"Don’t judge a book by its cover" is a saying we’ve all heard. In most cases it's a good mantra to live by. But the hard truth in the online business world is the layout and overall look and feel of your website can play a role in how your business is perceived. Visitors really do judge your store and business by its “cover”.
That’s why it’s important to pick the perfect theme for your Shopify store.
In this post, we’ll take a look at things to consider when picking a theme for your Shopify store so your business and products can shine in the light they deserve.
The Importance of the Perfect Theme
So you might be wondering why it matters that your theme does certain things, or why it matters that the layout is a certain way. Do people really care about the colors on your website?
The fact of the matter is, the theme and layout of your online store is what encapsulates your brand and product. It’s a visual representation of your business and everything you, and your product(s) stand for.
Plus, it can have a significant affect on the performance of your online store in terms of conversion rates, trustworthiness, and more.
There’s quite a lot of different information at your fingertips that supports specific theme layouts and how they’re styled. For instance, most Internet users look at a website in an “F” shaped pattern. That means that, generally speaking, websites that have a strong header and a sidebar on the left hand side of the website are most intuitive for first-time users.
Another thing to note, is that a good theme and website design is a strong trust indicator. 94% of Internet users cite web design as a reason they don’t trust certain websites. If your website looks shady, chances are it’ll have a negative impact on your business.
A Business with The Perfect Theme
So now you're probably saying "Well, Tucker, show me a business that's doing it right" – here's an example for you – Speck and Stone.
Speck and Stone sells beautiful products, and has a beautifully designed store. They're using the Brooklyn (free) theme from the Shopify Theme Store, and have appropriated it and customized it to fit their business and brand.
By looking at their website, it just feels right. It's a hard thing to explain, but you'll know it when you see it. You can tell they spent time experimenting with other themes before they landed on this one.
One of the things that I love about their theme choice, is the fact that they understand their potential customers and what they're looking for. Their product is incredibly visual and unique – and this theme helps them convey that with large images, clear call to actions, and a simple navigation.
With the perfect theme, you too can achieve the same finesse that Speck and Stone has.
Before You Pick a Theme
The theme selection process can be overwhelming for some. If it’s your first time ever building an online store, it can be difficult to determine what's best for your business.
With your Shopify store, you start with a default theme and have the option to customize it, play around with it, or even just start fresh with a new theme.
To be clear, there's absolutely nothing wrong with using the default Shopify theme if it's your first time using Shopify. It works incredibly well, and is a good way to get an understanding of different theme features and styling options. I'd recommend playing around with it as a testing playground before jumping in to any other themes.
With that in mind, here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself before looking at themes:
- What are some desired features I want for my store?
- What are my competitors doing that I like, and how can I emulate it?
- How do I want my products to be displayed?
- How many products will I be displaying on my store?
- Do I want a paid or free theme?
The exercise of actually trying to answer these questions will help you move forward. You'll be able to start nailing down some criteria for your theme selection, which will start pointing you in the right direction towards the perfect theme.
After you’ve considered some of the questions above, it’s time to head to the Shopify Theme Store and start browsing the many different themes available.
If you want something completely unique to your business, you also have the option to work with a Shopify Expert. This is a great route to take if you have enough startup capital to spend working with a designer.
Enter the Shopify Theme Store
The Shopify Theme Store is home to more than 100 different themes you can use on your Shopify store. With third-party developers creating beautiful themes, and our own in-house team building themes – you’ll be able to find something that’s perfect for your business.
Note: We recommend only using themes from the Shopify Theme Store, as we carefully evaluate all themes submitted by theme designers for quality and functionality before they are listed in the Theme Store.
An important thing to consider when looking for the perfect theme is a theme's feature set. The Theme Store allows you to filter for particular features. We allow you to filter for the following features:
- Single Product Themes
- Newsletter Integrations
- Zoom in product images
- Drop-down Menus
Sorting Your Options Based on Industry
You'll also be able to take a look at the breakdown of industries and themes that might work well in those particular industries.
Keep in mind, that when you're looking at the industry breakdown, they're simply suggestions. A theme that's labelled as effective for the Electronics industry might work perfectly for your business that's in the Furniture industry. It's all about your personal preference!
Consider Theme Support as a Deciding Factor
Theme support is another important factor to consider when deciding on your perfect theme. All free themes are supported directly by Shopify through the Theme Support team. You can reach out to them for support at email@example.com.
All third-party developers have their own support team, so if you do end up using a theme that was made by a third-party, you'll have to contact their team directly should you run into any issues.
Look at the Most Popular Themes to See What's Working
You also have the ability to sort themes based on popularity. The good thing about this, is that it lets you see what themes are being used successfully by storeowners right now.
Chances are, if someone in your industry is using a theme successfully, you can appropriate the theme's design and styling to match your business and brand.
Most Importantly, Be Willing to Test and Experiment
So with all of that being said, it's clear that there are quite a few options when it comes to picking a theme for your Shopify store. So, how do you pick the perfect one?
Take your time to test and experiment.
Really, there's no better way to find out what's perfect for your business than to use the criteria, questions, and sorting features above to begin experimenting with different themes. You can install up to 20 themes in your store which gives you plenty of room to play around.
Truth be told, there's no "one size fits all" approach to picking a theme. Every business is different, and the only person who can make an informed decision on the perfect theme for your Shopify store is you.
Have you come across any Shopify stores in the wild that have a great theme? Let us know in the comments below!
About The Author
Tucker Schreiber is an entrepreneur and content crafter at Shopify. He writes to inspire and educate readers on all things commerce.