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Shopify Theme Customization: 8 Simple Tips for Beginners (+ Examples)

Shopify theme customization: The online shopping world is growing faster than ever. According to the US Department of Commerce, online sales exploded by 19% in 2020. While that trend pulled back slightly in 2021, online sales still grew by 14.2% in 2021. This phenomenon means that your Shopify store has an even bigger market to pursue. However, this situation also means having to contend with more competitors. 

Making your Shopify store stand out above your competition is surely atop your priorities list. In this article, we’re going to look at the top tips to help your Shopify store get a lead on your competition. Getting a jump on the competition is possible thanks to Shopify theme customization. 

So, let’s get started making the most of your Shopify store’s theme customization.

What is a Shopify Theme?

Like all other websites, e-commerce sites have a specific form and layout that users see when they enter. Users interact with this layout as they browse through product listings, add items to their cart, and checkout purchases. The best e-commerce sites have user-friendly, intuitive storefronts that simplify customers’ experiences.

On traditional e-commerce platforms, shop owners need to create their storefronts from scratch. In other words, there is a need for extensive coding and web development to build a functioning online store.

Building an attractive and functional storefront changes significantly with Shopify.

Shopify uses “themes” to create visually appealing and easy-to-use storefronts with minimal time and effort. Shopify themes are templates you can easily plug into your site. If it sounds that simple, that’s because it truly is that simple. Shopify themes use a drag-and-drop system. In other words, all you need to do is click and point to the images, colors, and shapes you want to use.

Where Can You Find New Shopify Themes?

If you don’t love your theme and you’re thinking about changing, or you just want to see what else is out there, you will be pleased to know there are more than 100 Shopify themes to choose from. These can be found on the Shopify Theme Store – you can sort them by industry, features, or other metrics to find the themes you’re looking for. There are even some free options to choose from! 

If you’re searching for themes on Google, you might also notice that there are other marketplaces where you can buy themes. These themes are viable options for your store, but aren’t specifically vetted by Shopify, which means you will probably need a developer you trust in case anything goes wrong. 

Can you customize Shopify themes?

Some theme changes are relatively straightforward to make.  You can change images, review text, and modify color schemes by dragging and dropping as needed. You can use Shopify’s Burst image library to select free stock photos. Nevertheless, you are free to use whatever images, logos, or text you wish.

For these basic changes, since you don’t need any special coding or programming experience, you can do most customization work yourself, or entrust your staff to get the job done. 

Grow your sales with high-performing deals.

What are the benefits of Shopify theme customization?

Several benefits come with Shopify theme customization. So, let’s focus on the top three:

#1 Customized branding

Traditional e-commerce platforms offer some type of storefront customization features. While these features are not as intuitive as Shopify’s, they are relatively easy to use. Nevertheless, the templates these sites use can make it somewhat difficult to customize your shop’s brand. 

Shopify makes it easy to customize your online store’s branding. With Shopify theme customization, you can customize colors, logos, and high-quality images to capture your brand’s spirit. While you might be using a pre-determined template, Shopify theme customization options will make your storefront stand out from the competition.

#2 Saves time and effort

Shopify theme customization saves time and effort. You don’t need any complicated coding or programming to modify your storefront. All you need is to sit down and let your imagination soar. You can also have your staff handle this task. The best part is any tech-savvy staff member can quickly get the hang of Shopify theme customization.

#3 Engages customers

We saved the best for last. A visually appealing storefront immediately engages customers. In doing so, you can ensure customers stay on your site longer, see more products, and make more purchases. Ultimately, you can boost sales and drive revenue. You will see the results in your bottom line.

Shopify theme customization is an easy way to create a unique shopping experience on your site. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars and weeks to get a customized Shopify store – even just making a few basic changes can really help your store stand out from the crowd.

8 Simple Tips for Customizing Your Shopify Theme

While Shopify makes it extremely easy for you to create a custom storefront, there are a few things to keep in mind before jumping into the water:

#1 Back up your current storefront

The first thing you must keep in mind before getting into Shopify theme customization is to backup your current storefront. You can do this by duplicating your current live theme, so that you can always revert back to this version if need be. This step is crucial, especially if your store is already live. 

Please remember that any changes you make might not work out as you had originally intended. Therefore, your backup can help you easily roll back any changes you have made. This approach will save you time and potential headaches.

shopify theme customization

To back up your current theme, you can simply duplicate it before you make any changes. This way, you will always have an unedited version to fall back on. To do this, navigate to Online Store >> Themes, then click on the “Actions” dropdown menu and select “Duplicate”. Your theme will be duplicated automatically and saved in the “Themes library” section of that page. 

#2 Understand image requirements and best practices

On the whole, you can use virtually any type of image in your Shopify theme. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand the specific details of images you can use. This helpful link has a thorough description of image requirements for your Shopify theme. In general, you can use JEPG, PNG, GIF, and HEIC format images to create banners, slideshows, and product listings. Please consider the following:

shopify theme customization
Source: burst.shopify.com

Using Shopify Burst can save you a ton of time and work when building your Shopify storefront. So, do check it out before jumping headfirst into your Shopify theme customization efforts!

#3 Do some research on Shopify theme customization

Take the time to look around other successful e-commerce sites. These sites have plenty of good ideas you can adapt to your site. Popular brands like Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola, and Apple are just a few names to check out. 

The aim is to see how these companies capture their brand’s spirit. Your plan is not to copy them. Instead, your plan should focus on what makes your brand truly unique.

shopify theme customization
Source: apple.com

#4 Do a test run

Once you have applied changes to your storefront, take the time to conduct a test run. This test run will let you see how changes affect your customers’ shopping experience. From there, you can continue to tinker with your storefront’s images. 

how to customize your shopify theme

To do this, you can “preview” your theme. This will show you how changes you have made will look on your online store, without you needing to first publish them. To preview your theme, click on the same drop-down menu you used to duplicate your theme. This time, hit “preview”. 

#5 Use apps for Shopify theme customization

Shopify uses apps to provide specific functionalities for your Shopify store. These functionalities include multi-language support (translate your site), custom checkout features, email reminders, and even a blog feature. 

Best of all, Shopify apps use a plug-and-play approach. All you need to do is download and install the app. Then, you are ready to go. Check out Shopify apps here. You will be surprised to find a large array of options available. Some are completely free to use, while others come with a cost.

#6 Hire a third-party developer specializing in theme customization

There might be a situation in which you want a specific functionality and may not be able to figure out how to incorporate it. Enlisting the help of a third-party developer can help you figure this out. Shopify does allow you to modify your theme’s code within certain limits. 

For instance, you want to get a specific color theme and font into your Shopify theme. However, the theme itself does not allow you to use the color scheme or font type. A developer can help you modify the theme’s code so you can get exactly the look you want.

You can take Shopify theme customization as far as you want. There are no limits to what you can do to create a highly customized storefront to represent your brand’s spirit. So, why not let your imagination loose?

#7 Get to know your "theme editor"

If you do decide to customize your Shopify theme on your own, you’re going to want to become best friends with your theme editor. 

The theme editor shows the entire content list for the theme you’re currently utilizing. You can expand or collapse as many blocks are you need to visualize the elements you want to customize.

shopify theme customization

Your theme consists of various sections. Each section represents the main area for your theme. Shopify collapses all sections by default. So, you need to click on the arrow to expand them. 

To remove a section, all you need is to hit on the “remove section” button at the bottom of the page.

shopify theme customization

You can also click on the “eye” icon to hide but not remove a section.

shopify theme customization

#8 Start by creating a landing page

A landing page is the first thing visitors see when they enter your site. Most Shopify themes don’t come with landing pages. So, it’s a good idea to select a theme that contains a landing page. Great landing pages provide a welcome screen and allow visitors to choose where they want to go.

Here is a great example from ProtonShop:

Source: shop.protonmail.com

Once you enter the site, you need to scroll down to reveal the first product listings. This landing page works well because visitors first see a clean image representing the brand’s spirit. 

The uncluttered approach makes it easy for customers to navigate the site. Moreover, you can focus on the products you want to showcase.

Customize Your Store Further with PickyStory

Whichever theme you choose, and however you customize it, PickyStory can be added to your theme to increase your store’s revenue. Use PickyStory’s deal templates to offer bundles and other upsell/cross-sell deals throughout your store, at key points in your shoppers’ journeys. 

PickyStory deals can be set up in a few minutes using clicks – no coding or web dev required. You can simply drag and drop deals onto your pages, including your product pages, collections, cart, gallery, homepage, or just about anywhere else. If you’ve customized your theme’s fonts, colors, and beyond, you can also style your PickyStory deals to match.

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Generate more revenue from every store visit.

Offer irresistible deals across your buyer's journey.


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