Shopify, the Canada based eCommerce development services platform underpinning thousands of brands, announced a series of changes to its API access and partnership program, and that has created a serious implication on its partners and merchants. On 22nd of March, 2019, Shopify has cut off its ties with MailChimp.

Now onwards, The MailChimp app is no longer available in the Shopify App Store. However, there are no immediate changes for the merchants currently using MailChimp. Two essential changes to its terms of use stand out: The first one is, Shopify will now ‘Restrict Partners’ that try to get merchants to leave the platform; and the other one is, it is also requesting that all data and information collected by a partner that relates to a merchant’s customer ‘Be sent back to Shopify’.

Both Shopify and MailChimp had a battle over the treatment of customer data. “Shopify’s a platform and ecosystem that is open and operable,” said Satish Kanwar, VP of Product at Shopify. “For us, it’s about valuing the integrity of our policy and our data. Preventing bad faith actors in the ecosystem. We don’t have any concerns when we have other partners that work with other ad partners. That’s a natural part of how commerce and the ecosystem works but it’s really about the intentions about how the information flows.”

This ultimately brings us to the controversy surrounding the MailChimp. On March 22, MailChimp made it public via blog post that they asked Shopify to remove the MailChimp integration and API access from the Shopify marketplace. Mailchimp’s reasoning behind the move was due to the new term requiring partners to send back any data collected “on behalf of the merchant” back to Shopify. As per Joni Deus, The Director of Partnerships at MailChimp, that data (in Mailchimp’s eyes) doesn’t belong to Shopify. “We got permission from that user to have it within our Mailchimp platform and they wanted that retroactively,” Joni said. “The data sharing agreements in those terms go against data privacy expectations.”

As a response Shopify updated a blog post saying why the partnership has ended, further stating that MailChimp’s refusal to hand over the data meant the merchants and others on the Shopify platform ‘can not reliably serve customers or comply with privacy legislation’. Here’s why Mailchimp is no longer in the Shopify App Store. It makes sense as for the data change, considering the up surged privacy concerns taking place across all types of platforms, whether it is GDPR enforcement rules or the growing amount of data breaches. Each platform service provides cannot overlook the data changes, the changes protect the customers and that it was a time for Shopify to implement it. The statement was quoted regarding the concern about customers privacy and their data; The change protects the customer and that it was time for Shopify to implement it.

However, industry sources across the world think all of these changes, including MailChimp and Shopify breaking up, were a long time coming.

Now, what is the road ahead for Shopify Stores?

Thankfully, you won’t have to start from square one when it comes to email marketing for your Shopify or Shopify Plus shop. There are a number of alternatives that can do the job, actually better. This might take email marketing to the next level for Shopify users.

Have you heard of Klaviyo and SendGrid?

Klaviyo is an ESP with a Shopify integration which just won’t quit. (Yes! They’re not going anywhere). It’s the platform that is highly recommended. Klaviyo allows you to listen and understand cues from your visitors, and customers. And along with that, it enables you to easily turn that information into valuable, relevant messages.

It is easy to integrate Email, Sendgrid and Shopify to automate your marketing. The Sendgrid + Shopify integration works seamlessly with all other integrations. SendGrid is a leader in email deliverability and it’s proven cloud-based platform delivers over 30 billion emails each month for the customers like Airbnb, Pandora, and HubSpot.