How to choose ecommerce themes

How to choose ecommerce themes

Between picking your products and launching your business, there’s one important step – deciding on the best Shopify theme for your store. Shopify and other hosted ecommerce platforms make it super easy to launch a store: you just register for an account, select your store’s look, add products, and that’s it – you’re ready to go.

However, each step in the process of creating your store has to be carefully considered in order to succeed. Just like choosing a product category that is too broad or too narrow, a poorly designed store will turn your prospective customers off at first glance.

In fact, research shows that 70% of people don’t trust poorly designed websites.

But generally, it’s fairly easy to find great Shopify templates. After all, there are several Shopify themes you can choose from, including a few free Shopify themes.

Today we’re going to go through some of the best Shopify themes available, and underline which why we believe they’re so great.

What Is a Website Template?

A website template, or a theme, is a ready-to-use website design that you can download and install onto your existing website. This is different from the traditional way of building your store, which was usually done from scratch, as it allows you to create a foundation for your store in minutes, which you can build upon later.

Choosing a theme for your store will have a big impact on how your store will end up looking, and first impressions matter, so you don’t just want to randomly choose any old theme.

It’s quite normal that you might feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of choosing the right ecommerce theme for your business, and that’s why you need to take a look at the type of website that you want to build, and also the different features and customization options, as well as the budget and experience you have.

Your website theme will lay down the foundation of how people will perceive you, so that’s why we’ll look into the things you need to consider before selecting your web store theme.

How to Pick the Best Shopify Theme

Okay, now that we’ve covered what a Shopify theme is, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of picking a Shopify theme for your ecommerce business.

Here are some things to keep in mind before picking your Shopify theme:

1. Make Sure Your Shopify Theme Looks Familiar

According to Krug’s first law of usability, the website should be obvious and self-explanatory. Or, in his words, “Don’t make your users think.”

The best Shopify themes follow a conventional design and use widely accepted methods and layouts. Free Shopify themes also follow the same design principles.

Next, you’ll need to think about the position of your ecommerce cart and checkout pages — you’ll never look for them in the footer of a website, right?

Shopify themes are perfect for your ecommerce store as they have a consistent look and feel which buyers are already comfortable with. You’ll find that playing it safe by using a simple design is often best for converting potential customers. We believe that some of the best Shopify themes are familiar and intuitive for your customer.

The above product page has an extremely unfamiliar look. Let’s shed some light on all the things which cause this unfamiliarity:

The product image is placed between the product description and Call-to-Action button/price.

The product description itself isn’t focused on the benefits which the product can bring to a buyer, and it’s squeezed into the corner of the page. This is definitely room to add in some reviews and testimonials that could boost social proof.

There’s a lack of variety when it comes to the product images.

It can’t be overstated: product photography is very important. The pictures on this product page here are sort of one-dimensional. Try to add pictures that accentuate the products. You don’t need to be a pro to take fantastic product photos – all you really need is your smartphone.

The features of this product are not clearly defined.

The Call-to-Action button isn’t prominent to grab attention. Take a look at this post if you’re looking to create a killer Call-to-Action.

Alright, now let’s take a look at the product page of an ecommerce website theme that stands out because it’s so brilliant.

The above image shows a highly recognizable Shopify theme for beauty products. Let’s take a look at all the superb things that make this Shopify theme great:

The imagery is breathtaking. It’s highlighting the product in isolation as well as underlining what the product looks like in use.

There’s a very clear Call-to-Action on the page, you just can’t miss it. The Shopify theme allows this product page to be interactive. If you move your cursor around the image and click you can zoom into the product. You can also browse through different pictures with just a few clicks.

This product page includes a detailed description of exactly what the product contains, right next to the product.

This product page lets you easily get to other products that are similar or belonging to the same product line.

You can simply click on the plus sign to the right of “details” and get a bunch of extra info that lets you dive right into the details that you’re looking for.

You can even add your email address on the same page, and sign up for more updates from their products.

2. Think of Your Resources When Selecting a Shopify Theme

It’s true that dynamic visuals are extremely important when engaging your website visitors.

But generally, entrepreneurs using Shopify themes tend to stick to simple layouts which utilize banners.

So, when you’re choosing a Shopify theme, you’ll want to decide how much you can invest into the images you use.

If you are tight on funds, or reluctant to splash the cash, know that you don’t’ need to spend vital resources on your Shopify theme.

There are plenty of free Shopify themes, or free ecommerce themes which will prove to be effective for your ecommerce business.

Shopify templates, even the free ones, are designed to convert even if they’re simple in design.

While it may not be your first choice, it will get the job done as you bring in your first few sales. As your business’ profits grow, you can re-invest money in some of the best Shopify themes to give your store a more attractive layout.

If you don’t have the resources to design beautiful banners, you don’t need to use them – you can look for those Shopify themes which put the focal point on products instead.

3. View Your Products on the Shopify Theme

When you’re browsing through the different Shopify themes, you can also check what your products will look like on many Shopify templates.

Shopify theme designers generally insert premium product images into their themes, which will suit their style perfectly.

You can try to replicate this by using images of your own products, but unless you’re familiar with design then it may not look the same when you install the Shopify theme into your own store.

4. Consider a Mobile Friendly Shopify Theme

Mobile friendly ecommerce websites are more important than ever before.

More than 50% of sales on Shopify stores happen on Mobile devices. Given this fact, it’s imperative that you choose your Shopify theme with the mobile version in mind.


Well, if your Shopify theme is mobile-friendly, it’s going to provide a better overall user-experience for all of your website visitors.

It’s a fairly simple task for you to complete when you’re looking for a Shopify theme, however, most entrepreneurs forget to do it.

They only take the time to analyze and optimize their mobile experience after they’ve installed the Shopify theme into their site.

That’s where you can get ahead of the game.

Check the look of your Shopify theme on both your smartphone and your tablet before you launch your store to the public.

And again, try to look for mobile layouts which are familiar for your shoppers.

If you’re thinking about using a free Shopify theme, don’t worry – they’re still mobile friendly too, you can see here Free Ecommerce Shopify Themes

Always try to keep mobile responsiveness in mind when you’re looking for the best Shopify theme for your store.

5. Look for Lightweight Shopify Themes

Try to avoid Shopify website templates which have a lot of clumsy elements like busy loaders, unnecessary animations, or fancy scrollers.

The above-mentioned elements might appeal to some of your website visitors, but in most cases it will only decrease your page speed and create needless obstacles.

You want your Shopify theme to make it as easy as possible for buyers to land on your website, find the products that they’re interested in, and make the purchase.

In fact, all of the best Shopify themes provide a lightweight website that it focused around making a customer’s shopping experience as easy and as quick as possible.

For additional context about how important lightweight websites are – it’s said that if Amazon’s page loading speeds would decrease by one second, the company would lose $16B in annual sales.

That’s huge. It’s also evidence of how important it is to be clever when you’re selecting your Shopify themes.

Of course, the numbers will be much smaller for your store when you’re starting out, but it’s important to keep in mind that you need lightweight Shopify themes.

Disclaimer: All the ideas mentioned in this article are our own. You can find different approaches elsewhere, and they’re not necessarily wrong. Our suggestions are geared towards beginners, but if you have something to add, please share it in the comments!

Advanced Editing: Unless you’re a developer, you should avoid changing your template code. Often times, changing the code will mean you will end up publishing bugs, such as errors on the mobile Shopify theme or ruin other elements on the other side of your page. Some of the best Shopify themes will come with customization help directly from the developer.

Reference: Shopify - - Oberlo -