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Shopify Theme Store: 6 Tips for Choosing the Best Theme for Your Brand

Choosing the theme of your Shopify store is a bit like choosing which color to paint your walls: it matters. With so many themes available in the Shopify Theme Store, how do you even begin? It’s impossible to test them all, or predict how they will serve you down the road when your business needs may be drastically different to now. 

Don’t stress too much about finding the perfect theme, though. Just as you can paint over your walls, you can also switch between themes pretty easily on Shopify, even once you have everything up and running. 

That said, choosing a theme that meets your needs right away can bring many benefits to your business, so it’s a good idea to do everything you can to achieve that. Let’s take a look at how you can navigate the jungle that is the Shopify Theme Store to find just what you need. 

What is the Shopify Theme Store?

Just like Shopify’s app store, the Shopify theme store is a marketplace where you can browse a diverse range of themes, or templates, that you can use as the building blocks for your store. 

Some themes in the theme store are free (yay!), while others come with a fee, but usually only after you publish, so you can test themes without paying. There are 80+ themes available in the Shopify Theme Store, so it’s not really feasible to test all of them. Your best bet is to narrow the search down to a few of your favorites, then test those to see which is best suited to your needs. 

So, how do you come up with a shortlist of themes that might be suitable? Here are some of the key factors you should consider when choosing your store’s theme. 

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Why is it Important to Choose the Best Theme?

Look, it’s not a life and death situation, but it is important to have a solid theme from which to build your store. All of the themes on the Shopify Theme Store are high quality, and endorsed by Shopify, so ultimately it’s just a matter of choosing the one that’s best suited to your needs. 

It is worthwhile taking the time to find the right theme though – it plays a huge role in the user experience (UX) of your website, and as a result, what your customers will think of your brand’s shopping experience. 

Does Your Theme HAVE to Come From the Shopify Theme Store?

You don’t have to choose a theme from the theme store, with some caveats. While you can use any theme you like for your Shopify store, it needs to be built using Liquid code, as this is the only language compatible with Shopify. 

In addition, Shopify is unable to provide any support themes from third-party developers. Therefore, make sure you are going to get the support you need from the theme’s developers before you commit. 

Does Changing Themes Break Your Shopify Store?

Generally speaking, it’s pretty easy to change themes on Shopify. It’s also very common – businesses that re-brand will often change themes once in a while, and sometimes businesses that are growing rapidly also opt for a more robust theme. 

One of the things that makes changing themes easy is the fact that you can create copies of your theme, so you essentially save your changes in case you do accidentally break something. You can also have themes set up in your store that aren’t active (only one theme can be active at a time), so you can test new themes before you fully commit to making the switch. 

6 Tips to Find the Right Theme for Your Brand

#1 Search themes by industry

The Shopify Theme Store has a drop-down menu that allows you to search themes by industry. Of course, there’s a lot of crossover. A theme may say it is optimized for fashion brands, but if you like it, there’s no reason why your outdoor store can’t also use that theme. 

shopify theme store
Source: themes.shopify.com

That said, searching by industry may help you get a better ides of the best-suited themes for your store. Fashion and beauty brands typically require large product images, zoom functionality, and similar features, which the themes in these categories excel in. 

Searchable industries in the Shopify Theme Store include art and entertainment, business equipment and supplies, clothing and accessories, electronics, food and drink, hardware/automotive, health and beauty, toys, and more. 

#2 Search themes by collections

The other common way to search for suitable themes on the Shopify Theme Store is to search by collection. Here, Shopify has categorized themes by certain features, such as a collection of themes optimized for small catalogs, a collection optimized for large catalogs, a collection of free themes, a collection with clean or minimalist styles, and so on. 

Source: themes.shopify.com

If you’re looking for a specific trait in your theme, searching by collections will help you focus on the themes that will cover those specific needs. 

Make sure you consider your client base when searching by collections. Do they spend a lot of time searching for products? What percentage of them are mobile shoppers? These are important questions when it comes to choosing a suitable theme. 

#3 Consider your catalog size when choosing a theme

One of the main differences between themes is how they organize your products on the front-end. Different themes have different drop-down capabilities, different features when it comes to setting up collections, and different search functionality. 

When choosing a new theme, make sure you carefully evaluate the navigation properties and main menu drop-downs to make sure the theme’s setup will work for your product catalog. 

#4 Check ratings and reviews for themes on the Shopify Theme Store

Currently, the Shopify theme store doesn’t have a method that lets you sort themes by user rating or reviews. However, you can still check the reviews and ratings of each theme individually – you just need to navigate to the “Reviews” tab on the main page of each theme. If you have narrowed your search down to 2-3 themes, the reviews might help you make the final call. 

shopify theme store
Source: themes.shopify.com

When assessing theme reviews, pay attention to any that mention receiving support from the developer. If you do have an issue with your theme, you will likely have to reach out to the theme developer. If other users have shared their experience of this in the reviews, take the time to read what they have to say about it. 

#5 View the demo store/stores using each theme to assess functionality

Most themes on the Shopify theme store have a link to their demo store, where you can view the theme in action. Here, you’ll get an idea of the general layout of the theme and can start imagining how your site would look. 

While a demo store is always useful, it can be more helpful to view actual stores that are using the theme in question. Not all theme store listings offer this, but some have a section towards the bottom of their listing page that says “stores using X theme”. 

Source: themes.shopify.com

Check these stores out for real-world examples. Make sure you assess how fast the pages load, as well as how everything looks on mobile

#6 Consider your budget

Some Shopify themes are free to use, and almost all are free to trial until you publish. However, themes that do have a licensing fee once you publish can vary dramatically. Some themes on the Shopify Theme Store are available for around $100, while others are $300+, which can be a significant difference if you’re just starting out. 

Of course, free themes are an option for merchants on a budget. Many of the free Shopify themes have solid features and reviews, so don’t think you’re necessarily getting a worse product if you choose a free theme. 

PickyStory is Compatible With All Shopify Themes

Regardless of which theme you end up choosing, you can easily add PickyStory to your store to start generating more revenue. PickyStory lets you create product bundles and other deals and display them on key pages in your store, encouraging your customers to buy bundles or sets of products rather than individual items. 

It only take a few clicks to set up your deals (all you need to decide is which products to group together), then you can simply drag them onto the pages of your store where you would like to display the deal widgets. 

Plus, all widgets can be customized to suit your brand’s stylings. They will look like they have been on your pages all along, and you will wish they had!

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