Ecommerce Takeaways from My 1st Klaviyo Workshop

San Francisco Klaviyo Workshop with speaker in front of wine barrels speaking to seated audience

During my second week as a Klaviyo employee I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of our San Francisco Workshop to meet, mingle, and most importantly learn with our customers. Whether it was during coffee breaks, lunch, breakout sessions, or quick chats in between presentations, I lived the dream as a new product marketer in a new industry chatting with customers about all things ecommerce marketing.

A wide range of customers from throughout the San Francisco Bay area attended the event. Some experienced Klaviyo users wanted to get back to the basics for holiday season success, newer users were trying to establish the basics, and everyone was looking for best practices to grow their businesses. As presenters dove deep into ecommerce marketing topics, all the pens were furiously taking notes, while after the presentations, I had awesome conversations with the attendees.

Here are my 3 big picture learnings from those conversations:

Quickly executing on the basics is paramount

Much of the conversation with attendees centered around a desire for simplicity and ease-of-use. Ecommerce platforms have paved the way for the ecommerce boom – last year more than 2M ecommerce stores opened worldwide – by making it super easy for people to start selling as soon as they have a great idea and product. That expectation of speed carries forward to other apps and platforms ecommerce professionals use – email, sign-up forms, coupons, rewards, etc.

For smaller ecommerce stores, the conversation revolved around the relative shortage of time and resources available to spend getting these types of marketing tools up and running – hence the need for simplicity. More tenured Klaviyo stores were recalling how resource constraints affected their ability to move at their desired speed even today.

Our Klaviyo employees showed attendees the essentials for getting started and how we make it fast and simple for stores. The three keys we emphasized for getting started quickly were setting up sign-up forms, the Welcome Series flow, and the Abandoned Cart flow. Additionally, the Flow Library demonstrated how we’ve simplified the flow set-up process – enabling key flow emails to be sent even faster.

Data is the fuel to growth

Customers of all sizes and experience were looking to level up their marketing results – mining for golden nuggets of information to expand their retail businesses. All talks about improved performance eventually ended on one topic – data. Attendees were trying to figure out the best data to use and the best ways to use it.

To gain the attention of consumers, who have inboxes full of emails from various brands, ecommerce marketers need figure out how to stand out from the crowd. One very effective way to accomplish that is to personalize the message, which helps the consumer make a connection with a brand. By collecting, understanding, and properly using data, ecommerce marketers can send more relevant messages that consumers will open, click, and engage with – eventually leading to more purchases. Unsurprisingly, all of the presentations at the workshop were centered around using data in one way or another – creating smarter list segmentation, A/B testing subject lines and email templates, and improving messaging to name a few.

After listening to the presenters, there were more questions and discussions on how to be smarter with existing data. The conversation shifted from ‘what campaign to run’ or ‘how much to discount’ to ‘what message should I send, to which customers and when’. A shift that led to great ideas for increased targeting such as segmenting out high-value abandoned carts so they receive differentiated, more relevant messaging with different timing.

The attendees were certainly at different stages of understanding their customer data. For some, working with more than just basic data was a brand new venture, but they saw how utilizing data in smarter ways was key to growing their business successfully. More experienced Klaviyo customers were examining ways to build new segments and explore ways to capitalize on their data, such as integrating Klaviyo with more platforms (social media, shipping, rewards) to gather and include more data and further personalize the conversation with their customers.

Common ground was found amongst all attendees – continuing to utilize data in intelligent and creative ways to grow.   

Social channels are growing stronger

I heard so much about social channels, especially Facebook and Instagram. Reaching customers and targeting prospective customers through these social channels is critical to the success of consumer brands – 25 million businesses now have an Instagram page. These social platforms act as a key place to differentiate against competitors and drive more website traffic – providing smaller brands the ability to compete against big box retailers like Amazon and eBay.

Customers talked about their activity on multiple social platforms. Many were experimenting with how to a) build social audiences, b) target those audiences with distinct messaging, and c) attribute their spending back to the correct social activity. All of those steps help businesses understand each channel’s success and how to maximize return across social advertising. Advanced customers were using their VIP email segments to target lookalike audiences on Facebook, serving up ads to those high-value prospects.

Additionally, there was some commentary about social influencers playing an increasingly meaningful role, whether it’s for brand awareness at the top of the funnel or actually pushing products. Some customers were wondering how to incorporate  influencers into their email marketing – and control the messaging and discount usage following their influencer interaction.

Home again

I had plenty of time on my red eye flight back home to Boston to zoom out and focus on the forest from the trees. Before getting some shut eye, I arrived at one key realization:

Ecommerce companies are constantly moving quickly to stay ahead of their competition – and doing so with a limited amount of resources. Klaviyo customers are consistently looking for tech that is BOTH easy to use and has advanced functionality, so they can execute quickly and intelligently.

The expectation is they shouldn’t have to choose between easy and sophisticated. To succeed in such a competitive space, ecommerce marketers need advanced features that are simple to use. When they start their company, they want to get started fast. As they grow, they realize they need to execute more advanced marketing, but the ease of use should never go away. Klaviyo can provide easy access to all of their data and make it easy to use that data in smart effective ways without requiring a lot of time or resources.

With that picture in mind, I left the workshop excited to get back to work at Klaviyo. Overall, I learned a lot about ecommerce customers and what they need to be successful. But, the best part is… now I get to help them make it happen!


Having attended my first Klaviyo Workshop, I’m now super excited for September when we’re holding Klaviyo:BOS, our epic 2-day ecommerce conference where we guarantee you’ll learn how to grow your store faster.

Get your ticket to Klaviyo:BOS

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