Judging a Book by Its Cover: The Importance of Picking the Right Shopify Theme and 4 Tips to Help You Find It  

by Group 8A |

Trust me, I know how it goes: you’ve got that great idea for an e-commerce store, your products ready to go, you’ve followed all the steps and rules and now you just want to get your store opened. So what do you do? You’ve selected Shopify for your platform (because it’s pretty much industry standard now) and you’ve got to build your site.


The fact is, you don’t need a fancy web developer or to learn any coding. Shopify has instead made it very simple for you to get a clean, timeless (or timely) theme for your site.

In this business, we’re all judging books by their cover. Suffice it to say, if your site is a mobile mess or a desktop disaster, making sales is going to be difficult or downright impossible.

Okay, you say, I’ll just pick the first one that looks pretty cool.

But, wait!

Yes, there are lots of themes to choose from and going through each one can seem daunting but I implore you to take your time and find the theme that is going to be best for your store.

Look at it like this: if you were going to open a retail brick-and-mortar that sold, lets say, baby clothes, you wouldn’t paint the walls black and blast heavy metal (okay, maybe in some baby stores you might, but, for the sake of the metaphor, let’s assume you wouldn’t). The same can be said for your Shopify space. You’ve got to pick a theme that’s going to make sense for your business and your shoppers to get those conversions!

In this article, we’re going to figure out the best ways to get the best theme for your Shopify e-commerce store!

Your Theme is Your Storefront

Like I said, think of your theme just as you would a physical retail location. Consider how much design work goes into a brick-and-mortar store. Fortunately, you’re going to spend a lot less and it’s going to be a lot easier for you to do the same in your Shopify space.

While you can use third-party themes outside of Shopify, I wouldn’t necessarily advise that. Shopify-approved themes tend to be more stable and better suited for mobile shopping (and it’s all about mobile now), so just head on over to the Shopify theme shop.

Upon entering the Shopify theme shop, you might feel overwhelmed. Don’t worry. This is natural. You just have to learn to navigate it and, fortunately, it’s pretty simple if you know what you’re looking for.

Consider Your Source

First, how much are you willing to spend? Generally, paid themes run right about $140 to $160, which is a pittance considering the alternative. But Shopify also offers some very serviceable free themes as well.

How big is your catalog? What kind of layout do you envision? What about navigation—sidebar? Horizontal? Multi-column?


There’s a lot to consider. Most importantly, though, always consider function over form. You might see something flashy, new and neat that catches your eye but it’s got to work! While Shopify does a pretty great job curating their list of themes, there’s always going to be an outlier.

Don’t Forget Your Customers

While it’s important to find something that you like and that lines up with your own aesthetics, just remember not to forget your customers.

My best advice is to go through a few Shopify sites that you like and figure out which theme they’re using. Think of Shopify sites (and e-commerce storefronts in general) as all speaking the same “language.” Your customers are going to be used to a certain “language” when they go looking for products like yours.

Hey, in many ways, this is a copycat business so don’t feel too bad swiping a few ideas from someone else’s design (because they probably did the same thing).

Experiment to Find the Right Fit

If you had a brick-and-mortar store, making changes to the structure might take weeks, months or years to finally come to fruition. And, once you do it, it’s expensive and, at times, improbable to go back on those changes if you end up disliking them.

But if you’re using Shopify themes, changing it up on the fly is a snap. Yes, you might alienate a few customers if you drastically alter the look of your site once you’ve got it going for a while, but, if you think it’s going to help conversions, by all means, do it!

That’s the beauty of Shopify’s themes, they’re kind of like dresses in a clothing store, if you don’t like it, lose it and find a better, more suiting one.

Although, there’s a caveat to this as well—don’t go changing your site too often or too drastically. I would suggest a redesign just once if the theme doesn’t seem to be working and then wait some time to modify it again. Hopefully, after a while, you’ll have built up enough capital to get yourself a totally customized website and the world will be ready for your overhaul!


With any luck, you’re now convinced of the importance of selecting the correct Shopify theme for your e-commerce business because, ultimately, everything comes down to how you present yourself. If you’ve got a site that’s hard to look at and even harder to navigate, you can kiss those conversion goodbye!


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