How to Pick the Best Shopify Theme for Your Online Store: 2018 Edition

Searching for the best Shopify theme for your eCommerce business or feeling like your current theme just isn’t the right fit for your store? It can be challenging to find the best Shopify theme among a sea of different styles and prices. If you think you can get away with rushing through this process and picking a basic theme, this is a huge mistake. Design is a major factor in the eCommerce world. According to BP Studios, 94% of people cite web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website.

Visual of the statistic, "94% of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website."

What does this mean? The better your online store looks, the more credible your customers will find your eCommerce business. That’s why we got our hands dirty to help you find the best Shopify theme so you can have a beautifully-designed, responsive, and ultra-functional store. No need to dig through the 60+ themes (in 140+ styles) to find the perfect fit—time is money! Read our guide below to find out how to pick the best Shopify theme for your eCommerce business.  

What is a Shopify Theme?

Let’s start with the basics—what is a Shopify theme? Think of them simply as templates that shape the way your online store looks, feels, and functions. There are a wide variety of themes that range in style and layout to cater to a diverse set of eCommerce businesses and their audiences. Looking for a one-size-fits-all theme? You’re not going to find it. This is because there are so many different online stores that would benefit from so many different aspects of a Shopify theme. For instance, the best Shopify theme for an eCommerce business that sells bikes would probably feel swift and lively. This, however, wouldn’t be the best Shopify theme for an online store that sells mattresses.

Budget Accordingly

It’s helpful to calculate your budget for a Shopify theme before you even start searching. If you’re looking to keep things cheap, there are 10 free Shopify themes to choose from. If you go this route, make sure your store looks professional by paying for your own .com domain. This simple touch will drastically help increase your online store’s conversion rate. Take Shopify theme, Brooklyn, for example. This popular theme is simple but effective. It also has the option to include a video background, which is one of 2018’s biggest eCommerce trends.  

There are currently 55 Paid themes (also known as Premium themes) within the Shopify Theme Store. They range in price from $140-$180 and have a variety of features to make your online store more functional, unique, and easy for customers to use (and convert). Make a great first impression with unique premium Shopify theme, Split. The way a customer is able to navigate through the sleek online store is reason enough to keep their interest (and encourage more scrolling).

Figure Out What The Best Shopify Theme For Your Store Needs

It's crucial to consider the make-or-break aspects the best Shopify theme for your online store would include. Without doing this, you could waste time and money on a theme that simply isn't the best Shopify theme for your store. Would a mega menu be beneficial for your store? Is live search a must-have? You can search for these specific features in the Shopify theme store and find what theme offers your essentials.

Remember to Customize

Let’s say you come across a Shopify theme that looks close to ideal, but isn’t quite there. Don’t give up on it just yet—with Shogun Landing Page Builder, you can tailor this theme so the layout and style fits your needs and more closely matches your online store’s look and feel. Without Shogun, themes are quite restrictive and there isn’t much flexibility when it comes to arranging your store the way you’d like.

Tailor While Retaining Your Theme's Styles

You picked your theme for a reason, though, so Shogun makes sure to keep your theme’s existing styles when you import existing Shopify pages into Shogun. Shogun makes it simple to execute layout changes by allowing you to simply drag and drop an element (video, photo, button, countdown, slider, etc.) wherever you’d like to see it on the page. Product page customization is particularly easy with Shogun. Here’s what this free Shopify theme looked like without using Shogun:  

 Here’s what the same theme looked like with Shogun:

Consider Your Inventory

Have a large-catalog, high-volume online store? The best Shopify theme for your online store should accommodate and organize products in a functional, appealing way. If you have a large-catalog inventory, Shopify theme, Empire, could be a great fit for your online store. This powerful, sales-driven theme combines Amazon-esque functionality with thoughtful design.

Not only does it feature live search, advanced filtering, and customizable promotion tiles, it also includes helpful sales-focused display options.

Keep Aesthetics Top-of-Mind

Have a set of beautiful, high-quality images or a perfect hero image you’d like to include in your online store? Way to go. Keep this in mind as you try to find the best Shopify theme for your online store. Some themes simply won’t match the look and feel of your images, which would be detrimental to your online store’s design. Don't ditch your awesome visuals to cater to a theme. Look for a theme that will fit with your visuals. Not sure if your images or products will fit well with the Shopify theme you’ve been eyeing? Many Shopify themes allow you to view what your products will look like on their templates (take advantage of this)! Notice how the colors and warmth of this hero image fit perfectly with the popular, mobile-friendly Mobilia Shopify theme.

Find a theme that matches your overall aesthetic so the design feels seamless and pleasing to the eye. According to Hubspot, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout are unattractive.

Visual of the statistic, "38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive". This is crucial when trying to find the best Shopify theme for your store.

This means that even if a user decides to stick around to peruse your products, they will stop engaging if your website and products aren’t cohesive. Pipcorn does an excellent job of keeping their product branding perfectly in-line with their Shopify theme look and feel:

Wander Outside of the Theme Store

If you’ve searched through the options and still haven’t found the best Shopify theme for your store, don’t give up hope just yet—you can find amazing themes outside of the Shopify theme store as well. Take Turbo from Out of the Sandbox, for example (purchasable only via the Out of the Sandbox website). This sleek, mobile-friendly theme offers a configurable, ultra-fast user experience. This theme is chalk-full of features like product row sliders, mega menus, logo list, testimonials, FAQ and customizable page templates, interactive mini cart, and infinite scrolling.

Gif via Out of the Sandbox[

Keep in mind other theme stores like best-selling Themeforest Shopify theme, Fastor. This SEO-optimized theme includes helpful video tutorials and plenty of skins to make your online store look exceptional. *Disclaimer: be careful when buying themes from third-party marketplaces. If you decide to go this route, we recommend choosing a theme from a company that has themes both in and outside of the Shopify theme store.

How to Pick the Best Shopify Theme for Your Online Store Summary:

Need a refresher of what it takes to pick the best Shopify theme for your online store? We’ve got you covered. Copy and paste the list below so you don’t miss a step when hunting for the best Shopify theme.

  1. Budget Accordingly. Figure out ahead of time how much you’d like to spend on your theme so you can browse according to your budget.
  2. Figure Out Your Must-Haves. Write down exactly what you need this Shopify theme to include so you don’t waste money on a theme that doesn’t have a must-have.
  3. Customize. You found an awesome theme that just isn’t quite right—what do you do? Use Shogun to customize your layout and style to your ideal specifications.
  4. Consider Your Inventory. If you have a large-catalog, high-volume online store, you’ll need to consider a theme like Empire that accommodates all of your products.
  5. Keep Aesthetics in Mind. It’s important to find a theme that matches your brand’s aesthetic so the entire online store flows well. This is extremely important to customers.
  6. Check out Third-Party Themes. Browse sites like Themeforest to find more Shopify themes with a range of styles and prices. Don’t forget to proceed with caution when buying a theme outside of the theme store. Try sticking with companies that also have themes in and out of the theme store (like Out of the Sandbox).

Don’t forget to install Shogun today so you’ll have it all set up when you get your shiny new Shopify theme (free 10-day trial to test it out)!

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