There’s good news for clothing and fashion retailers: cumulative data compiled within The Fashion and Apparel Industry Report shows that worldwide revenue is expected to rise from $481 billion in 2018 to $712 billion by 2022.
In short, consumers are spending more money on fashion and apparel online.
Fashion consumers may have more buying power and channels to shop than ever before, but that doesn’t mean success is guaranteed. In 2017, more than 1875 fashion retailers shut down.
Launching and growing any retail business online can be a gamble, and the fashion industry is no exception. Whether you’re reskinning your online clothing and fashion store or launching a new one, you want to do everything you can to create a unique, memorable experience setting your store apart from the competition.
Finding the best Shopify theme for clothing is a start, but success will come from more than an aesthetically pleasing store design. To be successful you have to provide a seamless shopping experience that makes customers want to come back.
The shoes, clothes, hats, handbags, belts and other accessories… everything you sell can likely be found with another retailer.
Even if you manufacture your own unique products there’s a good chance someone sells something similar.
To ensure a thriving business you should pay close attention to trends in eCommerce – the things you can (and should be) doing in the coming year to create a wholly unique and frictionless shopping experience.
Instead of focusing on finding Shopify themes that look good, look for the best Shopify themes that offer the most flexibility and functionality for your clothing and fashion business.
With that in mind, let’s look at the biggest design trends in eCommerce that will have a significant impact on creating memorable customer experiences, and the standout Shopify themes that can help you leverage those trends.
Personalization is huge in Shopify themes for clothing
According to data presented by Nosto, personalization is a leading factor in eCommerce growth. Customers want a more personalized experience, with as many as 75% of customers preferring brands who personalize more of the experience. That includes messaging, offers, and the shopping experience.
With the right Shopify theme you can make that shopping experience more personalized and customizable. All you need are themes that offer more options and support for product filtering and customization options.
Kodo makes our list because on top of its support for large product collections it also features some powerful AJAX filtering (filter by product, category, attributes, lazy load, infinite scroll and more). For the product pages themselves, Kodo offers product swatches for color, size, or any attribute you like with its open swatch plugin. For the most personal experience, Kodo steps up the basic “quick view” you’re used to with a tailored quick view. Customers can get a good visual sense of the product before ever having to dig into the product page.
Shella also stands out over many other Shopify themes for clothing. It’s built in True Filter feature, customers can filter products by everything from price, title, description and more. Like Kodo, the Shella theme also comes bundled with AJAX filtering, custom size guides, and advanced product tabs.
If you like Amazon’s layered navigation and sidebar filtering – continued trend in eCommerce – you’ll love Ella as much as we do. Ella’s AJAX layered navigation is an improved use of tags in order to filter products by color, size, brand and more and all operate simultaneously so customers can personalize their shopping feed.
A better customer journey
Personalization isn’t just about customizing clothing and accessory options. Customers want a more personal shopping experience as well – see that bit above about customers who desire more personalized messaging.
One way to do that is with chatbots, or specially programmed robots that interact with customers to simulate human conversation. Some brands opt to incorporate live chat over chatbots. Either choice is a smart way to personalize shopping and can have tremendous benefits like:
· More consistent customer service
· Reduce operating cost (lower return rates, lower customer service requests reducing team demand)
· Improved response time to customer issues ultimately improving customer satisfaction
You’re not likely to find Shopify themes with built in bot services – those are typically provided by 3rd party platforms via integration. Since chat integration is a growing trend in clothing, you do want to choose your Shopify theme carefully if you plan to add it at some point.
If there’s a lot of visual clutter in your Shopify theme then any kind of chat interface could cover up store elements or interrupt the shopping experience.
You’ll likely want a minimalist Shopify theme that offers up a lot more white space (open background.) You’ll also benefit from having a lot more emphasis on your product images without visual clutter pulling the attention of the shopper.
Flow is a super sharp, minimalist design and a great Shopify theme for clothing as it puts products front and center. It comes bundled with three different design layouts, each one providing ultra-modern styles which can be ideal for those selling high end clothing products.
Basel makes our list for the best Shopify themes for clothing because of how well it does minimalist design with it’s beautifully done, clean white space that makes extra integrations and pop-overs much easier to implement. With 18 different bundled layout options you’ll find one that fits your visual and functional integrations. In fact, Basel appears on this list more than once and is easily one of our favorites.
Every shopping experience is visual
Clothing and apparel shopping is a visual experience. Your customers can’t try on products so it’s important to make sure the visual elements of your site are as engaging as possible. They should make and reinforce a strong emotional connection while allowing customers to visualize what life is like with the product they’re looking at.
Virtually every theme will include the ability to add one or more images to product and category pages, but the best Shopify themes for clothing will give you far more control and functionality.
Split is one of the best Shopify themes for showing off products. It’s top rated for being optimized to show off large, high-resolution images through the store (not just on product pages.) Whether you place those mega images in a banner, on a modular style layout, on category pages or product pages you never have to worry about slow load times.
MyShop is a must-mention Shopify theme for clothing, though it might be better suited for brands that have a more adventurous or laid-back personality. While customizable, the layouts are more bright and colorful. The big attractor for MyShop is the grid-based layouts with a huge emphasis on using clean visuals to capture the attention of prospective customers.
As a bonus, MyShop supports catalogs with thousands of products with a dozen layout options so no matter how much you’re selling you can find a visual layout that works best for your brand.
Envy is a great theme for visual selling. It features a combination of product zoom on top of large image support as well slideshows supporting large images that can show customers multiple product views. It’s an ideal choice that brings your customer closer to each of your products without sacrificing load times or site performance.
YourStore is a fully responsive theme with a somewhat unique catalog mode. This special visual mode makes shopping a breeze for mobile users. On smaller devices this mode presents products in a beautiful catalog while eliminating all the rest of the clutter from your site. When visuals count, this theme keeps your customers attention locked on eye candy.
The Icon Shopify theme keeps the visual experience going even outside of product and category pages, putting all the focus on images. What makes Icon one of the best Shopify themes for clothing is its building feature adding product or category images right in the drop-down menus. Customers can easily find what they’re looking for at a glance, making the shopping experience that much easier.
Support impulse shopping
A 2018 study revealed that customers impulse buy at least three times per week with the average consumer spending as much as $450 per month. The 2,000 customers surveyed stated clothing was responsible for 52% of those impulse purchases.
When shopping for a theme for your clothing store be sure to choose one that supports impulse shopping. Make it as easy as possible to get customers from the point where an item excites them to completing checkout.
Look for included features like a one-click checkout, quick add-to-cart from quick-views (as opposed to having to click into product pages), dynamic recommended/related products based on their shopping behavior, and customizable call to action buttons.
Here are some of the best Shopify themes for clothing that support impulse buys and rapid checkout functionality:
· Basel – quick add to cart, related products
· Mobilia – quick add to cart, related products
· Modular – quick buy buttons, related products
· Retina – quick buy buttons
Show people what’s hot
Fashion and apparel customers want to know what’s trending, what’s hot, and what’s new with their favorite brands. It’s common for Shopify themes to include a way to feature a product, but with clothing it’s often more than just a single product being released.
You want a theme can help you make an entire collection stand out.
Ella is top of the list for displaying what’s hot with a wealth of included features, starting with it’s featured items hero shots that use big, attractive images, a lookbook catalog that minimizes clutter to put the focus on product collections, mobile-optimized mega menus for category displays, and Shopify sections.
Shopify sections are a huge bonus; this drag and drop interface (missing from some themes) lets you easily move and reorganize homepage content making it incredibly easy to adjust what collections and products you want to feature above other content.
We’ve mentioned District in other lists before for its functionality and it has won a spot again on this list. Instagram feed isn’t a huge deal and is becoming more common in themes, but District steps it up buy offering native full screen Instagram feeds in your store really show off what’s hot among your customers.
Mixing social proof with trending products to feature what everyone is buying is a huge win.
Content marketing and fashion go hand in hand. Some of the most successful fashion and clothing retailers consistently bring in new traffic with their blogs. On top of customer acquisition, regular articles and content keep your existing customers engaged and coming back for more information.
Palo Alto might be designed to fit stores with smaller catalogs, but its blog functionality needs to be mentioned. Aside from the themes ability to make products feel like they’re coming to life it offers large image support for blogs, sortable blog posts by category, and the inclusion of your most recent posts on the homepage/footer to help trending content and new features stand out.
Can't Choose a Theme? Make Your Own Design Instead
If none of the themes on this list stand out to you, you should consider using the Shogun page builder app to create your own design.
Shogun allows you to control every aspect of the pages on your store. It provides you with an extensive library of elements (headings, text, images, menus, buttons, etc.), and you can add, remove, and arrange these elements however you want. Each individual element can be customized in many ways as well (font, text color, background color, background image, box shadow, etc.). It's all up to you.
There’s a lot of themes in the Shopify marketplace that can help you get your clothing products live, but don’t settle for just any theme while trying to make something that looks appealing. The best Shopify themes for clothing stores will be those with features and functionality that support current and upcoming trends. You want that adaptable and expansive functionality that will help you continue to grow your fashion and apparel store in the future.