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Shopify is undoubtedly one of the most widely-used ecommerce platforms with close to 1.4 million stores running on it. The fact that the combined sales of all Shopify merchants came to an incredible $5.1 billion during the Black Friday Sale of 2020 really does emphasize that fact. And that’s growth of over 74% year-on-year.
The design and usability of your store will have a big impact upon whether you’re able to share in that success, which brings us to the focus of this article; Shopify themes. There are hundreds to choose from when setting up shop. But which one will show off your products in just the right light? And which one will turn curious shoppers into paying customers?
We wanted to help you on this quest to find the perfect theme, so we got in touch with over 50 Shopify experts and asked them for their thoughts on the matter. “In your experience what are the best Shopify themes to use?” we asked.
These are pros that have built hundreds of Shopify stores between them; they do this for a living and know what it takes to get results. The list of recommendations that we ended up with are all themes that are battle tested and proven to provide a great foundation for a thriving Shopify store.
So whether you’re just setting up your first Shopify store or have been thinking about changing the theme on an existing store, you’re likely to find a few options worth investigating further.
The Best Shopify Themes? How Our Experts Voted
|Theme||# of Votes|
|#=1. Impulse||16 Votes|
|#=1. Prestige||16 Votes|
|#2. Flex||13 Votes|
|#3. Debut||11 Votes|
|#4. Turbo||9 Votes|
|#5. Motion||8 Votes|
|#6. Streamline||5 Votes|
|#=7. Empire||4 Votes|
|#=7. Warehouse||4 Votes|
|#=8. Showcase||3 Votes|
|#=8. Shella||3 Votes|
|#=8. Parallax||3 Votes|
|#=9. Venue||2 Votes|
|#=9. Avone||2 Votes|
|#=9. Narrative||2 Votes|
|#=9. Canopy||2 Votes|
|#=9. Split||2 Votes|
|#=9. District||2 Votes|
|#=9. Wokiee||2 Votes|
|#=10. Story||1 Vote|
|#=10. Context||1 Vote|
|#=10. Minimal||1 Vote|
|#=10. Envy||1 Vote|
|#=10. Responsive||1 Vote|
|#=10. Brooklyn||1 Vote|
|#=10. Flow||1 Vote|
|#=10. Venture||1 Vote|
|#=10. Pacific||1 Vote|
|#=10. Belle||1 Vote|
|#=10. Ella||1 Vote|
|#=10. Shoptimized||1 Vote|
|#=10. Boost||1 Vote|
|#=10. Atlantic||1 Vote|
|#=10. Debutify||1 Vote|
|#=10. Palo Alto||1 Vote|
|#=10. Vogue||1 Vote|
|#=10. Superstore||1 Vote|
|#=10. Testament||1 Vote|
|#=10. Divi||1 Vote|
|#=10. Modular||1 Vote|
|#=10. Ecom Solid||1 Vote|
|#=10. Theme Kit||1 Vote|
There were 42 different Shopify themes mentioned by the pros that we surveyed, and you can see the full list in the table above. As you’ll notice though, there were several that were consistently recommended and it’s the top 5 that we’re going to focus on in particular. These were Impulse, Prestige, Flex, Debut and Turbo. This leading pack contains both free and premium options, and caters to a variety of different needs, which we’re going to discuss below.
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A Closer Look at the 5 Top-Voted Shopify Themes (Including Both Paid + Free Shopify Themes)
Impulse is the best Shopify theme if you want to give your store a clean and modern look. It’s developed by ex-Shopify employees who know exactly what works well with the Shopify platform so you don’t need to worry about any technical hiccups (phew!). It’s got a bunch of cool features like the possibility to add custom HTML, Shop the Look, beautiful transitions, and it works exceptionally well on mobile.
The best part about this theme is that it’s a great fit for stores of all sizes, and works very well for those that have a larger product range thanks to robust collection page filters and live search functions that are built-in. And if you’re a sucker for CRO (+ you should be), it’s loaded with features to help you convert more visitors into customers.
If you require a store that has visual storytelling at its core and places a real emphasis on images, Prestige might be the right option. It allows you to add numerous high-quality images to show off your products without slowing down the site. The minimalist design coupled with a silky smooth UI/UX makes it a great theme for boutique stores — especially those selling high-end jewelry, fashion, and cosmetics products.
It was created by Shopify Experts who found it hard to find the right theme for their clients. They decided to fill in the gaps and create a theme that contained everything they felt other options were missing. Image hotspot linking, clean, well written code, and the fact that it’s very well optimized for mobile users are all aspects of this Shopify theme that make it very highly regarded.
Flex can be whatever you need it to be. Design constraints are commonplace (and often frustrating) with a lot of themes, but forget about them here. This Shopify theme is super customizable and is a great option if you need to have a lot of control over your store and make something truly unique. But the best thing is that you have all of this flexibility without needing to dive into the code-base. It’s also fast-loading, SEO friendly, comes with 13 pre-built demo layouts and works amazingly well whether you sell just one product or thousands.
It is produced by the very highly regarded pros at Out of the Sandbox, so you can count on first-class support and future updates to keep your store running smoothly.
Debut is free (one of the best free Shopify themes according to our survey) and comes automatically installed on any new store, which makes it incredibly easy to get started if you’re new to the Shopify platform and still learning the ropes. It’s also a great option if you just need to get a store live quickly, possibly to test a product concept you have, or to use as a foundation for a more complex custom built store since its code is very well written and already stripped back.
While it’s true that Debut doesn’t offer you all the bells and whistles that other Shopify themes on this list do, its barebones design ensures it’s not only one of the easiest themes to use, but that it’s also one of the fastest loading Shopify themes (very important in the world of ecommerce!). Additionally, Debut is regarded by many to be the most web-accessible theme currently available.
As the name suggests, Turbo is built for fast loading speeds and takes a mobile-first approach. It’s also a great option for CRO enthusiasts as it gives you loads of call-to-action options, allows you to build cross-sells and upsells on the shopping cart page, and much more. Turbo is built by the talented folks over at Out of the Sandbox, who as we mentioned earlier have a stellar reputation in the Shopify space, meaning you don’t have to worry about suspect support or the theme not being properly maintained in the future.
Its powerful feature offering and versatility make it a good option for store owners that maybe don’t have a crystal clear vision of what they want their store to look like, but are intent on creating something that helps them to “stand out from the crowd”.
Read What The Experts Said: Picks for “Best Shopify Theme” Explained
Below you can read exactly what each Shopify expert recommended and why. These people are deeply knowledgeable about all things Shopify, including themes, and if you’re in the process of choosing a theme, I think you’ll find the insights shared very useful.
If you’re interested in what was said about a particular Shopify theme, use the filters below to skip right to those comments.
Impulse – “My favorite Shopify theme for development is the Impulse theme. This theme has a lot of great features out-of-the-box like mega menus, tons of promotional sections, and great collection page filters. This theme not only looks great but is very easy to customize and build in new features. (A close 1b would be the Motion theme from the same theme developers.)”
Parallax – “This is a theme I’ve been using with clients for many years. It is VERY easy to customize. It loads super fast and looks great. Take a look at https://www.bactrack.com/ as an example of how I was able to build a ton of great features into this Shopify theme like mega menu sliders, product comparison, upsells, and more.”
Debut – “As far as free Shopify themes go, you can’t go wrong with the Debut theme. It is a great starter theme for most shops and is easy to customize as your shop grows. And Shopify keeps improving it. It now has an ajax cart which is great for the mobile experience.”
“Let’s start with the basics. What should you look for in a Shopify theme?
- Clean user interface with great user experience and layout;
- Ease of customization without breaking the code;
- Optimized for mobile devices by being fully responsive;
- SEO optimized;
- Support and updates from the developer;
- Compatibility with most Shopify Apps.
Now, let’s touch upon my two top choices when it comes to the best Shopify themes to use for your store.”
Divi – “The reason why I like this Shopify theme is that it gives the Shopify store owner incredible flexibility by providing an intuitive front-page builder. Divi offers hundreds of templates to choose from depending on the design aesthetic you’re going for. You get a library of 40+ elements to choose from and the best part is that all the editing you do is fully responsive. You don’t need to worry about your online store working improperly on a mobile device.”
Prestige – “The reason why I like Prestige, a paid Shopify theme that costs $180 USD, is that it looks clean on both desktop and mobile. The theme is designed for premium, high-end brand appeal and if you look at examples of stores running it, I think you will appreciate the smooth user experience that’s mobile optimized. The Prestige theme has some great features like image hotspot linking, tell your story timeline, home page menu lists, and a slide-out shopping cart. It’s designed for visual storytelling and is fully optimized for large images. It’s ideal for creating a refined aesthetic if you’re selling a premium product that commands a certain caliber of visual aesthetic. This theme has a 93% approval rating in Shopify’s Store, which is a pretty solid argument in its favour. If you’re looking to create a premium look and feel for your online store, definitely check out the Prestige theme. It’s well worth $180 USD.”
Prestige – “Geared towards giving the ‘high-end’ feel, this Shopify theme has it all. Used by some pretty well-known brands, it’s fully customisable, easy to use and comes with many components essential for high conversion rates.”
Debut – “The theme that comes already installed in your Shopify account. No other Shopify theme has offered merchants their first look-in to how their store could look and as much inspiration for start-ups bootstrapping their new businesses. Very much a ‘bare-bones’ theme with simplicity in mind, it offers merchants the platform to scale-up with ease. Has also helped many beginner Shopify developers with learning how the theme codebase works. Probably the most influential and impactful theme out there in that respect.”
Streamline – “Streamline is a high impact, aesthetically pleasing Shopify theme that gives clarity to brands.
With mobile-first design at the heart of the theme, it comes with 3 styles to start you on your way. The product pages are story focussed so great for branding and really selling the features of your products. GIF style image animated content options and video integration are built-in without significantly impacting page speeds. The mobile menu is also a great feature.
The Streamline theme is versatile and a pleasure to use.”
Shella – “Shella is a fully response premium theme with great page speed. It comes with ready to use skins for multiple product types, multiple menu designs, and integrated product filters. You can also hide options on product listings to reduce clutter.
Shella can support multiple media types, advanced product color swatches, size guide pop ups and custom product tabs to create information-rich product pages. Quick view, wishlist and compare functionality are also built-in.
It’s mobile optimised and fast performance will help your SEO and Core Web Vitals.
With Shella Shopify app you can create a great looking, high performing ecommerce site with ease.”
Empire – “This theme is my go-to Shopify theme for Shopify setups that have a huge number of products. The live search function is one of the highlights, and this also looks really nice on mobile with the search function fully visible. The updates for this theme are also very constant and their support is top-notch! And once you own this Shopify theme, you have access to lifetime support, so you don’t have to worry about having your theme becoming outdated and needing to pay again for the updated version.”
Wokiee – “There’s a bunch of great Shopify Themes on Themeforest, but if you are looking for a more affordable Shopify theme that’s jam-packed with features then make sure to check out Wokiee. One of the best features of this theme is that it is highly customizable, with a plethora of layouts available, especially for the homepage. Whether you need a theme for a big inventory or you are a startup and just have a handful of items in your shop, they have a layout for that!
On top of that, they also have added features that you would otherwise need Shopify Apps to replicate, saving you from having to commit to monthly payments. And the mobile layout is really good too!
One drawback of having a Themeforest Shopify theme is that you will have to re-purchase their support if you need to update your theme after 6 months or a year – but its definitely worth it since their customer support is awesome, plus the support that Themeforest has for its customers is great!”
Venture – “If you are just starting out, strapped for cash and looking to DIY your Shopify store then the Venture theme is your best free option IMHO. It looks good, really clean and simple, and the mobile layout is also very intuitive. With some of the Shopify setups that I have completed – this is the one most preferred by businesses who need to get their Shopify stores up and running ASAP. The code is also lightweight, making your Shopify store load fast – which is very important since visitors want fast-loading websites. So, for the best free Shopify theme option – my vote goes to Venture.”
Motion – “If you are looking for a simple and effective jump-start Shopify theme, Motion theme is your choice. It is a theme from the official Shopify theme market. It is fast, clean and functional out of the box. You don’t have to be a code ninja to build a fully functional Shopify store with Motion. If you are an experienced developer and need to change some core functionality, you will find structured, well-written code. You can extend it in a logical way. No code spaghetti inside.”
Shella – “If you are looking for the Swiss army knife of the Shopify world, we recommend Shella theme as a starting point. It is a mature, multi-functional codebase for feature-rich Shopify stores with tons of pre-made designs that will let you build a store in a short amount of time. The code is clean, extendable and developer-friendly. Our choice for complex projects.”
“First, we need to look into how well suited the theme is for the client’s niche and business requirements. For example, for a clothes boutique it’s better to choose a Shopify theme with the functionality that would allow buying a total look, while for an electronics store the key factor would be the enhanced product filtering options. Another important thing is the rich functionality of the theme. The more that can be done out-of-the-box, the less additional coding is required to add the missing features.
And last but not least is how mobile-friendly the theme is. The importance of this factor for an eCommerce store is hard to underestimate.
So, in our opinion the three best Shopify themes are:”
Prestige – “It’s a great, fully responsive theme, with the possibility to design content specifically for mobile. The theme is also perfect for selling mass-market products, like clothing, accessories, beauty products, or even food, as it allows adding a lot of visual content and is well suited for selling products in bundles. Due to the switchable tabs, the theme is a great choice for showcasing many collections on the homepage without making it too long.”
Impulse – “This Shopify theme has a highly customizable popup, which is so great that it can even replace an app. The theme is great for smaller stores, digital products or services, as there’s a great “icon + text” functionality to describe the main benefits, which surprisingly, is not that commonly found in other Shopify themes. Other great features include the possibility to add the parallax effect to many website sections and a great variety of text customization options.”
Pacific – “Its highly customizable and extensive mega menu clearly stands out and makes this Shopify theme the best choice for mid-sized online stores with many product collections. Also, there’s the possibility to customize the color scheme to literally any color you desire, which is essential for creating a brand image, tailored to conversions.”
Debut – “I will recommend the free Debut theme that is provided by Shopify.
I am suggesting this theme because it has all of the features that are needed for any eCommerce store, like slider, best header and menu + footer, image and text section, product section etc.
It is the most usable theme from Shopify’s free theme offering. We can make all changes on the Debut theme that clients need, as it’s such a simple and clean coded theme with minified Js and css code. That helps the store to run faster than other Shopify themes.
You can manage the look and feel of the theme from the editor directly, no need to dive into the code. You can manage color, text, font and size.
Overall, in my experience, the Debut theme is a great option for most stores.”
Envy – “This Shopify theme is my top pick for medium-sized inventories. I am obsessed with this theme, it has so many useful features sellers can utilise as they grow. One of my favourite features is the ‘Text Adverts’ section where you can easily add key information for users i.e. ‘Free Delivery’, ‘Click and Collect, ‘Ethically sourced’ etc. Great for brand USPs! Envy also has a fantastic pop-up feature that comes with the theme – no need to use an additional app that can often cost you extra money.”
Narrative – “This is my pick for the best free Shopify theme. Narrative is super slick, stylish and is perfect for small inventories and packed full of punch brand storytelling (hence the theme’s name!). This is a great theme to kick off start-up businesses, particularly in beauty, accessories and technology. Just add your brand’s fonts, colours and message and boom – you’re ready to sell!”
Responsive – “This is my pick for the best ‘growth’ Shopify theme, suited for stores with a large inventory. A highly adaptable and customisable theme, with amazing features such as quick shop, special page builder and fantastic on mobile. One for those with a lot of products, you can utilise their buildable mega nav and product filtering options.”
Impulse – “Many clients ask for my recommendation when building their store and I highly recommend the Impulse theme. The theme is very flexible and easy to use for store owners, and also comprehensive for developers to customize layouts and features. The theme is also excellent in its mobile-friendly design and options for shop page promotions. My vote for best Shopify theme goes to Impulse!”
“There are some great Shopify themes available today and with so many great options, choosing one is always a tough decision. I think it comes down to what you’re selling, knowing who your audience is and choosing a Shopify theme that fits into exactly what you need.”
District – “District provides great functionality, looks good on mobile, and offers some useful features like embedded image zoom functions, color swatches on the product pages, and Quick View. All essential to sell retail. Their support team is also very responsive.”
Avone – “Avone is an easy theme to use, looks great, loads fast, and offers over 1000 theme options. There are so many ways to highlight content depending on what is right for the products being sold. There are many apps built right into Avone, so you don’t have to spend additional money and won’t have to worry about apps slowing down your store performance. The customer support is hands-down the best I have encountered.”
“A very common question I get from clients is “What’s the best Shopify theme for me?”. There are all sorts of factors that go into deciding on a theme. To make it easier to start selling on Shopify, I present three themes, divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced Shopify skill levels.”
Debut (Beginner) – “Debut is a flexible Shopify theme that is suitable for every online shop, regardless of inventory size. With Debut you can quickly set up a store and start selling. It is very beginner-friendly and looks polished without any theme customisations. This makes it perfect for eCommerce entrepreneurs who are just starting out and are looking for a tried and tested theme.”
Impulse (Intermediate) – “Impulse is a cutting-edge, speedy, and mobile-first Shopify theme. I usually recommend it to clients who seek a theme that incorporates a lot of CRO strategies and tricks. When fully optimised and combined with a strong brand, its CR can be extremely high. It is my personal favourite because all ads seem to convert with this theme.”
Turbo (Advanced) – “Turbo is a fully-loaded, premium Shopify theme that is perfect for Shopify Plus merchants. Offering high-demand functionality, reliable performance, and rich design flexibility, Turbo is a favorite among industry professionals and experienced merchants.”
Split – “Like Glossier? So does everyone. Utilize the headless ecommerce look and feel that made this brand worth an estimated $1B+. Minimalist yet with a slight edge, this Shopify theme is optimized for large images (beauty shots), high res product page gallery, flexibility on promo banner locations, and the ability to choose between a multi-level, sliding sidebar menu or a big horizontal menu (a la Glossier). This theme is best for beauty or retail brands that appeal to millennial women who should find familiarity with its look and feel, and thus, functionality, leading to easier mental conversion.”
Empire – “Just admit Jeff Bezos has it all figured out and allow shoppers stuck at home for almost a year now to overcome the hurdle of a new website with this Amazon-inspired Shopify theme. From a prominent live search bar with predictive search, visually orienting headers, and the ability to support a large catalog, this is perfect for sellers who understand that buyers love to utilize filters to narrow down their selections.”
Canopy – “Perfect for those who are intimidated by ecommerce, especially food delivery or grocery stores or restaurants who needed to pivot on a dime during the pandemic. This Shopify theme focuses on a simple one-page checkout to max out conversion. It’s one of the most approachable Shopify themes to use and customize. The immediate catalog focuses on demonstrating many products at once, with immediate add to cart functionality. For sellers, the products and collections are highly customizable and simple navigation puts the focus on browse, research, and convert.”
“Choosing your store’s theme is the backbone of your store’s look and feel. Outside of the product description, you want to ask yourself what do you want to see when visiting a store? What captures your attention? In short, put yourself in the consumer mindset.
With that being said, Shopify offers a slew of 3rd party themes throughout its app store. I am one who likes animation, and movement. Your entire store can smoothly animate into view, engaging the customers’ attention, while portraying the ideal look and feel.”
Motion – “MOTION, by Archetype Themes, is by far my go-to Shopify theme. You can surely bring your brand to life through animation and video with their theme. One other unique feature that Motion has is the ability to give sub-categories to collection pages. This is great for clothing or supplement companies that have large catalogs.
Just like all Shopify themes, one will have the ability to customize to their liking. The original version of the theme comes with around a dozen built-in section blocks. Section blocks; meaning you would have the ability to turn every page or product into a drag and drop editor when designing. This will work perfectly for most store owners. I have taken it a bit further and have custom coded an additional 17 section blocks to choose from. The possibilities are endless. I highly recommend you take a look at Motion when searching for a new Shopify theme.”
“There are many answers to “What is the best Shopify Theme” depending on your business type. Fashion, coffee, health & wellness, etc all have their own best ways to present the offer to the customer, and I would recommend researching about 6 different themes for your industry and creating a comparison table to help with your decision-making. Lots of Shopifythemes come with good mobile design, SEO & customizable content making it simple for anyone to start a store.”
Motion (Best for Premium Fashion) – “Motion was built by former Shopify employees who understand how & what the customer needs. Motion is a Shopify theme that brings a brand to life with very smooth video players, great animation and smooth flow touches.
Business owners can use a multitude of effects (hover, parallax scrolling & image zoom), coupled with a tidy blog, lookbooks, great large imagery and pop-out shopping cart. All of this shows off product of a higher price that needs to tell its story.”
Avone (Best All Rounder) – “Avone theme, although not on the Shopify store is the best all-rounder in terms of price and options. There are up to 28 homepage designs users can choose from and for $69 most new store owners cannot go wrong. The theme comes with a lot of features already such as social integration, wishlist, countdown, related products and recently viewed, which would otherwise add development cost to store owners and could end up slowing the site down if not done properly.”
Context (Great for Features) – “A little cheaper than Motion, Context needs little customization and is great for storytelling with large images, 3D model features, clean drop-down navigations and simple, effective product filtering on category pages. Additionally, a powerful predictive search & multi-currency and language options make this a really viable option for businesses that want conversion driving features without adding extra apps.”
“Shopify has tons of themes to offer no matter the niche your e-commerce brand is in. That said, we tend to focus on themes for our clients that are fast, scaleable, and allow us the ability to communicate the brand message clearly and beautifully. Shopify themes that we often use for clients include Streamline, Venue and Palo Alto for the following reasons:”
Palo Alto – “Palo Alto is one of our favorite themes when building Shopify stores for our clients for a few reasons. First and foremost is the ability to showcase beautiful imagery or videos throughout the website. Second, there are native features built into the theme that allow for brand storytelling on the homepage and product pages. This Shopify theme is great for brands with medium size catalogues that are looking to build a long term relationship with visitors and customers.”
Streamline – “Streamline is a great Shopify theme for e-commerce brands that want to convey movement with a slightly edgier feel. Brands in the fitness or other “action” or alternative niches would be well served by Streamline. The theme is modern, fully customizable, and offers great support.”
Venue – “Venue is a great theme for brands that want to convey a beautiful, relaxed, laid back aesthetic. This Shopify theme is perfect for brands in the outdoor space or natural goods category including handmade custom products and some foods/beverages.
The theme allows e-commerce brands to easily add multiple variants – think combinations of size and color on the product page – which isn’t native with other Shopify themes.”
Impulse – “We’ve worked on almost every premium theme on Shopify but there are few that stood out from the rest. Impulse is one of them due to the level and ease of customization during the store setup.
Apart from the flexibility of editing the header/footer easily with no code, Impulse has a template called “page.sections” that can be easily duplicated in the theme code. If you don’t know, this page template allows you to shuffle between different blocks/sections exactly as if you’re modifying your homepage. At Ecommerce Pro, we duplicate this page and use it to build well-designed unique about, contact, product and collection pages.
Another feature we love and enjoy is the “Custom HTML” block/section that helps us build sections that are not part of the original theme. This basically saves us time in developing new sections that are not part of the original theme.
Finally, we prefer to work on Shopify themes that are not only efficient to build but also easy to update from your side as a merchant!”
“When choosing a theme for Shopify, it is important not to make your decision based on the design or content of the demo store. Design and content are easy to change—it’s layout, functionality and user-experience that is harder and more expensive to change later on.
We pick Shopify themes based on the desired functionality of our clients and focus less on the look-and-feel.
We look for themes that are well-built with thoughtful code patterns and minimal bloat or technical debt. We actually prefer themes with fewer settings but with a good number of sections and content blocks to enable merchants to easily add messaging and storytelling.”
Impulse – “All Shopify themes by Archetype Themes are well built with thoughtful features and design elements. Impulse is well-suited for larger-inventory stores as it has robust collection page filters and type-ahead search built-in without the need for apps.”
Prestige – “Prestige is beautiful and functional and works well for more curated catalogs while also supporting large-inventory stores. It has some lovely merchandizing elements like “shop the look” and “buy this with” built-in.”
Debut – “Shopify’s default free theme is well built and lean, making it a reliable starting point for any major custom build. With fewer features and functions and minimal design opinions, we often use Debut as a framework for more complex stores.”
“As marketers, our #1 goal with a Shopify website is that it’s conversion-friendly and that it doesn’t create too many headaches (or time-suck). That gives us the necessary headspace to focus on growing the business.
We’re big fans of Out of the Sandbox themes and here’s why: they’ve been battle-tested already as they are the current backbone of many current Shopify Plus stores.”
Flex – “My favorite Sandbox theme is Flex (Turbo gets second place) You can find dozens of Flex live store examples HERE (and swipe great ideas for your own site!) New features are released frequently and there’s a large Shopify community online via Facebook Groups (such as Shopify Entrepreneurs) and other forums.
Flex does cost more than other Shopify themes (btw, it goes on sale frequently on Out of the Sandbox’s site). IMHO, the overall time saved in outside developer costs is well worth it.
Some of the killer Flex features include: Mega-menus, Having 13 different overall store templates to choose from, 3 different product page layouts and CSS customization.
It’s a multi purpose solution that covers most out-of-the-box Shopify store needs and helps to move the needle.”
Motion – “Motion is an overall great theme for beginners looking for animation.
- Easy to use. Above all, we believe that you should be able to manage your own site on a day-to-day basis without much development support. The structure of Motion is among the more intuitive Shopify themes. The sections are easy to understand and operate, it’s a great building block of a theme.
- The animation capabilities are great right out of the box. Using this theme as a starting point is a great way to easily incorporate simple animation to your Shopify site.
- The advanced mega-menu functionality. This theme has uncomplicated mega-menu features that are perfect for stores with a large product category. We love how easy it is to create nested menus in Shopify.
- Support staff is responsive and detailed. Archetype Themes provides excellent documentation for all of their Shopify themes and their support staff is friendly and very responsive, should you have any questions.”
Impulse – “Impulse is an easy-to-use Shopify theme with great options for dynamic pages.
- It comes with customizable functions built-in. This theme includes a sectioned page
template and a pre-built FAQ page. You’ll find that these are incredibly useful. Impulse’s sectioned page template is just as easy to use as their homepage sections, it’s perfect for beginners.
- Sleek styling and optional parallax function. Having the option to turn on parallax images can set your site apart from other static sites. Parallax makes it easy to turn basic images into eye catching images.
- Additional menu areas. Additional toolbars for sub-navigations are built-in. This is especially helpful for customer care links that you want to highlight outside of the main menu.”
- It comes with customizable functions built-in. This theme includes a sectioned page
Prestige – “Prestige is a great theme for stores that want to feature editorial and make the most of their blogs.
- The homepage sections are unique. We love the hotspot tagging function that comes
standard on this theme, it’s perfect for stores with great lifestyle shots that want to feature those on their homepage.
- The shopping function on their blog page. This feature is unique to Prestige and it’s great for sites that plan to tag products in their blogs.
- Menu functionality on the FAQ page. Not many Shopify themes have menu functionality on individual pages.”
- The homepage sections are unique. We love the hotspot tagging function that comes
Prestige – “This is a very elegant and minimalist Shopify theme with a mobile-first design. It’s well suited to fashion and jewellery stores. Apart from the look of the site, the theme developers adhere strictly to best practices in coding. Support is very responsive.”
Turbo – “This is a very popular premium Shopify theme that focuses on speed, although that doesn’t translate directly into a better Shopify store speed ranking. It has a lot of options such as different templates for product pages, giving you the flexibility to create alternative versions. They also have a coding helper extension for Chrome which is quite useful for those with limited coding backgrounds.
One of the drawbacks is that it’s not on the official Shopify app store. The company has also grown a lot in recent years and is not as helpful or responsive in its support compared to other themes we’re using. They want to upsell their customers to a premium support plan that involves an annual payment, which is also not usual for Shopify themes. Still, it remains a very popular choice.”
“Shopify and Shopify Themes… it all seems so simple, yet let me tell you that your success stands and falls also with the theme you choose for your store.”
Impulse – “I’d recommend the “Impulse” Shopify Theme, which is probably one of the best themes out there when it comes to Shopify. Now, why is that so? Just by looking at the theme, you will notice the rich features and neat appearance that it already comes with. In short, the UI/ UX hits on point and that’s also from a mobile responsiveness perspective. By choosing Impulse, you’ll see how flexibility from a frontend is done right and also equally as impressive is the opportunity to create multi-column menus and multi-category filtering.”
“Also, the same developer of Impulse, hosts two more Shopify themes, those are Motion and Streamline. Motion is great for established brands whereas Streamline is for the new generation, purely focussing on mobile-first. Keep an eye out for those themes, and be sure to rock your A-game when it comes to E-Commerce on Shopify.”
“When considering what Shopify themes to recommend, we look for themes that are easy for beginners to setup, provide enough customisation to adapt to your growing brand, and themes that offer good PageSpeed scores (Google’s measure of website speed) out of the box. Based on these criteria, we have three main picks:”
Debut – “Debut is the Shopify theme that is installed by default on new Shopify stores, and while it may be boring to say that this is our favourite theme, there’s a lot of reasons why you should consider sticking with it.
The first reason is that it’s one of the simplest Shopify themes to setup and customise. The theme is free, comes installed onto your store automatically, and has straightforward theme customisation making it one of, if not the best Shopify theme for beginners.
The variety of homepage sections and features it provides will also give you a lot of mileage to adapt the theme as your store grows, and provides a great starting point for Shopify Experts to implement additional features for your store.
Another reason is PageSpeed. From our testing, Debut is among the fastest loading Shopify themes on the platform. Delivering a shopping experience that loads quickly and consistently for customers is crucial to your store’s success.
The only real disadvantage of Debut is, due to its popularity and being the default theme for Shopify stores, it can be difficult to separate your store visually from all the other stores using it.”
Boost – “The main appeal of Boost is the range of features it provides, including tagging images with products, predictive searching, and unique homepage sections not seen on most Shopify themes.
If you want to deliver a unique shopping experience with room to grow and adapt your store, Boost is a great choice.”
Narrative – “Narrative is a free Shopify theme suitable for stores with a lot of high-quality photography and a small catalog of products. Boasting a decent PageSpeed score and a number of features for customisation, Narrative is a good option if you’re looking for an easy setup, but want something a little different.”
“As a Shopify Experts agency working mostly with entrepreneurs who are either startups, replatforming, or bricks and mortar stores going online, we need Shopify themes that are flexible, fast and user friendly.
I find that we rarely stray from the themes made by ARCHETYPE. They currently have three themes – Impulse, Motion and Streamline. All three are pretty similar with some fairly minor differences in their layouts and features.
As a studio that focuses on branding and web design, my main reason for choosing Archetype’s themes is that they offer sections on all pages, one of the few Shopify themes to do that, which opens up many options for designing and building compelling and rich brand stories.
All of their themes are feature-rich including 3D/AR product images, powerful product filtering, promo sections throughout, upsells, smart mega menu, extensive parallax section… the list goes on.
When required to adapt the sections, the code is well designed and very easy to work with.”
Impulse – “IMPULSE is currently my favourite. Modern and clean and easy for clients to get the hang of quickly. As with their other Shopify themes, the ‘palette’ of sections and tools allow good flexibility to build different flows of pages. It is easy to get creative to achieve different site looks depending on the content.”
Motion – “Similar to Impulse but with a focus on video.”
Streamline – “This is their latest offering which boasts fast load times and is developed with a focus on mobile.”
“Archetype’s support is second to none. Very responsive, reliable and quick to help with simple enquiries.
You really can’t go wrong with any of the Archetype Themes.”
“The best Shopify themes – well that depends. I know frustrating! Yet they all have their pros and cons. I’ve listed my go-to themes below. When choosing the best Shopify theme for your store, make sure you check all the features, decide which are most important to you and go with that one. It’s a lot easier to grow into a theme (more than you need) than it is to customize the code (what works now). Custom code gets expensive especially if you don’t have a developer on staff. So get a Shopify theme you can grow into!”
Debut – “Likely an unpopular opinion, as the base theme that all Shopify stores start with, Debut does exactly what’s needed. There are no bells and whistles here, but if you need to get your shop live and without a lot of fuss on the design, this will do the job. For a free Shopify theme, Debut has a clean design and is easy to use.
The number one reason I recommend Debut is because it’s the most web-accessible Shopify theme. As with any theme, it is up to the store owners to ensure continued web-accessibility.
I prefer to invest in a theme, but if you can’t Debut is the way to go.”
Flex – “No surprise here. Flex from Out of the Sandbox is my go-to theme. This widely used theme is fantastic out of the box and highly customizable. As its name describes, the theme is incredibly flexible and can look completely different on a variety of Shopify stores. There are so many settings that it can be hard to figure them all out.
From head to toe, Flex gets it done. From mega menus, sections, custom product page templates, variant selections, options for colors and fonts galore (including many from the popular Google Fonts collection), built-in back-in-stock notifications, and custom footer columns. Even if there isn’t a setting you need, it’s easy to add custom code or easily connect to an app to achieve your goal.
Though one of the most expensive Shopify themes on the market, Flex appeals to a broad audience and has options to fit across all vertical markets. I’ve found Flex to also be great if you have one or thousands of products as it scales nicely.”
Impulse – “From Archetype Themes, Impulse has most of the elements store owners are looking for in a paid Shopify theme. It’s easy to set up, good support (which doesn’t come with every theme), and showcases the store branding in a clean and elegant way.
Impulse works great for the small and large store catalogs and has the ability to create custom product and page templates as needed. Developed by ex-Shopifolk, the theme allows for customizations, but is also good right out of the box.
Impulse is the underdog of paid Shopify themes. I truly don’t think it gets enough attention.”
“I purchase all my themes from the Envato Market for Shopify and WordPress.”
Ella – “I personally like robust, clean, fast, well-organized themes with an easy to use, self-explanatory interface and at the moment Ella ticks all the boxes for me.
With constant updates and improvements, good after-sales support, thorough documentation and a million options to customize the theme without the need to code, this a winner for me.”
“The best Shopify theme for your business really depends on your needs, skill set available, and resources to make it awesome for your brand. In some cases, you won’t even worry much about the theme you’ll choose, because you have the need and the resources to invest in bespoke web design done by a professional agency. If you’re just starting and figuring stuff out, here are the best tips on how to get the best fit, right from the beginning.”
Flex + Turbo – “If you want to go as codeless as possible and avoid page builders (which may make sense), it might be a good idea to invest in a state of the art Shopify theme. Out of the Sandbox is one of the most popular and recognized brands in the Shopify theme development ecosystem – and there are great reasons for that. You will always be fine choosing any of the themes they create and sell on the Shopify Themes Marketplace. However, you need to recognize 2 beauties they sell exclusively on their website: Turbo and Flex. Turbo’s built for editability and speed – one of the most popular themes they’ve ever built. Flex is the newest one and takes Turbo to the next level in terms of design flexibility. If you already played with Shopify in the past and love to play with theme settings, these choices are a dream made true.”
Prestige – “Lastly, I must refer to another personal preference – Maestrooo. They are a Shopify Experts team who got tired of never having the right theme for their clients, so they took the issue into their own hands and started creating awesome themes that are crazy popular nowadays and definitely among the best Shopify themes you can buy. You’ll never get wrong by choosing anything developed by them, but if you want to see the most recognizable Shopify theme that crowns these theme developers among the best, go check out Prestige.”
I’m only allowed to nominate 3 themes, but there’s another Shopify theme that I feel deserves an honourable mention.
Debut – “If you’re a good coder or have the resources to hire one, there’s nothing wrong with using a free Shopify theme as the basis for your store. The standard and classic example is the Debut theme. Great things about this theme: it always has the latest features that Shopify releases to the public (while some premium Shopify themes might take some time to catch on), it’s very light (so no BS or complicated configurations for beginners) and it has everything you need to kick-off your business. Ideally, you want to put some work in the graphics and customize the theme a bit so you better differentiate yourself from other brands also using Debut. If you plan on doing some coding yourself or hiring someone, this theme will allow anyone to work on it easily and you’ll avoid paying for features you don’t need or won’t use. Using a lightweight Shopify theme like this can also be a great starting point if you plan to design most of your store with some page builders like Shogun or Pagefly.”
“In no particular order, here are the 3 best Shopify themes we recommend: Turbo, Prestige, and Impulse. These are all feature-packed themes that can provide a great result out-of-the-box, but can also serve as super solid foundations to build custom features on top of!”
Turbo – “In terms of features, Turbo is one of the most (if not the most) powerful Shopify themes out there. This is why we often use it as a canvas or toolbox for merchants that don’t have a clear idea of what they want just yet on their store. Turbo’s wide range of features makes it adaptable to small catalogues right through to stores with hundreds or thousands of products. Although we don’t usually recommend purchasing themes outside of Shopify’s official theme store, the incredible developers behind Turbo are well-established actors within the Shopify community and are known for their outstanding customer service!”
Prestige – “As its name implies, Prestige’s design is particularly suited to high-end brands with beautiful imagery. It provides numerous advanced features, including some hidden ones (e.g. product-specific tabs on the product page), so it’s always useful to have a look at the theme’s documentation, as some of its functionalities might be real game-changers for your store.”
Impulse – “In many ways, Impulse can be seen as a hybrid of Turbo and Prestige, mixing fancy features and eye catching design. Thanks to its flexibility, two stores using Impulse can end up with a totally different look and feel.”
“Well, I’ll keep it simple. The best Shopify themes are fast, flexible, reliable, and very well-designed. When choosing the best Shopify Theme, always consider these factors:
- Performance first: fast loading speeds and enhanced mobile experience
- Design Flexibility and Functionalities
- Match Company’s Brand”
Turbo – “Turbo is a premium Shopify theme and an excellent choice for any size of shop. From one product to large inventories and high volume stores, Turbo delivers top performance, high-demand functionalities and outstanding design flexibility.”
Impulse – “The design of the Impulse theme is fully optimised for a terrific mobile experience and works just as well on desktops. With powerful features, minimal and modern design, Impulse theme helps any sized store to create an online presence that looks and sells as effectively as any of the top brands.”
Flex – “Flex is the most advanced and highly customisable premium Shopify theme on the market. Working very well for both small and large inventories, it offers endless design possibilities powered by the ultimate control over the look and feel of any Shopify store.”
Flex – “Our top choice when asked about the best Shopify themes is always Flex by Out of the Sandbox. Versatile, fast, and well-built, Flex is able to handle any build – both big and small. Most Shopify themes can sometimes look a bit “cookie-cutter”, but Flex is so adaptable that you can easily make your website stand out. For those store owners that like to dabble in a bit of CSS, Flex gives the capacity to do so without having to dive deep into the code. We love this theme for our clients because once we install, implement and custom-code it, they’re able to go in and adjust easily, thus feeling empowered to edit their website.”
Turbo – “Another Out of the Sandbox favorite is Turbo. Lightning fast and built for speed, Turbo is packed with features and options. Great for style and performance, Turbo is able to take large catalogs of products and flawlessly present them for a great shopper experience.”
Parallax – “And finally, we love working with Parallax, once again from Out of the Sandbox. Like all their other Shopify themes, it is well-built, fast, and beautiful to work with. It is best for large, horizontal, and landscape images (think golf courses, farmlands, or nature). Versatile enough for any build, it packs a mighty punch when it comes to features and tends to be a client favorite.”
“I’m a big preacher when it comes to choosing a Shopify theme to only go to the Shopify theme marketplace rather than looking at 3rd party templates, as you rarely get problems this way and they guarantee 100% support and system integrations, which ensures no problems as you grow:”
Streamline – “ My first choice is Streamline, one of the best Shopify themes for merchants and particularly those that are in the fashion industry. It can be used for any small – medium-sized product catalog. The main reason I’ve chosen this theme is because of how mobile optimised it is and the little work you also have to do to it to make the page speed fast. Two key conversion killers if you get them wrong and this theme really helps with both.”
Impulse – “I’ve found this one tends to be generally very popular. With some excellent navigation features and an easy to set-up product filtering system, it boasts a great balance between style and user ability for stores that might have a larger product range. With the sections and design features built-in, with the help of a talented graphic designer, anyone could make this Shopify theme look nice for their store.”
Canopy – “This Shopify theme is built for food and drink products, and I think with everything that’s going on (the dreaded Covid) it would be wrong not to include a theme that was best suited to the changing times for some industries. I have a few clients on Shopify who decided to set-up and launch themselves with this theme and it’s made it so easy for them as it caters to that industry from the homepage right through to the product pages. Also, the killer shopping cart drawer is well suited to the target audience this Shopify theme is aimed at.”
Flex – “If budget is not an issue, and you are looking for a fast, easily customizable Shopify theme, Flex would be my go-to recommendation. The unique thing with this theme is that it comes with 13 prebuilt demo layouts and options so that you can more easily get your store launched. We’ve tested this theme thoroughly and found it to be both fast and versatile.
Also, since this theme is made by Out of the Sandbox, you can count on them for future updates and quality support.”
Shoptimized – “This is a theme that has been made purely with conversions in mind. It is not a good fit for stores focusing on their brand or looking to achieve a high-end look. However, if you are mainly selling products under $100 and don’t need a beautiful store, this is likely to be a perfect choice. The nice thing about this Shopify theme is that it has a lot of functionality built into the theme, so you don’t need to worry about using as many apps.”
“Which Shopify theme you should choose varies store to store. For example, stores selling fashionable clothing may opt for a theme that is focused on the imagery. Stores with a large catalogue selling home goods may opt for a theme that shows more products per page.
Where possible, store owners should explore as many of the themes available to them on the Shopify Marketplace and third-party marketplaces.
However, that can be overwhelming so we’ve compiled a list of what we consider to be the 3 best Shopify themes.”
Turbo – “One of the best all-in-one Shopify themes out there is the Turbo theme by Out of the Sandbox. This high-performance premium Shopify theme has a focus on mobile-first approach, speed and usability. With its modern look, style, features and many customisable sections and options, this theme can be a perfect fit for anyone looking for a clean, user-friendly, high-performance website.”
Prestige – “The Prestige theme delivers a clean and minimal design with a focus on large, high-quality images without slowing the user down. Having lots of customisable settings, options and multi-purpose sections, this is a great match for anyone who wants to keep in control and customise the site exactly how they want it. This theme is suitable for stores selling a variety of products including fashion, cosmetics, luxury items and more.”
Warehouse – “The Warehouse theme is great for store owners who have a large catalogue with a variety of different products. This theme can show off many products and collections while still making it easy for users to find the product they’re looking for by making use of the large mega menu, predictive search and product filters.”
“Tip – When looking for a theme on the Shopify Marketplace, you can install a theme for free to demo it. Do this as much as possible as you will never know which Shopify theme is suitable for you until you try it.”
“Before choosing a theme for your storefront or merchant storefront, you will have to consider a few things. Such as your store’s or merchant’s objective with their product, their audience and their budget. In order to achieve this, choosing the correct theme is essential. The following Shopify themes I believe can help you get a store up and running for most needs and situations.”
Debut – “The Debut theme is the default theme that comes with every store and is one of the free themes that Shopify provides along with few others. Out of all those free Shopify themes, the Debut theme stands out the most for me because of all the rich functionality right out of the box. Some of this theme functionality includes slideshow, promotional banner, product recommendation section and so much more. Rich in functionality can sometimes mean overwhelming, but that’s not the case with the Debut theme. It allows you to use what you need and leave out what you don’t need. If you need more customization to match your brand, you can change the theme yourself or if you would like to add a more advanced feature, a developer can use the Debut theme as a base to build the feature very easily.”
ThemeKit – “ThemeKit is not a theme per se. ThemeKit is a command-line tool for Shopify themes. What Themekit allows you to do is build any theme you want from scratch. ThemeKit can be used by a single developer or a team of developers. Unfortunately, ThemeKit is not for non-technical people so you will need a developer depending on your needs if you don’t have the knowledge yourself. This approach can also be a little bit more expensive but the advantage is that you can build a store from the ground up, with as much functionality as you need. Customizing it to match your brand is much easier and you don’t have to deal with the constraints of a theme. What makes ThemeKit so great is that not only can you make a theme from scratch that fits your needs, but you can also use ThemeKit on any of the starter Shopify themes that you already own.”
Impulse – “One of the biggest trends in 2021 will be PDP (product detailed page). Impulse theme allows you to use different sections in the product page template. Whether it’s promotional images, text and image, lead forms, maps, and much more. Using the parallax effect and its clean design, Impulse theme must be the best Shopify theme.”
Turbo – “This Shopify theme was built for CRO. From call to action buttons, add to cart and options on the product pages, built-in upsells and cross-sells on the shopping cart page, in addition to great loading times…All of this makes it a great theme indeed.”
Shella – “It has all. Builder sections to add any layout for a picture gallery, collection collage, 2 sliders in one section, the best product filtering options on collection pages and more. You can change it to be RTL, and it has a lot of additional languages already translated which saves you time and all for less than 60$!”
Wokiee – “Having a Shopify theme that is easily adaptable based on your needs is both a benefit in saving time and money. Some of the reasons why I will always opt for Wokiee include the many features that come native to the site such as mega menus, filters, stickers, compare, wishlist, instagram shop/feed, related products, special price count down and many more. Plugins often slow down your site and are the leading cause for bugs. (Hey, didn’t you opt for Shopify for the seem-less experience?)
Wokiee comes with over 75 predefined skins/layouts making it most ideal for small businesses who don’t have the budget to spend on customizing them.
The code is very clean and organized which enables developers to make quick changes and allows the non-tech-savvy guys the flexibility to edit everything on the front end.
Overall it is a win for clients, designers and developers alike.”
Debut – “If you are new to the online world and want a quick, clean ecommerce website, Debut should be your first-choice Shopify theme.
Straight out of the box, you have two theme styles; Default, a bright, clean-looking theme and Light, a fresh modern twist on this popular theme.
Naturally, these customisable themes are fully responsive for mobile and come with a host of features for displaying and promoting your products, including; Homepage Video, Promotional Banner, Newsletter Subscriber and Customer Testimonials, plus a heap of UX features as standard; Product Filtering, Predictive Search and Product Recommendations.
Did I mention it was FREE…?
There are loads of Shopify developers out there, but cost may be holding you back. So if you have outgrown these themes, or you want to rebrand yourself, it’s a good time to consider heading over to Shopify’s’ paid themes.
Here, for the price of a cheap mobile phone, you can sample the world of parallax scrolling, animated page loading and themes which are optimised to showcase your product images in high resolution.
That’s not all, in the paid themes, you will see a lot more options to help you convert your visitor into a customer, such as Quick buy, allowing the customer to add to shopping cart without leaving the page they are on; Custom Promotions Tiles, adds discount, or promotional tile to a product, helping convert the customer and Email Pop Up, to help you grow your database of prospects.”
Prestige – “One good example of a paid Shopify theme is Prestige. It’s aimed at those selling in the premium end of ecommerce. Opting for a sans-serif font family, Prestige is perfect for those looking for elegance and a high-end brand appeal.
Prestige helps you tell your brand story with some nice features like a built-in timeline tool and (my favourite) the Image Hotspot Linking, allowing you to visually highlight and link to your products in brand images, all in high-resolution.
Like many Shopify themes, there are three style options to choose from, but there’s not much difference between them.
- Allure – Clean modern design, with image transition. (font: Montserrat)
- Couture – Bright, sharp design. (font: Century Gothic)
- Vogue – Bright and modern. (font: DIN Neuzeit Grotesk)”
Warehouse – “Looking at websites with a larger inventory and the need to manage your catalogue a bit smarter, Warehouse is a great starting point.
You may have noticed a bit of a theme with the themes. It’s that under the hood they are all the same, but each one is the next step in your ecommerce knowledge and commercial progress.
Warehouse theme gives you all the tools you need to manage a large website. It’s SEO friendly, mobile responsive, offers customisable colour features and allows you to promote and convert your visitors into customers. But if you are managing a large website, then these next two features are just for you.
- Predictive Search – Display live search results and quick links for products and store pages. This can reduce the time a visitor spends looking through your mega menu, as your products have already been indexed on your website and will take the visitor directly to the product they are searching for.
- Stock Level Indicator – Create urgency by displaying remaining stock in a progress bar, this is not just for fast-moving products; it’s ideal if you have slow moving stock too, as you can manage it to drive the conversion completion.
I know I’m only allowed to recommend 3…but I just have to give an honorable mention to Venture.”
Venture – “Venture is another free Shopify theme and is the next step for those with a larger inventory and need to categorise products.
One key additional feature of Venture is a Multi-Column Menu. This is a real boon if you have nested products in categories: Mens> Mens Clothing> Mens Shirts> Mens Short Sleeved Shirts> Mens Hawaiian Shirts.
Your Venture theme options are:
- Snowboards – Modern font (Unica One) with a crisp look.
- Outdoors – Has a slightly softer (outdoors?) feel, softer serif font (Lora).
- Boxing – Another modern clean theme, using a modern font (Open Sans Condensed).
Like all these Shopify themes, there are additional customisation options regarding layout, colour palette etc.
Oh, and did I mention it was FREE too…?”
“I would recommend the themes that can be found on the Shopify Theme Marketplace (https://themes.shopify.com/), and specifically the “Prestige” theme.”
Prestige – “Prestige offers great security. Frequent updates and great support. For those that want to use an advanced Shopify theme that focuses on storytelling, this is the perfect choice.”
Story – “One of my favourite Shopify themes is the (Paid) Story. Out of the box, you can create simple but powerful mega menus, without the need for third-party apps.
Many of the stores I’ve worked with have struggled with navigation that couldn’t keep up as their product ranges grew.
One of the key tools Shopify store owners have when it comes to SEO is creating dynamic collections that organise their catalogue according to the customers’ needs. Being able to improve internal navigation via a clean, simple mega-menu from day 1 is a huge benefit. Other eCommerce platforms are far more challenging to create these flexible collections with – so Shopify owners need to make the most of it!
Story’s native menu design also removes the need for additional apps that can be code-heavy, causing partial loading “Content Layout Shift” issues as menu code loads over the top of other menus, and generally slows the site down and gives a bad experience.
It’s quick too, scoring well on GTMetrix and Lighthouse – though this can quickly change depending on what other apps you’re using. Honourable mention goes to Warehouse, which has even more navigation flexibility but fails to deliver a good balance of design and function.
When choosing a Shopify theme, navigation can easily be overlooked as a dull functional aspect – customers (and Google) need to easily find your products!”
“One of the main questions we get from our clients is: “Can I modify the design of my store easily after you deliver it to me, without coding, since I don’t know how to do that…I really want to be autonome…” Well – this is what good about Shopify, everything is so easy to manage, but we still need to make sure we pick the right theme that fits the client niche and its special needs.
We would recommend two themes, both of which are amazing choices and among the best Shopify themes you could opt for if you have a fashion store or are in the beauty niche.”
Modular – “Elegant, modern and super flexible for long term businesses. Those are the main reasons why we love this theme so much. Plenty of customization options without the need to code. This theme also has a very nice about us page, FAQ section, looks great in mobile and offers great customer service support. Overall, this Shopify theme has everything an online business needs and more.”
Showcase – “If you have beautiful photos and you are in the fashion niche, this is quite possibly the best Shopify theme you could choose. Clean design and trendy. It allows you to stand out from the crowd. Big photos with dynamic elegant effect, nice mega menu and CMS pages that are more developed than standard classic pages on Shopify. We also love the product page layout. It’s great for adding some additional information about the product and you can even add a nice video full screen.
We choose Betty and Native styles for our brands, but the others are also not bad at all.”
Brooklyn – “I often fantasize about “starting from scratch,” and every now and then I actually attempt it. Within the first hour I’m beaten back by the sheer volume of components I’d need to assemble just to get things functioning – slideshows, image galleries, dropdown menus, schemas for settings panels, etc etc. Brooklyn has it all, and it’s free, and it’s very easy to customize. When someone needs a shop from scratch, fast and cheap, 9 times out of 10 Brooklyn gets it done.”
Parallax – “This is a paid Shopify theme, but when you do the math on what you get vs. your own hourly rate you’d have to be an impossibly fast and cheap developer for this to not be a really smart investment. The parallax scrolling effect is less ubiquitous than it was a few years ago, and therefore less likely to be specifically requested by clients, but this has been a go-to Shopify theme of mine for years, as it takes a lot of complicated VFX fiddling off your plate and lets you say yes to more client-specific feature requests without blowing up the budget.”
Venue – “Another paid theme, but one I’ve used on several projects because it’s just a delight to work with. The default animations & transitions are classy but not flashy, and tend to pair really well with the design comps I get from the classy but not flashy clients I like working with. Pretty much any Shopify theme can be brought to bear with enough HTML & CSS, but Venue really shines by having great ready-to-use section components & pretty much anything a client would want to tweak already there and tweakable in the settings.”
“There are so many Shopify themes out there to choose from if look at the Shopify theme store & other theme marketplaces. But my personal preference leans towards the themes from the Shopify theme store as they are coded according to the guidelines given by Shopify. That’s why the themes are stable & reliable.
My personal favorites are Debut and Prestige.”
Debut – “This theme looks simple, elegant & allows you to build a good looking website. It has all the basics, as well as advanced elements/features that are required for every site. The most important part regarding this particular Shopify theme is that it can be used as a starter theme for any kind of custom development.”
Prestige – “This Shopify theme can give a “high-end” look and feel to any brand. The theme comes with three different premium design choices & supports high-resolution product imagery that’s perfect for visual storytelling.”
“Just to summarize, great design, stability, performance, flexibility, and coding standards are the most important aspects to consider when choosing a Shopify theme in my opinion.”
Prestige – “This is really my favorite. It’s a simple, pure Shopify theme that will make all your photos stand out. If you have gorgeous lifestyle photos of your products, you’ll love Prestige. It’s packed with a lot of nice features like a mega menu, image hotspot linking, popup for your newsletter and promotions, a nice selection of blocks for your homepage and smooth animations.”
Atlantic – “Atlantic is a nice theme if you want something simple and fast to set up. It’s really easy to use. So if you don’t want to have too many choices and need to set up something fast and clean, it’s your go-to Shopify theme. You’ll be online in no time!”
Flex – “If you are looking for something that will last you a lifetime and have tons of features, Flex is the one you need. If you are the type of person (or business) that need a lot of flexiblity or you are not sure what you really want/need for the future, Flex will suit your needs. It’s more pricey, but you have 13 styles included in one theme. It’s like a swiss army knife: perfect for any adventure.”
“At Tako Agency, we love to build fully custom (unique) eCommerce experiences for our clients. A fully-custom build (no theme) is considered our high-tier of our service offerings. The majority of the time, the clients that can afford that level of service are doing $5-10M in revenue per year. There is a lot that goes into the process of customization. As a fallback, most of our clients are completely satisfied with a more Hybrid approach. A hybrid approach is where we take the Out of the Sandbox Flex theme, and we make necessary customization within that framework. For example, a client may love the theme, but they don’t want to feel like they are using something that other merchants out there have – so we will design and build them a custom homepage, product page, and any other pages they need within the OOTS theme framework. Alongside the ad-hoc page changes, we will rebrand the theme to match the merchants’ brand.”
Flex – “The Out of the Sandbox theme(s) are built to scale and give the merchant the ability to change content for marketing purposes (colors, fonts, text, images, etc.) right from the Shopify theme customizer without the need of having to go into the code-base. They are also SEO friendly and have an excellent code structure for those who want to go in and make some code-base changes.
When clients are at a crossroads or need to launch sooner rather than later, we recommend that they look at OOTS as a primary option.”
Debutify – “Selecting a Shopify theme is crucial as it will directly affect your sales and customer experience. As a Shopify expert, I have worked with many different themes and we have also custom coded themes for our clients, but if I were to recommend the best option for a beginner it would be Debutify. This theme comes with everything loaded that is needed to start your store. You don’t need to rely on multiple apps for features like currency converter, upsells, product tabs, multiple languages etc. It’s high converting, easy to customize, well documented, lightweight and completely free.”
District – “This Shopify theme is hot right out of the box, and packed with all kinds of flexible homepage sections that allow me to quickly create a beautiful onsite experience for Shopify stores. Really good for apparel or showcasing any kind of brand that is really aesthetically focused. Top-notch support team makes for nice icing on the cake.”
Testament – “Another aesthetically awesome Shopify theme right out of the box, with an absolute abundance of flexibility in how and where things are displayed. I’m a big fan of how easily I can build sections at full width or not, 2:1 column structure, etc. And another awesome support team behind the product.”
Minimal – “For those just getting started and looking for a simple and clean theme to use, you can do no harm with Minimal. It’s always been my go-to theme when starting up a new Shopify store, no matter what the niche. It does have a few styles to pick from, as well as features I personally didn’t expect it to have – like product filtering and an image zoom function on product pages.”
Showcase – “This is one the best Shopify themes and a personal favorite. Showcase is one of the more visually interesting ones but doesn’t sacrifice function. Yes, you can have it all with this theme – form, and function. While I absolutely love how bold and at the forefront the product photography is, I really appreciate how clear and seamless the user experience is from the sticky navigation all the way to checkout.”
“I’ll recommend three types of Shopify themes for three kinds of stores:”
Empire (Large Inventory) – “The theme mimics the experience of Amazon. It has a highlighted focus on the live search bar, which I think is often wrongly deprioritized by stores. We often see the the “search” function is one of the most used by visitors, and therefore it should really be an integrated part of the experience. Empire moreover, offers the ability for detailed product filtering without adding a third-party app. As a developer, the more features that are provided from the theme side, the more complex it can often be to work with and understand the theme, but I think Empire is a good tradeoff between functionality and complexity.”
Prestige (For Most Stores) – “This Shopify theme is so easy to recommend. It is very standard but has some nice design features. It is super versatile and I find that most stores will enjoy working with it. From a developer’s perspective, it is not necessarily super simple to work with, but once you understand the structure, it’s a breeze.”
Vogue (The Niche) – “Ever since we started designing stores with the widescreen, most have not looked back. But before the sticky headers and widescreen images, we had the menu on the left. I often talk to clients about how the large widescreen image as the top element is not the best idea for conversion, and it’s become such a standard template for “modern” designs, that I think it’s rather overused. Vogue has put the menu on the left. With our huge screens, I find it an extremely pleasing functionality to have the menu to the left. Also, it’s also a bit nostalgic, and it works great for stores that want something “different”. Kingdom is another Shopify theme that does this and is worth checking out too.”
Prestige – “This Shopify theme comes up again and again as a reference from our clients, and we’ve worked on it extensively. It has a lot of really useful homepage features (such as hotspots over images to tag products), and is especially useful if your site is a fashion or luxury site. The preset styles are also well put together, so if you can’t afford a studio to help with the setup, you can get something that looks really polished together by yourself.”
Empire – “This theme is really suitable if you’re selling wholesale, or have a large or diverse product range, which on some of the more ’boutique’ Shopify themes can seem a bit contrived. There’s a lot of nice touches to sell your USPs, and again the preset styles are really nicely considered.”
Motion – “This theme really does have personality, with its chunky well-spaced layouts, and animated load in states. It’s really one of the best Shopify themes to use for simple sites where there are just a few categories and/or products. It feels very contemporary and fresh and when we’ve used it at Alloneword, it’s worked for a range of brands and products.”
“Flex, Turbo, or really anything from Out of the Sandbox. I use and recommend these themes because Out of the Sandbox makes some of the best Shopify themes that are great right out of the box. We do a lot of custom development, but with these themes we know that our clients have the functionality that they need to be able to do most things without development. The themes don’t break, they look great, and are updated regularly.”
Debut – “If you’re just getting started and you’re extremely budget-conscious, Debut is a fine choice. It’s not going to win you any web design or UX awards, but it will sell your inventory if you’ve got product-market fit.”
Impulse – “The makers of this Shopify theme are all ex-Shopify employees. This is a very good base to build upon for brands that are a little further along.”
Fully Custom – “At a certain point, you really need to consider having something tailor-made for your brand. Once you’ve found product-market fit and scaled, investing in your brand with a fully tailored experience will pay off in the long run. I talk about when this makes sense in this podcast episode.”
“As a Shopify conversion consultant, I’m always looking for Shopify themes that make it easy to customize the layout, so I can A/B test my way to a fine-tuned selling engine.
Here are two of the best Shopify themes that stand out for me:”
Belle – “Don’t be fooled by the name, this theme is suitable for any type of business, because it has dozens of features that you can tailor to your brand, and that I know to be proven to grow conversions.
For example, you can easily add social proof to your site, showing the number of products sold in the last day or how many people are looking at a product.
It’s also possible to add urgency to the process, showing a sales countdown timer or a nice callout when products are low in stock.
Some other Shopify themes might have some of these, but the way they are designed on this theme really sets it apart.”
Ecom Solid – “This Shopify theme also has a lot of features that help to lift sales.
For example, you can easily show a quick upsell or a “frequently bought together” box on the product page, nicely positioned under the main “Add to Shopping Cart”. These can really help to increase your average order value.
The theme also offers a header with a big search area, which is crucial in helping visitors find the best product for their needs. Even more so if you have hundreds or thousands of products.”
“Selecting a Shopify theme is hard for brand owners as without knowing the ins and outs of how each theme works it can be tricky to make that decision. A lot of brand owners I have worked with tend to go off the demos that are available within their niche, but this isn’t always the best way to decide.
Our key factors when looking at any Shopify theme to use for clients are the abilities within the theme, the number of sections you have available to work with, and what other extras it has that will enable you to take your store from standard Shopify to beautiful and high converting.”
Flex – “We think this is one of the best Shopify themes out there right now. It has amazing sections for the homepage where you are not restricted to the global fonts and colours like with other themes; you are able to customise each section you use. The “page.details” templates are another great feature – these allow you to create up to 9 other custom sub-pages using similar sections to your homepage! Goodbye, boring “About” pages and hello beautifully designed content and eye catching images. This also extends to the product pages – we love creating long-form product pages that allow you to shout about your brand and USPs. Using the readymade sections in this Shopify theme you’re able to add extra content to give your customer much more info about your brand and all the cool places you’ve been featured in.”
Impulse – “We love the transitions on this theme. It’s a great Shopify theme to use if you’re looking to design a cosmetics or fashion store. It has a “Shop the Look” feature which is a key selling point, as it allows customers to view beautiful lifestyle shots and purchase all the products that are featured. We also love the mega menu on this theme and the fact that it’s highly optimised for mobile viewing.”
Flex – “The Flex theme by Out of the Sandbox is by far the best Shopify theme currently available and they are one of the best theme makers for Shopify. All bar two of their themes are available in the Shopify theme store but they keep their two premium ones just on their own site. They are just as reliable as the ones on the Shopify theme store though, which have to go through months of testing before being approved.
The theme comes with some great features as standard like live search, mega menu and a collection page sidebar filter. Each section can have its margins and padding adjusted easily without the need to touch the code. The main banner image has a desktop image version as well as a mobile one too.
You have different options in style layouts for the header and footer, plus there are three different product page styles to choose from. As with all the Shopify themes by Out of the Sandbox, it comes with extra page templates.
This theme gives you the basics to build a good solid foundation.”
Superstore – “Superstore is great for high-SKU builds and has an easy CSS framework. There are multiple section types to work with making it very flexible and it has a decent amount of accessibility built-in.
Some of the features I like:
- Great structure for merchants with medium to an extremely large volume of SKUs in their catalogue — this shows on the PLP and PDPs
- Fairly good documentation on how to use
- Continual updates and iterations being done on this theme
- Great design/style variety for page section types and navigation menus”
Flex – “Flex has powerful, built-in sub-collections and an awesome CSS flexbox. Additionally, there are a bunch of customizer settings for advanced theme control. With great documentation, this Shopify theme is easy to understand and manipulate.”
Prestige – “Prestige has clean, understandable code, lots of useful Index sections, options for a Mega Nav and for Mobile Nav to be different than Desktop. It has options for a Shopping Cart Drawer, a built-in pop-up Newsletter form, customizer editable accordion FAQ section, and editable Contact form. It really is a reliable, feature-rich option.
Some of the things I like about it:
- Great structure for merchants with a small to medium volume of SKUs in their catalogue — this shows on the PLP and PDPs
- Fairly good documentation on how to use
- One of the best Shopify themes to date that offers the kind of UX/UI that’s sought after for boutique-level brands
- Great design/style variety for page section types and navigation menus”
Flex – “We almost exclusively use the Flex theme from Out of the Sandbox, mainly for two simple reasons:
– The name says it all! It’s called Flex because it is super flexible in terms of being able to configure exactly what you need without editing backend code, which in turn makes it super easy to upgrade to new releases when they are available.
– One of the things we specialize in is page speed optimization and some Shopify themes are configured in such a way that makes it difficult to make these optimizations, but not Flex! It is the only Shopify theme that we have been able to get scores (Page Speed Insights) over 90 for mobile and desktop.”
Showcase – “Really like the look of the Showcase theme by Clean Canvas.
It’s got a flexible grid (1 to 3 columns) but still looks clean, is easy to navigate and modern. It can be minimalistic with punches of colour to really distinguish each section or scroll. Recommend for a fashion store or retail websites, as it really shows off the great photography in those industries while leaving optimal space for details.”
“Choosing a Shopify theme can make or break your business. Not only does it determine how your store looks, but it also impacts conversion rate. So, getting it right is essential.
Shopify offers business owners a LOT of options! Which is great, but it also means finding the perfect Shopify theme can be tricky. To help, here are my picks for the three best Shopify themes and a few reasons why…”
Warehouse – “Are you a merchant with a large catalogue of products? Then this is the Shopify theme for you. It provides you with three different designs to help you create a seamless user experience no matter what size your inventory is. Its key features include predictive search, exit popup and stock level indicator which all help to persuade your customers to make that all-important purchase.
There are tons of merchants relying on this theme right now, but with infinite customisation options, you don’t have to worry about blending into the crowd.”
Split – “With a mobile-first approach, Split is perfect for brands who want to display their highly visual products in a more impactful way. But it’s way more than just an eye-catching ecommerce theme. Split combines popular design trends such as parallax scrolling and full-width layouts with unique features to create a truly engaging user experience.
So, if you’re looking to make a memorable impression, this Shopify theme could be the perfect choice for you.”
Flow – “Finally, Flow is a sharp, minimalist design that allows your products to take centre stage. The ultra-modern look is complemented by the homepage video feature, giving brands the freedom to tell their story more dynamically. Flow is perfect for luxury brands looking to create a mobile-friendly, multi-level shopping experience.
And with customisable content sections, unique product grids and free theme updates, this Shopify theme is sure to tick plenty of boxes for your business.”
“The ‘best’ Shopify theme is highly dependent on your use case for your store. The benefit to working with an existing theme is that it simplifies the setup, but you sacrifice flexibility and speed.”
Warehouse – “For stores with large inventories, we are a big fan of Warehouse. The layout is very product-focused, looks professional, and is relatively easy to edit.”
Motion – “For medium-sized inventories and for a real wow factor, Motion is our go-to when suggesting a Shopify theme. While appearance is very subjective, we are big fans of the layout and section options, and love that its documentation can walk merchants through how to create their own sectioned pages.”