Previous in series: What to consider when choosing your Shopify theme?
You’ve already put in a lot of time finding the perfect niche idea for your Shopify store. But the hard part has just begun. The theme you choose should be one which makes your store look amazing while keeping functional at the same time. It’s an important element which can make you the top dog in your niche.
Different industries tend to have different styles of working for them. Although it is a good idea to consult a designer when you have the resources to do so. But if you are just starting out with your store, I’ll discuss a few ways to hack your way around it with data on the industry trends. Even following best practices will get you quite far. I know, I know. You’re thinking “Get to the point already!”
Before you dive in head first into this research, I would recommend creating an excel sheet to store your research and for easy comparison, after you are done with collecting all the information you want. Or you can go old school by jotting down your notes on paper.
Now, there’s a couple of ways you can go about finding themes. Using both these methods will help you make a better decision.
1. Shopify Theme Store: Now that you know what factors to consider and have answers to these questions, you can use the potent filters on Shopify’s Theme Store to narrow down the search results.
2. WhatShopifyTheme: Came across some well-designed stores or want to check out which themes your competitors are using? This tool will make your job easier.
Method 1: Shopify Theme Store
Head over to the Shopify Theme Store and click on ‘All Themes’. You’ll be greeted with something similar:
If you’ve read the first part in this series, you already know which factors to consider while choosing a theme and have answers to the questions raised there. Now it’s time to put that to use. As you can see above, on the left side you have multiple filters to narrow down your options.
- Price: Well, it’s quite evident that there are only 2 options here — Free and Paid. If you are operating on a tight budget and don’t want to splurge on a theme straight away, choose the Free option.
- The number of products: Does your store have a large catalog or focusing on a small collection of products? Different themes work to suit different sizes, so pick one that is applicable to you.
- Layout style: It refers to the different layout options that are available. If you’re not sure how all these layouts work, I would suggest coming back to this later.
- Product page: Offers different options for displaying your products. Some offer a quick look while some allow customers to zoom in on high-definition images. There are some other options as well, so if you are sure exactly how you want your product page to look, go ahead and set this filter.
- Homepage: This offers different alternatives like slideshows, featuring videos or collections among others. The home page plays an integral part in setting the first impression for your store. It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway — Choose wisely.
- Navigation: This filter allows you to pick the way you want visitors to move about on your store. Different menu styles work well with different industries and store sizes. If you have a large catalog, it’s advisable to choose a theme which offers you filtering options similar to the ones you are seeing right now on the Shopify theme store.
- Marketing and social media: Want to feature your Twitter or Instagram feed on your store? Or a marketing pop up to obtain email addresses of your visitors? Make your choice here. Although I would like to mention here that there are several apps which fulfill the same purpose. So if you find a great theme but it doesn’t have an email pop up feature, simply install an app to do this from the Shopify App Store. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with the multitude of apps on the App Store? Check this out to get a jump start on the top Shopify Apps you need to have.
- Industry: As I mentioned before, different industries tend to have different trends working for them. So if your store is in the jewelry industry, go ahead and tick the checkbox next to it. But it’s important to note here that this is just a recommendation. You might find a theme in the fashion industry which you can customize to suit your store.
Method 2: WhatShopifyTheme
Finding Your Niche
The first step would be to find out other stores operating in your niche. But this is not an easy task as there is no universal directory of Shopify Stores. So how are you supposed to find Shopify stores, let alone the ones in your niche?
You’re in luck because there’s an easy way to go about this. Let’s say I want to set up a store selling gym apparel. So I’ll use ‘gym apparel’ as the niche I want to research. You can substitute this with your niche. In your Google search, simply type in your niche followed by ‘inurl:myshopify.com’.
Et voila! You now have a list of all Shopify stores containing the keyword ‘pet grooming’. Start browsing these stores. Not all of these will be sporting great designs, so start copying the URLs of the stores you like to the spreadsheet. Be as thorough as possible.
What Shopify Theme?!
Now that you are armed with a ton of results, filter out the stores you feel are not up to the mark with their website design. Because you’re here to find the perfect theme for your store, and below-par stores don’t deserve your attention.
Now, it’s time to use WhatShopifyTheme, an amazing tool designed by the same team that brought you PushOwl and WhatShopifyApp. Similar to your Alexa search, just enter the store URL and ta-da! You’ll see the Shopify theme being used. Let’s check it out for GymShark.
When stores are using themes designed from scratch or adding their own customizations to existing themes. you’ll see the above message. Such customizations won’t be available on any theme stores. In case you want to incorporate elements from these themes, the folks over at StoreTasker can help you out.
Let’s check out another store in my niche — Gym Religion, to see what theme they’re using.
Along with the name, description, and images of the theme, you also have the ‘Get Theme’ button, which will take you to the theme store. Pretty nifty, eh? In your spreadsheet, enter the name of the theme, link to the theme store, and at least a couple of defining features (like big images, grid layout of products, etc) of the theme for an easy analysis later on.
Wrapping it up…
Once you have completed your research, start filtering stores either according to the themes they are using, or the features you would want. Go back and analyze this shortlist once more. Play around with the demos and previews for your store before making your final decision.
What are you waiting for? Go forth and conquer!