Over the course of the last few years, Mailchimp morphed from a basic newsletter platform to a fully-fledged marketing company. And while the service already offered integrations with a number of e-commerce sites, it is now launching its own online stores for small and medium businesses, as well as a new appointment booking service.
These new services will be part of MailChimp's new ‘Websites & Commerce' plans, which starts with a free tier that offers most of the basic functionality. Users on the free plan will pay a 2% transaction fee. For $10/month, Mailchimp will remove its own branding and users will get access to email and chat support and only pay a 1.5% transaction fee, while those who opt for the ‘Plus' plan at $29/month will only pay a 0.5% transaction fee per order.
All plans will let users build sites with unlimited pages and without bandwidth restrictions, and include SEO tools and integration with Google Analytics. As for the stores, users will be able to build their product catalogs and manage their orders, taxes and shipping configurations. All of this, as well as the appointments functionality, is obviously deeply integrated with the rest of the Mailchimp stack.
These new plans are currently in beta and the new e-commerce features will become available to all Mailchimp customers in the U.S. and UK by May 18, while the appointments booking feature will go live for all users on April 27.
This addition of built-in commerce features marks a major step in Mailchimp's evolution. But it also makes sense. The company says about 40% of its customers over fourteen million customers are in the commerce space already and many of them have been asking for more native commerce features. Almost 30% of its users are also using its existing commerce features and integrations and the company saw its revenue for e-commerce customers grow 61% from 2019 to 2020.
Since Mailchimp already offers websites, domains and other adjacent services, adding these new features feels like a natural next step, whether that's selling directly from a Mailchimp store or taking appointment bookings for a service business.
The company stresses that while it is entering a new space, it is not walking away from its existing products and customers. “Rest assured, we’re not abandoning our smart marketing solutions,” Mailchimp CEO and co-founder Ben Chestnut writes in today's announcement. “In fact, our goal is still to have the best email marketing in the world. We know our customers and partners demand consistency and continuity as much as they demand new features and functionality, so we’re refining and nurturing existing tools, too. We continue to work on making the process of designing emails as easy as possible, and in a few months we’re adding new beautiful email templates.”