If you're trying to make money with an e-commerce website, you're probably familiar with Shopify. This platform makes it easy for anyone to set up a digital storefront and start selling items, even without any inventory.
What is a Shopify Theme?
A Shopify theme is a collection of elements that affect everything about a digital storefront, including its layout, color scheme, and even the features it uses to enhance the customer experience.
You can find themes at the Shopify theme store, and many options are available. Sometimes, you may want to switch to a new Shopify theme regularly to keep your online store fresh and exciting.
What are the Advantages of Using Shopify Themes?
You can tell a lot about a website based on its appearance and layout. Shopify themes allow you to put your best foot forward and wow your clients as soon as they visit your pages.
One primary advantage of using a Shopify theme is that you can pick one to fit your overall store aesthetic. For example, if you sell children's toys, you want a new theme that feels bright, cheerful, and whimsical.
Conversely, if you're selling high-tech gadgets, you want something that looks sleek and modern.
Another reason to celebrate is that you can find many customizable free Shopify themes. This way, you can make your online store look its best without investing much money.
However, because premium options offer better visuals and features, you can update your existing theme once your store starts earning extra money.
How to Change Your Shopify Theme - Step by Step
When opening a new Shopify store, you'll have access to the current Dawn theme. While this theme looks professional and aesthetically pleasing, you'll likely want to switch to your own theme before promoting your storefront too much.
Fortunately, changing your Shopify theme is easy - just follow these steps.
Step One: Find a New Theme
There are three ways to get a new theme: go to the Shopify store, buy third party themes, or hire a developer to build one from scratch. Since the easiest option is to go to the Shopify themes store, we'll start there.
Shopify has an extensive theme library, complete with free themes and paid premium versions. We'll go over how to pick the right theme for your store later, but let's assume you know what you want already.
To get to the theme library, follow these links from your admin page:
Online store - Themes - Theme Library - Visit Theme Store.
1 - Click Online store on left side of your shopify dashboard. Themes will already be chosen when you click it.
2 - Scroll down to "Theme Library" - Click on Add theme
3 - Click Visit Theme Store
4 - Click Explore themes
5 - Find a theme you like and click on it
6 - Click Try theme
Fortunately, Shopify themes are categorized by industry, store size, and other features so that you can narrow your search quickly and efficiently. Otherwise, with so many themes available, it's easy to get overwhelmed.
If you prefer third party themes, you can go to sites like Themeforest, which also has an extensive library of theme files. Overall, it's crucial to know precisely what you want so you can compare different themes more easily.
Step Two: Customize Your Theme
From the admin page, you can go to the Shopify theme editor. While some options may work well "out of the box," you should still customize them to fit your specific business.
The Shopify editor allows you to change things like color schemes, fonts, layouts, and different functions. Of course, the amount of customization you can do depends on the theme you choose.
As a rule, free themes are more limited because they're free. However, if you choose a paid theme, you should be able to do much more from the back end.
Step Three: Switch Themes
One of the great things about this platform is that you can have up to 20 Shopify themes ready to go for your store at once. While you can only use one theme at a time, you can quickly switch back and forth from a previous piece to a new one.
To do this, go to your theme library and pick the theme you want to use. Then, look at a preview to ensure it looks good with your website copy and products. There's a dropdown menu on the "Actions" button that allows you to do this.
If everything looks good, you can click "publish" from the "Actions" menu button. However, to prevent accidental publishing, Shopify will ask you to verify that you want to switch from your current theme.
Hit "Publish" again, and your new site will be live! Best of all, the old theme will go into your library, so you can always switch back if you prefer.
What to Consider When Choosing a Shopify Theme
As we mentioned, there are so many Shopify themes out there that it can seem impossible to narrow your search to just one or two. Fortunately, you can load multiple themes into your library so you can see what they look like on your site.
Then, if you don't like a new theme, you can delete it from your catalog and find another one to replace it.
Here are some common factors to consider when finding a new Shopify theme:
If you don't have a budget, you can choose to see only free themes at the Shopify theme store. This way, you can be sure you're not going to see anything that costs money.
However, most themes are pretty affordable, so it's worth it to set aside at least a small budget to upgrade to a paid version. Not only will you get more theme files and customization options, but you will also get access to more high-end designs.
On average, a new theme can cost between $140 and $180. Fortunately, this is a one-time price, not monthly or annually. That said, if you're going to download many Shopify themes, you need to be sure they're worth the investment.
Colors can affect your e-commerce store more than you may realize. A basic understanding of color theory can help you choose a scheme that fits your brand aesthetic. Here are a few examples:
Purple - Purple can be whimsical and elegant, depending on the shade. Light purple can also feel professional and reliable. Purple is the color of royalty, so keep that in mind.
Red - Red signifies passion and intensity, but it can also trigger hunger. There's a reason why so many food brands have red logos. If you're selling food products, you can use this to your advantage.
Green - One obvious way to use green is if you have an eco-friendly business model. Green is also the color of money, so it works well for finance-related products and services.
Yellow - Yellow is bright and cheerful, but deep yellow can also feel bold and exciting. Usually, you want to use yellow if you're trying to stand out from the crowd.
Black and Gray - White, black, and gray color schemes work well if you're trying to look sleek and modern. You can also utilize these background colors to make product colors or colored buttons pop on the page.
When choosing a new Shopify theme, you need to understand how it will affect your site visitors. So, you should do some research to learn as much about your potential customers as possible.
One way to do this is to create user avatars - individual representations of a larger
For example, let's say you're selling baby products to new moms. If you get into the "new mom" mindset, they may want items that make their lives easier. They may also respond well to colors and features that make them feel calm and welcomed.
So, you might choose a theme with softer colors and improved layouts that make it easier to buy your products. You may also feature images of new mothers using your products so visitors can see what they look like in action.
Overall, knowing what your audience wants and expects from a new theme can help you make the right decision.
Ease of Use
Some themes are easy to customize, while others are more challenging to master. So, pay attention to what it's like to adjust a new theme from the back end. If it takes a while to make small changes, consider how often you'll need to update it.
Also, if a new theme is more complicated or harder to master than your current theme, you need to consider whether it's worth it to switch.
As we mentioned, free themes usually have limited customization options. You might be able to select a few new fonts and colors, but that's about it.
If you want more control over every aspect of your new theme, you should upgrade to a paid version. That said, consider how much tinkering you'll be doing regularly. If you want a theme where you can just set it and forget it, you might care little about customization.
Since your online store will process customer transactions, you must ensure it's safe and secure. Not only will extra security measures give you and your customers peace of mind, but they can also affect your SEO.
Free themes may be less secure, nor will they get updated as often as paid versions. Keep in mind that you may have to download newer versions of the same theme to keep your site well-protected.
Ideally, the developer will allow you to update the theme without buying a new version every time.
FAQs About Shopify Themes
Before pulling the trigger on a new Shopify theme, here are some other considerations.
Do You Need a Shopify Theme to Have an Online Store?
Technically, yes. However, Shopify will give you the default Dawn theme when starting your store, so you don't have to download or install anything.
One downside of using the default theme is that your storefront will look like everyone else's. So, choosing a new theme can help differentiate your brand from the rest of the pack.
How Much Do Shopify Themes Cost?
On average, paid themes can cost up to $180. However, some options may cost even more if they come with extra features or programming options.
Do Shopify Themes Help Get More Customers?
Not necessarily. We wish it was as easy as switching to a new theme and getting a ton of new customers. Changing to a new theme can help build a more branded experience and ideally speed up your website, but may not increase conversion out of the box.
How Many Shopify Themes Can You Use in Your Online Store?
You can hold up to 20 themes in your library. If you want more than that, you'll have to delete themes to make room.
Does Changing a Shopify Theme Cause You to Lose Content?
No, your site content will remain intact when switching to a new theme. The only elements you'll lose from your current theme are settings and programming language embedded in the piece itself.
Can You Use a Theme for Multiple Online Stores?
Yes, you can use the same theme for multiple stores. However, if you're using a paid theme, you might have to pay the price for each storefront, so keep that in mind.
How Often Should You Change Your Shopify Theme?
The answer depends on a few factors. If your current theme brings in traffic, there's no reason to change it. However, if your sales are struggling or starting to fall, one way to improve your bottom line is to switch a theme.
You can also switch themes for specific events like holidays, product launches, etc.
Pro Tip: Themes usually aren't the main driver of conversion. Testing the copywriting and the offer itself can be far bigger levers to increasing revenue per visitor.
A CRO expert can design monthly tests to increase your revenue and reduce your advertising expenses. Check out our other blog on how to hire a conversion rate optimization consultant.
The Bottom Line
Shopify makes it easy to use themes to make your digital storefront look as sleek and
inviting as possible. Now that you know how to customize and switch themes, you're poised for success!