Why choose Shopify for your online shop?

Shopify is a remarkable ecommerce business tool that offers a multitude of brilliant features. As someone who has been using it for years, I can confidently say that with a little guidance, you too can create an excellent website without the expense of a web designer or a completely custom-built store.

Having worked in ecommerce for over a decade with both big and small brands, I recommend Shopify to all my clients. It's not just for start-up businesses; many well-known brands, including Kylie Cosmetics, GymShark, and Skinny Dip, rely on Shopify for selling online too.

Getting started - What is a Shopify theme?

Shopify themes are templates that control the features, layout, and style of your online shop. One of the reasons I love Shopify is the flexibility it offers through its themes. With over 100+ paid and free themes, you can easily create a unique store that aligns with your brand and provides your customers with a tailored experience.

Since Shopify launched a new operating system (Shopify 2.0) in the summer of 2021 there's even more exciting benefits that enhance the functionality and customisation options of your website. All of which make it easier for small businesses to start and grow their brands.

Let's explore some of the key advantages and more importantly how it benefits you:

Easy customisations with sections everywhere

Shopify 2.0 simplifies the process of creating customised pages, allowing you to tailor your website to your brand's personality and story. With it's easy drag-and-drop system, you can move around content and customise every page on your website.

Metafields for further personalisation

No more relying on apps or complicated coding. Shopify 2.0 makes it easier to have customised information on every product or collection page. By using additional pieces of data, which you can add based on what products you sell, you can further personalise your website.

Easier app integration

Shopify 2.0 streamlines the process of integrating apps into your store, eliminating the need for manual coding. With it's simple toggle system, many apps can now be added in a matter of minutes.

Enhanced theme editor

Shopify 2.0 offers a more user-friendly and intuitive theme editor, allowing you to add more design elements to each page, ensuring a visually appealing shopping experience for your customers.

Why choosing the right Shopify theme is so important (and why you don't want to get it wrong)

When selecting a Shopify theme, it's essential to consider both design and functionality. And it's one of the most (if not the most) important decisions you need to make, because the theme you choose influences the design, look and feel, layout and features you have access to.

It's important to do thorough research before even starting to think about designing your website, because you don't want to get to a point where your stuck and can't move forward because you choose the wrong theme. And changing theme is almost like building your website from scratch again, so you really don't want to be doing that.

A lot of themes come with the same sections (the building blocks of your website design) but premium themes (the ones you pay a one-off fee for) will come with more choice, more flexibility and more design features. I also believe it's a lot easier for anyone going down the DIY route to create your own website with a premium theme giving you the starting point.

Choosing the right theme means:

  • You don't need to find and pay for additional apps
  • You don't need to pay for custom development
  • You don't need to change themes (and redesign your whole website) within a few months or years
  • You get access to theme updates when buying from the Shopify theme store so you'll be able to keep up with new features available to you

How to choose a Shopify theme - Without the overwhelm

The most common thing small businesses tell me they feel when choosing a Shopify theme is: overwhelm and confusion. Because there is just so many themes to choose from in the Shopify theme store. To help simplify the process, here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

Look beyond design

Consider ecommerce functionality. Don't just focus on aesthetics; ensure the theme provides the necessary features for your business. But design does matter, if you have a premium luxury brand the theme needs to represent this within it's aesthetic.

Make a list of requirements

Identify your website needs by creating a list of all the features you want your website to have, and check if each theme can fulfil those requirements without the need for additional apps. It's important to think about right now and also future features you might want or need. And remember to think about your customers here too, what will help them to buy.

I've popped some examples to help get you thinking below:

You may want a free delivery threshold bar, like Rumsey's use in the basket to show customers how much more they need to spend for free delivery.

Or you may need swatches on your collection page, in this example from Allbirds they use smaller versions of their product images to show other colours the trainers come in.

Consider user-experience

Look beyond the demo themes and assess how well the theme's user-journey aligns with your products and customers. Test the site on both mobile and desktop to ensure a seamless experience. If anything feels 'clunky' or not quite right, you'll need to check if this is a setting you can change.

Test the themes you like

Shopify allows you to demo themes (for free) in your own store to evaluate their features and design elements, ensuring they align with your brand. And I'd highly recommend you do this before making your final decision. Ideally you want to limit this to 2-3 and just go in and add your branding and play around with some of the settings.

Whether you're about to start a brand from scratch or you've had your online shop a while and you're looking to update the design, choosing a Shopify theme can be really hard. If you still need help I've got a couple of things that can support you in this big decision.

Check out my mini course How to Choose a Shopify Theme which helped Laura "overcome the overwhelm' when she was choosing her new theme.

Or if you need ongoing help and support, join my Ecommerce Community for small businesses using Shopify + Klaviyo, whether you're a start up or growing your small business I can help you sell more online and it comes with access to all my mini courses and resources.

This blog was written by

Elle Williamson


Why learn from me?

Hi, I’m Elle. I specialise in all things ecommerce for small businesses selling and growing online. I created The Ecommerce Assistant to help busy brand owners make more sales on their online shop by teaching them how to use Shopify + Klaviyo.