Google has decided that starting tomorrow, they're going to make Chrome block ads in websites that don't meet the standards of the Better Ads Coalition which Google is a member of. That means they're going to penalize sites with pop up ads and prevent the ads from being shown whenever a Chrome user is on that web page.
But the problem is that there's no easy way for a small store with a tight budget to conform to Google's new standards. The only apps I can find on the Shopify app store to make ads for things like getting email addresses use pop ups and those aren't going to be allowed on Chrome. Google claims that something like a full screen inlined ad would work, but I can't find anything in Shopify to allow that type of ad? I don't know how I'm supposed to put in ads on Shopify to capture leads now since there's nothing I can find that's available or cheap?
I would recommend you carefully review what exactly they're going to block. To me it doesn't read like they're going to block ALL pop-ups, just the automatically appearing kind with or without a timer. That would mean that things like exit intent popups would still appear.
Also check the ad experience report for your site in Google Search Console when your site has been scanned.
There's a lot of buzz around this topic today, thanks for sharing those links. After looking at the types of ads penalized it seems there are still a few viable options that you could use to grow your list. I recently wrote a post about apps to help you grow your business and I don't think a single one of them is affected by this (at least not completely).
For example, the SUMO app has several pop up options. Looking at their options - yeah looks like most of these are in trouble. But Number #6 on the list builder tools (List Builder Scroll Box - DEMO) looks like your best bet for this new ad-blocking age.
I plan doing further research on this as this unfolds, should be interesting to see how companies whose primary offering is pop ups deal with the change.
Your concern is genuine and understandable. To ensure a better experience for web users is the very reason that there are so many measures taken by Google. You may try Facebook/ Instagram ads if you want to generate leads with display ads. But here's what I think you should be aware of - more than 600 M users are using some sort of adblocking software and there has been a 30% growth in the adoption rate of such software (Source).
Since you cater to a niche segment, a strong SEO backed with some great content and social media presence will work wonders for you (acquisition pov). Once you've built that you can engage your users with any channel that you find suitable for you - emails, text SMS or push notifications. For channels such as email or SMS the first essential is - valid user data followed by open rate and/or CTR. This problem can be easily solved with browser notifications as a) They don't ask a user to share any credentials and b) no need to check inbox - as browser notifications are delivered directly to the user on the device screen.
You might also want to read how this Ecom gardening store saw an increase of more than 50% in order value using browser notifications.