Shopify Themes – let's compare Shopify templates

Natalie Miller
Natalie Miller
November 4 · 10 min read
image of a desktop with various design templates on it to illustrate the different Shopify themes and Shopify templates

Shopify is brilliant when it comes to creating responsive, multipurpose eCommerce website designs that their Shopify merchants can choose from. Some of the Shopify themes are free, others come at a cost, but let's first take a look at what Shopify Themes are and how you can get them, before we look at some of the beautiful ecommerce designs Shopify offers.

What are Shopify themes?

Shopify themes are the templates that both Shopify and third-parties create, which Shopify then has on offer within their Shopify themes store to make it easier for their Shopify merchants to create an online store. Shopify themes are like the ‘blueprint of design’ for Shopify online stores and websites.

Shopify offers some of the very best online store templates / themes out there. This is why Shopify themes are so popular.

Shopify themes come in all shapes and sizes. Shopify constantly comes up with new Shopify themes. Pre-designed Shopify ecommerce themes are a brilliant option for store owners who do not have the need, desire or budget to create their own custom Shopify store.

Different Shopify themes have different colours, layouts, key features, options for product details etc. – each Shopify theme is unique.

Where to get Shopify themes?

Now that you know what Shopify themes are, you might want to learn more about how to get one for your store.

Shopify's very own theme store

The Shopify theme store is where you find the latest versions of excellent Shopify templates. It’s a collection of themes made by both Shopify and third-party developers. Yet, all themes are vigorously vetted by Shopify to make sure they are up to par with their high standards.

All themes on the Shopify store are well-designed, responsive and well integrated with Shopifys’ core features. When you buy a template through the Shopify store, you will always be able to download the latest version without extra cost.

Other Sources

You don’t necessarily need to buy a theme off Shopify’s official store. You can also get themes from a plethora of other sources – like Themeforest, Envato Elements / Envato Market or Templatemonster, which are established marketplaces that sell WordPress themes and other digital resources.

Themes from these sources are usually cheaper than the themes you can buy on the Shopify store. Yet, we cannot recommend using Themeforest Shopify themes or templates from other sources because they are not vetted by experts and often lack features and customization options, or they have invisible technical issues that will come back to haunt you.

What can you expect from Shopify themes?


You can expect eCommerce ingenuity with Shopify themes.

If you are a small business with a limited budget, Shopify themes will equip you with a professional looking website in no time!

If you are a mid-sized business, you will be blown away by the capacity of each template.

If you are a large business, Shopify themes will alleviate some of the pressure you're feeling running a big business and make your online presence a bit easier to create and nurture.


Each Shopify theme comes with its own UX (user experience). You want to ensure that you choose a template that suits your brand and your buyers or shoppers the best. The UX of a website or online store includes its usability, design, navigation, and impression.

The design that you choose will determine the layout of your ecommerce website, it will affect your customers impression of your business, and it will influence the way potential buyers shop on your site.


It is important that you choose a Shopify template that suits your business and industry. Shopify themes can be browsed by industry on Shopify. Each option has different features and tools.

Below you will see the main different industries that you can search through. This is by no means the full list of industries you can search. Here is a list of all the Shopify industries that enable you to create an ecommerce website.

Display of the available Shopify themes

What to consider when you choose your Shopify theme


You want to ensure that you give your customers what they need. Online customers are interested in two main things:

1) Design

The visual aspect of your online store is a big factor in the decision-making process of customers. Hence, you should pick a design that represents your brand and works for your customers. Your imagery must also be inline with your brand image, and it must be appealing, as this will make you more likely that your business makes sales. This also extends to your product images, which are especially important to turn shoppers into buyers.

2) Information

A theme will help you style your store, but the information you put into the theme is also hugely important. How you describe your products is vital for the success with your shoppers, so take your time to craft great product descriptions. Your ecommerce website should be filled with useful information. It should be easy to find the information for each of the products. Especially when it comes to important points on ingredients, for example for edible goods, e.g., allergen information.

Thereafter, customers are also interested in shipping costs and return policies primarily, so make sure this information is clear to see in your FAQ section.

Additional design aspects & features

  • Product quick view
  • Appealing layout
  • Inviting homepage
  • Pre-designed pages (like the contact or FAQ page)
  • Responsive design
  • Video templates
  • Main navigation options (mega menu, slide-out menu etc.)

Choose the best fitting Shopify theme

There are many Shopify themes available on the Shopify theme store. There are off-the-shelf themes that are either free or come at a cost.

There is no “best Shopify theme” or “go-to responsive multipurpose Shopify theme” that just works for any business case. The one that suits you best, is the one that matches your budget and your brand image, and offers the features that you require.

Luckily, Shopify offers many Shopify themes across a wide range of industries, so creating an ecommerce store will be made an easy task with Shopify themes.

To be fair, there is not a real 'best Shopify theme' out there, as it depends on the needs of your business and how you want your Shopify store to look and function. You need to find the right theme for your store.

Ultimately, you want two things:

1) Flexible Shopify theme – with a flexible theme, you will be able to have more freedom around your online store.

2) Responsive Shopify theme – with a responsive Shopify theme, you will have an online store that looks great and is functional on mobile devices – especially smartphones. (Fortunately, by now all themes on the theme store are responsive, so you don’t need to worry about actively searching for a responsive Shopify theme. You can just pick any template off the store and your eCommerce website will look great on mobile devices.)

Improve your SEO

When your online buyers search for your online store in their browser, you want them to find you easily. This is possible by ranking highly on Google or on any search engine they use. You can do this by creating great content for your site. Include product images, product description, video's, blogs etc. Hence, choosing the right theme also impacts your SEO and marketing efforts.

The more engagement and visits you have on your online store, the higher your store will rank in the data and analytics of SEO pages. It's important to rank highly on search engines, as this improves your businesses' visibility.

Engagement will be positively impacted, by offering great content, but also by fast loading speeds and great design – things your theme will help you with.

Shopify theme store examples

Setting up your own online store from scratch is time-consuming. Aren't you glad that Shopify themes exists? Each Shopify theme allows you to first 'Try' the Shopify theme or 'View Demo Store'.

When you hit 'Try' this allows you to sign into your Shopify store and start creating. With free templates, you can hit 'publish' at any time. If you choose a Shopify theme that you need to pay for, you are eligible for an unlimited trial and only pay once you publish your ecommerce website. (If you want to customize it by introducing changes to the code of the theme, you will also need to buy it first.)

If you hit 'View Demo Store', then Shopify themes redirects you to how their Shopify team has set up pre-designed pages. This helps businesses envision what their version of this Shopify theme could look like in terms of the layout, features, home page, etc. as well as certain features like mega menus, color swatches, age verifiers etc.

Each Shopify theme comes with a little description that tells you what this template is good for e.g., if it can be translated in other languages, drop-shipping tag availability, if it's good for visual storytelling etc.

The search bar within the Shopify theme is handy. You can choose between different collections, different industries, select if you want to only see the free templates available or only the ones you need to pay for. Shopify themes make it easy to navigate through all their templates.

Let's take a look at the collection of templates available on Shopify themes.

Get YOUR online store up and running in a jiffy

On the Shopify themes website, you are able to filter the collections by category. This saves time during your search, but finding the correct template can still be time-consuming.

This is why we decided to pick and choose each a free and a paid option for some selected industries, to present them here.

Shopify theme industry: Arts & Crafts

Free Shopify theme

Name: Craft

Craft free Shopify theme and Shopify template

Paid Shopify theme

Name: Expanse

Expanse paid Shopify theme and paid Shopify template

Shopify theme industry: Business equipment and supplies

Free Shopify theme

Name: Colourblock

Colorblock, free Shopify theme and free Shopify template

Paid Shopify theme

Name: Mode

Mode paid Shopify theme and Shopify template

Shopify theme industry: Electronics

Free Shopify theme

Name: Ride

Ride free Shopify theme and free Shopify template

Paid Shopify theme

Name: Xtra

Xtra paid Shopify theme and paid Shopify template

Shopify theme industry: Food and Drink

Free Shopify theme

Name: Crave

Crave free Shopify theme and free Shopify template

Paid Shopify theme

Name: Fresh

Fresh paid Shopify theme and paid Shopify template

Custom themes

Another noteworthy option is creating your own custom theme for your website.

This means that you are not using a standard theme that is on offer, nor are you using a given theme and then adding your own modifications. No, no, this is one step beyond those two options.

Custom theme is the act of working alongside developers or an agency that helps you create the website design that you feel best suits your needs. This means having full control over the design and the way the website feels and operates. You can optimize your website to the max, as you created it from scratch and have full autonomy over how it interacts with potential customers.

The benefits of going custom are:

  • Your developers or agency would need to code your website from scratch, which sounds more daunting than it really is. What this means is that they will create ‘clean code’ for your website. This code will only include the truly necessary elements that make your website operate at optimum capacity. No dead code or strings of code running in the background that are not needed but slow down your website’s performance.
  • Your website will be one of a kind as it’s completely up to your discretion of how it looks, operates, functions and engages with online visitors.
  • You can build your website how you like. This includes features and apps. Oftentimes, when going with a standard theme, business owners need to add apps and the like to make the website suit their needs more. With a custom theme, you can build all of this into the structure. Reducing the need for many apps.
  • If you hire an agency to fulfill these custom services, your time can instead be spent handling marketing and administrative tasks, as opposed to trying to figure out the tech aspect of your business too. Leave that part to the tech experts and web developers.

Should you wish to know more about the comparison between a standard theme, a modified theme and a custom theme, including the benefits and disadvantages, then take a look at our blog ‘Why You Should Choose A Custom Theme For Shopify (Plus)’ now.


Creating your own online store is made a whole lot simpler with Shopify themes.

With the wide variety of different collections on the Shopify theme Store, online store owners can create the ecommerce store of their dreams without too much difficulty.

Shopify themes make it easy to find the template that will suit your ecommerce store best.

Shopify themes offer great templates and tools to get your online store up and running. You are even able to customize it to a certain point with the different fonts and colours. If the layout that your Shopify themes is not 100% to your liking e.g. the home page set up isn't exactly what you're after, then you have customization options too in the form of changing the colour palette, fonts, sizes of images and copy etc.

Should you wish to know more about Shopify themes or if you have any questions or need any help creating your own online store, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on or via our website.

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Natalie Miller
Written by

Natalie Miller

Marketing Manager

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