Shopify’s free trials are popular. They might just be in demand forever. New merchants look for ways to lower their risk in business. Shopify offers just that.
By testing out the Shopify platform, merchants can exhaustively understand whether the platform is suitable for their business.
If there are so many benefits, there must be some drawbacks. In this article, we comprehensively discuss the two sides of the coin: Shopify trial vs Paid plan. You also get an unfiltered truth about Shopify trial limitations and what you can expect.
Shopify Trial vs. Paid Plan
Shopify’s free trial is a mini, restricted version of what you get when you are on one of the paid plans. There are a few key differences between both, of course. Here are a few points you’d need to remember when two offers are pitted against each other.
You can’t make sales vs You can make sales
There you go. A thorn on your rose in your free trial. If you look into it, it is not such a hindrance. But, indeed, you cannot make sales during your free trial on Shopify, unless you have selected a paid plan.
If you don’t select a paid plan during your free trial, your customer will be able to reach your store but would not be able to make purchases. This works through a default system set up by Shopify creators wherein they make your checkout inactive until you have signed up on a paid plan.
Your store would have a storefront password locking the checkout as well. If you refuse to select a paid plan, you would have to use Shopify as a mere website builder.
You would not be able to make the best use of the features either if you fail to make sales. It is important to note that you would not have to pay the subscription fee till the end of the trial even if you select a plan at the beginning of the trial period.
The trial duration is too short vs No time limit
Shopify does change the duration of its trial period now and then. It took 30 days. 90 days, and even 60 days of trial periods in the past. The longest one has been a 14 day free trial.
The current Shopify free trial lasts only 3 days. Although you would be able to extend the duration for 3 months it wouldn’t be free.
To take up this offer, you would need to pay $3 for the 90 extended days. I say, fair enough. Paying only $3 for 3 months allows new merchants to experiment and test out the features and integral functions of the hosted e-commerce platform to the fullest.
Merchants have, from the start of time, complained about how short Shopify trials are. They barely get to setting up the store in 3 days.
A trial period lasts at least a month is necessary if someone wants to test out import features like possible payment gateways and shipping options. You would also need a longer time than 2 weeks or 3 days to understand if Shopify is what your online business requires.
Restricted data vs Unlimited data gathering
When you are on a paid plan, one of the best features that Shopify offers to its merchants is abundant data and metrics to understand how your business is doing.
This includes traffic, conversion, audience insight, customer reviews, keywords, and social media analytics. These factors are best recorded when an online store is allowed to go live, with the ability to make sales.
During a Shopify free trial, you would still be allowed to access some of the metrics but it would be more useful and effective had you been selling your products.
Moreover, Shopify’s cohesive guidance would be more accurate if they can read your data after you have made sales.
Restricted promotions vs Unrestricted promotions
Shopify trial limitations are eliminated once you have a paid plan on board. If you don’t, one of the misses that you may face is the complete liberty to promote your store the Shopify way.
What’s the Shopify way now? Shopify allows merchants to integrate several apps and tools into their account that makes marketing, positioning, and promoting a store or a business quite seamless.
They guide you on how to target and who to target, including where to promote. The limitation that comes into effect when you are on a free trial is that you can integrate only certain tools, not all.
Free vs Paid
The free trial does not require you to pay a single penny. You can even make sales if you select a plan during the trial.
You would be charged per transaction sales in your free trial.
Shopify offers one of the most affordable plans compared to other e-commerce platforms. The Basic plan starts from $29, the Shopify plan for $79, and the advanced plan for $299.
However, you would have to pay higher amounts of transaction fees for cheaper plans.
On the other hand, you can take advantage of the free trial with no fees paid. With a special offer of 90 days for $1 per month, you can make the best use of both.
Shopify Trial Limitations
Like most merchants who have used Shopify’s free trial, I, too, am a fan of what the e-commerce platform offers with the free trial period.
During the free trial, users can avail most of what any other subscriber is granted. But there must be some clampdowns to a test trial. And why not? It is free.
You’d be relieved to know there are very few Shopify free trial limitations if any. All of these constraints are eliminated as soon as you do what you are supposed to: Select a paid plan.
The biggest limitation that the Shopify trial has is that you are unable to make sales and earn money from your store unless you have selected a paid plan.
Your checkout will be locked and you would not be able to live on a free trial if you don’t have a paid plan selected. You can pay for the plan at the end of the trial period but during the trial, you can sell your products.
The shopify trial is also short. For many, the current 3 days are not long enough to test out the platform, let alone set up a store.
There’s only so much Shopify could offer during the free trial, right? They allow merchants to use most of the features and apps but restrict a few.
Hopefully, this article clears the air for you regarding Shopify’s benefits and limitations. The Shopify trial’s benefits far outweigh the few limitations that it bears. These limitations can easily be eliminated by selecting one of the paid plans. So don’t miss out on making the best use of shopify with my tips.