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How to Choose a Suitable Ecommerce Theme

Numerous ecommerce themes are available in the market today. With so many choices, you may find it quite challenging to select a theme that suits your needs.

In as much as ecommerce sites have a considerable number of benefits to both retailers and customers, a suitable ecommerce theme can be a critical factor in determining its success.

When you begin your search for a suitable Ecommerce platform and theme that will be the cornerstone of your online business, there are some key things that you need to consider. Things like site traffic, color scheme, shop layout, payment gateways, and shipping options all play a part in choosing the right platform and theme.

Here is a guide to guide you on how to choose a suitable ecommerce theme for your business.

1. It Should be Visually Attractive

You want to make a first great first impression with your e-commerce customers. It is the first interaction a visitor will have with your store. As such, it has to be visually attractive, well structured, and display relevant content.

If you look at the statistics, about 75% of site credibility can be attributed to design.

An attractive e-commerce theme can increase sales in two ways: it can draw visitors in and convince them to convert, and it helps in the overall branding of the e-commerce store.

If you have a poorly designed site, you are bound to notice a high bounce rate, and your customers are unlikely to come back again.

Themes can play a crucial role when it comes to attracting visitors. But don’t focus solely on the graphics. It should appear professional and should represent your business.

For instance, have a look at this attractive theme from Shopify.

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Not only is it attractive, but it has several options to choose from, has enough white space, and an eye-catching color scheme.

2. Give Importance to Usability and Trust

No matter who your customers are or what they are looking to purchase from your site, they want convenient and trustworthy experiences.

If they don’t get what they want from your store, they will go to your competitor. According to a study, you only have 0.05 seconds in which to persuade customers to stick around. Thus, you need to make an impact fast.

A good theme apart from conveying professionalism and trustworthiness employs web design principles in accordance with how users think and navigate. It focuses on usability to provide a stellar user experience from the start.

WordPress is one such CMS that offers a plethora of great themes. You can use WordPress migration services if you are using another CMS to benefit from WordPress themes.

3. Themes that Communicate your Brand Values

Your ecommerce theme is a vital part of your online marketing strategy. It makes a direct statement about your brand and products. The theme you choose can communicate thoughtful professionalism, whimsical creativity, or anything in between.

To put it simply, your site’s theme should be able to communicate your brand at a glance. Thus, make sure to keep the appearance in line with your product arrangement and your values.

For instance, if you visit Mahabis’ website, you will notice a beautifully designed site. They show off their high-quality, comfy shoes right away.

As soon as you land on their homepage, you will be greeted with a one-line description of how comfy their shoes are.

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It sets off customer expectations which they are able to satisfy.

Avoid confusing your visitors by sending mixed messages, and don’t promise something you can’t give. Your visitors have to feel they have come to the right place before they are comfortable buying your products.

Focus on creating an immersive environment with your theme – one that is in line with your brand’s values and what you have to offer.

4. Right Color Scheme

Your website’s color scheme is the combination of colors that gives your site style and reflects your brand.

Although you can use your favorite color to design your eCommerce website, there are few things that you should keep in mind before picking out the suitable color scheme for your online store.

The easiest way to choose a color scheme is to go for one that will match your business and brand. You can begin with a color that best represents your identity.

It could be the most noticeable color in your products or logo. Then pick two more colors to come up with an analogous, complementary, or monochromatic color scheme to give your site a harmonious look.

A trick that brands apply is taking advantage of tricolor psychology. They implement colors to influence customer perceptions. For example, people get excited when they see yellow and red colors. White, gray, and blue colors, on the other hand, have a calming effect on people.

Depending on how you want your customers to perceive your brand, you can pick a color scheme to create that impression.

5. Customization

This is a crucial factor in your theme. As an e-commerce store, you are bound to expand really quickly in a short period. If your theme doesn’t have the advanced and extra features to support you, you will land in a soup.

Pick easily customizable templates with layouts that are easy to customize according to your preferences. It is ideal to pick templates that implement HTML code. It will ensure that quick changes to the website design are made possible from the backend. You will be easily able to alter elements like the color, font, and background of the template.

If you are not well versed with HTML, you can still use templates that don’t require you to apply codes to make changes.

However, remember not to go too far with customization. You want a site that is not only attractive, but that sells as well. Make only purposeful changes to benefit your e-commerce store. Unnecessary changes and additions will only clutter your site, slow your site down, and hamper the experience.

6. Themes Compatible with Browsers

Just like websites, ecommerce themes too should be free of bugs. Customers aren’t most impressed with the most snazzy website; they want to know the site will work the way it is supposed to.

Ecommerce websites need to load fast and deliver smooth experiences. If your website takes forever to load or loses customers because of technical problems, then it is not worth the time and effort you put into it.

For this very reason, it is important that your ecommerce theme is compatible with all browsers, which means that your theme will look good on any device type.

Different browsers display your website differently. And it affects how your website looks and also impacts user experience.

Thus, choosing themes that are compatible with the majority of the browsers, if not all, is crucial. It will offer your visitors a consistent look and feel.

7. Mobile-friendliness

Considering that more than 90% of the worldwide internet population uses a mobile device to surf online, it has become crucial to have a mobile-friendly site.

What’s more, mobile traffic accounts for about 56% of total web traffic.

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Go for mobile themes that come in both desktop and mobile formats. Find themes that allow you to view demos for desktop and mobile prior to selecting a theme. It will let you understand the customer experience across devices.

Earlier, mobile devices were usually used simply to surf product catalogs and conduct research. But things have changed. Shoppers are increasingly using mobile to complete transactions from start to finish.

Thus, you can’t overlook the importance of implementing a mobile-friendly theme anymore.

Consider lightweight themes that give more importance to performance. Busy elements such as fancy scrollers or animations will only add to the size of the file. They are less functional.

Also, lightweight themes make it easy for customers to navigate around your store and take the desired action quickly.

8. Themes with Provisions for Banners and Slides

Promotional banners and slides will attract your visitors’ attention while also providing information. It can help increase the retention rate.

Ensure to choose a theme that supports this feature. It has the capability to improve marketing prospects quickly.

Here is an excellent example from Nutrisystem.

nutrisystem successful banner advertising
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The brand’s idea is that visitors will find their price point tempting. To ensure that the visitors don’t miss out on it, they have made the price bold.

Also, notice the prominent yellow jacket on the smiling woman and the orange CTA button, implying the visitors have only limited time to act.

Remember to keep your text to a minimum. The headlines should not be more than 30 characters and keep the body copy to not more than 90 characters. Plus, make sure to limit your mobile copy to not more than 35 characters.

Adding similar keywords as your website text on your banners can possibly create a strong brand connection.

9. Interactive Shopping Cart Icons

Interactive shopping cart icons are used popularly by well-known online stores. You can see it in their header, letting you know how many items you have and the price.

You can also consider animated Add to Shopping Cart buttons. The buttons can pop up when visitors scroll over the image of a product. It will serve as a reminder for customers and will also allow them to complete the shopping process quickly.

Here’s how SkyMall cleverly uses their cart icon. When users add a product to the cart, a small expandable layer appears on the right side. It then disappears after the initial display.

shopping cart example skymall - 10 Best Examples of eCommerce Shopping Cart Page Designs
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10. Already Created Page Templates

Your e-commerce store will need pages other than product and category pages. Thus, to save time and uphold a consistent design, go for themes with standard pages that are already created. For instance, the theme can have About Us pages or Contact Us pages already created.

11. Attractive Product Pages Based on Best Practices

Most of the buyers make their decisions to purchase a product at the product page. It is thus crucial to tell the whole story behind each product.

Your product page theme should be able to provide support for striking imagery, videos, and downloadable docs. Don’t overlook the importance of navigation, zooming, fullscreen effects, etc.

Also, make sure that your product pages offer well-formatted product variants, descriptions, reviews, related products, and social media buttons.

Here’s an example from Luxury Hair that sells human hair extensions.

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Since a hair extension has many variants, the brand brings the user along on a journey toward the product that will best suit them.

In the first step, they let the users choose the hair thickness. Next, users are allowed to select the color.

Only then are they presented with a specific product page that ideally has what they are looking for.

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12. Optimized Checkout

Online statistics suggest that the average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 69.57%. E-commerce stores lose a tremendous amount of money in sales revenue yearly to cart abandonment.

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E-commerce stores lose a tremendous amount of money in sales revenue yearly to cart abandonment.

It is, thus, crucial to optimize your checkout. Don’t complicate the checkout process.

Choose a theme that can offer a simple yet incredible experience.

Your theme should also have the following characteristics:

  • It should support a fast and intuitive checkout process.
  • It should have eye-catching and actionable add-to-cart buttons.
  • And it must offer a simple way to check the total cost.

Have a look at Nike’s checkout page, for instance:

Nike checkout page with order summary highlighted
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Nike’s checkout page is isolated and there is no header menu that serves as a distraction. You can also see that customer support is easily accessible, and the call-to-action button is prominent. And when a customer starts payment, they guide them along the process.

13. Product Reviews

Most buyers look for reviews before they purchase a product. If you look at the statistics, 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to buy from a brand after reading trusting reviews.

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Thus, you should choose a theme with a high-quality product review design. It is essential to include reviews on the product pages. However, the product ratings should also be seen in galleries and thumbnails.

For instance, Molekule did a brilliant job by turning their reviews into headlines. Not only is this idea unique, but it adds authenticity to the brand.

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14. Social Sharing Tools

Though many marketers use plugins, a theme that comes with built-in social share buttons will give you a better design integration. You need this because, as an online store, you have to build buzz on your product pages.

Look for a theme that has social sharing buttons as well as social follow buttons. You can add them to all categories and product pages. When your customers buy one of your products, they can share that product on their social media handles.

Social follow buttons will allow your customers to easily follow you on your social platforms.

15. Email opt-in forms

The email has a great ROI, and your email list can play a crucial part in marketing to customers. Won’t it be great to be able to instantly add a form in your widgets, homepage, and blog posts?

If you find a theme with an integrated email form, you won’t have to worry about styling the form yourself. It will also give you a consistent design.

Make sure to test your emails before you send them, as testing emails help you to land in the inbox.

16. Immersive Hero Homepage

The oversized hero header is going to be the first thing your visitors notice when they land on your site. It allows your site to make a statement and lets users identify with and relate to your website.

Visitors can also identify your unique selling point and value proposition and form an opinion about your brand instantly. Since personalization is important in marketing, you can create hero images by adding pictures of real human faces.

The hero image included in modern theme design is mobile responsive and shows up well on any screen size or browser. So, you just have to look for a suitable theme.

For instance, if you have a well-known product, show off a specific feature, or include a top-selling product in your hero image. The brand Apple does just that.

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17. Security

To ensure that your site remains secure, make sure to choose themes from only reputable sources. It is best to stick with premium themes. A theme can be considered a safe option if it is popular and has been recently updated.

The theme should also have been designed using proper code standards and should be compatible with your site, plugins, and other elements. Also, consider using reputed VPNs such as NordVPN to up your security game.

Wrapping-Up

A theme is the cornerstone of your online store. It plays a crucial role in making or breaking your business. As such, choosing a suitable theme is one of the most important decisions you have to make for your e-commerce site.

Follow the points mentioned above to choose a suitable theme for your ecommerce site.

Lucy is a creative content writer and strategist at Marketing Digest. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, and education. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking and traveling.

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