Few decisions will have as great an impact on the success of your online store as the design of your website. If you’re planning to build your store using Shopify, that means being very thoughtful in selecting a Shopify theme.
Shopify themes serve as design templates. The theme you choose determines not only the look of your website, but also its functionality. Both appearance and function have a lot to do with how many people visit your website and how many of them will become customers.
User-Friendly Shopify Themes
Shopify offers over 100 professionally designed themes through the Shopify Theme Store. Some Shopify templates are free, while others will cost you anywhere up to $180. You can use one of these themes to create your own online store—no design skills or experience required! Simply drag and drop to customize colours, fonts, and images. (If you prefer to work with a Shopify expert to build your store, that option is available for a fee.)
Selecting a Shopify Template
Whatever your particular needs may be, you’ll find a Shopify template that meets them. When you visit the Shopify Theme Store, you’ll find a number of theme collections, such as themes that have been released recently or that are currently trending, as well as themes designed specifically for small or large inventory stores or particular design preferences, such as “minimalist,” or “fun and lively.”
Themes are also organized by industry:
- Art and Photography
- Clothes and Fashion
- Jewelry and Accessories
- Food and Drink
- Home and Garden
- Health and Beauty
- Sports and Recreation
- Toys and Games
Shopify Template Search Parameters
If you don’t have the time or inclination to browse through all of the Shopify themes, or even only through those in a particular industry category, you can do a targeted search. To narrow the range of possibilities, simply select the features that are most important for your online store.
- Number of Products—There are themes meant for a single-product store, and others that are designed for multiple product catalogs—small, medium, or large inventory.
- Layout Style—The pre-set layout style choices are:
- Wide (accommodating large, high resolution images that take up the full width of the screen),
- Grid (an arrangement of multiple product images or other content in a grid-like arrangement of rows and columns),
- Collage (a masonry-style layout of multiple images or other content),
- Editorial (showcasing images in large panels), and
- Row (images are arranged in rows that can be re-ordered and customized).
- Product Page Features—You can specify tabs, whether or not a size chart is needed, image zoom capability, high definition images, whether or not there will be a gallery of images and/or links to related products.
- Home Page Features—Available search parameters for Home Page functionality include options related to displaying video and/or slides, and whether or not you want to be able to include customer testimonials or to use dynamic parallax scrolling, which creates a 3-D effect.
- Navigation—Some Shopify templates accommodate a sidebar menu or a slide-out menu. Other menu options are horizontal, multi-level, or multi-column.
- Marketing and Social Media—If you want to get the most out of your online and social media marketing, you can look for a Shopify template that accommodates marketing popups, promotional banners, Instagram and/or Twitter feeds, or Disqus blog comments.
As you check your desired search parameters, you can see how many themes are available that match each of the features you are looking for. When you select one of the themes identified through your search, you’ll see examples of web pages created using that theme, along with:
- A brief description of the theme
- The specific font styles included
- Reviews from people who have used the theme to create their online stores, and
- The features and functions available with that particular theme.
Common Shopify Template Elements
Any theme you obtain from the Shopify Theme Store has certain features and capabilities that are common to all Shopify templates. They all provide:
- Built in font styles and colour palettes
- Home Page content sections that can be customized
- Social media icons
- Drop-down navigation support
- Search engine optimization
- Mobile-friendly design
Popular Shopify Theme Features
Some features, like the ability to include a Home Page video, are common to many of the Shopify themes, but some are available with only a few.
1 – Home Page Video
Including a YouTube or Vimeo video on your Home page enables you to tell your story and brings a human presence to your website.
2 – Promotional Banner
A banner at the top of your Home page is a great way to advertise promotions, sales, and special discounts site visitors might want to take advantage of.
3 – Marketing Pop-Up
Some themes accommodate full screen promotional messages.
4 – Custom Modules
Themes that accommodate this degree of customization allow you to display a variety of promotional messages, frequently asked questions, blog posts, or other content on your Home page.
5 – Age Checker Pop-Up
Depending on the nature of your online store, you may want to choose a theme that allows you to include a pop-up for age verification purposes.
6 – Dates and Events
Businesses that do road shows or other special events often choose to provide a schedule on their Home page.
7 – Image Optimization
This feature enables you to use high-resolution images throughout your online store, adding to its visual appeal and showcasing your products attractively.
8 – Featured Product
Placing a single, featured product in a prominent position on your Home page gives it a lot of attention and invariably boosts sales of that product.
9 – Slideshow
Many online store owners choose to include on their Home page a slideshow highlighting one or more products or other images that reinforce their brand.
10 – Slideshow with Fading Effect
Including a slide show in which each image seamlessly fades into the next allows you to highlight multiple products on your Home page in an aesthetically pleasing and engaging manner.
11 – Multiple slideshows
Some themes allow you to include more than one slideshow on your Home page.
12 – Product Image Rollover
This feature enables site visitors to hover over an image on your Home or Collection page to display additional product information and images.
13 – Related Products
Displaying more products from the same collection on each Product page encourages customers to make additional purchases.
14 – Single Product Gallery
You can create a gallery of large, high resolution images of a single product to show it from different angles and focus attention on specific aspects or features.
15 – Full-Width Collection Grid
Selecting a theme with this feature enables you to display images of multiple products in a grid layout that makes use of the full width of the page, making it easy for prospective customers to see at a glance what your store has to offer.
16 – Collection Page Sidebar
If you choose a theme that allows you to display multiple related products as a collection, you might want to consider including a sidebar on each Collection page to display details about the collection as a whole.
17 – Lookbook Feature
A lookbook is a collection of photographs showing pieces in a collection artistically arranged in an editorial-style layout.
18 – Product Quick View
Themes offering this feature enable customers to view product details in a popup without leaving the current page.
19 – Sticky Navigation
This feature keeps menus always in view at the top of the screen, no matter how far down the page a site visitor scrolls.
20 – Menu Options
Many Shopify themes allow you to provide either a slide-out vertical sidebar menu or a horizontal menu drop-down menu for easy navigation within your store. You can also choose a theme featuring a multi-column drop-down menu.
21 – Product Filtering
This feature enables customers to search and sort products, which makes it easier for them to find what they’re looking for, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.
22 – Continuous Product Scroll
Infinite scrolling through products that automatically load on the same page, without having to wait for a new page to load, makes it more likely that customers will discover any given product.
23 – Slide-Out Cart
Items can easily be added to the customer’s cart without leaving the current page, streamlining the checkout process.
24 – Instagram Feed
Many Shopify themes enable you to display your latest Instagram posts for site visitors to read.
25 – FAQ Page
Rather than include a Frequently Asked Questions section on their Home page, many online store owners prefer to provide a separate page dedicated to FAQs.
26 – Quick Link to Google Maps
If you maintain one or more brick-and-mortar stores, you might prefer a Shopify theme that enables you to include a link to Google Maps to provide directions to your physical location(s).
27 – Customer Testimonials
Choosing a theme that allows customers to leave feedback is a good way to get people to engage with your brand.
What Shopify Themes Can Do for You
Conversion rate analysis research shows that the average website page visit lasts less than a minute. The main reasons for a high bounce rate are 1) not finding what they expect, 2) not knowing what to do, and 3) not believing that the site is trustworthy. Using a professionally designed Shopify template gives you plenty of ways to let visitors know exactly what you have to offer, makes it clear how to navigate and shop in your store, and establishes your site as genuine and transparent through your social media feeds and security badges.
If you can hold visitors on your site long enough to engage with your Product and Collection pages, you have a good chance of converting them to paying customers and making your online store a smashing success.