Shopify is one of the most popular marketplaces in the world, with more than one million businesses selling everything from food to fashion through the platform. Shopify allows nearly anyone to quickly set up a personalized, branded storefront on their own domain, with their own design. While you can use custom design, many retailers choose to implement Shopify website templates or “themes” to reduce costs.
In fact, Shopify has so many customizable and affordable themes available that even big brands like Nescafe use themes and customized versions of them. Themes and website templates range from free to several hundred dollars in price but are considerably faster and cheaper than building your own. And, with customization options on almost all themes, you can easily tweak even a free template to fit your branding.
Of course, with over 100 free and 70+ premium themes in the official Shopify store, choosing one can be difficult. This guide covers 10 themes used by popular eCommerce brands like Beard Brand, Sir the Label, and even David Beckham.
District is an extremely popular Shopify theme by StyleHatch. It offers integrated support for videos, pop-ups, and slideshows. It’s also designed to be SEO friendly, with support for metadata, tagging, and product descriptions.
Additionally, District is favored for its slideshow and feature elements, which include large banners and showcasing. And, for eCommerce sellers with local stores, District natively supports local store inventory so consumers can immediately see if a local store has the product in stock.
Narrative is a sleek theme built for small catalogs (as confirmed by their features page). This theme is designed for visual storytelling with a wide layout, hero video, and vertical slideshow. Since the theme is free, it’s also a great choice for brands that are just starting out with a few SKUs they want to focus on.
Parallax is one of the few Shopify themes offering a Parallax effect (the illusion of depth as you scroll down the page). It combines big, bold headers with product features and slideshows for direct product highlights on the home page, including products aligned under campaigns and themes.
Parallax also heavily focuses on video and visual storytelling, with plenty of room for images to sell products – making this ideal for private labels and brands that have an in-house photographer.
Parallax further stands out with its slide-out shopping cart, meaning customers can add to their shopping carts without leaving the page they’re on.
Icon has large banners and slideshows to feature products, with integrated pop-ups, product showcasing, and sales right on the home page. The theme also supports multi-menus, with photos in menus for clearer direction between products. Otherwise, Icon is similar to Parallax, except it has larger buttons and more options for white space around images for a cleaner store.
However, with integrated product recommendations, quick-buy functions, and features like back-in-stock alerts, Icon Dolce offers many features that might require plugins on other Shopify templates.
Debut may be a free Shopify theme, but it’s preferred by some popular eCommerce stores. In fact, out of roughly 100 Shopify brands we checked, almost 10% used Debut. A quick look at this theme will tell you why: Debut offers beautiful, image-heavy pages designed around product display. It also natively supports slideshows, promo banners, and product recommendations. Along with store locators and inventory tracking, Debut has a lot to offer, even compared to premium options.
Focal incorporates high-resolution banners and feature images contrasted with smaller photo accents to offer creative, visual storytelling to webshops. The theme is also built for large shops, with features like infinite scrolling, product color swatches, and integrated size charts. The large, multi-column menu also supports product images, making it easy for even mobile users to see what they’re clicking on.
Streamline delivers a versatile theme ideal for everything from large-catalogue webshops to businesses selling services and small-batch software. The theme combines large, eye-catching banners with images incorporating video and multimedia. It also features a wide range of merchandising and integrated marketing tools. For example, Streamline offers slide-out shopping carts, product catalogs, lookbooks, color swatches, integrated product options support, product videos, size charts, and product swatches. It also integrates breadcrumbs (to show your search path) and product recommendations to increase shopping cart value, similar to Amazon.
Minimal is another free Shopify theme. This one is a hidden gem as it has a quick setup, requires little tweaking, and delivers exactly what it promises: a minimalistic store designed around light imagery, requiring little expertise or time investment. This Shopify theme is ideal if you’re just getting started and want to experiment before publishing a new theme. It’s also a good option if you want a simple, product-focused home page.
Despite being, as its name implies, minimalistic, Minimal offers plenty of features. For example, you get stock counters, in-store pickup, product recommendations, and cart notes as part of the theme.
Envy is a highly customizable Shopify website template that supports everything from physical stores to eCommerce at high volume. The webshop theme also offers custom elements for flash sales, pop-up stores, and location-based shopping. Plus, with plenty of merchandising tools like product swatch options, and high-resolution zoomable images and videos, it’s a great fit for brands that want to showcase products visually.
Envy also comes with integrated product filtering and sorting, recommended products, recently viewed products, and slide-out carts. However, what most stands out is its drag-and-drop product page layouts, which allow for full customization of every page without using code.
Flow delivers a mix of minimalism and visual design to showcase products without clutter. That combination makes this semi-minimalistic theme ideal for mobile interfaces. However, with large font and center banners, video features, and a long-form home page (not quite infinite scroll), it’s great for desktop visitors as well.
Flow also offers a product grid, which highlights items as you hover over them. Plus, with collection sidebars, it’s easier to emphasize specific products across collections and themes.
Mr. Parker is designed for easy setup and customization. The theme features drag-and-drop modules across all web pages, including product pages. Plus, with marketing tools like in-menu promotions, cross-selling, quick view, and recommended products, it’s a helpful asset for sales. Mr. Parker also offers an image-focused product page, with image rollover, zoom, slideshows, galleries, and video support for multiple product options per page.
Mr. Parker applies sticky headers, slideshows, and banner features to deliver visual-driven pages. It also highlights collections as easily as products, which makes this theme a great fit for fashion retailers.
Wrapping up — Choosing your Shopify website template
Your website design is one of the most noticeable things when someone visits your store. It can set the tone of your brand, and help encourage shoppers to convert. Selecting the right one will help set up you and your brand for success.
One of these themes should be a good place for you to start your store design. If not, there are hundreds of others on the Shopify store. Take your time and choose one that best matches your brand.