Source: Shopify Masters
If you are about to open a Shopify store or if you are looking to update the look and feel of your old one, now is a great time to do that.
Two great sources of kickass Shopify themes are the Shopify Theme directory and the Envato Marketplace. Of the top 10 Shopify themes for 2018 listed in this article, you’ll find that I’ve picked them from these two places.
Picking a good-looking Shopify theme is easy. But not every good-looking theme works great. There are a lot of other factors to consider besides “it looks good”. So, before we dive into the themes (and find out why they are great), here’s a checklist for you to use when you pick a theme for your store:
When you are looking at any Shopify theme, ask these questions:
- Is the interface clean, minimal and easy-on-the-eye?
- Can my visitor find things easily? Is navigation simple and quick?
- Is the theme ready for smartphones and tablets?
- Is the theme SEO-ready? Are all the pages SEO-ready?
- Does the theme make my shop load fast enough?
- Is the theme optimized for selling, up-selling, cross-selling and more?
Here’s a little more to munch on:
Is the interface clean, minimal and easy on the eye?
People love to shop on clutter-free shops that have a lot of white-space and are minimally-styled.
It is a very subconscious thing but has a profound effect on how your visitors – potential customers – feel on your shop. And also, how they remember you.
A clutter-free, clean interface makes a lot of things easy:
- Your visitor can view products and collections in better detail
- Your visitor won’t be distracted. On the contrary, they will be more focused
- The overall experience will be completely seamless
All of this goes towards improving conversions and sales.
Can my visitor find things easily?
When you pick a theme, navigation is one of the most import things to focus on.
- Can your visitor find the search bar quickly?
- Can she go to a collections page quickly?
- Can she switch to another product?
- Can she find the “Add to Cart”, “Checkout” buttons easily?
- Is the cart always visible or at least accessible in a quick way?
Not so surprisingly, finding things and getting things done easily on your shop play a super-crucial role in building trust and loyalty.
An easy navigation and a quick checkout process will ensure you have repeat-customers. It will also increase the “dwell-time” – the time people spend in your shop because if they can find things easily, they will not hesitate to explore more of your store.
Is the theme ready for smartphones and tablets?
More than 30% of e-commerce revenue comes from mobile devices. And it is growing even more. If your shop is not accessible, easy-to-use and fast on mobile phones and tablets, you will quickly miss out on a lot of sales.
The good news is theme designers are only too aware of this. So, every theme you see on sites like Shopify Themes and Envato are usually responsive.
But don’t let that prevent you from checking out how the theme looks on smartphones.
Remember the principles of clutter-free, minimalist, clean interface we talked about in #1? Apply them here too. Make sure that the theme not only looks good on smartphones (and tablets), but it also works great.
Is the theme SEO-ready?
If it’s a hand-coded website, you can quickly fire up a website editing software, change tags and optimize your website for search engines real quick.
But with Shopify themes, you can’t do that. At least, not everyone can. Unless you’re somewhat of an expert at digging into a theme and writing some code, you won’t be able to create or edit themes for SEO purposes.
Which is why it’s best to inspect the theme you like to see if it is SEO-ready.
Here are some handy pointers to look for SEO-readiness of a theme:
- Do a quick “Inspect element” (if you’re on Chrome or Firefox) on the product page and check if the title is wrapped in <h1> or <h2> tags.
- Repeat the process for the other pages – like the collections page.
- Check for alt tags in images (<img>).
- Ensure the pages have proper “title”, “meta” and “description” tags. These are not going to skyrocket your rankings but they are fundamental things that you can’t do without. Nor can Google. It needs them to recognize and tag your store properly for the keywords it has.
- You can further inspect a theme by running the preview URL through an SEO inspector like SEO Site Checkup or SEO Tester.
Does my shop load fast enough?
We all have about 3-5 seconds to make an impression on the customer.
If your store took more than that to load, you can almost bet all your earnings that the visitor will hit the back button almost instantly.
And this is not just the first time your site loads. Every page on your website needs to load quickly. We live in an age where impatience has become the new norm.
You can use handy tools like Google’s Page Insights to test and optimize your theme for quick loads.
Is the theme optimized for selling, up-selling, cross-selling and more?
When was the last time you visited a store and did not find any one of the following:
- A popup announcing a discount if you subscribe now…
- A big banner that declares a new collection, a new season sale or a contest/giveaway
- “Sale” badges to show products that are on a deal/sale now
- Well-curated “Related products” section right under a product page
- A persistent cart icon with a badge count of how many items there are
- Prominently displayed reviews right beside/under a product
These things have become table stakes in Shopify stores. If you run an online store, you are going to put up discounts, season sales, collect email for your newsletter/promotions, and do more of the “salesy” stuff.
Without the proper infrastructure on your store, it will become extremely hard to do these things.
Fortunately, most themes come with these necessary bells and whistles. But you have to make sure they are there before you purchase a theme.
The themes we cover here have many of the features we discussed above. Take a look:
Here are the top 10 Shopify themes for 2018:
- This theme comes with 15 different styles. There’s a lot of variety to pick from based on what your market is.
- It’s a image-heavy theme that depends on lots of large, high-def images of your products. Pick this if you have great product photos.
- The theme is optimized to load fast on mobile phones as well as desktops. Despite the image-heaviness, it loads pretty quickly.
- Unlike a few themes that are very minimal, Mogo uses bold typographic styles and has an overall bold look.
- Products have quick view – which is great and useful for visitors.
- You can include sale/discount badges over individual products.
- One small downside is that there are lots of animations (when you click open a product or when you load a collection). And they are great – but the animation times are a bit slow.
- This is a very clean and minimal theme.
- There are 6 different homepage styles to pick from. Compared to Mogo, not a lot of variety but it’s still a big number to pick from.
- What I love about this theme is that it has a great sidebar – and you can customize the positioning easily. (Left, right, no-sidebar).
- Also, the sidebar comes with a neat design that just makes filtering products super-easy.
- Besides this, product tiles have quick-view and yes, there are badges for sales and discounts.
3. Clean Shop
- True to its name, this theme is one of the few that has tons of white-space. If you were to see this on a high-res monitor, you’ll notice that it feels extremely spacious.
- A good caveat here is that your product photography should be good and most importantly minimal. Then, that will gel very well with the theme.
- There is product quick view – and a great one too.
- The product page – which is well crafted by the way – is center-aligned. This invites a lot of focus (but the text might not be too easy to read with the alignment). Nevertheless, it’s a great theme to pick if you love your store to be easy-on-the-eye.
- Icon is a well-known theme and it continues to be one of our favourite. It comes in 3 styles (as do many of the themes listed on Shopify’s Theme directory)
- This one is another image-heavy theme. Huge, high-res images will make a great impact with this theme.
- The product page is one of the most clutter-free product pages out there. It’s not just clean, but it’s also well-designed to guide the visitor in finding the details they want.
- I feel that the theme developers did a great job optimizing this theme for speed. It’s an image-heavy theme but it loads really fast.
- Comes with a product quick-view. And the quick-view is designed good, as well.
- There is a full-width Instagram feed that you can attach to your store in this theme.
- Befitting its name, Turbo is built for speed. It’s one of the more pricey themes though.
- Unlike many other themes, Turbo is more focused on brand than individual products or collections. The home-page is designed to invite the visitor into your brand (and not just sell products). That’s something hard to nail but Turbo does it well.
- There is a product quick-view and there are badges for products on sale / discount.
- Another good thing about the theme is the great sidebar for filters.
- With this theme, navigation is mostly seamless.
- District comes in 3 styles. It’s another of those minimal and clean interfaces for your shop.
- Like how Turbo is brand-focused, District’s design is collections-focused. If you are constantly pushing a collection of products instead of individual products, District is a great theme for you.
- I did not notice a quick-view on District (surprising!) but there are badges for products on sale / discount. Makes it easy to highlight them.
- The page-loads are quick and well within the acceptable limits.
- Kodo comes with an almost whopping 11 home page options. You’ll be spoilt for choice.
- This is one of those themes that will go well with minimalist product photography.
- Another thing to note is that if your store / products follow a specific color scheme, Kodo will be a fantastic fit.
- The theme has a product quick-view feature which works great (and fast). And there are sale badges that are aesthetic.
- Mimosa has 10 home page options to choose from. All of them look great.
- Mimosa is definitely a minimalist theme that prefers absence of things to an overabundance of information (a.k.a clutter).
- The home page options are designed smartly: there are specific home pages if you want to be brand-focused and then there are home pages if you want to be products-focused. So it you shunt between the two, this would be a nice theme as switching would be very easy.
- Product tiles have a beautiful hover effect which gives you options to add to cart instantly. (Besides the quick-view and “see more” icons). This doesn’t make a big difference but for anyone browsing your store, adding products is going to be easy.
- Comes with badges too.
- If you need something “peppy”, Jemiz is the one to go for. Most of the stylistic themes that I’ve seen bring clutter into the equation. Jemiz succeeds in keeping the theme clean despite lots of color, contrast and boldness.
- The theme comes with 3 home page options and one of them has a persistent sidebar.
- It’s not image-heavy and loads quite fast.
- The product page has tabbed/accordion-style sections that you can fill with information like description, reviews, policy, etc.
- Jemiz does offer a product quick-view modal as well as badges for sales and discount information.
- Sarah Market is definitely for the store owner who sells almost everything. It has a conventional design – and is great if your brand/store sells products across various categories.
- Just like Amazon, this theme offers great add-ons for upsell. The recommended products, related products sections are all built (and styled) for this purpose.
- There is product quick-view and sales badges.
These were few themes we thought you may like. If you find any other Shopify theme which is as good as these, please let us know in the comment section below,