Keys To Success in the Trial Period

Aria
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff

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If you’ve just taken out a free trial on Shopify, you might be wondering what your next steps should be. I’m here to help you with that. If you haven’t yet started your 14-day free trial, you are welcome to do that right here.

 

All Shopify plans start with a trial to give you time to prepare for a successful business before you start paying for your subscription. You don’t need a credit card to take part in the trial period, however, if you're ready to start receiving orders from your customers, you will need to enter your card details or Paypal details and choose your plan before you start selling. Paypal is available as a payment method if you’re outside the US. We won’t bill you until the trial period is over, even if your payment method is on your account.

 

Read on to find out what help and resources are available to you. We want to help you launch and start making money as soon as you’re ready.

 

Where Do You Start?

If this is your first time setting up a store, it’s understandable you may feel a little overwhelmed or concerned that you may miss out on something important. Take a look at our Getting Started guide to begin with then use our Essential Shopify Store Launch Checklist as a guide to make sure you don’t miss anything.

 

If you’re a visual learner, you will find our free webinars useful. Watching someone else set up a store can make it a lot easier to set up your own and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions. Current topics are:

 

Another fantastic resource is the free courses on Shopify Compass. We introduce new courses regularly, as well as one-off webinars so make sure you bookmark this one. Here are the courses currently on offer:

 

Our YouTube Channel has lots of shorter videos for when you don’t quite have enough time for a full course. There are too many videos to mention, including how-to’s, Shopify Business Stories, Working Through Failure stories, and much more. Make sure you hit the Subscribe button and turn on the notification bell to get the latest video releases!

 

Look At Your Store Through Your Customer’s Eyes

 

Before you spend money advertising your store, one of the best things you can do is ask for feedback! We have a whole community of Shopify staff, Shopify Partners, and fellow entrepreneurs ready and willing to help you out to ensure your store looks both trustworthy and professional. This post goes over some of the most frequent feedback we give to stores. I recommend you go through that first. You’re also welcome to start your own thread to request tailored feedback for your own store.

 

The best looking stores I’ve ever seen have one thing in common: stunning photography! If you’re bootstrapping your store, that’s the one thing I’d suggest spending money on. For dropshippers, consider purchasing sample products to arrange your own photography. This guide explains the product image best practices. I’ve used both productphoto.com and Products On White Photography (a Shopify Expert) with great results. If you’d like to see examples of stores who got it right, have a look at this blog post.

 

If I Build It, They’ll Come! Right???

 

Of course, when you’ve finished building your beautiful store, you’ll want to drive traffic to it. For that, you’ll need a solid marketing plan. The first step in creating your plan is to define your target audience.

Facebook ads are the most common tool used to drive traffic to new stores. If you’re selling a product people are likely to search for, Google Ads are worthwhile too. If you’re on a tight budget, there are other more cost-effective ways to reach your target audience. You could try some of these ideas:

 

  • Content Marketing is key! It gives people another reason to visit your website and helps to boost your SEO.
  • Email Marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach your audience.
  • Pinterest Marketing is a long-term method. Customers often pin products and buy them months and even years later.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is another long-term strategy that is well worth investing time in from the beginning to ensure you start showing up on Google search results.
  • Instagram Marketing can be an authentic way to reach people, especially if you have visual products.
  • Micro-influencer marketing is another great option. Influencers with a smaller following often have a higher engagement rate. It can be particularly effective if you combine this strategy with your own affiliate plan.

You can find more ideas in our blog post, How to Get Your First Sale in 30 Days: A Marketing Checklist for New Entrepreneurs.

 

Social Proof

 

Potential customers are more likely to trust your store if they can see other customers already love your product and service. This can be hard to show when you’re new but there are ways to start building your Social Proof. Make sure you ask your customers for reviews. Our free app can help with this. You can find more review apps here. If you’re moving to Shopify from another platform, you can import your reviews to the app to display in your store.

Make sure you have Social Media pages set up for your business. It needs to be manageable so you might want to choose two to begin with. Be selective of where your business will be represented. It's important to recognize where your ideal customers are and join the platforms where they are most likely to engage with you:

 

  • Facebook: Great for more community engagement with your customers and getting to know them. Like a focus group!
  • Instagram: Great for showing off some behind the scenes stories and how to use the products, etc.
  • Twitter: Useful for building a community around a brand. The easiest way to reach your customers quickly and help support them if this works for your business. Banter and brand personality develop in this platform the best
  • Pinterest: The internet's most popular wish list. The demographic who use it most is women aged 30 and up.
  • YouTube: The second largest "search engine" next to google search itself. Your videos don’t have to be pro or even more than 3 mins long. The most labour intensive platform but can be well worth it if you can create how-to videos.

Once you’ve set up your Social Media pages, be sure to link them to the footer of your homepage by going to Online Store > Themes > Customize > Theme Settings > Social Media.

 

Need More Inspiration?

 

Be sure to check out our case studies of successful businesses. What works for one business, won’t necessarily work for another. Use this as inspiration to come up with ideas that will work well for your store, rather than trying to do exactly the same thing.

 

Of Course, Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day……

 

Even businesses that seemed to be overnight success stories had a long path of effort and perseverance before they became successful. It'll take time. Make sure you use your Shopify Analytics to get a picture of how your store is doing. A successful new store will typically have a 2 - 4 % conversion rate. If you shoot to drive 1000 visitors to your store over the course of a month, that could potentially translate into 20 - 40 orders. If you have less than 1000 visitors, focus on the marketing advice I provided above and think about how you can drive more traffic. If you have at least 1000 visitors but less than 20 orders, it’s time to consider if your ideal customer is the right fit for your business or if your store appeals to that customer.

 

You’re Not Alone!

 

You’re welcome to start your own post if you’d like to ask for help. You can also reach out to our Support Team. This post goes over the different ways we can support you. We want to help so please reach out to us at any time.

 

I wish you the best of luck with your new business! I hope you’re our next success story.