There are thousands of ecommerce-related products and services that small- to mid-sized merchants can use to improve their businesses. But often the challenge to engaging these products and services is not funding, or even the products’ capabilities. Instead, it is the difficulty associated with getting all of these diverse products or services to work together.
I strongly believe that most small ecommerce businesses start for one of two reasons: (1) either the entrepreneur has web development skills and wants to use those skills to start an ecommerce business, or (2) the entrepreneur has marketing or product expertise and wants to sell online.
In the latter case, the would-be merchant usually has to hire a developer, a web designer, or both to help integrate various solutions or get particular features. Or, that merchant has to rely on third-party hosted solutions, which, while individually capable, are often limited and can be a challenge to coordinate for someone without web coding skills. This integration challenge has created a relatively new category of service that is solely focused on interconnecting two other services.
Chimpified, from Terra Firma Design & Consulting, is just such a go-between service. Its only use is to connect online stores on the Shopify platform to MailChimp’s email marketing platform. And its aim is to make that connection so simple that an entrepreneur with no web experience can take advantage of both solutions. Although Chimpified’s scope is small, its execution is good, earning it three-and-a-half out of a possible five stars in this “The PEC Review.”
“The PEC Review” is my weekly column devoted to introducing you to the products and services that I believe may help you improve your ecommerce business. This week, I’ll explain what I like about Chimpified.
I want to tell you right from the start that Chimpified’s creator, and the founder of Terra Firma Design & Consulting, is a former Practical eCommerce employee, Brian Getting. Although, Brian’s former position had no bearing on my opinions about Chimpified, I want you to know that Brian and I worked together and that he did call my attention to his product.
Chimpified has only one real claim to fame, simplicity. It allows a user with no technical skills to connect a Shopify-hosted store to MailChimp’s list management and email marketing solutions.
Without Chimpified, a merchant would need to understand application programming interfaces and potentially be familiar with Ruby on Rails. With Chimpified, a merchant just has to click about five times and do a little copying and pasting. In fact, the total installation, which establishes a connection between the services, can be done in about 60 seconds.
For Chimpified, a merchant will need an existing Shopify store, an existing MailChimp account, and a MailChimp API key. But that’s it. It really is that simple.
The free Chimpified plan costs nothing. So if you use Shopify and MailChimp, but these aren’t integrated, get the free plan. You have nothing to lose.
Chimpified also offers a Basic Plan and a Plus Plan that integrate MailChimp tracking and campaign features into your Shopify store’s backend. These cost $5 per month and $10 per month, respectively. I don’t understand why these plans are priced like software-as-a-service (SaaS). It seems to me that Chimpified’s purpose is a onetime connection. It ties two systems together, and it is done. As such, the price should be based on a one-time license not using the SaaS model.
Chimpified is a simple tool with a simple purpose, and it is well executed. The free plan is, without question, worth trying if you use Shopify and MailChimp. But, in my opinion, the SaaS price structure doesn’t make sense for what is effectively a single use product.
All in all, I am awarding Chimpified three-and-a-half out of a possible five stars in this, “The PEC Review.”