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What Is a Theme?

It's 2021, and, unfortunately, unattractive stores just won't cut it anymore. As competition steadily increases in the eCommerce world, your store needs to make a powerful statement from the start.

One of the most effective ways to capture a shopper’s attention is by utilizing a responsive, well-organized, and on-brand theme. Today, we’ll discuss what a theme is and learn how you can best select one to slash your bounce rate and elevate your sales records.

What Exactly Is a Shopify Theme?

Simply put, an eCommerce theme is a pre-built design template that determines how your site displays content. Each theme is organized and styled uniquely, offering a variety of layouts, colors, fonts, and more. For this reason, different themes can create very different customer experiences.

How Do I Use Themes for My Online Store?

A Shopify theme uses your content (products, titles, descriptions, images, etc.) to automatically populate and create a polished, well-designed store. This eliminates the need to hire or outsource web design and development. Instead of a team of developers painstakingly deciding where each of your photos should go and how large every block of text should be, you simply choose a design of a sample store that you like, and Shopify will add your content where it needs to go.

In fact, a theme can take as few as five or ten minutes to set up. Plus, since the theme is only a template that displays content, you can freely switch around the theme and settings without worrying about losing or ruining any of your important admin information.

Selecting a Shopify Theme

Shopify’s theme store offers an extensive variety of free templates that you can use to design your online store. For even more variety, you can avail yourself of the paid themes, created by third-party designers, vetted for safety and responsiveness by Shopify.

When choosing a theme for your online store, here are some essential factors to consider:

  • Customization — Ensure your design doesn’t resemble any other stores on the market by selecting a theme with extensive customization capabilities.
  • Functionality — Pre-built solutions can sometimes limit the operation of your site, so be sure to review the UX functionality before purchasing a specific theme.
  • Objectives — Ponder the focus of your site, and choose a theme built with features that facilitate your goals.
  • Features — Similarly, make a list of the most important qualities you need for your site (like fast loading speeds, upsell features, mobile-responsiveness, etc) and select a theme that aligns with these aspects.
  • Strategy — Knowing which content should take highest priority on your site will help you select a theme that most effectively displays it. (For example- are videos, images, or text most valuable? Do you wish to first display product categories or featured items?)
  • Support — Before selecting a theme, familiarize yourself with the updates and support available for it to ensure longevity and stability.

Installing & Customizing a Shopify Theme

Once you’ve given some thought to your site’s design needs, navigate to your Shopify admin. Under the Sales Channel tab, select Online Store, then click Themes. Here, Shopify displays your current theme. If you haven’t yet changed it, your theme is set to default.

Scroll down and either choose Explore Free Themes or Visit Theme Store to browse more options. Alternatively, you can click the Add Theme dropdown button to install a theme that you’ve already downloaded as a Zip file.

When you’ve found an option you like, click Add To Theme Library (free) or Try Theme (paid). You can sample multiple themes at a time, so feel free to select a variety of options.

Then, navigate back to your store’s Theme tab, and scroll down to Theme Library. There you’ll find a list of the themes you selected to try. Under the Actions dropdown, you can select from a variety of options, including preview, publish, or remove.

Once you’ve published a theme, it will update to display under Current Theme. There, you can click on the Customize button to edit and tweak your design to perfectly fit your preferences. Play around with the intuitive, easy-to-use editor until your site is perfect. Then, click Save to update your stunning, on-brand site design.

Keep in mind that although templates use the content from your Shopify admin, some settings are theme-specific. For example, if you update your theme, you may have to redesign certain aspects, like static and dynamic sections, colors, fonts, and theme-text.

Shopify Themes: An Easy Way to Create a Beautiful Online Store

Themes are a great way to create a flawlessly designed site in very little time. By carefully selecting a responsive, conversion-focused, and appealing theme, you position your store on the path to success. Compete with some of the biggest names in eCommerce with ease — start by installing a great Shopify theme today.

If you have more questions about themes or eCommerce in general, feel free to reach out to our Shopify experts! We love helping entrepreneurs scale their eCommerce legacies!