Shopify offers a free trial period with no credit card required to help website builders experience its great features before making a final decision to become paying members. Different websites offer varying information on Shopify’s free trials.
Some of the websites had the correct information at the time of publishing but information on Shopify’s free trials continues to change from time to time.
The varying information you get online leaves you with one question, what is the official free trial period for Shopify stores? I will show you how to get a free Shopify trial and help you understand the current free trial period, which free trials were once valid and how you can manage your free trial period effectively.
Shopify’s Free Trial History
The free trial period is your chance to get familiar with any given platform or service. It is also a period that you make a decision whether to continue with the service via payment packages or to drop it entirely. For e-commerce stores builders like Shopify, it is a period to set up your store, make test sales and other sales preparations.
Most people who use any given free trial end up purchasing the various payment packages. Back in 2014, you could find 30-day or 60-day free trial links which led to Shopify’s Basic plan. Shopify went ahead to cancel these extended periods and rolled out the 21-day free trial in February 2018.
Currently, the official free trial period is 14 days. However, you can still access a 21-day period via a 7-day extension on top of the official free trial period. You will have to contact Shopify’s support team to get the free trial period. You will need a valid reason to get this extension. An example of a convincing reason is if you need to complete setting up your Shopify Store.
What Are The Benefits of Shopify’s Free Trial Period?
- You get to explore the app features
- You get to choose a suitable theme from the theme store
- You can create a website using the templates.
- Select products for your store, run test sales and select the winning products
Is The 60-Day Trial Working In 2019?
No. Shopify cancelled this free trial period. Be wary of links inviting you to Shopify’s 60-day trials. They are either scam or links inviting you to join the affiliate programs of other websites.
Is The 30-Day Trial Working In 2019?
No. 30-day free trial links were also dissolved by Shopify. The only way you could access the 30-day trial is by asking for an extension. You will need a convincing reason to get your free trial period from 14 days to 30 days. Otherwise, such links could be a scam.
Is The 21-Day Trial Working In 2019?
No and Yes.
Shopify has set out 14 days to be the official free trial period for people creating ecommerce stores on the platform.
You can get a 21-day free trial period if you contact customer support. They could give you a 7-day extension to complete your store set up. However, you will need a good reason to get this extension.
Current Shopify Free Trial Period
The current Shopify free trial runs for 14 days. After this period, you will need to choose a payment plan to be able to run your store. You can also choose a payment plan before you begin the free trial period. Shopify will not charge you during this period. They will bill your store once the free trial period runs down.
What If A Shopify Partner Creates My Store?
You can have a Shopify partner create a store for you. Once it is ready, they will transfer it to your name. However, the store is not live (customers cannot visit and no sales are happening) when the Shopify partner is working on establishment.
The Shopify partner will be able to access your website data, customer records, etc. Shopify will launch your store once it is transferred to your name and your customers will be able to visit and make purchases.
You are not billed for the period the Shopify partner is setting up your store. However, once the store is transferred to your name, you will need to choose a payment plan.
Shopify Payment Plans
The Shopify plan you choose determines your store’s capacity in terms of features. Shopify plans have a lot to offer to your store for example:
- Flexible payment integrations
- Professional support
- A lot of in-built tools for example email autoresponders
- Simple store layout that is easy to use.
There are 4 payment plans on Shopify. They include:
1. Basic Shopify
You will pay a monthly fee of $29 for this plan. If you choose to pay annually, you will be charged $78.60. The credit card rate is 2.9% and an additional online transaction fee of 30p. The plan is valid for 2 staff accounts and you have access to professional support, discount codes, website and blog among other features. You will get a Shopify shipping discount of up to 64%.
The Shopify plan will cost you $79 per month. If you choose to pay annually, it comes to $119.10. The credit card rate is 2.6% and an additional 30p for the online transaction fee. You get a Shopify shipping discount of up to 72%. You get everything in the basic plan plus professional reports, up to 5 staff accounts and gift cards.
3. Advanced Shopify
Advanced Shopify costs $299 per month. For annual payments, you will be charged $314.10. The credit card rate is 2.4% plus the online transaction fee of 30p. You have access to 15 staff accounts. The Shopify shipping discount for this plan goes up to 74%.
You will get everything from the Shopify plan plus advanced report builder and third-party calculated shipping rates.
4. Shopify Plus
You will pay a monthly fee of $2000 for this plan. For annual payments, they will charge you $2041.25. The credit card rate is 1.6% plus the online transaction fee of 30p. This plan gives you every feature from the previous plan plus unlimited staff accounts, and an outstanding Shopify discount.
Note: for all Shopify plans, you get to sell an unlimited number of products and an unlimited file storage capacity.
How To Manage Your Shopify Free Trial
The free trial period is a chance to fully optimize and customize your store. You cannot afford to be sloppy during this period. You can also finish your store set up just in time to make some sales before the free trial period expires. Here are some tips you can use to fully optimize your store during the free trial period.
1) Choose A Niche And Conduct Research
In choosing a niche you need to consider your interests and target audience. You can take a couple of days to study your target market. Identify what influences their decisions based on their demography, culture and interests. You can conduct a social media research to see how you can effectively communicate and market to your audience.
You can also conduct research to identify and study your competitors to find out what products and marketing strategies they are using. Identify what you don’t like and work to improve on your offerings. The research you do in this stage will be very useful to decide what products you wish to sell.
2) Select At Least 10 Products For Your Store
Create a list of products you wish to sell based on your research in the first step. You can also use supplier platforms to discover the highest selling products in your target niche. AliExpress is an example of a platform with such information. The platform displays top ten products and brands and recently purchased products.
You can also list products that have been newly launched by reputable manufacturers. Reputable brands and manufacturers let you tap into their wide customer base.
3) Choose A Competent Supplier
There are various dropshipping suppliers that let you list their products on your Shopify store. Some of them include Oberlo, Chinabrands, SaleHoo and Worldwide Brands among others.
You can assess the reliability of a supplier using various factors like:
- The number of suppliers on the platform
- The number of products the dropshipping supplier offers
- Do they fulfil orders automatically?
- Will the supplier let you brand the products in your store’s name?
- What is the product quality?
- The cost of goods.
- Shipping times
- Do they ship globally?
4) Source For Marketing Influencers
Influencer marketing should be part of your marketing strategy. Influencers are people with a wide follower base on social media platforms. They will give you a better chance of facing competition that has been in the market longer than you.
They will post and recommend your products to their followers and you will have generated a lot of leads with a high potential of conversion to sales. Contact at least 4 of them before you launch and enlist their services. Note that they will charge you for their services.
Your influencers can begin marketing before you launch your store. They will use call to actions and you can work with them to offer pre-order options. Once your store opens, you will receive a lot of traffic which will boost your sales.
5) Create A Shipment Policy, Product Descriptions And Payment Modes
Your customer will assess these factors before they make a purchase. They will want to know your shipping and return policies, mode of payment and will look at the product descriptions before they make a purchase.
You need to import product images and descriptions from your supplier. Furthermore, you should consider multiple payment methods to widen your customer base. Some of the most common modes of payment include PayPal and credit cards.
You can complete the setup process with a couple of days. Some are known to complete the setup process within 24 hours. It is entirely up to you. Take your time to set up a fully optimized store. However, the quicker you set up your store the faster you can begin marketing and making sales.
Once your store is ready, you can begin implementing your marketing strategies for example by sending the links out to your influencers.
Shopify only offers a 14-day free trial. In the past, the period was longer but to extend this period you need to get in touch with customer service. Furthermore, you also need a very good reason to get the extension. An extension could get you a 21-day free trial.
Once your free trial period is over, you need to subscribe to a payment package if you had not picked one at the beginning of your free trial. Shopify offers 4 payment packages which include basic Shopify, Shopify, Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus.
During this free trial period you should undertake in steps that will help you to fully optimize your store. They are: research and select a niche; select products you want to sell; source for a supplier; get in touch with marketing influencers and create shipment policies, product descriptions and payment modes.