Shopify troubles



In-app shopping arrived in the US over the weekend


While you were lounging in joggers, TikTok was setting up shop.

What that means: US businesses will soon be able to sell—and users will be able to buy—products right inside the app, thanks to TikTok Shop.

Who has access: Only a select few US businesses are being invited to use TikTok Shop… at least for now.

If you’re in the UK and Indonesia, you’ve had access to TikTok’s in-app store for a little.

If access is limited, why the fuss? For one thing, TikTok has grown 368% since 2018.

It was the most downloaded app in October, adding 53M new users in that month alone.

TikTok may have stepped into the US quietly, using only a few doors…

… But it wouldn’t surprise us if merchant access opens up quickly in the coming weeks and months.

And if you’re already running influencer campaigns and ads, TikTok Shop could make sales a lot easier for you and your customers.

Speaking of shopping-related things to keep an eye on…


Is Shopify illegal in Germany?

Disclaimer: We’re not lawyers and you should research your case individually if this is noteworthy for you. This is just the take of marketers spread across four continents with perspective on the connections the current state of the internet enables.

OK, before we get into Shopify and German legalese, some quick context around why this is even a question:

Back in July 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) said the EU-US Privacy Shield is invalid.

What that changed: Personally identifiable data of EU citizens can’t be transferred to US-based companies like Google, Meta, and many others.

That’s partly why there was news about Google Analytics being ruled as “illegal in some European countries.”

Is Shopify next? This post on Hacker News jumped out in our weekend research. Basically, a Shopify store owner was told Shopify doesn’t comply with privacy laws.

You can find the Google Translate article from German to English here.

The gist: Shopify is actually legal in Germany, according to this post on Shopify’s website (also a Google Translate link from German to English).

But the current situation around privacy laws is so complicated, Shopify is providing a dedicated email address to help.

Why is there no easy answer? Well, with the EU-US Privacy Shield becoming invalid, a hard stop of any kind of data transfer would be unrealistic.

Meanwhile, the US and EU have agreed to the new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework in principle, so it would be counterproductive to make any drastic changes while governments on either side of the Atlantic are working towards a solution.

While it’s unlikely that Shopify, Google Analytics, and many other companies will become outright banned in the EU…

… It is likely that the way they are implemented and used within the EU will evolve.

So do your due diligence, and keep yourself informed of what’s going on. You know… by reading our newsletter.


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Running a marketing team can be a migraine, especially when you’re collaborating with different departments and using a dozen different tools to manage campaigns.

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This is how you calculate —and reduce— customer acquisition costs


Do you have the best word-of-mouth marketing strategy in the world?

If not, you are like the rest of us mortals who spend money on getting new customers in order to grow profits.

Of course, spend too much, and you ain’t profitable. Spend too little and you don’t grow. So where’s the middle ground?

Thankfully, Gareth Hanckock explains the math in his CXL article, so let’s go over the basics…

Why is customer acquisition cost (CAC) so important? Knowing how much you spend to get a customer can help you determine areas of opportunity and growth.

For example, if your TikTok CAC is too high, you can move to a more profitable channel.

How to calculate CAC: Add up all acquisition expenses over a period, and divide them by the number of new customers acquired during that time.

If you’ve spent $5000 on Google Ads and $2000 on content, and brought in 500 new customers, then your CAC would be $14. Simple.

Also keep in mind the customer’s lifetime value, or the total revenue you’ll ever make from a single customer.

Maybe $200 CAC sounds high. But if a single customer spends $2,000 with you, then it’s money well spent.

Also, measurement is crucial. It helps you get a clear picture of your spend across platforms and whether you can reduce costs even more. So create a simple CAC sheet and keep tabs on campaign performance.

Once you’ve figured out how to calculate and measure CAC over time, you should look to gradually reduce it. Gareth provides an extensive list of tips, but we’ll cover just two:

  1. Optimize targeting. If you’re not converting at the volume you’d like, you might be targeting the wrong audience. Or the existing audience might be too small and you need to broaden it.
  2. Use conversion rate optimization to improve shopping experience. Speed, convenience, good copy, and smooth checkout can all help you acquire customers easier.

There’s more to it, of course. Make sure you check out the entire article, because it dives deep into extracting maximum value out of your customer acquisition efforts. Happy “acquiring!”


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What type of SMS number should you use for peak performance?


There are three types of numbers you can use to send SMS marketing messages.

And, yes, your deliverability and conversions may be affected by the one you pick.

So let’s choose the right one for your business.

For starters, here are your options:

  • Toll-free numbers.
  • Short code numbers.
  • Local numbers.

Toll-free numbers: These are the best option if you’re optimizing for ease-of-use.

If you’re sending fewer than 2k messages per day in the US or Canada, toll-free numbers don’t require any additional steps to get set up.

… But, they aren’t the best option for conversion and deliverability.

Short code numbers: These are the best option if 1) you’re looking to send lots of SMS messages, and 2) you want strong deliverability.

The only problem is… they’re expensive. Most providers charge at least $1k per month for a shortcode number, and at least that much for a setup fee.

Local numbers: While these can feel more authentic to users—people will recognize a local area code—they’re also, by far, the most complicated to set up in the US or Canada.

Outside of these countries, though, local numbers are simple to set up for SMS and can deliver good results.

Hopefully this gives you enough to pick the right type for your brand or business.

And by the way…

This is just a taste of our complete guide to SMS Marketing, which you get access to when you join Stacked Marketer Pro. Happy SMS marketing!


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YOUTUBE: Great news for creators… YouTube just released Live Q&A. This new feature will let you create and manage Q&A and “ask me anything” sessions during live streams. Nice.

TWITTER: After last week’s debacle, Twitter decided to bring back the “official” label to certain accounts to fight impersonation. Seems like a piece of tape on a burst water line, but ah well.

SEO: If you’re worried about links from old websites jeopardizing your ranking… don’t. John Mueller says those links are probably irrelevant. If you do see old links sending traffic, it doesn’t hurt to “301” them.

E-COMMERCE: A fast fashion Chinese shopping app is gaining huge traction, even in the US. It’s called Tamo, and it got 3.4M downloads in just three months. It’s also the third most downloaded app in the US App Store right now.

NEWSLETTER BUSINESS: Substack just released its Bestseller badge, a feature that shows how many paid readers a writer has, based on three ranking categories of hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of subscribers. Time to peep on competitors…

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People make me, save me, change me, raise me. What am I?

You can find the answer here.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

The forest straight out of Middle Earth


Out of all the forests that could be scenes from Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter…

… This forest comes awfully close.

The moss-covered Dartmoor forest (yes, it even sounds Tolkienesque) conveys the long forgotten, ethereal vibes reminiscent of your favorite epic fantasy saga.

And a talented wildlife photographer managed to capture its mood perfectly.

If you look closely enough, you might see Treebeard roaming around this mystical place…

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Stacked Marketer was built to filter through the daily noise that exists in the marketing world. It’s a digital marketer’s 7-minute daily read, jam-packed with the latest news, trends, tech and actionable advice.

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