Shopify is probably the best e-commerce platform when it comes to D2C business. Obviously, it’s a paid service that starts at $29.99 per month. But you can also use it for free as a time-limited trial. In this article, we’ll explain step-by-step how to sign up for a free trial and create your own online store.
As of now, Shopify offers only a single trial length which is set to 14 days. The only period when Shopify offered 90 days was during the COVID-19 pandemic from October to June 2020. The goal was to help people to take their businesses online but the offer is no longer valid.
As Shopify staff member said:
“In March, we introduced 90 day free trials as a temporary relief effort to help businesses get online during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of June 1, this offer ended and we’ve returned to our standard 14-day free trial.”
Besides the 14 and 90 day trials, there were also some custom length trials including 21-day, 30-day, and 60-day free trials. But as far as we know, these are no longer available either.
How to Signup for a Free Shopify Trial
Step 1 – To enroll in a free trial plan simply go to www.shopify.com/free-trial and enter your e-mail. Then confirm by clicking the “Start free trial” button.
Step 2 – In the next step, add your password and store name. Then confirm by clicking the “Create your store” button. The store name will be used to access the store on the Internet. The URL will look like store-name.myshopify.com but you can also change the link later by adding a custom domain.
Step 3 – In the third step you can fill in a short survey about yourself but you can simply skip it by clicking the “Skip” button. There is no penalty for skipping it so feel free to do so.
Step 4 – In the next step, you will be asked to enter your business address. If you are not sure yet, simply add some dummy data as you can always update it later. Once done click the “Enter my store” button.
Step 5 – Now you should be redirected to your own store. Congratulations! You can now start by adding products, choosing the store theme, and installing some of the apps.
By default, you will have 14 days of the free trial. During this period you can run the business without any limitations and generating your first sales.
How to Activate the Trial
In order to activate the trial, you need to select one of the paid plans. You have basically three options.
- Basic Shopify for $29 / month – Gives you everything you need to run a successful online store including multi-currency and global payment methods. The only major drawback is a high transaction fee of 2.0%
- (Standard) Shopify for $79 / month – Basically same as Basic Shopify plan with advanced reporting tools, 2 store languages, and a lower transaction fee of 1.0%
- Advanced Shopify for $299 / month – Gives you more of everything (accounts, locations, languages) but more importantly a transaction fee of only 0.5%
Once you make up your mind, simply click on the “Choose this plan” button and continue with the payment. You can pay either by Credit Card or PayPal. You need to do this within the 14-day trial period otherwise your store will be frozen (on hold).
Besides these three, there is also a Shopify Plus plan which starts at $2.000 per month and is available only per quote. And something called Shopify Lite (or “Buy Button”) which costs only $9 per month. It is basically a headless version that gives you capabilities to make a sale but you can’t build an online store on top of that.