If you want customers, your website needs to be easy and intuitive to use. Luckily, you can design a beautiful store in minutes, IF you choose the right Shopify theme.
I’m going to take a look at what to consider when picking a Shopify theme — as well as some top tips to help. Also, I’m going to share some free tools to help you create a killer website.
First things first: Shopify comes with a default theme, and you have the option to customise it, or pick a different theme. Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using the default theme. In fact, there are many good reasons to. It’s easy to use, it works incredibly well, and it’s a great introduction to various theme features and styling options.
In fact, even if you don’t like the look of the default Shopify theme, I recommend playing around with it for a while before jumping into another theme. You’ll learn a lot. When you’re ready to pick a custom theme, don’t base your theme choice on things like colours or fonts, as you can customise those elements in any theme.
Have you ever visited a poorly designed online store? Chances are you didn’t stay long. Although visitors may not be able to articulate why a website isn’t well-designed, you can be sure they feel it. And, in today’s market, consumers expect e-commerce websites to be perfectly tailored to their needs and desires. That’s why great designs feel personal. So, when choosing a free Shopify theme, you need to start with your customers in mind.
- How old are they?
- What types of jobs do they have?
- Where do they live?
- What are their interests?
The key is to get specific. Once you know exactly who you’re targeting, you need to decide what kind of experience you want your customers to have when they’re browsing your store. Should they feel inspired? Relaxed? Motivated?
Should they feel inspired? Relaxed? Motivated?
If you sell apparel, maybe you want visitors to step into a world of elegance.
If you sell toys, maybe you want your customers to think along more funny lines.
And, if you sell sports equipment, maybe you want people to feel motivated and energetic.
Whatever you decide, make sure that feeling or emotion is communicated throughout your entire website, with Layout, Font, and Colour.
Here’s a great example from Nixon.
Just look at the homepage image alone — sea, woman and the relaxed, but the organised layout of the products. All these details resonate with design-minded people, their target market.
If your store design is doing its job, it should make your target market feel at home, keep the focus on your products, and make it easy for customers to buy.
Okay, once you understand the experience you want your customers to have, you can then work out… The features you need on your website to create this experience. Perhaps you want to feature product videos or lots of customer reviews. Maybe you want to tell your brand story like Nixon. Or, maybe you want to focus visitor’s attention on your low prices and discounts.
How many products do you plan to sell?
Some themes are better suited to just one or two products. Whereas others are optimised for entire catalogues. Whatever you decide, avoid doing too much at once. You might be tempted to showcase all of your products, tell a brand story, share lifestyle photos, and start a blog.
But, when starting out, keep it simple. Remember, the emotions leading up to purchase decisions are often negative. Visitors might be feeling anxious, stressed out, or fearful of parting with their money. You aim to create a cohesive, organised, and intuitive layout that minimises these fears.
A great example of this is Ugmonk.
The website is uncluttered, clear, and concise. Their homepage doesn’t feel overwhelming. It keeps the focus on their bestselling products, and the main menu divides their products into intuitive categories. What’s more, when you scroll down, you see a few choice products from each category, which makes for easy browsing.
Ugmonk also uses a banner at the top of the page to highlight sales and offers. Remember, there are seemingly endless website features available. So, think about what is most important for you to highlight, and keep it simple.
For more ideas on which features to include on your website… Check out your competitors.
- What are they doing that you like, and how can you emulate it?
- What don’t you like about their designs, and how can you avoid making the same mistakes?
Before you start installing and customising a free Shopify theme, it’s best to know:
- Who you’re designing for
- The type of experience you want to create for them
- And the website features you want to use.
Having a clear understanding of these things will help you to find the best free Shopify theme for your store — and, customise it perfectly for your customers. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to… Start browsing the best free Shopify themes!
First, head to the Shopify Theme Store, and under the All Themes section select ‘free.’ This will bring up the 10 free Shopify themes. The Shopify theme store then gives you plenty of filters to help you identify the perfect theme for your store.
First, select how many products you plan on selling. This is a great jumping off point.
Next, you may want to scroll down to the last filter. There, you’re able to filter themes based on recommended industries. But remember, these are only recommendations. A theme that’s labelled for the electronics industry might also work perfectly for your fashion business.
Now, go through each of the other filter options. Use your answers to the questions I’ve just talked about to guide you and view the demo to see each theme in action. Remember, the demos are just examples. You can continue to customise each theme for your own needs.
Each theme has its own dedicated page where you can find more information and reviews of the theme. But what if you see a theme that looks perfect, but is missing a few features you want for your store? Simply, check the Shopify App Store.
Here, you’ll find apps that extend your theme’s functionality. And remember, all free Shopify themes come with free support from the Shopify Theme Support team. So, if you have any questions about a particular theme, reach out to them at email@example.com.
All in all, there are quite a few options when it comes to choosing the best free Shopify theme for your store. So, before you settle on a theme, test a few out and compare how they work for your brand.
Also, Shopify has a host of free tools to help you create an awesome dropshipping store.
- Logo Generator
- Slogan generator
- Refund Policy Generator
- Terms and Conditions Generator
Remember, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to picking a theme. First, be clear about what you hope to achieve with your website’s design. Then, use filters to narrow things down to your best options. After that, start experimenting!