E-commerce continues to show strong momentum. Even as the world re-opens to retail and other IRL activity, there are signs that 2020’s e-commerce inflections could sustain into the post-Covid era. This is due to a “mere exposure effect” where Covid-driven behavior has caused new semi-permanent habits.
With that backdrop, signals for eCommerce health continue to roll out, almost to the point of being hard to keep up with. So to characterize this week in eCommerce, we’ve plucked three notable items from the past 24 hours to examine and unpack for Localogy Insider readers. Here they are in no particular order.
Mailchimp Integrates eCommerce
Mailchimp announced this week that it’s launching its own first-party online stores for its SMB customers. This compares with partner integrations for e-commerce that it previously offered. This signals a greater degree of priority for shopping and other transactions to merge with e-mail marketing.
Specifically, MailChimp will now offer customers a few tiers of e-commerce and scheduling services, ranging from free to $29 per month. These tiers correlate to features such as white-label branding, support, and discounts on transaction fees. They’ll be offered under MailChimp’s Websites & Commerce plans.
The new plans were driven by the fact that about 40 percent of MailChimp’s 14 million customers are in e-commerce businesses already. 30 percent of its customers are using its existing e-Commerce integrations, while revenue for its e-commerce customers grew 61 percent year-over-year in 2020.
This follows a trend in email marketing for expanding services bundles to grow ARPU and retention (MRR) — core success factors in SMB SaaS. We’ve seen others such as Constant Contact move in this direction, and a parallel trend in the website builder world. In all of the above, the trend isn’t slowing down.
Shopify Posts Strong Q4
Shopify posted strong first-quarter earnings this week, including 110 percent year-over-year revenue growth to $988.6 million. Subscription revenue grew 71 percent while revenue from merchant solutions grew 137 percent. Profits also surged due to a $1.3 billion unrealized gain from Shopify’s investment in Affirm.
Notably, Shopify reports that e-commerce activity isn’t slowing down as the physical world reopens. This is one point of validation for the above theory that e-commerce levels could sustain into the post-Covid era. More signals will unfold over the coming months but this is encouraging for e-commerce so far.
Notable Shopify moves during Q1 include optimizations to its Shopify Fulfillment Network, and its mobile shopping assistant known as Shop. The latter had more than 107 million registered users during the quarter, which includes users of Shop Pay and the Shop App. 24 million of those were monthly active users.
Shopify also points to partnerships. For example, some of its discovery and social marketing integrations drive traffic to Shopify merchants, which in turn drives their perceived ROI. Multi-channel selling — such as Shopify’s partnership with Walmart and Facebook Shops — are also value drivers.
The Rise of Pinterest’s eCommerce
Speaking of earnings, Pinterest likewise posted strong Q1 figures. Specifically, it reported 78 percent year-over-year revenue growth to $485.230 million. It also cut net losses from $141.196 million to $21.674 million. Pinterest meanwhile anticipates 105 percent revenue growth in the current quarter.
One story that comes out of these numbers is Pinterest’s continued transition from a socially-fueled image sharing use case, to one that’s “shoppable.” This was the plan all along — first gaining organic traction and viral growth through image sharing and letting users keep a taxonomy of all their favorite web discoveries.
It’s a natural extension from there to various flavors of monetization. So far, that includes promoted content (standard fare for social feeds) as well as growing levels of transactional functionality. Pinterest also continues to develop brand and retailer relationships and monetization structures to make it all happen.
We’ll continue watching for updates and action from the wild world of eCommerce and report back.