The eCommerce industry is booming. The market is expected to nearly double by 2023 to more than $6.5 billion. Much of those profits go to Amazon, which is growing at above-market rates and was expected to account for 37.7% of online U.S. sales in 2019. However, there’s also plenty of room for small eCommerce businesses.
The major advantages of small eCommerce stores are their specialization and the superior customer service that they’re able to offer. If you’re looking to purchase something very specific, you’d rather buy from an online store that knows everything about such products. Oftentimes, an owner or an online assistant might even talk to you via a live-chat or on a phone and explain all the pros and cons of different options.
Being the owner of an eCommerce store also gives many people financial freedom and stability. Instead of being reliant on your employer, you can make a living by selling products that you love and are passionate about.
Selling products online is also scalable and makes economic sense. Many eCommerce stores are operating out of their homes or garages, saving thousands of dollars on rent and other operating expenses that most brick and mortar stores have.
Each new eCommerce entrepreneur is facing the same basic dilemma though: which platform to use for the store? The choice is very diverse: from a basic form builder like Paperform to specialized eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce or Shopify.
In this guide, we will dive deep into the latter option and cover why Shopify is a great option for your eCommerce store and how to create and edit Shopify templates.
Before we delve into the use of templates in Shopify, we need to discuss the use of Shopify in general. Shopify is an e-commerce solution that has been designed to enable anyone, with any level of experience, to set up a store online and sell their products.
There are a number of reasons why Shopify has become the evident choice in terms of e-store set-up. This includes the fact that it is very easy-to-use. You do not need to have a lot of experience in e-commerce, and you certainly do not need to have coding experience in order to successfully use the platform.
Shopify is also mobile-ready, which is incredibly important when you consider the fact that a lot of online shopping is done on mobile phones today. In fact, smartphones are used more frequently than desktops for the Internet, so it is imperative that your store functions effectively and looks great on a smaller device.
Other benefits associated with Shopify include the wealth of marketing and search engine optimization tools that are available, the customization options, security and reliability, and support that is accessible around the clock. It is not difficult to see why Shopify is the number one e-commerce software.
To create a stylish and effective store on Shopify, there are a few things that you will need to learn. A Shopify theme is a custom and pre-designed set of layout options that are utilized so that the appearance of one or several of your pages is altered. Basically, these templates make your store look as great as possible.
A template will amend graphics, style, font, layout, and formatting. There are many different templates to choose from, and so you will be able to select something that is right for you.
Templates enable you to give your store personality and make sure it does not look like all of the other e-stores out there at the moment.
When you sign-up to Shopify, you will essentially be assigned a default template. Therefore, if you do not make an effort to change this template, you are going to be stuck with a basic template, which does nothing in terms of branding or showing off your products in the best possible light.
There are a number of different ways that you can locate Shopify templates. First and foremost, you have the Shopify Theme Store. This is where most people go when they want to find a theme for their online store. You will be able to find different features and design options here. There are a few free options, but the vast majority are paid.
Another option is to create your own Shopify template. We must warn you that this is not easy. However, if you are someone who likes a challenge, you are creative, and you have experience in technology and coding, you may want to go down this route so that you can create a template that is 100 percent how you want it to be.
The good news is that Shopify has put together a collection of tutorials on how to make a template for their platform, so you can read these. There are also plenty of good reading options online to give you a helping hand.
When you are searching for a theme for Shopify, you should not merely browse and select anything that tickles your fancy. You need to choose something that is right for your brand and for the products that you are going to have on display. This is why you need to have a careful approach.
Before you even start to look at the different templates that are available, you should consider what features matter to you. Make a list. You will then be able to narrow down your search effectively because you will only consider templates that fulfill all of the items on the list you have made.
There are lots of different features out there for e-stores today. This includes image-zoom tools, frontpage slideshows, web forms, big navigation menu, and much more. So, really think about what is important to you so that you can choose a template that fits in with this.
Another step that is recommended is to determine a budget before you go browsing as well. Templates differ in price considerably. There are some templates that are free to use, whereas others can cost as much as $200. You need to think about what you can realistically afford to spend on your store.
At present, there are just over 20 free templates on Shopify, so if you are on a really tight budget, you should look at these. There is nothing wrong with going down the free route, but if your budget will allow it, a premium is best.
You may decide that you need to edit your Shopify theme in order to make the most of it and ensure it is right for your e-store specifically. There are a number of ways you can do this.
The first option is to edit the template file manually in Shopify. You will need to head to the Online Store, and then to Themes to do this. This should be easy to do from your admin dashboard in Shopify.
Once you have done this, you will be able to see your current theme. Simply click on Customise. A window will open, and you should choose the theme that you want to make changes to from the dropdown menu.
This will then enable you to make basic changes to the content and sections that are coded into the theme.
You are not able to make every single change through this method. Therefore, if you want to make a change and the option is not available via the menu, you are going to need to get into the code and edit it this way.
Make sure that your Shopify theme truly represents your eCommerce brand speaks to your audience. It would be a shame if your visitors were alienated by the design or the feel of your eCommerce site.
To make sure that your eCommerce store is well optimized, talk to your customers more, and conduct surveys and frequent user-studies.