How to choose a Shopify theme for your new eCommerce?Updated on January 21, 2023 in Ecommerce by Nishant Shrimali
Choosing a Shopify theme for your eCommerce can sometimes be a question of hours.
But seriously, how do you choose the best theme, especially when our focus is to keep the customer experience in mind?
Also, hiring a developer as an option to tweak the design is an option, but throw that thought out of the window.
Here, I am sharing some steps and tips that will help you find a perfect Shopify theme for an online store that your customer remembers.
What are Shopify Themes?
Shopify themes are pre-built templates that you can use for your Shopify store to determine how your store will look. You can edit the themes using various Shopify builders, without any technical experience in coding and web development.
Currently, there are a total of 85 Shopify themes, out of which 9 are free and 76 are paid. All the themes are mobile-friendly, and some are also niched to the industry to help you start right.
Why does Shopify Theme for eCommerce matter?
There are various reasons why a Shopify theme for eCommerce matters.
- Saves Resources: Developing a Shopify theme from scratch requires a lot of resources. From designers, developers, testers, and more. Getting their services involves a lot of resources that one avoids simply getting started with Shopify themes.
- Saves Time: Even if someone is willing to invest resources, the other important pro of using a theme is the time you can save. Even if you hire the best team on the first go, it is going to take at least one to three months for what you could get in less than half-hour with themes.
- Already Tested: Shopify themes are created through deep research and rigorous testing. That means you know that the theme you choose will positively impact your customer experience and you can simply focus on selling.
- Safety: When dealing with customers’ money, we want to make sure that all the transactions are safe and that no backdoors are left open for a security breach. As mentioned, Shopify themes for eCommerce go through rigorous testing which means you get a high level of security, no doubt.
- User experience: This is important for modern eCommerce. To stand out, you have to make sure customer focuses just on your product, and nothing distracts them. This particular concept is something that every theme focuses on, hence making sure you are right from the first step.
Yes, you can invest your time and resources in developing a custom theme. But when you have to skip all this from the start and focus on the business part, why would you?
Peter Thiel puts this in one of the best ways possible in his book Zero to One –
“The road doesn’t have to be infinite after all. Take the hidden paths.”
Peter Thiel, Zero To One
Tips to choose the best Shopify theme for your eCommerce
Stick with the Shopify theme store
Shopify is one of the largest eCommerce platforms. That is why you’ll find a lot of third-party themes and marketplaces where you can get a Shopify theme for the eCommerce you want.
But, to expert suggestions, it’s better to stick with the Shopify theme store. These are themes that are professionally curated and created by experts that perfectly align with the other Shopify features and interface.
They have security and are being used by many other store owners as their stepping stone to get started.
Determine important features
It is always best to know what you are looking for. Right? Now, it might sound a little philosophical, but that’s true.
When you are looking to get the best theme for your Shopify store, things get much easier if you know what you want your store to look like.
These features could be:
- Related products
- Sticky navigation
- Product filtering
- The layout of the products
- Search Engine Optimization
If you have no idea where to get started, look at the top Shopify stores, and using the Shopify theme detector, find the themes that they are using.
Note that you might have to check out multiple sites before you find the one that aligns with your vision. Also, these are the top brands which means they must have customized the theme once they saw progress.
With that in mind let’s look out for the third tip here.
Prioritize being mobile-friendly
In 2021, 56% of all online purchases happened through mobile devices. Putting that in your perspective, the majority of your customers will be visiting your site through mobile. And the percentage is all set to rise, as the trend is suggesting.
But what does this mean by being mobile-friendly in 2023?
The basics are the layout, the speed, and the optimization of images and the content. But your Shopify theme for eCommerce should be more than basic, right?
So make sure that the theme you choose promotes a mobile experience with an easy-to-use UI. The features like a search bar, navigation bar, product image layout, and category layout all are curated for the mobile experience.
Lastly, you can even use Google Web.dev tools to test the sites using the theme of your choice and pick the one with a high score and a good UI for your eCommerce.
Test checkout optimization
This is something that has to be spoken out loud. One of the most important stages that determine if your eCommerce will see sales rolling in is your checkout process.
Did you know, that 64% of buyers abandon their cart? The reasons can vary but 64% of the total customers were going to buy the product.
That is why it is important that when you choose the Shopify theme for an eCommerce store you make the checkout process well optimized.
- Make sure that the theme supports guest checkout.
- The process should be simple and must require as minimum steps as possible.
If your theme supports the following suggestions, you have a higher chance of having a lower cart abandonment rate.
Look out for themes with support
Chances are, you’ll be picking up a great theme of your choice, and will be using it for at least a year or two.
During this time, you want to make sure that there are regular updates to keep the theme running smoothly and safely.
Also, in case you hit a road end, you need someone to reach out and solve the problem you are facing. That is why when making your final picks, I’ll suggest looking at the Support and documentation section of the theme.
You’ll find all the updates and changes the theme has gone through and how can you contact them in case you need their help.
Test rigorously and read reviews
This is something that you must take very seriously at this point. I am assuming, by this point, you would have picked the top 3 themes for your eCommerce.
Now, it’s time to make sure they are really good. Look at the stores using the theme, and test them across various measures using the tools we discussed in the third point.
Also, look out for reviews and ratings about the experience customer head related to the website and checkout process. Also reviews from the site owners who are using the theme.
Explore other niches as well
One of the most common issues that new store owners face when choosing a Shopify theme for eCommerce is that they can’t find a theme in their niche.
That sounds reasonable but confined. The best part about the themes is that you can edit them. That means, that even if you can’t find themes with product images similar to you, you can add them later.
So, don’t confine yourselves to one niche, and also look out for the themes that are doing great in other niches.
Getting started with a new eCommerce store can be exciting. After all, it brings a whole new possibility of success in our life. Above, we discussed some of the actionable tips to help you choose a Shopify theme for eCommerce.
Tips for helping you start right. Now, here is the second step. Make sure your products look professional and eye-catching. It builds trust and helps in higher conversion.
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