What do people do when they enter a shopping mall, restaurant, museum, library, or even their friends’ new house? They look around and consider the colours, layout, design, neatness, and the overall décor of the place, right?
All the people, irrespective of their ages and genders, are habitual of observing and analyzing their surroundings. It takes 1/10th of a second for the human brain to form an impression. Yes, that’s right, 100 milliseconds is all it takes to decide if the place is nice or meh.
The human brain does the same when it comes across an eCommerce store. In a matter of a few milliseconds, it decides if it should stay on the website or exit it. Did you know that only 2% of the entire website’s traffic converts on their first visit? The remaining 98% audience do not convert on their first visit to the store. It is because they need time to decide if the website is trustworthy, has good products, and is the right place to spend money or not.
If the eCommerce store appears attractive and looks trustworthy, visitors will not hesitate to revisit the website and purchase their favourite articles. Web designing is an important skill to build and grow your eCommerce store. But hey, you can still create a jaw-dropping storefront without learning web-designing skills or hiring a web designer.
Curious about how to design your store without taking help from a web designer? Well, the answer is pretty simple, by choosing the best Shopify theme!
By selecting the suitable Shopify theme, an entrepreneur can beautifully display his products, add attractive elements, and maximize the functionality of his store to provide an excellent experience to the users.
Shopify offers a myriad of themes. Some of them are free while others are premium, i.e., you have to purchase them to run them in your store. The decision to select one theme for your store out of numerous themes can be pretty overwhelming and baffling.
Hence, in today’s article, we have created a guide that contains tips and tricks to build your Shopify store by selecting the best Shopify theme.
Ready? Let’s begin…
7 Tips For Choosing The Right Theme For Your Shopify Store
1. Decide On Your Budget
Shopify offers many themes to store owners. It provides some themes completely free, while other themes need to be purchased. You can select a theme between the price ranges of $0-$200. Your budget plays a crucial factor when it comes to choosing the best Shopify theme.
Purchasing a theme is not the only expense of the business. There are thousands of expenses that are to be incurred to keep the business going. If a company selects an expensive theme, it will strain their budget and have a hard time managing the other expenses of the business.
Therefore, before heading over to the Shopify theme store, enlist the features that you need in the theme. For instance, large catalogue size, mobile responsive, light-weight, etc. By having the list of features you want in your store, you will know precisely where to invest your hard-earned money.
Premium themes are pricey because of the following factors:
– The Developers
Experienced and competent developers charge more for designing and developing the theme.
Premium themes offer a high level of flexibility. The higher the customization options, the higher the theme’s cost. If the theme provides the feature of drag and drop, it can cost more than other themes.
There are some themes available on the theme store that allow the store owner to transform their store into anything they like. It offers extra widgets, an extensive product catalogue, chat boxes, and even built-in SEO features. All these additional functions increase the cost of the theme.
To put it simply, the theme that offers more features and functionality to your store will cost higher than the free themes. Now, we do not imply that free themes offered by Shopify are not good enough for your store, no.
Free themes also offer a nice layout and features for startup businesses. However, they will provide limited functionality and customization flexibility. Hence, before getting swooned away by numerous options available on the theme store, consider your budget and your store’s needs.
2. Support From Theme’s Developer
Online buyers have become accustomed to reading online reviews before purchasing any product online. It would be best to do the same when selecting or buying a Shopify theme for your store.
People often forget to check the ratings and read online reviews of the theme and its developer before purchasing it for their store. Buying the theme is not enough. The theme developers must have a good reputation and extend their services if there is any problem with the theme.
It is imperative that the developers extend their support after selling the theme. The reason behind this is that not all store owners have a technical background. If there is any glitch or problem with the theme, they will be clueless about fixing it. Ensure to select the theme developed by experienced and well-reputed developers, extending their support after selling the theme.
Shopify themes can be purchased from its theme store or third party developers. If you plan to buy a theme from a third-party developer, don’t forget to check the developer reviews and ratings before paying for it.
3. Product Images And Catalogue Size
Images are the essential element in any eCommerce store. Attractive product images have the power to grab the visitors’ attention and convert them into customers. Thus, do not overlook this important aspect when selecting the theme for the Shopify store.
Select a suitable theme that can support and display the images and catalogue, depending upon the niche and types of products a business sells. For instance, an eCommerce store that sells books will need a theme that can support many pictures, display them beautifully, and allow users to zoom the images or view the image from different angles.
There are hundreds of themes available to choose from. Shopify is kind enough to provide the theme for every type of business. You have to skim through the vast collection of themes to find the one that fits perfectly to your business’s needs. Don’t worry; you won’t be required to check every theme available in the store to find the one that is fit for your purpose. You can use a search option to look up the themes that are suitable for the store.
If your business deals with a limited number of products, you don’t need to invest in a theme that supports an extensive product catalogue. A theme that displays all the products on one page will be enough for such a business. Contrary to it, if your company has numerous categories of items that require to be displayed on individual pages or subpages, hunt for the themes that can show multiple pictures and create separate pages for each product category in the main menu.
Don’t forget to check the preview of each theme to understand how product images would be displayed to the users on the store.
4. Favour Lightweight Mobile-Responsive Themes
When was the last time you used your personal computers for shopping online? With the advent of smartphones, people have resorted to shopping online through their mobile phones. They no longer switch on their computer for the sake of indulging in retail therapy.
Did you know that 79% of cell phone users have ordered goods online through their smartphones in the previous six months? It means that mobile users generate more than half the traffic on the website. Therefore, your website must be optimized to cater to the mobile user’s needs and provide them with the best shopping experience without requiring them to zoom in or scrolling to and for.
Mobile responsiveness is a crucial factor to consider when selecting the theme for your Shopify store. Check the preview of the theme to view how it would appear on various digital devices. If the theme displays and functions perfectly on mobile devices, go for it.
Another critical thing to keep in mind while selecting the theme is how fast it is. If the theme has unnecessary elements like fancy loaders, animations, designs, patterns, etc., it will add load on your website and won’t load quickly. Slow-loading websites increase the bounce rate of the website and affect its SEO adversely.
5. Optimized Checkout Process
Checkout is the last stage where visitors finalize their orders, share their payment details, and convert into customers.
How would you feel if your visitors add products to their carts, make it to the checkout stage and then exit your website without placing their orders? Watching the visitors abandoning their carts is not a pleasant sight to behold. 28% of the visitors abandon their carts if the checkout process is lengthy. Similarly, 37% of the visitors leave the website without finishing their transactions if the website requires them to create a separate account for checking out.
Select the theme, which offers a seamless and straightforward checkout procedure and allows the user to use a guest account to complete their orders.
6. Language And Translation Support
Online stores have made it possible for entrepreneurs to sell their products to far off corners of the world. It means that people from all over the world can place their orders on the website.
If you offer international delivery on your website, you might get many customers from different countries. To give your international customers an unforgettable shopping experience, select a theme that offers various languages and translation facilities. Adding additional languages in your store will make it easier for international customers to interact with your website and understand its content.
Moreover, providing additional languages on your website improves its visibility and ranking on the search engines result in pages and attracts non-English speakers to your website.
For instance, if you deliver your goods to China and have Chinese customers, having an option to translate the store to Chinese will help users spend more time on your website and explore it.
7. Built-In SEO Features
SEO is the backbone to improve the website’s visibility, ranking, and traffic. Many Shopify themes offer built-in SEO tools to reach a wider audience and increase website traffic.
If a website’s SEO is optimized and it reaches a massive audience, the entrepreneur will not have to spend a fortune on paid ads to reach the targeted audience.
Opt for the themes that offer the following SEO features:
- Automatic generation of sitemaps
- Comment boards
- Customized Metadata
- Social media sharing buttons
- Supports featured snippets on Google
If a theme offers these features and is within your budget, you know what to do, right?
Selecting the theme for your Shopify store is an important decision that can affect your business’s success. Hence, do not make an impulse decision while choosing the theme for your Shopify store.
Use the tips mentioned above to find the best Shopify theme for your store to make it successful.
What are some other tips that should be considered while choosing the Shopify theme? Please share it in the comments below.
Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify – a free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs.