Do you know how aspiring online store owners in the past enhanced the visual appeal of their websites? They used to design their sites from scratch.
Advancements today paved way for the development of ready-made themes that people can simply install and tweak in a few minutes. Sounds easy-peasy.
These events make us realize that the appearance of our websites is important. A beautiful-looking interface creates a positive impression on our customers while an unappealing one can drive them away in a matter of seconds.
As the visual representation of your brand, it’s important that you invest time and effort in choosing your website’s design.
Research about web design and user engagement reveals that internet users engage with websites that have an appealing design. Important design elements include graphical representation, simplicity, and navigation.
If this is your first attempt to build your store on Shopify for that matter, read this article.
Choosing a Shopify theme has been made easier
Now before we dive into the factors to consider in the theme selection process, know that the platform makes it convenient for you select from various Shopify themes that look professional and allow room for customization.
You can simply decide on a theme based on your industry, number of products, navigation, and more.
Top things to consider before you choose an ecommerce theme
Find a theme that matches your preferences and business’ needs by noting these important factors.
- Technical support
While it’s great to have a theme that comes with how-to step-by-step tutorials, along the way you might encounter issues. During these times, you will be compelled to contact the developer behind the team. The question is, “Is there a free tech support readily available to assist you?”
It’s not as frustrating to get stuck in the process of working with your theme when you have someone helping you. There are two ways to tell whether your theme comes with a support.
First, check the theme’s number of active users. Choose a theme with more than 100 users. Usually, you’ll find customer support threads. Second, check the last update of the changelog. These are improvements or updates made on the theme. If the updates were made recently, it means that the developer actively maintains the theme.
Let’s be honest here: Most people shop online nowadays using their mobile devices and not their personal computers. With that, it’s important that your prospects are able to shop with ease no matter the size of their screens.
So before your ecommerce store goes live, make sure to check that it appears beautifully on all screens and resolutions.
Why is a mobile-friendly theme important, to begin with? Smartphone users interact with websites differently. They’re browsing regardless of the time and place – whether watching television or on their way to work. 77% of mobile searches happen at home or work. Therefore, a mobile-friendly site ensures better conversions and lower bounce rates.
- Creative control
Who doesn’t want customization? This is not something to leave out. Even if a theme has a basic appearance, still you’ll have to tweak it here and there to make sure that it beautifully represents your brand.
Also, it should be easy for you to test your ecommerce store before it goes live. That way, you get to compare apples to apples to decide which one is best for you and your customers.
The advantage that users can get from choosing Shopify themes is the integration of an editing panel. Even if you’re not a programmer, you’ll be able to easily edit your site colors, typography, homepage, and more.
- Free or paid
Anything that comes for free sounds like a good deal. And it truly is, especially if you’re an entrepreneur who’s just starting out. Perhaps you are on a limited budget for now. Free themes still allow room for customization and give your ecommerce store a professional feel.
However, don’t close your doors on paid themes. Many business owners who’ve been running their sites for a long time would rather opt for paid themes since they’re frequently updated. Paid themes also offer better support.
How fast your ecommerce store loads is another critical factor that can make or break customer experiences. On top of making sure that your theme is mobile-friendly, it needs to be fast as well. When It comes to mobile browsing, speed is a huge ranking factor.
Faster websites are generally favored by Google. Setting high expectations on websites, it expects retail mobile websites to load in less than one second. As you select an ecommerce store theme, you’ll want to steer clear from those that come with animations.
Unnecessary animations are heavy, and they may prevent customers from viewing product pages and completing a purchase. Too fancy themes can look attractive but will take more time to load. This negatively impacts your bottom line.
Selecting a theme for your brand new online shop doesn’t need to be an overwhelming and complex process. Consider the areas we discussed here. Now you can be sure that your e-commerce website delights your customers, eases your entrepreneurial journey, and appeals to Google.