Surviving the Post Covid Ecom Apocalypse

June 15, 2024


We all feel a sense of cautious optimism as the world emerges from over two years of global lockdown.

It seems though, that every silver cloud can have a darker lining.

War, runaway inflation, and rising fuel costs are putting intense pressure on the global marketplace.

The pandemic drove a surge in e-commerce sales. As lockdowns ease, many brands are seeing revenue decline. Panic is setting in for some.

We cheer for increased foot traffic to mom and pops and brick-and-mortar shops. That said, online brands still need to worry about their bottom lines as global trends shift in this post pandemic world.

When it comes to the continued success for ecom stores, marketers must be prepared to adapt to new trends and make the most of features like advanced segmentation, SMS, UGC, and personalization options.

Every month we try to speak to incredible ecom brands that use Klaviyo. As platinum partners, we know it is the best tool to supercharge email marketing.

We relish the chance to connect with brand owne rs and email marketing experts with skin in the game. It is one of the ways we maintain our bleeding-edge expertise. Our motto? Learn from the best.

Without a trusted partner, the post-covid ecom dip can be unnerving. If the pandemic taught us one thing, it’s that every crisis carries the seeds of opportunity within it.

Thriving Amidst Challenge

Gourmet Inspirations has been a Klaviyo user since March 2021. They have seen some strong revenue from email marketing which has largely been driven through their use of Flows, campaigns, pop-ups, and reporting.

Peter Fehr, the founder, describes their business:

“We’re in the business of creating extra-fine finishing sauces. We believe every good culinary experience requires that finishing touch and an effortless element of surprise. Get creative. Get fancy. Make every meal sophisticated and complete. With a little help from us.”

Peter is the founder and sole member of the marketing team. Despite this, Peter is able to crush many of his revenue goals. Thanks in a large part to the powerful leverage created by an email marketing tool like Klaviyo. Of course, his own passion for customer service helps quite a bit as well.

Acon’s Marjo Piirto is confident that his team “[Understands] the importance of…email marketing in general and a/b testing different approaches. As well as, step-by-step improvements with automatic flows.”

Xplorer Maps is an amazing hand-drawn cartography company. According to the founders:

“…the company creates world-class hand-drawn and hand-lettered illustrations of national parks and other significant historical sites and destinations throughout the world. Every line, letter, and icon is unique, custom, and original to each new map we render. Originally designed to pay homage to the early cartographers, these high quality and exceptionally detailed custom maps are rendered by Greg Robitaille (Xplorer Maps artist and co-owner) using an antique, old-world style.”

The brand has a very robust presence on Shopify, Amazon, and its own website. Their current goal is to drive strong growth via email as well.

Competence Breeds Confidence and Execution is Still King

Brand owners and founders face incredible demands. Spare time can be scarce and prioritization difficult. Carving out time for deep dives into the intricacies of email marketing can be a challenge.

Maintaining expert level knowledge of a tool such as Klaviyo can be difficult. For brands like Excellent Photo, advanced features like leveraging customer filters can seem daunting. Filters are powerful tools that can apply when individuals enter a specific flow. They allow for customization based on user behavior and allow targeting specific subscribers based on behavior and attributes.

Mapshop founder Sarah Silva said: “there are a lot of buttons and areas that I…don’t have time to go through to manage that hold important data to help us improve.” We understand that leveraging the feature set of a tool like Klaviyo can be a full time job. We are passionate about helping our partners navigate this complexity.

Frame Today founder Richard Tarrant summed up the biggest email marketing challenge. It was one many others echoed: execution.

Bird & Knoll’s Natalie Knoll is an ecom veteran and sophisticated marketer. Even experts face challenges. She cited subscriber growth and list segmentation as an issue. Segmentation is a powerful tool to create insights into the customer base. It also allows for a more personalized subscriber experience.

The ultimate drive is not only to grow revenue and engagement but to do so while keeping the brand intact.

Time: Not Always On Our Side

Time is the number one non-renewable resource we have. It’s also one thing most business owners and marketing teams are in short supply of.

Time scarcity and competing priorities can lead to many challenges for brand owners. There are often hard limits on the ability to focus on traversing the email learning curve. Marketers often need to spend scarce resources to stay on top of best practices.

Brands like Acon, report challenges with localization. They cite how much time and effort it requires. Frame Today cited integration issues as a consistent challenge.

Almost every person we spoke with was trying to increase their open and click-through rate. For the brand Map Shop it was to increase these metrics on holiday-specific emails.

The End Goal? Revenue and Engagement

Most ecom shop owners want the same thing from their email marketing. Engagement and revenue are still the ‘bottom line’ of email marketing.

Acon sums up the goals well: “More revenue, better signup rates, bigger open rates, fewer unsubs.”

Of course, underlying mechanics drive these metrics. Open rate and click-through rates reflect email health. Excellent Photo knows that ‘more campaigns [and] better filters’ are a massive priority.

The Underground Advantage

While the times may be changing, priorities remain the same and solutions are on the horizon.

The key challenges brand owners face include:

  • Having enough time to develop expertise in Klaviyo and email marketing
  • Expanding marketing efforts while preserving the brand image
  • Driving revenue and engagemen
  • Optimizing foundational metrics like click-through, open rate, and sending volume

The terrain of e-commerce is ever shifting and complex. At Underground Ecom, we maintain a singular obsession with email marketing and Klaviyo. We specialize in helping amazing brands traverse the email marketing learning curve. We empower our clients with knowledge, expertise, and infrastructure. Our goal: is to help them leverage one of the most powerful channels in e-commerce.

The UE advantage is our relentless focus on our partner’s ROI. Yes, we help our clients grow revenue above everything else, but one of the biggest returns our clients see is time.

One of the chief dangers of outsourcing is respect for brand integrity. That’s why we have assembled a crack team of dedicated copywriters and designers who work closely with each brand to create assets perfectly aligned with the brands identity. Our goal is to focus on brand safety and consistency above all else.

Our relentless drive to hone our expertise has one aim. We are here to drive revenue and engagement for our clients, whatever the future holds.

A Big Thanks!

Every month we hand select brands who we think are doing amazing work in the ecom space.

We wanted to give a big thanks to all the brands that took part in our interview to make this article possible.

Please visit our contributors below and help support and promote their amazing businesses:


Gourmet Inspirations: Extra fine finishing sauces

Acon Finland Oy Ltd: Trampolines and airtracks

Frame Today: Picture framing and framing consults

Map Shop: Maps for travel, decor and business

Xplore Maps: Hand drawn and illustrated custom maps

Excellent Photo: Electronics gear and photography equipment

Bird & Knoll: Female luxury and travel attire

Them People Store: Fashion conscious skate and street wear

BeautyMatter: Cutting edge beauty coverage and content

Vitamart: Vitamins and supplements

Indigo de Papel: High end entertaining and culinary supplies

The Kid’s Table: Children’s meal delivery for busy parents

CBD Essentials USA: CBD products

Strap Quest: Luxury watch straps

AREA Home: Bedding and accessories company

Raw Living: Raw and superfoods brand

ISH Spirits: A mindful drinking company

Burlap & Barrel: Single origin spices for home kitchens

Videris Lingerie: Enlightened lingerie brand

200 Degrees: Independent specialty coffee roasters

Honeybee Gardens: Natural personal care products

Craftiviti: DIY Personal Care Ingredients & Therapeutic Crafts

Range Leather: Handcrafted quality leather goods

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