How to choose the right theme for your client’s needs

by Sep 24, 2018Blog, Shopify0 comments

How to choose the right theme for your client’s needs

Many times your clients will come to you for a new website or refresh but have little idea of what they want.

More than the look, the function can often be the most critical component of whether a theme is successful or not. If a theme cannot do what your client needs it to, then it doesn’t matter how slick or modern it looks.

Once you have the functions nailed, you are left with a blank canvas to create a masterpiece! While you are creating something that looks amazing, keep in the back of your mind that the core purpose of an e-commerce site is to sell. So, the design has to focus on getting the best result for your client and their customers.

Here is what you need to consider when selecting the best theme for your client:


Know their target market

You need to know all about the users of the website to design the best product for them. Your client has (or should have!) all of this knowledge – so engage and brainstorm with them to get a good understanding of their customers.

You will need to know things like age, gender, buying behaviours, and what devices they might use to access the website. Check out competing business websites to see what they are doing – focus what is and isn’t working well for them.


Client expectations

You might be the design expert, but your client will still have specific preferences about what they want to see on their new site. They might have their brand colours or fonts in mind, a particular layout, a particular way of listing their products, or some special features they want to include.

Be sure to take these on board and incorporate as much as you can into your chosen theme. Then, find compromises or explanations for the things that might not be realistic to include.


Responsive and intuitive design

The customer experience across the home page, product pages, and checkout should be streamlined and easy. A super sophisticated design is not the end goal. Instead, you want something smart and user-friendly, which keeps unnecessary elements at a minimum and enhances the overall user experience.

Your theme should support seamless, uninterrupted browsing and payment processing. Make sure you have that nailed first, before worrying about additional features or flashy design.

The template will also need to be fast. This means it will be built using best coding practices and it won’t include any burdensome or redundant features. 40% of customers will leave a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, meaning a slow theme will impact your client’s bottom line.


Works for SEO

You will want a theme that works well with Google and is created with SEO in mind. A lot of Shopify themes are well suited for this purpose and contain all the core elements for e-commerce SEO. You can further alter the features on Shopify themes to increase the SEO capability. This includes editing title tags, meta descriptions, and page headers.


Great customer support

Even if you have the best E-commerce platform available, you still have the responsibility for your customer satisfaction. A good platform will make the customer browsing and buying experience a breeze. However, in the event of a lost shipment, refund request, or general enquiry – you will have to step up.

Your customer service needs to be efficient, friendly and helpful. You don’t want unhappy customers turning up in your Facebook or Google reviews!


Theme support

You also need to consider how easy it would be to get help if any issues come up with your theme. Any of the Shopify free themes are supported directly by the platform. If you are using a premium theme developed by a third party developer, they will have their support team.

Shopify carefully vets their developers and are known for providing excellent customer support, so you are pretty safe with any of their themes!


As soon as you have selected the right theme, it is essential to begin thinking about how to market the website when it launches. Some marketing methods or campaigns may require specific features on the theme you have chosen, so it is a good idea to have conversations about this early on. As a next step, we recommend checking out our “quick guide to marketing” to help keep you on the right track.

About the author:

Angus Allan

Managing Director of Hello Digital

Angus is an experienced and passionate digital entrepreneur who has worked with clients around the world on a wide range of E-commerce and retail projects. Angus is excited about technology, change, and transformation, and has spoken about these topics, and more, at various events, workshops, and classes in New Zealand. As Hello Digital's Managing Director he oversees the day-to-day operations of the company and is the primary point of contact for our consulting clients and international partners.

Quick guide to marketing

Our quick guide to marketing is a perfect follow-up to choosing a theme.

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