When it comes to email marketing and automation platforms, Klaviyo and Shopify Email stand out as two of the most popular solutions for e-commerce businesses. With powerful features for building customer databases, creating targeted email marketing campaigns, and tracking results, these platforms help businesses drive repeat sales and create lasting customer relationships.
In this comprehensive Klaviyo vs Shopify Email comparison guide, we’ll evaluate the two email marketing platforms across several key criteria to help you determine the right platform for your e-commerce business.
By the end, you’ll understand the strengths and weaknesses of these two popular email marketing tools so you can select the best email marketing solution for driving the results you want.
1. Understanding the Basics
Founded in 2012 by Andrew Bialecki and Ed Hallen, Klaviyo is a rapidly growing email marketing and automation platform. With over 10,000 customers, Klaviyo has quickly become a popular choice for e-commerce businesses looking to drive repeat sales.
Shopify Email originated as the built-in email marketing solution on the Shopify e-commerce platform. Shopify itself launched in 2006, founded by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake. As one of the most widely-used e-commerce platforms, Shopify Email comes integrated into every Shopify store, although use of the software requires a paid Shopify subscription plan.
With hundreds of thousands of Shopify merchants, Shopify Email has a very strong market position and popularity in the e-commerce space. However, Klaviyo has also carved out a sizable market share with its advanced email features optimized for driving sales.
2. Features and Functionality
Klaviyo offers powerful email marketing automation features through its proprietary platform called Flows. You can create customized multi-step workflows triggered by actions like signup, purchase, abandoned cart, unsubscribe, custom event, and more. For example, send a series of automated welcome emails to onboard new subscribers or remind them about items left in their cart.
Build sequences with any number of emails that go out based on delays, dates, or customer behaviors. Personalize the content using customer data and sync data from your e-commerce platform to customize further. Dynamic segments automatically group contacts based on criteria you define, allowing emails to target different groups.
Klaviyo also offers pre-built automation templates called Recover Abandoned Carts, Welcome New Customers, and Win Back Customers that come in handy when running Klaviyo email marketing campaigns. These templates automatically deploy effective drip campaigns with best practices optimized for your business.
Overall, Klaviyo provides extensive automation capabilities to help e-commerce merchants maximize customer lifetime value. Their flexible flows and tight e-commerce platform and email marketing app integrations make it easy to create customized sequences optimized for your business needs.
The automation capabilities in Shopify Email allow you to set up post-purchase automation flows and browse abandonment flows without needing code. You can enroll customers into pathways when they perform actions like signing up, making a purchase, or abandoning their cart.
The email marketing software leverages customer tags, purchase data, and behavioral data to customize and target automation workflows for your online store. Pathways feature email delays, conditional logic based on customer properties, and up to 100 emails per automation flow.
While the automation may not be quite as robust as a dedicated platform like Klaviyo, this email marketing tool provides solid capabilities directly integrated with Shopify stores. Since automation setup occurs within your Shopify admin, workflows can easily tap into order data and customer info. The tight integration allows for greater customization of emails.
With its dedicated focus on email marketing and more extensive automation options, Klaviyo earns the win for the e-commerce email marketing tool with the best automation capabilities. Klaviyo Flows enable greater flexibility to customize sequences for highly targeted, personalized messaging driving sales.
Klaviyo email marketing offers hundreds of professionally designed email templates you can customize to match your brand. Browse templates for welcome series, promotions, announcements, holidays, abandoned carts, and more.
Easily customize any of the email marketing templates by editing blocks of content, swapping images, adjusting colors, and adding your own text. For further customization, edit the HTML/CSS code directly in Klaviyo’s template editor. Dynamic content tags pull in customer data to personalize emails at send time.
Compared to many other e-commerce platforms, Klaviyo’s templates are modern and mobile-responsive out of the box, ensuring that you can run email marketing campaigns render perfectly across all devices. While template selection is robust, advanced users may want even more control over template design.
The email editor built into the Shopify email app allows you to choose from a range of free, pre-designed email templates. Filter by category to find templates for abandoned carts, shipping updates, special promotions, and opt-io forms to use on your Shopify website.
Customize the content by editing text blocks and images in the easy drag-and-drop editor. Further tweak the look by changing colors, fonts, and more design aspects directly in the editor. You can also import custom HTML templates for greater customization.
Like Klaviyo email templates, Shopify Email templates come mobile responsive by default. All templates feature integration with your Shopify data to dynamically pull in-store, product, and customer information so you can send personalized emails easily. The templates feel purpose-built for Shopify stores.
Both Klaviyo and Shopify Email offer ample professionally designed email templates that can be easily customized for an e-commerce brand. Klaviyo has a larger volume and variety to choose from, while Shopify offers tight branding alignment. For extensive, quality templates suited to e-commerce stores, the two platforms tie.
Klaviyo enables you to create highly targeted segments and groups based on detailed customer traits, behaviors, and properties. Segment by standard attributes like email, name, location, purchase history, etc. You can also build segments based on custom events or platform actions customers take.
Dynamic and static segments automatically update as customers meet the defined criteria. Apply filters to narrow segments even further. Segments allow you to target campaigns to specific groups to send more relevant, personalized messaging driving better engagement and conversions.
With Klaviyo’s segmentation, you gain a deep understanding of your customer base. Identify your highest value groups like big spenders, repeat customers, or customers at high risk of churning. Then tailor campaigns to serve that group better. With each email sent, you can also dynamically select the applicable group.
Within Shopify Email, create customer groups for segmentation using tags, customer information (like location, orders, etc.), and product data. Further target groups with additional filters based on information like “Purchased Product X” or “Haven’t ordered in 6 months”.
View dynamic counts of contacts matching your criteria in real-time. Apply groups when launching campaigns so you only reach relevant customers with tailored content.
While Shopify Email lets you define segments, the segmentation is not as deep or advanced as in Klaviyo. You don’t get behavioral segmentation based on custom events or predictive “lookalike” modeling. However, segments integrate tightly with your Shopify customer data for basic segmentation needs.
With its purpose-built focus on segmentation and richer targeting capabilities, Klaviyo narrowly wins for best segmentation features. It’s a basic email marketing platform that goes significantly deeper in understanding customers and creating meaningful groups that can be easily selected for campaigns.
Klaviyo provides detailed analytics and performance metrics to help you continuously optimize campaigns for better performance. Get real-time reporting on opens, clicks, dwell time, bounce rates, conversions, revenue, and more.
You can drill down on metrics to analyze email effectiveness by campaign, variant, segment, product, and other factors. Identify your best-performing emails as well as underperformers with deep data available.
Tools like Klaviyo’s Moving Metric allow you to spot trends and patterns in key metrics over a customizable rolling period. This helps you gauge performance momentum – for example, you can track customer behavior or whether conversion rates are improving day-over-day or declining week-over-week. Klaviyo makes it easy to visualize the impact of changes and optimize accordingly.
With its dedicated email marketing focus, Klaviyo provides very extensive analytics possibilities to measure your programs and fine-tune them for optimal ROI. The depth of reporting and segmentation exceeds most other platforms.
The built-in reporting in Shopify Email tracks opens, clicks, repeat opens, clicks by product, unsubscribes, shares, and revenue. Filter reports by campaign, customer segment, location and other factors to analyze performance. Shopify covers the basic metrics you need to assess email program effectiveness.
Shopify email promises some high-level benchmarking against industry averages. See how your email metrics compare to typical fashion stores or accessory shops, for example. This allows you to gauge your performance versus competitors.
While analytics cover the basics well, Shopify Email lacks some of the deeper layered analysis and optimization tools a specialized email marketing platform like Klaviyo offers. However, the metrics integrate directly with your Shopify store data for easy analysis.
Both email marketing tools have much to offer but Klaviyo wins. With superior analytics capabilities like predictive modeling, deeper segmentation analysis, and specialized performance optimization tools, Klaviyo easily wins for its best-in-class email analytics.
Platforms like Shopify deliver similar features, including detailed customization, but Klaviyo was built with analytics at its core, whereas Shopify focuses more on store management. For dedicated email marketing and optimization, Klaviyo has richer reporting potential.
One standout capability Klaviyo provides is integration with SMS messaging in addition to email. Directly within Klaviyo’s recently enabled SMS marketing channel, you can build SMS automated workflows triggered by actions, create targeted groups for messaging, and track performance. This allows seamless omnichannel campaigns.
Klaviyo also offers a unique Metrics Blueprint – essentially a recommendation engine that suggests proven, optimized email workflows for your business. It provides templates based on top-performing programs from successful companies in your niche. This makes best-practice email marketing extremely turnkey.
Smaller differentiators include the ability to create public shareable email campaign links that anyone can sign up for without needing to be in your database. Klaviyo also lets you A/B test from directly within the platform to optimize emails.
One of Shopify Email’s prime differentiators is the direct integration and alignment with your Shopify store data and operations. All customer messaging stays within one unified platform. This allows for greater customization of emails using deep customer and order data.
Advanced features like cross-border delivery optimization detect customer locations to comply with international email regulations – crucial for globally selling stores. Shopify Email also encompasses translation tools to localize your emails for international audiences.
The unified platform means easier management without needing to sync data across tools. But specialty capabilities for experimentation testing and advanced personalization don’t match Klaviyo.
With its wider array of unique features like messaging features ideal for an SMS marketing agency to run SMS campaigns separately, templatized blueprint campaigns tailored to your vertical, public opt-in links, and sophisticated testing abilities, Klaviyo edges out as the winner for this section. The company’s dedicated focus on innovation gives it an advantage.
However, the Shopify ecommerce platform does provide specialty capabilities optimized specifically for unified Shopify store management across channels like brick-and-mortar, web, social, and email. For directly integrated omnichannel selling, Shopify leads. But Klaviyo takes the crown for unique email marketing features.
3. Ease of Use
Klaviyo provides an intuitive email editor optimized for usability. The drag-and-drop builder allows anyone to create stylized emails using pre-designed templates, customizable blocks of content, images, and data variables without coding.
The platform features a modern, responsive interface following familiar conventions. Key functionality surfaces through clear main menus like “Segments”, “Campaigns”, and “Reports”. Customer data flows into unified profiles, while automation capabilities are consolidated into Flows.
With its specialized email focus, the platform caters extensively to email marketers. However, the interface remains simple enough for small business owners to grasp without an extensive learning curve. Between the templates, getting-started guides, and responsive support, most users find Klaviyo easy to use.
Since Shopify Email lives within the Shopify admin, the user experience mirrors the core platform. For existing Shopify users, the email environment feels familiar. And Shopify generally gets high marks for usability.
Email campaigns launch right from the “Marketing” section, while reports and customer groups are accessed in related areas. Shopify Email adoption requires some cross-functional learning to connect data points, but key workflows follow a clean process.
The drag-and-drop editor, pre-made templates, and automatic mobile optimization make campaign creation intuitive. However, less experienced email marketers may find some functions like automation setup too complex initially.
Both popular email marketing platforms offer powerful features designed with ease of use in mind. With simplicity and intuitiveness at the core of its specialized platform, Klaviyo wins for the easiest email marketing solution to use.
The purpose-built interface streamlines complex functionality into accessible menus and workflows. Shopify serves an overall commerce ecosystem, making its email marketing components more intricate to master. For pure email focus, Klaviyo offers superior usability.
4. Email Deliverability
Klaviyo invests heavily in optimizing email deliverability through an array of dedicated tools and functionality. Configure the platform with your sending domain and DKIM authentication right when you sign up.
Tools automatically verify and validate every email address added to your list to maintain high inboxing rates. Further customize based on sending volume, schedules, and customer lifecycles. Receive deliverability recommendations tailored to your account.
Within campaigns, preview how emails will render across different devices and inboxes. Let Klaviyo automatically handle unsubscribes, bounces, and spam complaints in the background while you design engaging content.
With a strong focus in this area, Klaviyo ensures your campaigns consistently reach the inbox, regardless of volume or frequency. Deliverability maximization lets you focus solely on strategy.
Since Shopify manages both the e-commerce store platform and integrated email solution, optimization best practices get built directly into Shopify Email capabilities. Shopify automatically configures DKIM, SPF, and other key sender authentication protocols.
The system processes bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse reports by email regulations to maintain your sender rating. As issues arise, you may receive deliverability tips tailored to your account and traffic directly within Shopify.
While Shopify Email lacks some of the robust segmentation tools and predictive modeling of Klaviyo, its unified inbox deliverability management paired with the core platform results in strong optimization.
With superior list cleaning functionality, predictive email address validation, and more customizable segmentation allowing greater targeting control, Klaviyo wins for best inbox deliverability rates. Their dedicated focus gives them an advantage. However, Shopify Email also delivers strong optimization.
5. Customer Support and Community
Klaviyo offers email and in-platform live chat support 24/7 to address issues instantly. If chatting, customers can even share screenshots to troubleshoot visual problems. For less urgent inquiries, customers can submit email tickets through the help desk system.
Klaviyo provides an extensive self-serve knowledge base with searchable articles, videos, ebooks, and training tutorials on maximizing the platform. Common questions get answered publicly for transparency. Klaviyo also shares free educational content through blog posts and a podcast.
Active community discussion happens primarily through Klaviyo’s dedicated Facebook group with over 50k members. This highly engaged group allows customers to post questions, share wins, and swap optimization tips in a peer-to-peer fashion.
Since Shopify functions as an integrated commerce platform, email marketing questions get handled through the same Shopify support teams assisting with store setup, payments, shipping, and other operational areas.
Contact options include 24/7 chat, email tickets, phone, and even Twitter direct messaging for convenient frictionless assistance. The help center publishes ample educational articles and video tutorials on email capabilities.
Given Shopify’s widespread global usage, Shopify Email marketers can find vibrant communities of their peers in groups like the Shopify Email Marketing Community group on Facebook with over 25k merchants.
Both platforms offer excellent around-the-clock support through multiple convenient channels. Their educational self-help content empowers users to grow their skills. And via active Facebook groups, they both foster tight-knit user communities helping fellow marketers succeed. For helpful resources, Klaviyo and Shopify Email deliver equally well.
Klaviyo integrates with all major e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce for seamless syncing of customer data, orders, and product catalogs. You can connect custom data sources using Klaviyo’s API or integrations with 150+ software tools. Out-of-the-box integrations include analytics platforms, CRMs, SMS tools, subscription billing apps, chat software, and marketing automation systems.
Zapier integration supports connecting 1000+ other apps, including payment software, logistics services, and more.
Klaviyo’s integration possibilities are nearly limitless between pre-built connections and custom work. With Klaviyo’s platform-agnostic positioning, you get tremendous flexibility connecting data flows across critical business systems – even beyond just the marketing stack. Robust integrations fuel deeper personalization and consolidation.
Since Shopify powers the e-commerce store, customer profiles, order data, and email tooling, everything lives natively connected within one unified platform. There’s no need to integrate order information from a third-party system since it’s innate.
Shopify still offers key integrations to tools like Google Analytics, Meta’s advertising platforms, TikTok marketing, and popular SMS providers. But you’re limited to what Shopify has pre-built, without more advanced abilities to connect custom apps via API and Zapier.
The consolidated Shopify ecosystem allows for tight alignment between in-store and email data, including online collection for e-commerce businesses. But those running an enterprise tech stack may want more flexibility connecting specialty marketing applications that Shopify doesn’t yet integrate with.
Shopify Email and Klaviyo both have impressive features for ecommerce businesses. However, Klaviyo wins for best platform integrations, given its 150+ native tool connections and open API for unlimited custom systems integration. While Shopify unifies the storefront and email data layers into one, it inevitably faces limitations connecting with external platforms. It comes down to the open ecosystem vs consolidated suite approach. Klaviyo’s model enables greater flexibility.
Klaviyo offers a free forever plan and 2 paid plans:
- Free – Up to 500 monthly email sends, basic features
- Email – $45/month for up to 1,500 contacts and 15K email sends
- Email and SMS Marketing – $60/month to add advanced features like behavioral messaging
Klaviyo also charges based on emails sent once you exceed account thresholds. Overall pricing is competitive for the robust feature set but can get expensive at high volumes when sending emails for a website or e-commerce store.
Shopify offers a free 14-day trial for any business seeking a complete e-commerce solution with all the basic features. Paid plans start at $39/month for the basic Shopify plan. This includes core features like unlimited products, 24/7 support, and discounted payment processing rates that you’ll appreciate as a Shopify store owner.
The $105/month Shopify plan adds gift cards, professional reports, and abandoned cart recovery. For advanced needs, Shopify charges 0.5-2% transaction fees.
Overall, Shopify is affordably priced for small businesses. Features scale reasonably based on plan tiers. You can send all those free emails, and get access to a few advanced features. However, the 2% transaction fees at higher tiers can get costly compared to flat monthly pricing.
Since Shopify packages email into store subscription plans while Klaviyo charges solely for its specialized email platform, Klaviyo offers more cost transparency and flexibility around email-specific growth.
Klaviyo’s model scales linearly while Shopify packages capabilities like POS and shipping, as well unlimited contacts to factor into pricing. For pure-play email, Klaviyo’s tiers make direct ROI measurement and forecasting simpler for the mid-market.
8. Reviews and Reputation
Klaviyo earns consistently positive reviews across influential software review platforms like G2, Capterra, and Software Advice. Out of 5 stars, average ratings land between 4.5 and 4.7 out of 5.
Users praise the platform for its in-depth analytics, automation flexibility, and intuitive interface that make it easy to develop an email marketing strategy. Many cite Klaviyo as a “game changer” for understanding customers and driving repeat sales through targeted email flows. Common negatives focus on the learning curve and moderate pricing.
With over 1,300 verified reviews on sites like G2, Klaviyo emerges as the leader in dedicated email marketing and automation for mid-market e-commerce seeking to run targeted campaigns, send targeted messages, and use pre-built templates and sign-up forms designed specifically for e-commerce businesses. The company’s focus pays off in stellar ratings.
As an integrated commerce platform, most Shopify reviews center around capabilities beyond email marketing. However, specific feedback on Shopify Email remains largely positive. The unified interface receives high marks for usability and alignment with merchant data.
Some users on review sites like Capterra want greater functionality from the email builder and automation tools compared to dedicated solutions tailored for power users. However, the seamless integration makes it a top choice for already committed Shopify merchants. For those needs, reviews rate it 4-5 stars.
When comparing Klaviyo to Shopify Email, which one is better? With Klaviyo’s sole focus on mastering effective email marketing strategies and automation experience, the company earns stellar customer reviews and satisfaction ratings across the industry.
While Shopify takes an integrated approach, Klaviyo wins out with superior average ratings, more verified reviews, and a greater perception as an email specialist brand. When it comes to reputation with this target audience, Klaviyo edges out Shopify.
9. Shopify Email vs Klaviyo: FAQ’s
- What kind of stores use Klaviyo?
Klaviyo works great for all types of ecommerce stores including online shops powered by platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce selling physical goods, digital products, or services. Both B2B and B2C merchants succeed with Klaviyo across many business sizes and revenue models.
- Does Klaviyo offer email templates?
Yes, Klaviyo provides hundreds of professionally designed email templates for welcome series, promotions, announcements, holidays, abandoned carts, and more. You can customize any template or create your own from scratch.
- How does Klaviyo manage customer data privacy?
Klaviyo maintains ISO 27001 certification and SOC 2 Type II compliance attesting to enterprise-grade security, privacy, and risk management protocols when handling customer data in the platform.
- Does Klaviyo integrate with Shopify?
Yes, Klaviyo offers a direct one-click integration with Shopify enabling easy syncing of customer profiles, order data, product catalogs, and more between the platforms. This powers greater personalization.
- What happens after the 14-day free trial?
After 14 days, free trials convert to a paid Starter plan starting at $40/month billed monthly. You can upgrade to Pro or Enterprise plans as your needs evolve. There are discounts for annual contracts.
Shopify Email FAQs
- Is Shopify Email free to use?
Yes, Shopify Email is included free with any paid Shopify subscription plan. Core features are usable by all merchants – only advanced capabilities may require upgrading your account tier.
- Can Shopify Email connect with Klaviyo?
While Klaviyo offers direct Shopify integration, Shopify Email does not integrate back to pull in Klaviyo data. However, both can be connected to the same commerce data sources like online stores.
- Are there any sending limits?
Sending allowances scale based on your Shopify subscription plan, from 12,000 emails per month up to 50,000 emails per month as you move up tiers. There are ways to unlock higher limits.
- How does Shopify manage customer data?
Shopify Email and the greater Shopify platform is PCI-DSS compliant for secure credit card data and meet privacy shields like EU-US Privacy Shield for protecting consumer personal information at enterprise standards.
- What happens if we exceed our sending limits?
If you reach Shopify Email sending limits for your account tier, any additional emails get queued and throttled to pace delivery over the remainder of your monthly billing period, rather than stopping sends entirely.
Choose Klaviyo If…
Klaviyo is an ideal choice for e-commerce brands focused primarily on email marketing and automation versus more advanced store management needs. Companies already leveraging platforms like Shopify for core commerce functionality can integrate Klaviyo to take email capabilities to the next level.
With Klaviyo’s hefty customization opportunities and superior options for segmentation, automation flows, metrics, and predictive modeling, Klaviyo gives email marketers more advanced tools purpose-built for maximizing engagement and repeat customer rates. The platform also makes sense for larger stores planning to scale since pricing aligns directly with email list growth.
If, however, you feel that Klaviyo isn’t such a good fit for your email marketing needs, check out some Klaviyo alternatives instead.
Choose Shopify Email If…
For online merchants committed to the Shopify ecosystem for store hosting, payments, and cross-channel management, Shopify Email automation provides a natively unified email solution. Without needing external integrations, customer data flows directly from orders, profiles, and behaviors on your Shopify store to power personalized and timely automation, such as post-purchase follow-ups.
The bundled pricing means stores just venturing into paid marketing capabilities gain access to quality email features as part of the core platform. Shopify Email works great for single-channel e-commerce sellers all running through Shopify. No other integrations are needed to connect data from separate systems.
Ultimately selecting the right email marketing provider depends heavily on your existing e-commerce tech stack and what level of functionality meets your business requirements. We hope this comprehensive guide lays out the key strengths and differences between Klaviyo versus Shopify Email.