Before I reveal the shop’s landing page, including logo (yes, it’s done!) and before I share with you my criteria for picking the designers that we’ll feature in the shop, I thought I should take you through the process of picking a Shopify template since I just finished this task last week. I can’t wait to reveal the brand to you, but I figured I should post my tips in chronological order, non?
Be an educated online shopper
My best advice is to do some online shopping before you buy a template. Yes, I know, I’m encouraging you to shop!? The reason being that once you’ve made a few purchases from several online shops, you’ll know exactly what you like and don’t like about their different systems.
For example, I know that I like the “quick shop” option, which let’s me hover my mouse over a picture and click “add to cart” without having to open up the product page. I also like those shops that remember my cart items even if I close the site before making a purchase. Even better are the sites that send me an email reminding me of my cart full of items to process. I also like sites that don’t need me to refresh the page to update my cart. I often open up separate tabs for each item that I want to look at in more detail as I scan through a shop’s inventory. If the product automatically opens up in a new tab without me having to right click on my mouse, I’m happy. That’s one less step for me and one step closer to making a purchase.
Those requirements relate to the browsing side of online shopping, but what about the checkout part? I like sites that give me the option to sign up for regular updates or to checkout as a guest. I certainly don’t want to be forced to enter all of this information before I can make a purchase. That’s a real turnoff for me. Second, I like shops that give me the option to check off a box that gives them permission to remember my billing and shipping information for future purchases. It’s a real plus if a site can tell me the expected date of arrival too. And how about for gifts? I appreciate sites that give me a message box to send a little note to the recipient and a comments box in which I can put instructions such as to gift wrap or not.
These are all subtle elements to a site that you don’t notice as you shop, but that you should take note of when buying a Shopify template. Not all of their templates offer these services, so make sure you have the processes that you want. You don’t want to purchase a template only to realize that you can’t add multiple images for a product or offer coupons. The devil is in the detail!
So which template did I choose?
I chose Grid. I know, it isn’t a free one, but this is a one-time cost that I was willing to spend. Grid’s first appealing aspect for me was its grid-like system. During my consultations with the design firm I worked with, I soon realized that I wanted a site that was image-based, and that gave me the option to remove any white space between images. This is a special setting that I can turn on or off. I wanted the home page to look like a grid of images and this aptly named template can do just that.
In addition, this template had all of the advance cart and checkout features that I listed earlier on in this post. It also allows Mailchimp integration and buy buttons on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. What more could I want?