New businesses with low capital can’t afford large scale developments and were deprived of the digital experience. With Shopify taking the initiative of introducing complimentary themes, small brands are empowered to upscale their pitch across the web and tap upon a wider customer base. Although the designs are minimalist in approach, the templates have prebuilt content that fulfill the basic requirements of a new store.
Easy to setup and maintain, these themes don’t require professional developers. In fact, a simple signup on Shopify followed by a purchased subscription would bring you on board in the digital spectrum. As of mid 2019, hundreds of small and medium scale brands are making use of these themes. Being sponsored by Shopify, these themes are attached with access to copyright-free images from Burst, free upgrades, mobile friendly design and dedicated support for dropdown navigations.
However, being complimentary doesn’t mean the themes aren’t scalable. As your business grows with time, you could extend the current functionalities. Moreover, expanding inventories can also be taken care of without any hassle.
After researching hundreds of themes, we stumbled upon the following 12 as the best in the league.
Officially sponsored by Shopify
Demo : Click Here
Shopify Reviews : 87%
True to its name, Minimal has a simple layout with astute focus on essential elements only. The design is neat and immensely user friendly to make changes to. The colors used are simple and go in sync with the standard product catalog layouts. There are 4 variants available – Vintage , Fashion and Modern.
Being officially supported by Shopify, Minimal comes attached with built in styles and color palettes, support for drop down navigation, mobile compatible layouts and free updates. Add to it the following significant features –
- Home Page Slider
Publish selective products and brand images in the slider
- Product Zoom
Let customers seek deeper insights into the product specs
- Product Filtering
Lets customers filter products according to type, price and color
- Home Page Video
Run a video glimpse of your products and sell more
Other features include a Newsletters section, Custom HTML, Collection Lists and more. For startup businesses, this could be a great theme.
Minimal is easy to install and use yet there’s a dedicated support help in form of blogs, tutorials and chat. Browse through the list of topics and train yourself.
Demo : Click Here
Shopify Reviews : 76%
Aimed at apparels store, Brooklyn bestows a drop of elegance to the simplistic theme that enhances the overall shopping experience. Here, the creative freedom is limited so you don’t have much to do with the selections on the home page. Even then, Brooklyn works for its overall professional look that smartly covers up the null investment you have done. It is easier to install and setup in a very short span.
Brooklyn is available in 2 variants – Classic and Playful each with equal access to the prebuilt content and the standard features. Businesses new in the apparels market and lesser inventory must try this theme before plunging at investing on bigger stores. Like all standard Shopify themes, this one too has access to free photos from Burst, free updates, built in color palettes, mobile responsive designs and more.
In addition to these, here’s what more you get –
- Slide Out Cart
Instant Add to Cart task without leaving the current page
- Dynamic Grid
Automatic display adjustment based on the number of products
- Header Slideshow
Showcase front runner products from different pages
- Home Page Videos
Interactive videos from your Youtube or Vimeo accounts
Brooklyn is easy to install and use yet there’s a dedicated support help in form of blogs, tutorials and chat. Browse through the list of topics and train yourself.
Demo : Click Here
Shopify Reviews : 74%
Narrative aims to produce a positive sentiment about your brand through interactive content. Though free, the theme tries to delivers more through creative imagery, a range of text fonts and multiple color options. Best suited for stores with fewer inventories, Narrative depends more on the graphical content so that user attention could be arrested sooner. It is available in 3 variants – Warm , Light and Cold.
Like all themes that are officially supported by Shopify, Narrative too comes attached with support for Drop down menus, fee pictures from Burst, free theme updates, Search Engine Optimization and more.
Takeaway features include the following –
- Hero Video
Feature a full screen and auto play video on the home page
- Wide Layout
Full width and high resolution wide screen for large pictures
- Vertical Slideshow
Publish product images, descriptions and blogs in a sleek top down slider
- Fixed Navigation
Fix your logo, menu and cart while the rest of the screen scrolls up and down
Other offerings include Rich Text, Newsletters, Maps, Testimonials, Blog Posts and Collection Lists.
Officially supported by Shopify, Narrative comes attached with an array of help documents for you to execute all tasks seamlessly.
Despite not being amongst the highest rated themes on the store, Vogue continues to expand its fan following. Used by over hundreds of small and medium scale businesses, the theme has one of the best prebuilt content collections. Thereby, developing landing pages, forms and banners gets instant while the choice for repeated customization isn’t a hassle. Vogue follows a minimalist approach yet the colors used act as differentiators in the 3 styles – Elegant, Editorial and Organic. Each one of these variants possesses a warm feel and navigates swiftly across pages. Vogue is widely implemented by lifestyle stores with home exterior & interior as its most successful business sphere.
Although the theme has aggregated 78% positive reviews and isn’t one of the best in the store, Vogue is easier to implement and meant for those businesses that follow a minimalist approach wherein basic colors that complement your brand’s essence are used.
The Lookbook feature lets you display the portfolio in an editorial style while publishing large scale HD images isn’t an issue. There are wide layouts for imagery, slideshows and videos. It’s just the lack of options to post more interactive content that has lowered the ratings. Nevertheless, if pictures aren’t your dependency and the core focus rests on the range of products, Vogue is the theme for you.
Like all other themes featuring on the Shopify store, Vogue too lets using a trial version for 14 days. The mobile layout is descent while the support for dropdown navigation is appreciated. Not to miss, the theme is highly SEO friendly and has access to prebuilt color palettes.
There’s also a complimentary subscription to copyright free images from Burst. The horizontal menu strip at the top is simple and includes a range of header items to accommodate the browsing.
Add to it the following impressive functionalities that are a clear winner –
- Grid Layout
A grid display to accommodate content from a variety of sections – collections, products, advertising posts, testimonials, social media posts and more
- Infinite scrolling
Take your scrolling to the next level with easily discoverable products as the browser moves down while content keeps loading automatically. No need to switch landing pages
- Lookbook Feature
Display your collections in a masonry style layout to highlight specific products or collections. This is published on the home page
- Sidebar navigation
Filter products using a sidebar menu and publish contextual details about the product, collections, social links and more.
Support & Documentation
Developers Pixel Union have an established support team in place that helps with on demand issues. There’s a list of documentation available for e-commerce store developers and users to perform quick configurations.
Officially supported by Shopify
Demo : Click Here
As simple and unique as its name, Simple is an interesting addition on the list and strictly made for new businesses that are in no mood to invest much at the point. The Design is simple and perhaps it is one of the first themes to restrict the colors to Black, White and Grey.
Unlike other themes that are providing swift navigation options, this one uses normal font styles and not much has been done to navigate in different ways. Available in 2 styles – Light and Beauty, Simple aims to help startups upscale their digital presence with publishing more products. However, there’s a simple sidebar to showcase details about the products or the collections followed by links to the brand’s social media at the bottom.
Simple lacks prebuilt content and that doesn’t mean you can’t upscale to match the competition. Businesses have the utmost creative freedom to add custom functionalities, integrate with other platforms such as social media and enhance its capacity to accommodate more content. As your business grows, the theme will respond well to on demand developments.
Brands selling home dΘcor and lifestyle products synchronize well with clean templates and Simple is one great bid.
Being officially sponsored by Shopify, users of Simple enjoy a swathe of benefits. Official support for dropdown navigation, SEO friendly templates, free upgrades and complimentary access to copyright-free pictures from Burst are just few of the perks to count upon.
Here’s more on the popular features –
- Image Zoom
Zoom in & Zoom out of the product imagery have deeper understanding of the specs
- Image Animations
Product pictures animate into the page and produce an impressive transition effect.
- Related Products
Display products from the same collection or category alongside the item being viewed! Helps in faster navigation and encourages more browsing.
- Sidebar menu
Display content in a sidebars menu to provide contextual details about the collection in view. You could also use it to put more products on display.
Support & Documentation
Simple is easy to setup and Shopify has an extensive collection of content to help you setup and maintain the theme.
Parallax scrolling coupled with a clean design produces a swift browsing experience and Pipeline nails it. The menu strip on the top right has minimal header elements with possible enhancements to add dropdown navigation. The header image at the top spreads across the screen size delivering a breathtaking cover page look for the store. There are CTA buttons to land your user to a specific product page. Given such opening to the store, Pipeline makes sure the user stays arrested and develops the knack to explore more.
If not done correctly, Parallax scrolling could get complicated on the mobile screens. In fact, not all themes with the effect perform equally well for the vertical show. However, Pipeline scrolls down seamlessly without missing a beat for the smaller screens. This has had a positive business impact making it one of the most trustworthy templates on the list. Hence the 100% positive rating aggregated on The Shopify store.
Besides all the standard features stapled with themes featuring on the Shopify store, Pipeline takes a step ahead and lets you pull content from social media channels. You could also seek professional support available for dropdown menus. Despite being minimal in approach, Pipeline has been designed to accommodate large inventories. Moreover, there are built-in color palettes, forms and templates for instant creation of tailored made landing pages.
Adding to the Parallax effect, here are more themes that make Pipeline a hot-selling theme
- Multi-column Dropdown menu
Help customers with easy navigation of thestore witha multi-column dropdown menu
- Instagram feed
Automatically stream content from your brand’s Instagram channel and add value to your store’s advertising pitch.
- Modular layout
A stylish modular design spread for easier understanding of content across sections on the home page
- Large imagery
Showcase high-definition pictures in a full-width section for greater interaction.
- Reputed Support
The developers have documented user-friendly tutorials and guides for you to perform initial setup and customization. However, dedicated help is available for issues beyond your scope.
If you plan to categorize your inventory into multiple categories or collections while advertise them all on the home page, Star could be the best theme. With beautiful and large HD images at the header, Star accommodates all essential elements including a dedicated section for blog posts, highlighted products, CTA sections and utmost freedom to showcase your creativity. Star lets you utilize content from different sources on the store to enhance dynamism and ultimately keep the returning user hooked for a productive experience. Star is available in 2 style variants – Polaris and Sirius.
As a stellar Shopify theme, Star comes packed with a swathe of prebuilt content features and functionalities that help with speedy development. Immensely user friendly, the theme is easier to setup and hardly requires any technical expertise. Moreover, customizing the theme’s front look can be performed easily with plug and play. However, the highlight of theme is the Parallax effect that can be executed on selected themes only and achieve the animation depth. There’s Google Map’s integration to keep your customers updated about the nearest store.
There’s also a prebuilt section for posting testimonial sand customer reviews to products. This elevates the brand pitch of highly rates products and help the customer pick faster. Ultimately, it is the prompt responsiveness on the mobile screens that make the theme a multi-platform fit.
Here’s more on the hot selling features –
- Product Filtering
Make use of tags to filter appropriate product results. Faster browsing and high purchase count achieved.
- Related Products
Put on display similar goods on the home pageor the product’s landing page tohelp customer’sinstantly browse variations
- Color Swatches
Use image and color swatches to showcase one product in different variations
- Multi-level Dropdown Menu
Built a multi-structured dropdown website to accommodate more landing pages of collections and categories.
- Slide out cart
Add items to cart without leaving the current page. Lets the user to browse across multiple pages while staying in touch with the cart.
Developed by Outlane, Star comes attached with a river of documents supporting all possible customizations, page setups and solution approach to major issues. You can also access installation guides and user manuals in the given link.
Other significant additions to the list
Annabelle comes with a full-width home page slideshow that could accommodate high-definition pictures. There’s also an image zoom feature to understand the product specs in detail. The banner picture comes integrated with CTA buttons. Beneath the home page banner, lies a carousel of images wherein you can post your product imagery. Fully responsive, Annabelle loads perfectly on the mobile screens and delivers smart browsing experience. Ultimately, it’s the Instagram integration that steals the show. Automatically post content from your Instagram channel and garner better brand pitch. Although made for multiple industrial niches, Annabelle has a staunch inclination for lifestyle and clothing brands.
With a minimalist approach, Supply showcases large inventories effortlessly. The design is clean, the elements are few and the focus on covering products is more. Officially supported by Shopify, Supply’s filter criteria produces accurate results and assists the user in landing upon the most relevant product. The 2 styles – Blue and Light have high resolution slideshows on the home page while there’s enough room to customize and built new functionalities. Moreover, you could utilize the content from your social media channels and display more pictures. Not to miss, Supply is available for a 14 day free trial and has access to free upgrades.
Officially supported by Shopify, Boundless actually doesn’t have any bounds as far as customizing new features is concerned. Yet another minimalist theme that lets you flaunt your brand photography everywhere on the home as well as product landing pages. Boundless comes in 2 variants – Black & White and Vibrant. It is highly optimized for large images and has multiple options to run slideshows on the anchoring page in a full-width section. However, the highlight of this feature is the fading effect on the slideshows that disappears on the hover event. Boundless is made for new businesses that have small inventories or those who have focus on single products only. Sticky navigation and the creative freedom to utilize content from social media channels is another striking feature.
This one has an engaging layout and a flexible code at the backend to perform seamless customizations. Fleur de lis serves multiple niches and is perfect for new businesses that have lesser budget. However, that doesn’t detach the theme away from essential functionalities such as product zoom, animations, image galleries and social media buttons. Highly responsive, this one fits well on the mobile too. Checkout Fleur de lis for the high quality imagery it works well with.
Since every business wants to graduate into the digital space, there’s no shame in starting with the basics. These free themes from Shopify let you put up a simple ecommerce store and gradually scale up to high level functionalities as your business and budget gets better.