The word “best” might generally be considered a subjective thing, especially when talking about the best Shopify themes. What’s visually stunning to one eCommerce store owner might be unattractive to another. So, when it comes to deciding which Shopify themes are best it’s important to take other factors into consideration. Most importantly, you should understand why you want to choose a theme for your Shopify store.
Here’s some questions you should try to answer before you start looking through themes:
- What kind of customer experience are you trying to create?
- Will you be selling a lot of products or a smaller selection?
- How do you want to present products to customers; or, what does your ideal product page look like?
- What are some similar sites doing that work the way you like and can you do something similar?
- What are the features and functionality you want available in your eCommerce store?
- Are you looking for the best free Shopify themes, or do you have the budget for the best premium Shopify themes?
By answering these questions you’re creating natural filters making the selection process a lot easier. It turns the search for the best Shopify themes into something less visually focused. It can be incredibly frustrating to waste time choosing a theme only to realize it hurts functionality. Or worse, requires more customization than you expected to make it work.
The Theme Store is one of the main benefits of using Shopify. Improved search tools make it easy to apply filters that allow you to browse themes with filters like:
- Inventory size
- Product type
Rather than drop a long arbitrary list of Shopify themes, we’ll detail some of the features and functionality. These are our favorites you should look for that will help make your store successful in 2019.
A staple of any good Shopify theme is maintaining a pleasant and friction-free shopping experience. In the simplest terms, that means making it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for. Ideally, your customers should be able to find whatever they’re looking for within a few clicks.
Retina is a great example of a theme for simplifying navigation with its easy to navigate multi-level menus. Rather than forcing multiple menus to open next to each other (which can close menus if the cursor placement isn’t exact) the multi-level menus making sub-category navigation a breeze while reducing clicks.
Parallax is another fantastic choice for simplifying navigation and streamlining the shopping experience. This long-format style Shopify theme uses multiple backgrounds that appear to move at a different speed as users scroll through the content. Not only does it create a more immersive and engaging shopping experience, the Parallax theme allows products to be purchased directly from the homepage making shopping a breeze.
A theme supporting custom searches and filtering isn’t just about ease of navigation. It helps customers find products specific to their needs and interests and prevents your store from looking like a mess of categories that require a lot of browsing.
Personalization is a big part of eCommerce. According to data from Infosys, 31% of surveyed consumers say they wish their shopping experience was far more personalized. Only around 22% of customers are satisfied with the level of personalization they receive while shopping. A Shopify theme offering deeper product customization helps cater to the experience customers are looking for.
Shopy is one of the best Shopify themes to take customization to the next level. Beyond the varied page templates (more than a dozen) it includes a substantial set of Ajax filters and sorting options, so customers can personalize their experience around things like size, color, price availability, brand, and more.
Supply is another standout Shopify theme with highly flexible product filtering and personalization. This theme is ideal (and very popular) among stores with larger inventories, making it easy for customers to browse through all categories and products in a store. When coupled with its prominent navigation and multiple homepage collections it’s favorite that’s been featured on Shopify’s own blog.
Telling a Story
Many brands make the mistake of focusing too heavily on the product and functionality of online shopping. While products, pricing and promotions are vital to conversions, you also need to create an emotional connection with your customers in order to make your brand stand out. Visuals ensure your products stand out, help tell your brand story, humanize your brand, and make for a more engaging shopping experience. While every theme lets you add product photos, some offer expanded functionality to capture the attention of your audience.
Colors is a theme that uses large-scale images and big product slides that aid in visual storytelling.
Mobilia supports fill-width homepage video and zoom-ready high resolution images so you can showcase your brand and products with slick styling and smooth integration of visual content.
Icon is another top theme for brands using visual storytelling to improve conversions and engagement. The theme offers full-width layouts that can be incorporated into the Shopify store in various places.
For those brands who are set on telling an in-depth story, the Narrative theme offers ideal functionality. You'll benefit from hero videos, vertical slideshows, highly customizable image blocks as well as quote slides. Each of these features can make your brand and products stand out over competitors.
Mobile-ready, fast, and responsive
Most Shopify themes are designed to be optimized for mobile users, but that doesn’t mean they all perform exceptionally well on mobile tests. A fast loading store is critical, especially on mobile devices. As page load time increases, so does abandonment. Roughly a third of users, especially on mobile, aren’t willing to wait more than 6 to 10 seconds for a page to load.
Consider some of these statistics from data shared by Kissmetrics:
- 47% of consumers expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less
- 40% of consumers abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load
- 79% of customers dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to return
- A 1 second delay decrease customer satisfaction by around 16%
How fast your online store loads has a direct impact on your bottom line. In fact, a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. If an eCommerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.
Foodly is one of the best highly adaptive Shopify themes including instant-loading Ajax blog content and a responsive, retina-ready layout. It has scored 100% on Google developer tests and a 95% on Mobile UX.
One key point to consider – if you’re starting out with a small store you want to make sure your fast-loading theme stays that way no matter how you scale up.
The Kagami theme is one of the best for deep customization and scalability. A small business can start with the feature-packed theme and introduce those new features during expansion without trying to find a theme that maintains its performance and functionality.
Social proof is huge, and being able to integrate more than just product testimonials can have a significant impact on your revenue.
92% of consumers say they trust their peer recommendations when making a purchase. There are 3rd party tools to include things like an Instagram feed in product pages, but there are also themes that have built in integration making it easier to pull your Instagram feed into your store. This can save you cost as well as the time it takes to find and customize 3rd party integrations.
Retina has already been mentioned for its easy of navigation, and it’s also popular for its included customer testimonials publishing tool as well Instagram integration for displaying photos from your feed in your online store.
The Galleria theme takes visual storytelling to the next level. This theme allows users to tell their story by featuring a video on the home and product pages – a huge win for social proof when prospective customers see your current customers enjoying your products.
District also lets you integrate your social channels into your Shopify store to help promote your products and content, build your social following as well as your engagement, and add that much-needed social proof to your online store.
Built for conversions
Conversions drive business, whether its getting customers on a list or getting them to complete a checkout. The best Shopify themes for 2019 will be those designed with understanding of how customers shop and how to get them to convert. Look for themes that rapidly move customers to add a product to their cart and get them through the checkout process.
The Atlantic theme stands out as one of the best converting Shopify themes thanks to a quick-buy function allowing customers to quickly add items to their cart without navigating deep into product pages.
Upsells are also a big part of boosting conversions. Product recommendations not only help tip customers over the fence to make a purchase they can also increase your average order value and lifetime customer value.
That’s why Fastest is on our list of the best Shopify themes for 2019. The Fastest theme not only includes fast-loaded mobile optimized design, it includes upsell features and product tags to ensure customers see relevant and related products that can be quickly added to their cart.
The Fastest theme also helps improve conversions with one-click checkout buttons and a sticky cart that helps customers keep tabs on what they’ve added. That rapid cart review is all a part of making a shopping experience more enjoyable. One of the ways stored introduce friction is by forcing customers to click one or more times into their cart just to see what has been added.
Like Fastest, Lena is another Shopify them that lets customers view their cart on the fly without interrupting the shopping experience via a slick drop-down cart that updates as customers shop.
Growing customers through content
Acquiring new customers can be costly, especially if your acquisition strategy revolves around paid shopping ads, PPC, and paid social ads.
Inbound marketing, or marketing with content, can be a cost effective way reach new customers. Instead of running solely paid ads that stop generating customers when the campaign ends, content like informative articles and educational blogs or videos continue to drive traffic long after they written and posted. If you’ve got plans to use content for marketing your eCommerce store then you’ll want to look for themes that cater to content creators.
Editorial caters to content-heavy stores where you can share your brand’s story along with news and other content in multiple blogs, giving you a wealth of publishing power.
Not every eCommerce store is a sprawling marketplace. If you’re a brand with a small collection there are a few Shopify themes that are perfect for putting all the emphasis on your products. These themes are particular great for launching and promoting artisan goods as well as high end products.
The Flow Theme and Solo Theme are both designed with product emphasis in mind, making it easy to put your products front and center.
The Startup theme is one of the best Shopify themes for focusing on single product emphasis and is capable of serving as a one-page store on its own.
Similarly, Showcase caters to small-catalog artisans with full-screen product images and streamlined multi-level menus.
Create Your Own Design with Shogun
If even the best themes that Shopify has to offer don't satisfy you, you could create your own design instead.
No coding experience? No problem. With Shogun, you don't need to know a single line of code in order to create sleek, feature-rich custom pages for your store. You just need to drag and drop the web elements you want onto the page and edit them according to your needs. Themes will always limit you to certain templates and customization options - this tool allows you to create whatever kind of pages you want.
Don’t spend too much time looking for the best Shopify theme to trump all other Shopify themes. Instead, look for the theme that best caters to how you want to setup your store and how your business operates. When you know the features and functionality important to your business you’ll be able to find the best-fitting theme to help your store grow.