Best converting, fastest shopify themes for 2023
What makes a Shopify theme the best?
We have seen website conversion rates shift from 1% to 6% with a change as little as one line of copy in the header. 5% conversion on a website that generates $10,000 in sales each month can be an extra $30,000 or more. Nailing your website conversion can half or even quarter your advertising costs, so its one of the most important components to get right. It’s less about looking the way you want it to look, and more about looking the way a customer will read, engage with and trust. Here are the key factors when assessing a theme:
- Speed. Nothing prevents a conversion more than a slow loading site. Customers will not wait for your site to load; you may be penalised in algorithms (in terms of advertising) for a slow loading site, and it is an experience that you will leave your potential customer with forever.
- Design. This is the one that 95% of ecommerce store owners get wrong. We understand how passionate creating a new business can be, you want the look to appeal to you personally (or what you feel will resonate with your customers). A stunning slider is far less important than one that converts. Whilst it might be pretty, if it does not list your USPs and have a compelling call to action button, its virtually useless. You MUST design for conversion on both desktop and mobile, and follow simple conversion methodologies that have been tested, time and time again. Look for a theme that has a prebuilt demo that suits your style, to avoid paying additonal money for a designer.
- Customisable. This is a trap that we encourage you to avoid. Many themes lock down page building so that simple changes can only be made via the code. You must have drag and drop features available on all pages.
- Sales features. There are many tried and testing marketing features that those of us working on hundreds of ecommerce stores know to be essential for conversion. Placement of pricing, colors of buttons, product descriptions and more can make a big difference. You can download the checklist on our downloables page or you can check out the themes below that we have recommended based on features.
List of the best themes for 2023
- Booster – Cost yearly $259 or $399 Lifetime (Featured Winner)
Pros: The booster them was developed to do away with the need for so many shopify apps, and create a super charged conversion store. As agency owners, ecommerce store owners and ecommerce store builders, we know booster theme converts better than any theme on the market. It’s been designed to enhance the customers experience with inclusive apps that remove the need for individual payments to apps (this usually ends up costing thousands of dollars).
It wins in all four categories, speed, design, customisable and sales features. Speed scores of 91% and higher, and a GTmetrix grade A it’s certainly one of the fastest on the market.
The fact that it is fully customisable whilst also fully inclusive is commendable.
Some of the included features:
- Full control over the appearance
- Fastest loading theme on the market
- 40 marketing tools (sticky add to cart, upsell, promotion timer, reviews, mega menu, people watching)
Comes with lifetime customer support.
Cons: It is on the more expensive side but that fact that it has over $3,000 worth of marketing apps included, saving you $281 a month means it is absolutely worth every cent.
2. Dawn– Free
Pros: This is the basic Shopify theme, straight out of the box. It is simple, customisable and easy to use. Obviously, the cost is appealing for those starting out, however we highly recommend investing in the right theme to avoid additional fees for hiring a designer, developer and app fees.
Cons: The page score is 97 but a slow load time around 45. The biggest downfall of the base theme is all of the work you will need to do to get the design optimised for conversion, including all of the marketing apps needed to sell effectively.
Adding reviews, sticky menus, mega menus etc etc will cost you more than $280 a month in Shopify app fees.
3. Flex – Cost $495 (US)
Pros: Flex is another powerhouse theme that has been made for creatives. There are 13 very different and stunning styles to select from. Flex is also fully customisable with no locked down page designs. It includes mega menus and is ranked well for speed. The flexible layouts include extensive custom CSS (styling) options that ensure the site still adheres to strict optimization rules.
Cons: It is on the more expensive side and does not include the marketing apps that booster brings to the table.
4. Turbo – Cost $425 (US)
Pros: From the same theme creators as Flex, Turbo has been designed for high volume stores that showcase brand storytelling. Turbo is comparable on speed and as flexible on design.
Cons: The cost is less than flex but still higher than booster, but without all of the marketing features.
5. Minimog– Cost $88 (US) + $17 for support extension for 12 months
Pros: Minimog is one of the cheapest themes on the market that still has great features. It includes some of the marketing apps in booster including mega menu, sticky add to cart, countdown timer, Wishlist, size chart. Minimog comes with Foxkit (upsell, bundling, pre-purchase) and Foxhome (demo installer to make it super easy to load pre built themes)
Cons: It does not include some of the extra features included in booster such as reviews, smart search, and people watching.
How to decide on the best demo or design
Design is one of the biggest mistakes people make when launching their new store. There are some simple marketing principles that will mjake or break your conversion.
1. Above the fold/before the scroll
This is the information that people first see when they arrive at your site. It’s the information you display that people will read in the 8 seconds before they decide to scroll or leave.
- It MUST include a call to action button (CTA). If you have more than 2 main calls to action (shop, and join membership) include them both
- People read in a Z pattern landing on the right bottom of your banner – all information that captures interest should appear before the end of the Z
- You need to know your audience pains, and your unique selling points and speak to them in the banner. I.e if you sell shoes to women over 50 because it helps their leg pain better than any other shoe then speak to this!
- Include an image of your product or someone using your product. Make sure that text and imagery don’t get jumbled, if you need to, split the screen!
You have captured someone’s interest above the scroll now you need to tell them why they should trust you. There are numerous ways of building trust
- Icons from featured publications
- Icons from manufacturing process such as Australian Made etc
- Any other key information that supports your business process (guarantees etc)
3. Product Categories & Visualisation
You need to bring products to the forefront. Lead with categories so customers are very clear on what you offer.
- Make sure images are all the same size, colour, style and are 100% clear (no blur)
- Make sure products are your most profitable first (not your most popular)
- Have an add to cart button below your products on the home page
- Include 2 rows of 3 or 4 products.
4. More proof
From the section down (aside from your lead generation banner) your focus is on highlighting benefits, how to, more testimonials (preferably video).
5. Don’t forget lead generation
Lead generation is an important tool in your ecommerce arsenal. Your owned data (email marketing list) is your cheapest form of marketing long term. You must be dedicated to growing this from the outset.