The long time we’ve all spent in lockdown has unlocked the potential for entrepreneurship in a lot of people. However, you can’t really just open a new physical store and rely on foot traffic in this day and age, lockdown or not. The Internet has quickly become a necessity for any small business who wants to survive and thrive, but it’s not always easy to set an online shop up.
Luckily, there is a wide variety of online store builders and ecommerce software suites available online. Shopify is one of the most popular platforms in 2021, helping you set up, maintain, and profit from your online store right from your humble beginnings. It has a lot of features that are useful for online entrepreneurs, but it’s also a service that you have to pay for. If you’re interested in using Shopify, keep on reading to learn about its different pricing tiers and how to avail of the free trial to see if Shopify is for you.
What Shopify Does
Shopify helps you build a professional-looking online store website without requiring a lot of technical experience.
As mentioned above, Shopify is one of the most popular store builders for online entrepreneurs. This comes as no surprise, since the e-commerce platform has made a name for itself by providing excellent service to its customers. The customer-end of your store can be as polished and beautiful as you want, with Shopify’s wide array of templates and elements letting even those who are unfamiliar with making a website build something that looks professional while still being accessible. The service has 10 free themes available immediately, but if those don’t suit your business, you can also take a look at more than 50 paid themes which are priced at around $150.
Meanwhile on the backend, there are a lot of statistics and data made available to those running the shop. Customer profiles are easily accessible so you can get to know what kinds of people frequent your shop, and dropshipping is made easier by integration with apps like Ordoro and eCommHub. Shopify is also available on mobile, so you can keep managing your store on the go. Inventory management, product organization, and even support for images and videos on your store are all made as easy as possible to set up. If you’re interested in learning more about how Shopify works, you can check out our more detailed guide here. In short, though, it’s a solid choice for anyone starting or continuing a business online.
Shopify has three pricing tiers that cater to different business sizes.
In order to cater to as many business owners as possible, Shopify has three pricing tiers that offer different features depending on how large your business is. All three tiers offer the same protection against fraud and the same access to the online store, selling on social media (like Facebook, Instagram, etc.). Store management is also mostly the same, with unlimited products, coupons and gift cards, and access to an integrated marketing platform available regardless of which plan you choose.
The main difference between these three lies in two factors: payments and how many accounts and locations are made available. The basic tier offers the most limited options, with up to 4 locations and only 2 staff accounts available per plan. The Shopify plan expands this to a 5 location maximum and 5 staff accounts, while bigger businesses can use the Advanced plan, which supports up to 8 locations and 15 staff accounts. Payment differs in the rates, with the basic plan generally offering higher rates (2.9% + 30 cents USD for online transactions or 2.7% for in-person credit card rates compared to 2.4% + 30 cents USD and 2.4% respectively when using the advanced plan). If you’re already itching to set your shop up, though, you can avail of the short free trial.
How to Use Free Trial
Shopify’s free trial period is easily available, with FAQs from the company itself teaching you how to maximize it.
The free trial is easily accessible from the front page, and Shopify also offers a few tips to make sure you make the most of it. After signing up for Shopify and creating your store, all plans are already available for you to test out. You can do a lot during your free trial, including setting up your actual website’s appearance. You can also add a few products and details, organize your products into collections, and start setting up Shopify Payments or any other approved third-party payment service that you prefer.
The one thing that you can’t do during this time, though, is to actually start selling your products or services on your store. To do that, you will have to first choose a monthly plan. Once your free trial period has elapsed, you’ll be prompted to choose the paid plan that you think suits you best. If you sign up for a plan, you’ll lose none of the progress you’ve made and can then move on to conducting business on your new website. If you don’t choose any of the plans, your store will be frozen. There aren’t any hidden fees or obligations, so if you decide that Shopify isn’t for you, you won’t have to worry about suddenly getting charged for a service you aren’t using.
Free Trial Length of Time
The extended 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day trials are no longer available.
The official free trial period that Shopify offers at the time of writing is 14 days long, which is plenty of time to do all of the setting up mentioned in the section above. A common misconception, though, is that the trial is 30 days long (which is a common length of time for other products, so it’s understandable).
Shopify used to have a 90 day trial available around the first and second quarters of 2020 to help brick-and-mortar stores transition to online business during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that promo ended on June 1, 2020. A 60 day trial period was also available in the past to exclusive Shopify partners, but that’s also no longer a thing.
Some people have asked Shopify if it’s possible to extend their trial, and Shopify responded by saying that it’s more or less on a case-to-case basis. Customers are asked to send an email to their support desk so that Shopify can review whether the account is eligible for an extension.
Shopify’s 14 day trial is perfect for those who want to check it out before fully committing.
As seen in the earlier sections, Shopify is a solid choice regardless of whether you’re running a small or medium online enterprise. It’s highly customizable and user friendly while sacrificing none of the powerful tools you’ll need to analyze how your store is doing. The free trial period is generous enough for you to decide whether Shopify is for you, too, so you’ll only need to pay if you’re really sure about using it.
If you’re looking for a service that can support a bigger company than even the advanced plan can, it might be worth it to check Shopify Plus out. If you’re still unsure after reading this article, you can also check out other store building platforms that Instructify has reviewed before, like Wix or Magento. However, if your interest is already piqued, then pay Shopify a visit and sign up for their free trial.
The free trial for Shopify lasts 14 days, though the support desk does consider extensions on a case-to-case basis.
No, since the 90 day trial was only a promo to help businesses struck by COVID-19 lockdowns. This promo ended last June 1, 2020.
Shopify has three plans: Basic ($29/mo), Shopify ($79/mo), and Advanced ($299/mo), with a 10% discount for annual plans or a 20% discount for biannual plans when paid upfront.
Shopify answers on their manual that no additional actions are needed to cancel your account if you didn’t choose a paid plan during your free trial. If you did select a plan, then you will have to manually close your store.