The new Shopify user has a lot to think about before launching a new online store. Once the store owner has signed up for a Shopify plan, the next step is to choose a theme and begin building a website. What some do not understand is that the choice of theme is rather important. Why? Because themes define the impression that an online store presents to users.
In this post, we will describe how to choose the right Shopify theme for your store. Notice we used the word ‘right’ instead of ‘perfect’.
The reason is simple: there is no such thing as a perfect theme. Your goal is to find one that offers a pleasing presentation alongside
meeting your performance goals.
Step #1: Consider Your Requirements
The obvious first step is to carefully consider what you are looking for in an online store. Don’t just jump into the first theme that catches your eye. You need to determine what you’re looking for in order to know how to choose a theme that will meet your requirements.
Shopify recommends asking yourself the following five questions:
- What are the features I want for my store?
- What are my competitors doing?
- How do I want my products to be presented?
- How many products will I offer in my store?
- Am I willing to pay for a theme?
Step #2: Start with a Free Theme
We recommend starting with one of the 20+ free themes that is as close as possible to what you are looking for. Why? Because there is no point in paying good money for a theme you decide later on is no good. A free theme lets you get started building, testing, tweaking, and adjusting. It shouldn’t take long for you to determine whether the theme you have chosen has the right kind of features. If it does, you can begin looking for a commercial theme with similar features.
Step #3: Work with Your Images
Product images can be tricky in some Shopify themes. This is yet another reason to start with a free theme so that you can begin working with your images right away. Once you know how to properly manipulate images for maximum effect, you’ll be able to plug that knowledge into your selection of a permanent theme.
Step #4: Concentrate on Your Sector
Lastly, every sector of the economy says something different to consumers. As such, the permanent theme you eventually settle on should be commensurate with the kind of business you are involved in. Take a look at some competitor websites to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t.
Shopify recommends staying away from themes not sold in the Shopify store. Their reasoning is the fact that they do not support third-party themes and, therefore, cannot offer any material help if you run into trouble. Keep that in mind if you don’t know enough about Shopify themes to be your own troubleshooter and bug fixer.