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How to find the right Shopify theme for your online store

How to find the right Shopify theme for your online store

Do you know that the design of an online store accounts for 94% of a customer’s first impression? Statistics also point out that after a negative experience on a website, 88% of consumers are likely to never come back.


That’s why having a decent web layout is crucial in order to retain visitors and consumers coming to your shop, which increases the chance of boosting sales and revenue.


If you’ve decided to run your business on Shopify, you must select an appropriate Shopify theme to build your shop. With the proper Shopify theme, your business becomes reliable to consumers. It also reflects your brand identity, boosts sales and conversions, and enhances the user experience.


There are many factors to consider before picking a Shopify theme, from your business plan to the essential technical features. But don’t worry because, in this article, we are going to walk you through the journey of choosing the right Shopify theme for your online store.


So, without further ado, let’s get started!

What is a Shopify theme and where to get one?

Shopify themes are templates designed to display the appearance of your Shopify store. They are the layouts and designs of your website that customers see when they visit your store. And, without coding, any business owner can quickly customize the look of their store using these templates.

Image source: Shopify

Shopify themes come in different styles. Each theme can offer different features and support several marketing or merchandising functions. Therefore, depending on the business needs and products, store owners should pick a suitable theme to attract and engage their audience.

So, where do you get a Shopify theme? Well, for the most reliable and official source, the Shopify Theme Store is the first place you should visit. It offers you both free and paid themes created by Shopify and its partners. For the premium themes, the price ranges from $120 to $350, which is pretty costly for small business owners.

Shopify free themes include 24/7 support from Shopify, however, with premium themes, you should carefully check the customer reviews and the support service before purchasing.

If you want a more affordable option, you can browse Shopify themes on popular theme marketplaces such as Themeforest, Envato, or MOJO. On these platforms, the prices are mostly from $10 to $90. Also, almost all the themes provide you with live demos.

However, make sure to check out the features, reviews, sale numbers, and support services from the theme developers before you spend the money. One tip for you is that you should pick a theme from Elite authors, who are high-profile developers from Themeforest or Envato.

Shopify themes on ThemeForest

Apart from the above suggestions, you can even buy a Shopify theme on Etsy or hire a developer to build your personalized theme. However, with this choice, the biggest disadvantage is the technical issues that could waste your time and money.

Therefore, it is recommended that you use pre-built Shopify templates or reliable suppliers from major theme markets.

Why choosing the right Shopify theme important

Well, to put it straight, a Shopify theme represents the whole structure of your store. Furthermore, the shop interface is where your consumers connect with your business the most. So, choosing a decent theme is vital to the success of your online business.

But, to be more specific, here are the top 3 reasons why picking a suitable Shopify theme matters:

  • Save time and money: You don’t want to waste too much money and resources on technical issues instead of selling your products. Using the correct Shopify theme can make your business a lot simpler; you will have more time to focus on marketing campaigns, reinvent your items, and enhance your shipping and customer support.
  • Reflect good branding: A solid Shopify theme that matches your brand image offers your business a professional impression and makes it more appealing to visitors. It’s not just about the company logo, but also about the consistency of website colors, font, and the way you put the content material in the right parts that portray your brand story. As a result, a suitable Shopify theme will assist you in determining how you want your brand to be remembered by customers.
  • Deliver better user experience: User experience will be determined by the Shopify theme you select and how it is configured. The way to put your navigation, logo, design blocks and sections, products, CTAs, cart, and checkout elements has a significant impact on your consumer journey. People will buy your items if they have a positive experience, or they will leave your site if it’s terrible. As a result, a good Shopify theme should help you improve your customer experience in order to increase conversion and sales.

Free vs paid Shopify theme: which one is better?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Choosing a free or paid Shopify theme really depends on your needs, business, and products.

Shopify free themes and paid themes

However, to help you better make your decision, here are several advantages and disadvantages of both types:

Free Shopify theme


  • Price: it’s completely free
  • Trial period: unlimited
  • The ease to customize: easy to set up with standard layouts
  • Features: standard features
  • Loading speed: tested and approved to meet Shopify’s performance standards
  • Inventory management: capable to manage both small and large inventory
  • Mobile responsiveness: yes
  • Theme support: both documents and 24/7 direct support


  • Advanced customization: limited, users might need to install more Shopify apps
  • Theme styles: only 1 style per theme

For who?

  • If your budget is limited
  • If you want a simple theme
  • If you have limited and simple products
  • If you don’t need much advanced configurations
  • If you want to test your store

Paid Shopify theme


  • Price: one time purchase $180 – $350 on Shopify Theme Store, under $100 on other marketplaces
  • Trial period: unlimited until publish with Shopify premium themes
  • Features: more advanced and customized features
  • Advanced customization: more personalized customization, so users don’t need to add more Shopify apps
  • Theme styles: multiple choices
  • Loading speed: tested and approved to meet Shopify’s performance standards with premium themes on Shopify
  • Inventory management: capable to manage both small and large inventory
  • Mobile responsiveness: yes with premium themes on Shopify
  • Theme support: both documents and 24/7 direct support with premium themes on Shopify


  • Price: might be costly to many merchants
  • The ease to customize: a bit more complicated for beginners
  • Trial period: zero or limited with themes from outside markets
  • Loading speed: unsure with themes from outside markets
  • Theme support: might be limited with themes from outside markets

For who?

  • If you have an extra budget
  • If you want a customized store design
  • If there is no free theme that matches your product niche
  • If you want specific advanced features
  • If you have a large product range

Factors to consider before you pick a Shopify theme

Okay, in order to help you narrow down the best Shopify theme for your online store, it is crucial to highlight the critical criteria you must consider before making any decision.

Depending on your business

The industry of your business

First things first, the style and feel of your store design should be influenced by the industry to which your products belong. So, you may search for a Shopify theme that is sorted by industry or product categories.

For example, it is advised not to select a theme for electronic devices if you’re selling food and drink. You may filter the themes in the Shopify Theme Store by “industry” to make it easier to find the right templates.

The themes in the same industry can also serve as inspiration for the design and aesthetics of your store.

Shopify themes based on industry

Also, if your online store involves selling in-person or across other countries, regions, or globally, you can find several theme collections in the Shopify theme store based on your business plan.

Shopify theme collections

The range of your product

Do you have a single-product store or a store with an extensive range of products? This type of question will help you sort out a better Shopify theme choice.

It’s important because if you just offer one type of product or even a service business, there are several free Shopify theme alternatives with simpler webshop settings. You don’t need extra special features to develop a high-converting and visually appealing Shopify store.

Shopify Kingdom theme

An example from the Kingdom theme that is recommended for high-volume stores

Meanwhile, a multiple-product store has a vast inventory and many collections with various sorts of items. Perhaps you’ll prefer a theme with a large menu and more advanced features to improve the design of your store and meet your company’s needs.

The budget

As previously said, choosing the right Shopify theme must also be financially feasible. If you are on a tight budget, a free Shopify theme is your best option. Try Shopify themes from prominent theme marketplaces if you still want advanced customization with a more cost-effective choice.

Shopify Premium themes, on the other hand, are advised if you have a huge budget or want an amazing shop design. In terms of standard store performance, Shopify Premium themes are safer to choose than paid themes from outside markets because they are carefully vetted and certified by Shopify, so you don’t have to worry about responsiveness or theme quality.

You can even get free theme updates after buying a Shopify Premium theme.

Depending on the technical features you need

Product images and catalog volume

Do you have a large or small inventory? Your Shopify theme should cater to the size of your catalog.

It’s now easier than ever for you since the Shopify theme store provides appropriate themes that are categorized into small and large catalogs. Choosing the correct theme that can support the scale of your store is critical since it helps structure and develop sellable product pages.

Shopify theme for large catalogs

For example, whether you sell clothing, apparel, or cosmetics, or have a retail store with a variety of items, your Shopify theme should have the ultimate search and advanced filtering features. It should also allow you to create sub-category pages for numerous collections.

Meanwhile, if your Shopify store is in the restaurant business, you don’t need a Shopify theme with “large inventory” support.

Another consideration is the size of the product image and the attributes that come with it. Clothing and jewelry stores, for instance, must captivate customers with huge, high-quality product photos. Because people care about appearance when purchasing fashion-related items, you should select a Shopify theme that allows you to display huge photographs or even videos to better exhibit your products.

If your goods have many versions with different colors, the “color swatch” feature, which allows buyers to see product pictures switching based on color selections, should be considered.


An example from Impulse theme with large image sections and visual storytelling function

Some Shopify themes provide huge banner sections and visual storytelling functions, while many themes have limited support for large photos. So, choose a theme with appropriate picture attributes that fit your business demands.

User experience

Find a theme that supports your brand design but must give a smooth experience for users. A solid store layout is the combination of many factors, including navigation, typography, font size, background color, and the general structure of the site.

To attract customers, your Shopify store doesn’t necessarily need to be trendy and engaging. The style of your Shopify store is based on your brand scheme, but with a good user experience, any store can retain customers and generate sales.

Shopify Craft theme

An example from Craft theme with a simple design and navigation

So, pay attention to:

The navigation. Is this easy for users to swift from one page to another easily? Does the theme support sticky navigation? For a large menu store, is the navigation too complicated for customers? These are some questions you want to ask while browsing the themes.

However, almost all themes on Shopify theme store offer sticky and mega-menu features, so don’t worry too much!

Some themes also offer “language and currency selectors” in the header, so you can take that into consideration if you sell internationally.

The logo. Your brand logo should be on top of the page in the header to catch people’s eyes, so find a theme that helps exhibit your logo clearly.

The CTAs. Call-to-actions should be an essential part of a Shopify theme. It’s important because it’s the touchpoint with your customers that helps boost conversion rates and sales. So make sure the theme you pick offers diverse CTA options to support your marketing plan.

Footer. You should also make sure your chosen theme supports a footer with quick links to many information pages such as about, contact, policies, and blogs.

SEO support

Do you want many people to visit your store with organic traffic? Find a theme that is SEO-friendly.

You can optimize your store and increase your chances of customers finding your products on the first page of Google or Bing search results by using a theme with built-in SEO support.

Choose a theme that includes adjustable metadata, performs well on various devices, improves loading speed, has valid HTML and language compatibility, and allows social network sharing. A theme with decent SEO may also support rich snippets, which can help your store rank better in search results pages.

Shopify Palo Alto theme

An example from Palo Alto theme that is SEO friendly with breadcrumbs, image optimization

Loading speed

Loading speed is a crucial factor that affects SEO optimization, your store’s performance, and most importantly, the user experience. More than 50% of customers will leave a website if the loading time exceeds 3 seconds. Also, if a site experiences a two-second delay or more, the bounce rates will rise by 103%.

Shopify tests the loading speed of all themes in the Shopify theme store to ensure that they meet the standard. However, various factors such as image optimization, add-on features, product density, and HTML and CSS issues affect the site’s loading speed.

So, it is recommended that you thoroughly test your Shopify theme to ensure that it supports quick loading speed in order to prevent customers from abandoning your store while browsing.

Also, make sure to choose the correct theme that provides the features you need to avoid adding too many Shopify apps, which is another element that reduces the speed of your site.

Mobile responsiveness

Statistics showed that 81% of consumers would like to experience a smooth and seamless online shopping experience across multiple devices. Also, mobile commerce has witnessed significant growth in recent years, which means you must pay attention to the responsiveness and user experience of your store on mobile devices.

When selecting a Shopify theme, it is critical to consider the theme’s mobile layout. Remember to double-check and test all of the pages, navigation, loading speed, cart, and checkout process, just as you would with the desktop version.

Shopify Eurus theme

An example with the mobile version of Eurus theme

The majority of the themes in the Shopify theme store are designed with a mobile-friendly interface. However, while creating your online shop with your selected theme, always review your store layout in mobile mode to ensure that your customers have a positive shopping experience on their smartphones.

Optimized cart and checkout

eCommerce brands witness Shopify cart abandonment rates of around 77%, which is a considerable loss for their businesses.

That’s why having an optimized cart and a smooth checkout process is vital to enhancing the buying process of customers and converting that into more sales.

When choosing your Shopify theme, you should know what type of optimized cart is suitable for your store (e.g., pop-up cart, cart slider, sticky add-to-cart). Also, make sure your cart is flexible and editable for shoppers to enhance their browsing experience.

Shopify Taste theme

An example of a pop-up cart from Taste theme

Also, you must ensure that there are no problems with the checkout process. Choose a theme that allows for one-click or one-page checkout for a speedier checkout procedure.

Marketing and conversion boost

Depending on your marketing plans, you can find a Shopify theme that offers enhanced features to boost sales and increase conversion rates.

Many Shopify Premium themes offer special attributes such as animations, age verifiers, countdown timers, color swatches, and many others to serve your specific business needs or events such as flash sales or brand promotions.

Shopify themes

Theme support

Make sure to choose a Shopify theme that will provide you with ongoing assistance from theme developers. Theme support is especially important if you determine that your store must have sophisticated customization with many features or even high-level settings.

This is to avoid any little or significant technical issues that must be resolved quickly to ensure that your business functions effectively and does not interrupt the consumer’s shopping experience.

With Shopify free and premium themes on the Shopify theme store, you can receive both documents and direct support, including free theme updates, from Shopify 24/7 or theme developers who are Shopify partners.

For Shopify themes that are from other marketplaces, such as Themeforest or Envato, make sure to read the feedback on customer support before you click the buying button.

A great thing about the reviews on Themeforest or Envato is that you can see the categorized comments related to customer support, theme flexibility, feature availability, and design quality. This makes it really easy for buyers of themes to find the information they need.

Shopify Belle theme reviews

An effective process to find your right Shopify theme

Now that you have a list of the essential elements needed in your Shopify theme, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and find your best one.

First off, it is suggested that you go to the Shopify theme store before surfing any other theme marketplaces.

You can sort out the themes by collections suggested by Shopify. You can also select “all themes” and sort the choices by price, category, feature, catalogue size, popularity, relevancy, etc.

How to find Shopify themes

Next, click on the themes you feel like learning more about and read the information. You should carefully check what features the theme offers, all the benefits that come with them (e.g., trial, updates, loading speed, maintenance, etc.), and the supporting documents.

The most important thing is not to miss out on the feedback.

Then, click on “view demo store”, look around the themes, and test the add-to-cart, CTA buttons, and product checkout. You should browse the important pages, such as the homepage, collections, product pages, about, contact, and policies.

Shopify Forge theme

A product page of a demo store from Forge theme

Following that, click “Try theme” and experiment with setting it with your store for as long as you like. Both free and premium themes on Shopify give an unlimited trial period, so don’t be shy and give it a go!

We suggest you do the trial with 2–3 of your best picks.

Finally, consider the price among the chosen themes and select the most suitable one.

Shopify theme recommendations

Although choosing a Shopify theme is dependent on your business, brand design, and the amount of customization required, here are some of our recommendations for the most popular themes, ranging from free to premium.

Shopify Dawn Theme

Dawn is the most popular free theme on the Shopify theme store at the moment. This is an original theme created by the Shopify team that was launched to kick off the Shopify 2.0 era.

Perhaps it is used by many merchants since it’s the default theme. However, if you look at the theme layout and functions, Dawn is suitable for many product categories (e.g., clothing, home & decor, health & beauty, jewelry & accessories, toys & games, books, music, and videos) and supports small to medium businesses with simple and quick setups.

This theme offers standard features such as a mega-menu, sticky navigation, product recommendations, product reviews, cross-selling, product filtering, and image banners. But, you can also optimize your store’s appearance with its visual storytelling layout.

There are large image sections, slide shows, and lookbooks to help you display the most stunning photography to attract customers with a simple but professional look.

Shopify Origin theme

Origin is also a free theme on Shopify. It is now in the top trending theme collection. Similar to Dawn, it provides a comprehensive set of typical features of a well-performing Shopify store.

This theme is a good match for individuals who like minimalist design. Origin, staying true to its name, has a solid and straightforward web layout. If you are running a single-product Shopify store, Origin is possibly the best option.

It might also be used in a variety of sectors, including books, music & videos, arts & crafts, babies & kids, outdoor & gardening, and clothing.

Shopify Impulse theme

Impulse is one of the most popular premium themes on Shopify, with a price tag of $350. Perhaps many merchants are familiar with this theme for clothing, high-end fashion items, jewelry, and stores with large catalogs.

Apart from the standard features, Impulse provides a host of promotion attributes such as promo banners, promo popups, promo tiles, and promo badges. It also offers several enhanced marketing and conversion boosters, such as countdown timers, age verifiers, color swatches, and language translations.

A strong point of Impulse is the fashionable and powerful visual layout that gives an elegant, luxurious vibe. Its vigorous promotions are the high-level customization that merchants love to enhance their store look and boost sales.

Shopify Belle theme

Belle is a theme developed by an Elite author in the Themeforest market. This theme is the best seller on the platform, with more than 2000 sales and a discount price of $55.

Belle is a multipurpose theme but is mostly used for fashion, clothing, furniture, and dropshipping. It has earned an A grade for loading speed by GTmetric and more than 90% on Google PageSpeed Insight.

Some of the advanced features of Belle are the Ajax mini cart, Ajax infinite scrolling, SEO optimization with Google rich snippets, GDPR compliance for EU merchants, dynamic checkout, and countdown timers. If you read the theme feedback, you’ll see that Belle is popular for its customer support and design quality.

However, it only gives you 6 months of support from the theme developer and an extension to 12 months if you pay $15 more. So, you should take this into consideration before purchasing the theme.

Customize Shopify theme with a page builder app

Once you find the most suitable theme for your store, you can easily set up the theme in Shopify. However, for many advanced customizations that are not available, you’ll need certain coding skills to adjust your store’s look.

So, if you have no coding experience, try using the Shopify page builder applications. By simply drag-n-drop components onto the desired blocks or sections, these plug-ins may help you develop any page of your store.


Gempages, PageFly, Shogun, and LayoutHub are some of the most popular page builder applications right now, and they all have free plans. So you can try out changing the store using your own Shopify theme and quickly install the apps.


Choosing the right Shopify theme is not as simple as you may think. It depends on multiple factors, from your business plan and product range to the features you need, which require thorough investment and preparation to pick the most suitable one for your store.

Is there a perfect Shopify theme for your store? The answer is no. Your theme could also be changed according to your marketing plan and business growth in the long run.

However, we believe that the extensive guidance offered in this post will be a tremendous help in determining the best appropriate Shopify theme for your business.

Minh Anh

Minh Anh

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