If the question, “should I buy a Shopify theme” has ever crossed your mind, know that you’re not alone. Any merchant who’s ever used a free theme has probably asked themselves the same question at one point or another.
Your e-commerce store is starting to make some decent sales. Now you’re considering whether that extra investment will help you drive further growth. Alternatively, you could be a new brand that’s starting with Shopify from scratch. As such, you want to know whether you should dive right into a premium theme or test the waters with a free one to begin with.
Firstly, free themes are undeniably a good starting point for smaller stores with tighter budgets. But if you want more from your e-commerce site, buying a premium theme is the natural next step. It is also a good starting point if your budget permits.
There are numerous benefits that come with buying a Shopify theme. We’ll cover the most important ones in the article below.
What to consider before buying a Shopify theme?
Before you commit to buying a Shopify theme, there are some important questions you need to ask yourself first to ensure you’re buying for the right reasons. If you buy a theme for the wrong reasons or have unrealistic expectations then you will likely be disappointed in the results regardless of the outcome.
Things to consider before buying a Shopify theme include:
- Your budget – Shopify themes can cost hundreds of dollars. If the theme requires additional customisations there will be extra fees added on top of that as well.
- The essential features – It’s good practice to have a list of must-have features if you’re going to buy a theme. This will stop distractions from flashy components that add no real value to your store.
- Who the theme developer is – Whether you are buying from the Shopify theme store or going to the theme developer directly, be sure to check out reviews and the level of support you can expect after purchase.
The size of your product catalogue – Some themes come optimised for stores with extensive catalogues and others are made for single-page style stores. It would therefore be useful to take this aspect into consideration before buying a theme
Reasons to buy a Shopify theme
Considering the factors above will enable you to make an informed decision about buying a Shopify theme. Some of the main reasons you should make the move are available in the following section.
Better selection of design choices
When you buy a premium Shopify theme, you’re not only investing in a more aesthetically pleasing website design, you also get the added flexibility of more customization options to further enhance the customer experience. This is important since the look and feel of an e-commerce site is a big determinant of trust and credibility for new visitors.
Remember that it’s not always about the now but the trajectory of your Shopify store moving forward. Could certain features be critical to your user experience and overall shop performance as time goes by? This might be 6 months, 12 months or 24 months into the future. If so, then it could be worth your while to buy a Shopify theme. From that foundation, you can start building towards your long-term vision.
More built-in features
There is a notable difference between the features you will get with free themes and the built-in features that come as part and parcel of the paid themes. The features can be anything from embedded videos to incorporating Instagram feeds. It could even be implementing “quick buy” buttons, which all accumulate to make a big impact on the customer experience.
It’s true that merchants have the ability to integrate apps with free themes to add the necessary extra functionality. But the first potential issue is that it requires additional time, effort and money. Secondly the more apps you add, the more you could slow down your [Shopify site speed] (can add an internal link to Shopify site speed article), which has an impact on your SEO. All of this can be overcome by buying a Shopify theme that comes with built-in features, which are optimised for site performance.
A more seamless “m-commerce” experience
It’s no secret that the percentage of people shopping online through mobile devices has been on the rise in recent years. According to Business Insider “m-commerce” – as this trend is known – will reach $248 billion, which is equivalent to 45% of the total U.S. e-commerce market by the time 2021 comes round.
With this type of growth in the market, it is essential to ensure a seamless user experience. This should cover all the people shopping on their mobile devices otherwise you run the risk of losing out massively.
When you purchase through the Shopify theme store, rest assured that your chosen theme is optimised for mobile users. This will put you in the best position to boost mobile shopper conversion rates, which directly translates to higher sales.
Better customer support
Customer support is an element that can add to or take away from the end-to-end satisfaction of your theme selection. Will you be able to reach out to an expert with any questions? Are the expected response times reasonable? And will the customer reps go the extra mile to ensure that answers are comprehensible?
Generally, premium themes will not only come with a step up in features and functionality but in customer support too. A dedicated team will be readily available to quickly assist with queries or concerns that arise on a daily basis.
That’s why you should buy a Shopify theme
Choosing whether to buy a Shopify theme is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It can have a big impact on the performance of your e-commerce store, so choose wisely. Remember to keep the important factors to consider in mind before making your purchase decision.
When you do decide to buy, your Shopify store will benefit in numerous ways. This includes better design choices, more built-in features, a more seamless mobile shopping experience, and high-quality customer support.