Shopify themes have the potential to leave a lasting first impression that can make a huge difference to your eCommerce site. A website that’s visually appealing and easy to navigate has been proven to positively affect conversion rates.
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Here are some top Shopify themes for 2023 that can help you take your website to the next level — and best of all, they’re free!
The importance of having the right theme
Customers can always tell when an online store is badly designed, and it reflects poorly on your brand. While there are plenty of eCommerce marketing strategies that will help your Shopify site get more traffic, the design is still the foundation everything rests upon; if you want customers, your website needs to be easy and intuitive to use.
Using a Shopify theme is a great way to access beautiful designs and intuitive functionality. And you don’t need a premium theme to succeed – there are many free themes that rival their premium counterparts and will help attract clients with their intuitive, client-centric design.
Choosing the best free Shopify theme can be tricky. Not every free design template out there is up-to-date and some have better support options than others. So, we’ve put together a list of the top free Shopify themes you can download right now, so you can make your store uniquely yours.
What is a Shopify theme?
A Shopify theme is a template that you can use to give your online store a specific look and feel. While each theme comes in a different layout and style, you can customise it by changing things like fonts or colours to match your brand.
For example, if you’re selling perfume, you might want your site to look elegant and stylish. Using a specific Shopify theme which invokes the right look and feel will help you achieve the brand association you’re looking for.
Themes are also a great way to fine tune your site, as they let you modify it without knowing how to code. Currently, Shopify offers eight free eCommerce templates of their own, which you can find on their theme site.
How to choose the right Shopify theme
While it might be tempting to choose a theme for your site straight away, it’s essential to think about customer experience first. Your Shopify theme should be in line with the customer experience you’re after. Here are some key elements to nail down before you choose the appropriate Shopify theme:
Know your target audience
Great design feels personal. When choosing a free Shopify theme, you need to start with your customers in mind: How old are they? How web savvy are they? What are their interests? Which devices will they use?
Conceptualise the type of experience you want to offer
You need to figure out the type of experience you want your customers to have when they browse your store. For instance, if you sell sports equipment, maybe you want people to feel motivated and energetic. If your store design is doing its job, it should make your target market feel at home, keep the focus on the products, and make it easy for the customers to buy.
Identify the website features you’ll need to use
Perhaps you’re prioritising customer reviews or need to sell a large inventory. While it’s good to have a broader goal in mind, you also want to keep it simple when starting out. As an online seller, your aim is to create a cohesive, organised, and intuitive layout that will make it as easy and inviting as possible for customers to complete their purchase journey.
What makes a good Shopify theme
Some things to consider when choosing a free Shopify theme for your site include:
It looks great and is highly customisable
Choosing free Shopify themes doesn’t mean you need to settle with basic or plain designs.
Customising available themes will align the design of your eCommerce store with your business goals, which in turn helps lead to improved sales results.
It loads fast on both mobile and desktop
On mobile, 53% of visits are likely to be abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load, according to Google Think. Taking site speed into consideration when choosing a theme will contribute to a reduced shopping cart abandonment rate.
It matches your company’s brand
It’s not just adapting your theme to your customers; a good theme also needs to represent your brand. Find the theme that best supports the look, feel and values of your brand. Again, this is where customisation is important.
The best Shopify themes should be fully customisable for your brand, from your logo or fonts, to colour schemes. This will ensure uniformity across your online presence and store, delivering a fully brand-owned experience for your customers.
Good customer support
When building your first eCommerce store you’ll have lots of questions. Imagine for example, that you’re stuck connecting Shopify to PayPal or Stripe in order to accept payments. Getting that fixed quickly is critical. When choosing a free Shopify theme, the ability to contact the developer for help is something to take into account.
The best free Shopify themes for 2023
Here are some of the best Shopify themes available this year.
There’s a reason why the Debut Shopify theme tops the charts: it’s customisable, super-fast, easy to navigate, and is flexible enough to suit a broad range of stores, regardless of how big your inventory is.
Designed to beautifully showcase your brand and products, it looks great on both desktop and mobile. This theme is distributed and supported by Shopify itself.
Debut looks great on mobile, as shown here
The Simple theme gets consistently good reviews. This clean and minimalist theme is very easy to set up while offering the basic functionalities you need to get your eCommerce store up and running quickly.
Simple is particularly useful if you have a “Shop” page on your website, as this Shopify theme provides a huge area for a product image display.
It offers a sidebar menu for improved navigation, as well as product image zoom, offering your customers a closer look at product details in each image. You can also showcase recommended products using this theme, helping customers discover new products from your catalogue.
The Simple theme gets consistently good reviews
If you’re looking for a solid alternative to Shopify-distributed themes, Debutify is a great option. The theme doesn’t require coding and it has a fast page loading speed, which is an important way to reduce store abandonment.
Debutify comes with more advanced options, such as an option to add a customisable footer or product testimonials, as well as advanced product filters and featured image slider.
It also offers a currency converter for multi-currency checkout options with Shopify Payments — useful if you have a global customer base.
Debutify is simple to launch and offers many useful features
Brooklyn is another theme made by Shopify itself. It comes with a mobile-first responsive design approach, so you can expect great navigation even on a mobile device.
The theme is perfect if you have fewer products, as opposed to a large inventory. The top fullscreen slideshow is an eye-catching area for you to show product images.
With a dynamic product grid and slide-out cart, your customers can easily add items to their cart without leaving their current page. The Brooklyn theme also offers home page video options, so that you can hook customers with engaging video content front and centre on the website. Brooklyn works particularly well on mobile devices.
Brooklyn works particularly well on mobile devices thanks to its “mobile-first” philosophy
Narrative is not just this theme’s name; it’s also a hint of what it does best: showcasing single products through storytelling.
The Narrative theme was designed to feature a product and highlight all of its benefits and features on a single page. This is not to say that you can’t add more. You can, but it works best for single products.
Simple, elegant and focused, the Narrative theme is best if you need to showcase a single product.
The Narrative theme is ideal for showcasing a single product
If high-quality photographs are your site’s strong point, then Shopify’s Boundless theme might be a good option. This free theme makes your product photographs the highlight of your online store.
As a visually-led theme, Boundless is optimised for larger images, allowing you to showcase high-resolution product imagery throughout your store. It also offers a fade-effect slideshow, sticky navigation and home page video options.
Because it’s quite minimalist, Boundless is useful whether you’re selling bikes or candy.
Shopify’s Boundless theme is a great choice if you have strong imagery on your website
Minimalist themes work very well because you can use them for many different categories. However, sometimes you’ll want something that looks and feels different. Venture is a free Shopify theme that has a clear outdoorsy vibe, so it’s a great solution if your product targets the sports and adventure categories.
Venture was built with large product catalogues in mind. This free theme offers powerful features such as a multi-column drop-down menu and product filtering, enabling your customers to find exactly what they’re looking for.
That said, keep in mind that this theme was built for Shopify dropshipping stores with a lot of products, so if you have just a few products it may not be the best option.
Venture is ideal for stores with a large number of products
Fashe is a Shopify theme developed by Colorlib. It was actually developed initially as a premium template, before the company decided to offer it for free. This means that you’ll find features you’d expect in a premium theme with Fashe – but without the cost.
The strength of the Fasche theme is its minimalist design, which works well for different categories, from bakery to electronics to fashion.
The downside of that is that it can come across as a bit simplistic. However, if you customise it, you can end up with a great-looking eCommerce site without the price tag.
Fashe is a free Shopify theme that rivals premium offerings
This free Shopify theme from Apollo Themes is specifically designed to fit an eCommerce website that trades in events and conferences.
This theme’s special features includes pages such as Event Information, Speaker Profiles, Sponsors, Schedules, The Venue, and Event Blog, along with a structure that is tailor-made for attendees to access event information. Voonex makes site navigation easy.
This theme is free for its basic version which comes with limited features. If you want to upgrade to more sophisticated options, you’ll have to pay for the Premium version (which costs USD $56).
Voonex is the best free theme for websites selling tickets and managing information for events
If you’re a merchant with a large inventory and multiple collections, Supply could be the Shopify theme for you. This theme will make you shine if you’ve got more than 50 products, over five collections, or large menus.
It offers a customisable sidebar, slideshow, and lets you showcase featured collections easily on the homepage.
Another interesting feature is that it lets you activate filters so your customers can segment collection pages by brand, price, and other customisable options. The theme also has a simple integration with the Product Reviews app, which allows you to add a customer review feature to your products.
While the latest update to the theme seems like it has brought the speed of the site slightly down (according to user reviews), Supply is still a great alternative to a paid theme if you have a long list of products on sale and you’re on a budget.
The Supply theme is specially designed for online stores that need to display a large number of products
A clean and minimalistic theme that works well for fashion brands, Thalia was designed by aThemes. Its features include a responsive slideshow, advanced filters and swatches, and a slide-out (Ajax) cart.
Minimalistic and clean, this theme is perfect for showcasing and selling fashion, but flexible enough to work with a variety of different store types.
Thalia can be fully customised for colour and typography and also offers editable About Us, Contact and FAQ page sections.
Thalia is purpose-built for fashion apparel stores, but can be applied successfully to other verticals
When starting out, it’s usually best to keep things simple. Shopify’s Minimal theme provides a clean, simple design that keeps the spotlight on your products. It offers user-friendly design that is modern and doesn’t distract your customers.
Quick to set up, Minimal performs well for those selling within the clothing and accessories, home and garden, and art and entertainment categories.
Shopify’s free Minimal theme has few setup steps, allowing for a quick store launch
If you need to get your Shopify store up and running fast, this is the theme for you. Shopify’s free-to-use Express theme gets you online fast. With two styles to choose from, the theme is simple and easy to use, mobile optimised and perfect for one-page stores. Customers can quickly add items to their shopping cart without leaving their current page.
Express is ideal for stores with smaller product catalogues
Use Shopify free themes to get your eCommerce store rolling
Great design is an essential factor to building and maintaining a successful eCommerce website. You can create a beautiful Shopify store thanks to a variety of both premium and free themes on offer.
While free themes can feel slightly limiting in terms of design and functionality, most Shopify free themes do offer good customisation options to give your site the look and feel you need to connect with your customers and showcase your products.
A clear understanding of your audience, the experience you’d like to offer, and the features you need will help you find the best Shopify theme and tune it perfectly for your customers.
Leveraging Shopify’s free themes makes it quick and easy to get your store up and running while optimising your customers’ experience.
Together, Shopify’s integration with eDesk provides a platform for online sellers to develop a multichannel strategy in minutes and improve customer service with its extensive features.
eDesk is the leading ecommerce helpdesk for online sellers, purpose-built to address the precise demands of eCommerce. Book a demo to learn more or sign up for a free 14-day trial and see how eDesk can streamline your online customer service.