klaviyo Platform Updates

The New Klaviyo Email Builder

First, we’re gonna talk about a new feature they actually released earlier in the year – their new email builder. It’s been out for awhile and initially, I was very excited about it, but then you may have noticed I didn’t really talk about it much and there were two main reasons for that. 

It was buggy AF and a pain to use. I was in the middle of a client project when it was released and I was SOOO excited to use it. I created ENTIRE emails that were never saved and I would have to recreate them. You would move blocks and then when you go back into the email they’d be in the wrong spot. All sorts of weird stuff. And… because it was a COMPLETELY different builder, any previous templates you had or saved blocks you had were not compatible. 

Well good news, because all of that has changed! Not only did they fix all the bugs, but you can now convert your old templates to the new builder. 

Universal Blocks in Klaviyo

One of my favorite features of the new builder is universal blocks. One side note about this. I remember them talking about this feature at an in-person event BEFORE the pandemic and it’s only just been released. That should give you some insight into how long development can take sometimes. 

And this is a good thing to know and understand when you use SaaS platforms. You see, not only does development take time. Because you have to research it, develop it, test it, fix the bugs, yadda yadda… but a development roadmap can change and things can get moved around based on all the other things in the pipeline, so sometimes shit just takes a while. 

Klaviyo Universal Blocks vs. Saved Blocks

So let’s go back to these universal blocks. While previously you had saved blocks that you could drag into any email, now you have universal blocks which means when you edit them they will update in every single email that uses that same universal block. 

This could be great for things like headers and footers. Want to add or remove something from your header or footer – you only have to do it in one place. Pretty cool. I’m still working through exactly when I would and wouldn’t want to use a universal block. But I’ll be adding some content to the Klaviyo course about that along with some little things about the builder itself. 

Klaviyo’s Updated Product Recommendations

They’ve added more filters and conditions that you can use when creating dynamic product recommendations like price ranges, stock levels, and newness, and even include product someone has previously viewed or added to their cart. 

I love a good product recommendations block, especially when you feel like you’re out of email ideas. Come up with a good subject line, stick a product block in there and let Klaviyo’s algorithm do the work. Now you’ll have even more options to craft those recommendations which is really cool. 

Klaviyo’s Campaign Segment Reporting

Next up is their campaign performance reporting. This lets you see how different segments of your audience respond to your messaging. The downside or limitation of this feature is it only works if you include multiple segments in the send. For instance, if you send an email to your 90-day engaged segment, but those people are also part of other segments in your account, it’s not going to break out the results by those other segments. It will only show the 90 days segment. 

If on the other hand, you have 90-day engaged non-purchasers and 90-day engaged purchasers, and you include both segments in your email send – the audience breakdown report will appear and will show you how each of those two segments performed. 

I was more excited about this feature until I saw how it worked. If you want to see the overall engagement of your individual segments, you still have to navigate into the segment itself and run the engagement report. The data is there, it’s just not easy to see. 

It’s still a useful feature, but you have to be intentional about using it. And honestly, unless you’re testing something really specific or are an overall advanced in your email marketing – in most cases I would say, don’t bother. 

A/B Testing in Klaviyo Flows

This next feature is one I’m VERY excited about and that is an update to how Klaviyo runs A/B tests in flows. Previously, you had to run the test and then decide the winner for yourself. But that is no longer the case. Klaviyo can now determine the winner for you and you have some control over how that decision is made. One, you can choose to base the winner on open or click rate. And two, you can either have Klaviyo automatically choose the winner when the results reach statistical significance or you can set a specific date on when it needs to pick the winner. Pretty cool. 

Klaviyo SMS Update: 2-Way Messaging in the Uk & Australia

They also made a couple of SMS updates. One is the addition of virtual contact cards so you can show up as your brand in your subscribers SMS inbox and good news for those in Australia and the UK, they finally released two-way SMS messaging.   

Klaviyo Integration with Google Ads

Another REALLY exciting feature is the new integration with Google Ads. Just like you can sync your Klaviyo segments with Facebook, you can do the same with Google to build your audiences. This is a great way to manage your ad spend and  ensure you’re not wasting money on people who are already super engaged and likely to buy from an email, or to retarget customers who recently abandoned their cart, etc. Sharing your first-party data with the ad tools you use is a great way to create more effective and efficient ad campaigns. 

Klaviyo Navigation Update

And then lastly… let’s talk about the navigation update. By now you’ve already seen the new navigation. It didn’t hit all accounts at the same time but I’m pretty sure it’s fully rolled out by now. And no, I wasn’t annoyed at all that they updated the navigation of a product I’ve been using for the last 7 year and just recorded a course about. 

They even posted about it in their community and asked for feedback – I gave them my piece! 

Anyway… so yes it is updated and some things have moved around and been grouped together in what they believe is a more intuitive way… but everything is still there. It’s not my favorite but hey that’s always the case when a platform changes their navigation. They did what they thought was right and they can’t make everyone happy. 

And yes, I’ll be updating that part of the Klaviyo course too! 

I’m am pretty excited to see these new developments and even though they annoy me sometimes, just like Shopify does they’re still my two favorite platforms. Now if only Klaviyo would give me more flow trigger options and the ability to send someone through a segment triggered flow more than once I would be a truly happy girl. 

Listen to the Episode

Episodes Mentioned

141. Klaviyo Updates from June 2022

Links Mentioned

Klaviyo + Shopify Establish Strategic Partnership

Shopify Invests $100m into Klaviyo

Hey, I'm Jessica

I support scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow and scale the traffic, sales & profit in their eCommerce businesses. 

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