Creating your own website can be difficult, particularly for those with little to no technical knowledge. Thankfully with Shopify anyone can build an attractive and profitable Ecommerce store using their themes.
Your Shopify theme will act as the skeleton of your site, shaping how it looks, feels and how customers interact with your store. Themes come in different styles, with different features helping to serve all businesses in all industries.
If you’re looking to start your store with a limited budget, there are several free Shopify themes that are perfect for small businesses.
In the following guide we take a look at the 5 best free shopify themes for small retailers to help you choose the best Shopify theme for your business and help you save money.
What are the 5 best free Shopify themes?
User Score: 85%
Best for: Simple Ecommerce Stores / Beauty Products / Toy Stores
If you are searching for a way to quickly start selling online despite not having a great deal of technical knowledge? The Shopify Simple theme is your answer. It comes with 3 styles, Light, Beauty, & Toy.
Simple makes it painfully easy for business owners to upload their products and build out their information. As the name suggests with this theme you will be met with a basic design with a great deal of white space however Shopify counters this with the product being put front and center in the design. Simple offers product animations and transitions which is relatively unique to this specific theme and creates an interesting transition between products and categories.
Simple is ideal for any small business wanting a straightforward design. It’s easy for you to set up and importantly easy for customers to navigate and use.
Customers can find all pages of the site quickly using the sidebar, and the theme’s zoom function allows them to get a better look at products, instilling confidence before purchase.
View the Simple Theme here
User Score: 83%
Best for:Clothing / Art / Small Retail
Minimal is ideal for businesses who want to highlight their products and have attractive imagery and branding. It offers three styles, Vintage/Fashion/Modern of the theme to meet the needs of particular industries making the design highly adaptable without being too complex.
In terms of actual features, the first thing that stands out in the Minimal theme is the slideshow header which makes an immediate impact when a customer enters the Ecommerce site. This feature is present on several of Shopify’s themes largely due to its ability to seamlessly showcase a number of products right in the customer’s eye line. You can also take this one step further with the inclusion of a video to really draw attention to a particular product.
One of the most important factors when building your Ecommerce Store is ensuring its usability for the user. Minimal theme makes it simple for customers to filter your products so that they can easily see what you have on offer and search for exactly what they need. It also offers a zoom function so that they can get a better look at your products enabling them to check out every detail This will give them a better understanding of exactly what they are buying avoiding disappointments ensuring you’re not at risk of bad reviews.
A feature many users have mentioned in the Minimal theme is the ability to add a product recommendations section pushing your most popular items to the home page. This increases the discoverability of your most loved products to new visibility and improves their experience allowing them to quickly see items without endlessly scrolling through your full catalogue.
View the Minimal Theme here
User Score: 72%
Best for:Best for: Fashion / Bakery / Arts & Craft
Brooklyn is one of the most popular free themes offered by Shopify combining both usability and style. This theme is targeted at contemporary stores focused on their branding and comes in two separate styles.
The first, classic, is simple and allows users to clearly showcase products and separate them into categories. The other, Playful is more individual targeted at businesses who want to make an impact with their Ecommerce site. The use of bright colours and image placements make it perfect for children’s sites or craft products.
The first thing that stands out in the Brooklyn theme is the slideshow at the top of the page allowing users to showcase multiple products right as the potential customer enters the store. If you want to create a more powerful first impression you can take this one step further adding a video to this slide show.
As well as this you will have the ability to create a dynamic product grid below which will adapt based on your best sellers.
The slide-out cart feature is particularly useful enabling customers to manage their cart, check what they added without having to leave their current page and continue shopping. This is a simple buying process for customers and encourages them to stay on your page.
View Brooklyn Theme here
User Score: 62%
Best for: Small Retailers with limited products
If you are more of a specialist store offering a small product list Narrative is the ideal theme for you. It is targeted at those businesses who focus on their storytelling and product specifics. It is highly customisable allowing users to adapt everything from backquotes to image blocks ensuring customers are led through the brand story.
Narrative theme comes in four different styles, all offering a unique wide layout that will allow you to better display your products. With this wide theme, you also get a full-width menu that only includes a handful of links removing any opportunity for distraction. Menus with too many links can be less impactful and with Narrative you are improving your user experience, ensuring they can view your products simply.
The point of the Narrative theme is to allow you to focus on your brand story rather than push a large product range. This is enhanced with the featured products slideshow which allows you to display more in-depth product information without visitors having to leave the homepage.
This theme is targeted at businesses with specialist goods and therefore any opportunity to include images and further description is key. This can also be seen through the inclusion of a Hero video at the top of the page which will make your site stand out and truly reflect your brand story and purpose.
View Narrative Theme here
User Score: 52%
Best for: Fashion / Small Retailers / Bike Stores
Boundless is perfect for businesses searching for something more modern and that draws greater focus on each of their individual products. Coming in two styles, Boundless covers both the more classic sophisticated business types with black and white or the more untraditional and way out with vibrant.
This theme is optimised for larger images and places them in a wide display allowing customers to get a close-up view of the specific details. This theme is majorly focused on imagery which is seen throughout all pages on the site. Boundless features a striking header area supporting a large image that immediately draws the visitors attention. This theme also allows the user to replace the header image with a video to better convey the brand image and tell their store.
Unique to other themes Boundless offers features a single image product gallery allowing close inspection of the products. This is particularly useful for clothing stores when there are a variety of materials and fits etc that will impact the buying decision.
It’s also worth highlighting the sticky Nav function this theme which will keep your menu fixed to the top of the viewer’s screen as they scroll through your site. This will inspire your customers to spend more time on your webpage, making it easy for them to view all different sections of the site and discover products they didn’t even think they needed.
Veiw Boundless Theme here
Make your business Multichannel with AirPOS and Shopify
It’s clear that Shopify is designed to fit the needs of all business types no matter the size. We have outlined all the best free themes available however they also have an extensive store of paid themes at a range of prices for those businesses that want to incorporate specific functionalities into their Webstore.
Either way Shopify has built a platform that enables any business to take their physical store into the online space with little to no experience. Online selling has become fundamental this year with such an unpredictable retail landscape.
There are several Ecommerce platforms available however Shopify has proven itself to be most popular with small retailers largely due to its ease of use and affordability. Check out our article on the top 8 reasons why you should choose Shopify. If still not convinced check out our run down of the other Ecommerce providers available and the benefits and drawbacks of each.