Mailchimp announces website builder with limited ecomm capabilities

Mailchimp, which started its life as an email marketing platform and has been evolving into a full service marketing platform, announced a website builder that includes ecommerce functionality — sort of.

  • The new site builder, which is in beta, includes the ability to pull in products from Square — but doesn’t, at least as of yet, feature a standalone ecommerce solution.
  • The build also includes the ability to create multiple pages and control the basic look and feel of your site.
  • With its limited native functionality that requires a Square store (there are free plans), Mailchimp’s site builder still lacks the “all in one” functionality but does have the advantage of bundling payment and product management together.
  • Shopify stores are not supported.
  • All told, it seems Mailchimp’s website offering is basically just a way to take a Square store and “wrap it up” in a template and coordinated marketing with Mailchimp’s other tools.
  • Earlier this year, Mailchimp announced a price hike that affected even “legacy” plans.

Mailchimp and Shopify “broke up” earlier this year in a well publicized spat that some speculated was fueled, at least partially, by each company’s grander ambitions to encroach on either’s space.

  • Meanwhile, earlier this month, Shopify announced it is launching a beta email marketing service that ties directly into its platform — a major shift in strategy where it previously relied on third party email marketers for merchant’s email marketing needs.
  • Mailchimp’s entry into the website builder space with ecommerce integration is a clear shot at Shopify, meanwhile, especially since it uses rival Square as its base.
  • Earlier this year, ecommerce platform Lemonstand announced it was shutting down and its founders would be joining Mailchimp’s parenting company, which led many industry watchers to speculate Mailchimp was developing its own ecommerce solution.