What a wonderful time we live in! If we have a good product we can easily popularize it over the internet. Even more – we can directly sell it to all parts of the globe as eCommerce stores are getting easier and easier to be created and managed. The time when you needed deep web development knowledge in order to create an online store is long gone and nowadays you need just a bit of web experience to create your shop. Of course, there is a difference between a shop created by a ‘newbie’ and a professional and in this article we are going to help you to move from the first group to the second.
Shopify is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms out there with over 600.000 merchants globally. Setting up a store via Shopify is a piece of cake, but if you want to be successful and get profit you need to dig deeper into the platform. It is a well known fact that the visual appearance of a website is very important as 70% of visitors will not buy anything from a badly designed website. ..and this is where the strength of Shopify’s themes really stands out! There are plenty of Shopify themes that one can use but the right one needs to be selected carefully. In this article we are going to share 5 advices when searching for the right option and help you with the question: How to pick the best Shopify theme?
Your Shopify Theme Must Look Familiar
The modern Internet user doesn’t have a lot of spare time. In the aspect of online sales this means that if your eShop is not user-friendly, easy to understand and navigate you will have a conflict with your potential customers. Let’s make it clear – nobody will buy anything from your shop if they have to wander around for 3-5 minutes through the menus until they find what they need – they will just switch to another eCommerse shop that is built more natural.
In general, you need to pick a Shopify theme that is familiar to your potential customers. Probably you’ve heard about Krug’s first law of usability stating that every website should be self-explanatory. In the form of web design a good example would be that we are all searching for the shop cart icon on the top right of the screen and not in the footer, right? The good thing about Shopify themes is that they are moreless consistent in design and you can hardly go wrong thus they are great for beginners.
Keep in mind that often the simpler – the better! This is a very convenient and safe way to convert clients as they will see something familiar in your web store. For example it is always safe to place the product image on the left and the price and description on the right. The “Buy” button has to be placed above the description and it is always a good idea to have similar products on the bottom. Testing is always important so once your web store’s design is done you can always share it to friends and see how intuitive it is for them.
Think of Your Resources When Selecting a Shopify Theme
Website visuals have a key role in forming the customer’s first impression and converting random website visitors. Having a beautiful graphic, a big photograph or some huge dynamic artwork turns a normal homepage to one that will take your attention. However, you need to either have a proper aesthetic feeling or just invest big in those big visuals as they are a two-bladed knife and may turn against you. If you place a poorly executed graphic on two-thirds of your homepage the effect will be disastrous.
So in order to avoid such bad first impressions, one needs to take budget planning very serious and start it early – like any other business you might say. The fact that online trade is easier to be conducted sometimes makes us neglect some pillars of business. Plan your design budget before choosing a Shopify theme, because that way you’ll know that you have to look for a theme with small or less banners.
If you are already on a tight budget or don’t have experience in web design it is better to stick with the sample images that come along with the theme. That way at least you cannot make things worse, as we’ve seen situations where the newly imported custom designs are actually worse than the sample ones. It is always a good idea to check the free Shopify themes as well – if you find a theme that you like – go for it! Of course, once your profit starts to grow you can re-think your web design strategy and update your visuals.
View Your Products on the Shopify Theme
Since we are building an eCommerce website choosing our Shopify theme should be all about how it shows the products in a better light. Never choose a theme before checking how your products fit in it because the demos can be sometimes misleading. In general web designers pick fancy products with superb photos that fit perfectly their template. However, this may not be the case with your products. So our advice is to always try and view how the specific theme will look with your products inside.
For example, if you lack high-quality product photos then it is better to refrain from templates with huge product images. If your suppliers are verified from Oberlo it is quite possible that you’ll have high-quality photos because most of them do provide high quality images. The same applies to some AliExpress suppliers. You need to focus on the good features around your product and if the photos are not professional then use a smaller image size. Again, when the money starts to pour, you can re-think your design, invest in better photos and switch to a different Shopify theme.
Consider a Mobile Friendly Shopify Theme
We’ve talked about the importance of mobile appearance hundreds of times and still some people do not think investing in a responsive website design is worth it. We’ve posted tons of surveys showing that nowadays most of the web traffic worldwide is performed on a mobile device. If we check some Shopify statistics we can see the same tendency. In 2018 more than half of the Shopify sales are performed through a mobile device. So if your web store lacks a mobile version you are basically shooting your business in the leg. On the other hand, if your mobile version is great you are more likely to win new customers and increase your sales.
Even if you have a mobile version of your website it is important to perform a thorough test how does it act in the most popular device and platform layouts. The best method is to use a responsive web design that adjusts itself to the device screen. If you plan to use a free Shopify theme you are in luck! Most (is not all) of them are written responsively and you can be confident that your website will look great on all kinds of mobile devices. In short, remember that you have to go for mobile users as they are the future of online sales!
Look for Lightweight and Fast Shopify Themes
If the mantra for real estate agents is “Location, location, location”, then the mantra of web developers and eCommerse owners should be “Speed, speed, speed”. An eCommerce store has to be fast in page loading and this is hard to be accomplished if your theme includes come heavy graphics and animations, fancy scrollers or busy loaders that take more time to be visualized.
A very good advice is to go for lightweight Shopify themes as they will always perform faster, and in today’s user-business climate this is vital. Even a second delay in opening a web pages results in loss of clients. Not to mention that minimalistic designs are very often better seen by the public than heaver ones that are full of animations. Keeping a web store’s design clean is a huge benefit because the users will orientate themselves faster and most probably will return again. After all, we aim for a great user experience right?
A design that has tons of colorful, moving elements will distract the users from their main point – buying your product! Even if we speak through the aesthetic point of view a simple and clear design is definitely more appealing to a random visitor than the style we described above. So in a nutshell, keep things light and fast and you will attract the average prospect client more!
To Sum Up
Creating an eCommerce store is as simple as it can be but the final result varies from terrible to fantastic. The difficulty is not in creating the web store itself but rather executing it properly. In order to reach out to the increasingly capricious potential customers, your eCommerce shop needs to possess some qualities that are essential for the modern online business. Shopify is a great platform that simplifies creating and maintaining a web store but can offer more than you possibly expect. Probably the most important action for every beginner is choosing an appropriate Shopify theme.
The right Shopify theme would be designed attractively, would be fast, simple, user friendly and not that expensive. Sounds like a very hard job to cope with all those factors but in this blog post, we’ve covered how to act smart towards these goals. As professionals in the field, we know what is important for the users and we possess the know-how on how to accomplish it in a tight budget. If this is your case just follow our advices and you’ll start returning your investment faster than you expect!