Choosing the right Shopify theme for success
When building a Shopify store, the theme you choose dictates how the website looks and functions. While plenty of free themes are available, they may lack the flexibility and advanced features you need. A free theme can help get your store up and running on a budget, but what about when it outgrows that theme and you need to add more features or functionality?
Usually, investing in the right theme, one with scalability, from the beginning can help save you a headache later down the line. If you build your website using a theme that is lacking, it could hold your store back from reaching its full potential. So, choosing the right theme for your store is such an important decision. It’s not as simple as selecting the one that looks the prettiest either; there are many factors to consider, like load speed, responsiveness, scalability, features, Shopify themes with best UX, and more.
Whether you’re launching a brand new online store or want to refresh your existing store, investing in a premium or custom-built Shopify theme can optimise your store’s performance and help it stand out from the crowd.
In this article, we’ll explore the features of high-performance Shopify themes and reveal our top 3 Shopify themes of 2023.
What features should I look for in a Shopify theme for high conversion rates?
When shopping around for the right Shopify theme for your business, you’ll find that there are plenty of beautiful designs and layouts available, so it’s easy to get swept up in the aesthetics. It’s important to keep the main objective of your website at the forefront of your mind – to sell products! While appearance is undoubtedly important, functionality is more so.
No matter whether you’re browsing free or premium themes or designing a custom Shopify theme, the most important features are those that encourage high conversion rates; these include:
- Slick user experience (UX) – The quality of the experience customers have when using your website is decided by many different elements and how they all work together. This includes its visual design and layout, accessibility, navigation, and speed. Your theme should deliver a user experience that is slick and optimised, increasing the chance of users converting and returning for repeat purchases.
- Lightning-fast speed – Your chosen theme heavily influences how fast your online store’s pages load. Fast-loading pages are critical for keeping users engaged, reducing bounce rates, and increasing conversion rates.
- Ease of navigation – It’s important that the theme you choose makes it simple and intuitive for users to find what they’re looking for using clear menus, good product categorisation, and efficient search functionality. Effective navigation helps to guide users through your website and toward the checkout effortlessly.
- Clear CTAs – High-converting Shopify themes incorporate clear calls-to-action throughout their layout to encourage users to guide users through the buying process and encourage them to take action.
- Friction-less buying journey – High-performance Shopify themes ensure the journey from product discovery to final purchase is smooth sailing. Reducing friction in the buying process is key to increasing conversion rates, so the checkout process should be streamlined and require the minimal number of steps possible to complete the purchase.
- Responsive design – With an ever-increasing number of shoppers choosing to shop on the go using mobile devices, it’s essential that your Shopify theme is responsive and will adapt to look and function well on any device type.
Pay careful attention to these features when shopping for the best Shopify theme to ensure your store not only looks great but brings in the sales too.
Our top 3 Shopify themes in 2023
At Create8, we have helped countless businesses optimise their Shopify store’s performance using Shopify themes. We’ve put our heads together, made a quick Shopify theme comparison, and voted for our top 3 Shopify themes of 2023. When choosing our top three, we’ve considered unique features, design elements, functionality, Shopify theme reviews, and more. So, without further ado, let’s meet our favourite Shopify themes.
The Symmetry theme is a top-selling theme ideal for clothing brands and stores with large inventories. Its crisp, clean, forward-thinking web design and layout make it ideal for modern brands. It comes with a huge selection of highly customisable drag-and-drop sections, making it quick and simple to build pages just how you want them. It also allows users to add custom options to the product pages to reduce reliance on apps.
Top features and design elements:
- Highly customisable drag-and-drop sections.
- Optimised for high-volume and physical stores.
- Strong focus on visual storytelling.
- Powerful product filters to drive conversions.
- Marketing and merchandising tools.
- Diverse cart and checkout options.
Symmetry in action:
Using the Symmetry theme, Orchil Home showcases original patterns for modern home décor. The website displays a range of products, including fabric, wallpaper, cushions, and art prints featuring bold, playful, and distinctive hand-drawn prints. The theme’s layout makes it easy for the brand to effectively showcase its collections and provide clear product information and variations.
Luca Vanucci, an Italian fashion brand, uses the Symmetry theme to display its product range, which includes knitwear, jackets, dresses, and trousers, all manufactured in the heart of Tuscany. The store uses Symmetry’s conversion-orientated features like prominent CTAs and the product quick-buy function to signpost users and streamline the buying journey.
The Showcase Shopify theme is popular with beauty and clothing brands that wish to showcase their products using high-quality animation, videos, or story-led pages. Its advanced product filtering and merchandising features, including colour swatches, make it ideal for high-volume stores with large inventories.
Top features and design elements:
- Advanced product filtering and performance filters.
- Optimised for high-volume stores with quick setup.
- Premium shopping experience with smooth animations.
- Enhanced product discovery tools.
- Wide range of marketing and conversion tools.
Showcase in action:
The Bexy Glow store, specialising in acrylic nail supplies, uses the Shopify Showcase theme to create a bold, vibrant, and well-organised shopping experience. The theme’s layout showcases the brand’s various nail products in a way that is structured and easy to navigate. It also prominently highlights promotional offers and new arrivals and allows customers to add products to their basket directly from the homepage, significantly speeding up the buying journey.
Fashion brand Lucy Nagle specialises in luxurious cashmere clothing and leverages the Showcase theme to create an elegant and minimalist aesthetic. Users can view collections, new arrivals, and collaborations with designers on the homepage. The Showcase theme highlights the brand’s press coverage, blog posts, and information about the founder, enhancing the brand’s storytelling and helping to connect with users on a deeper level. On the product pages, colour swatches, product variations, and minimalist product filters make it easy for customers to find what they want.
The Be Yours theme is popular amongst clothing, home, and beauty brands. The theme incorporates features tailored specifically to dropshippers and one-product stores, although it is equally capable of handling large inventories. It conveniently incorporates a built-in age verifier, countdown timer, and scrolling marquee sections, which helps to reduce the need for custom Shopify apps.
Top features and design elements:
- Extensive features, including over 30 sections.
- Unique design emphasising intuitive user experience.
- Compatibility with one-product stores.
- Special features for dropshippers and quick setup stores.
- Advanced merchandising and marketing tools.
- Innovative cart and checkout options.
Be Yours in action:
The Face Teeth Smile store, dedicated to redefining dentistry and facial aesthetics, uses the Be Yours theme to effectively present its skincare and dental products and foster credibility and trust with users. The homepage features customer reviews, details of awards won, press mentions, and a list of reasons to choose Face Teeth Smile to reassure users of the brand’s credibility. Bestselling products are displayed prominently on the homepage, and they feature quick-view and add-to-cart options to reduce the number of steps in the buying process and potentially boost conversion rates.
Cheeses of Muswell Hill is an artisan cheese shop that uses the Be Yours theme to showcase its curated range of world-class cheeses. The theme categorises cheeses by style, milk type, country, and dietary preferences, ensuring a user-friendly shopping experience. Large, high-quality product images and detailed descriptions of the cheese varieties enhance the products’ appeal and invite customers to purchase.
How can I customise a Shopify theme to fit my brand identity?
Using a Shopify theme takes a lot of the hard work out of designing the layout and functionality of your online store. However, you still need to customise the theme to fit your brand and products or services. It’s super important to ensure users have a cohesive experience with your brand across every touchpoint to build brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Most Shopify themes allow you to customise elements, including store colours, fonts, and imagery, to reflect your brand’s identity and message.
Some key steps to customising your Shopify theme to fit your brand identity include:
- Replace default images with branded imagery and logos.
- Add custom content written in your brand voice.
- Integrate your social media accounts.
- Add Shopify apps.
If you require more advanced Shopify theme customisation than the Shopify theme settings allow, you may need to edit the theme’s CSS or HTML code. If you don’t have an experienced coder in-house, you may need to partner with a Shopify expert, like our team here at Create8, to implement the changes.
Partner with Create8 for Shopify and custom web design services
If you need a website with bespoke functionality or want to do things a bit differently to stand out from the crowd, our skilled team at Create8 is here to help you get your store noticed!
Whether you want to build your website using one of the popular Shopify themes of 2023 listed in this article or need a completely bespoke storefront built from scratch by one of our custom Shopify web designers, we can help.
We have helped countless businesses create unique storefronts optimised to convert casual buyers into loyal customers. Let us help your Shopify store to stand out in 2024. Contact our team today to get your project started.