Why a Custom Shopify Theme is worth the Investment
So you’re planning to launch your online store with Shopify! Obviously, design and functionality would be at the forefront of your mind. Since both these factors have a huge impact on how successful your store will be, picking a visually appealing and fully-functional Shopify theme is something you can’t overlook if you really want to deliver your customers a convenient and pleasurable online shopping experience.
When it comes to setting up your Shopify store, you have two choices: either you choose a pre-built free or premium Shopify theme and customize it to fit your requirements or you hire a professional Shopify development company to build a fully custom Shopify theme with endless possibilities just for you. While both options may have their own merits and downfalls, pre-made themes often don’t cut it when it’s about getting the most value possible out of your eCommerce efforts. In such a situation, opting for a custom-coded Shopify theme is your only way to go. Let’s take a look at what factors make a custom-built Shopify theme worth the investment!
Unique Design, Look and Feel:
Do you want your Shopify-powered store to look and feel the same as everyone else in your industry? No, not at all! With more and more online store popping up day by day, the Internet is gradually becoming a very competitive place to sell products. Hence, if you want to come out and stay on the top, you’ll need an original, unique eCommerce theme design that reflects your brand identity and makes your online store stand out from the crowd.
As a custom-built Shopify theme is developed from scratch with your personal brand and specific needs in mind, it is unique in every way, ensuring no other business on the web will have the same design as your store. On the flip side, a readymade Shopify theme requires a lot of customization to fit your store requirements and still look almost identical to your competitors if they are using the same theme.
Establishing a recognized brand name is extremely important if you’re into a serious eCommerce business. After all, it is your brand image that speaks to your targeted audience before anything else. The visual components of your online store, such as the color scheme, logo, typography, and images should represent your brand identity in terms of both looks and functionality if you want people to remember your brand.
Unlike a pre-built theme that is incapable of representing your branding online, a custom Shopify theme incorporates your vision, audience, goals, and business requirements as the foundation of your store design. This results into a much stronger and memorable brand identity that one can recognize from afar. That’s why a one of a kind Shopify store needs a custom-designed theme!
Be it design, functionality or any other aspect, a custom theme gives you complete control over the creative process of your online store. Right from setting up where your buy button should go to changing the entire layout of your store and everything in between, there is no limit to what you can do with a custom coded Shopify theme.
On the other side, a pre-built theme is a one size fits all solution that limits you to make only minor customizations to the design and functionality of your online store. Not only you get a more rigid layout that is near impossible to optimize in accordance with your brand but also you need to force your content and products to fit in certain pre-defined patterns and boxes. While using a custom Shopify theme, on the contrary, you face no such restrictions!
Faster Page Load Times:
Speed matters a lot to make a website successful and in terms of eCommerce, it is even more crucial. Since pre-designed themes are built for mass markets, they have an excess of code and features that you may never use. Even, to ease your customization process, many pre-built themes come with a theme admin panel offering you hundreds of options to tailor the design and functionally of your store to fit your brand style. All these extra options and features create unnecessary overhead, resulting in slowing your online store down.
When you opt for a custom developed Shopify theme, on the other hand, you don’t have to cope with that issue because every line of code here is written with your specific store requirements in mind. There is no bloated extra code or unnecessary features to slow down your website speed. Consequently, fewer calls are made to the database and every page of your store loads at the speed of light.
Better Search Engine Optimization:
In addition to the speed issue, readymade Shopify themes are not well-optimized for search engines, which is one of the most prominent parts of your online promotion. As they are built to help you launch your online shop easily and quickly, they do not employ the best SEO practices (such as one H1 tag per page, canonical URLs, Meta tags, schema markup etc.) needed to enhance your store’s visibility and rankings in search engine result pages.
A custom Shopify theme, conversely, is hand-coded from the scratch with taking all the SEO standards into consideration, which ensures you’ll get found more often in search engine results. And as a rule of thumb, the better visibility your online shop has on search engines, the more customers come your way and the more ROI (return on investment) you’re able to generate.
Better Usability and Credibility:
Just like a brick-and-mortar store, if your online store fails to deliver customers a pleasant shopping experience, chances are you’ll lose them forever soon. No doubt that pre-designed Shopify themes are aesthetically pleasing and cater to a wide range of businesses but a bitter truth is that they rarely care about usability, credibility, and conversion – which are the three most important aspects of an eCommerce website.
Since custom Shopify themes are built with keeping your target audience in mind, they deliver your customers the best possible tailored buying experience as they browse through and shop from your online shop. They are so easy to navigate that even a first-time visitor can easily find what he is looking for in just a few clicks. A truly-optimized, seamless user experience builds credibility, making your Shopify store a trustworthy place to make purchases.
Another downfall of using a pre-designed Shopify theme is that it is quite hard to scale with your future eCommerce endeavors. Primarily made for non-technical users, such themes come with a lot of proprietary code that makes it extremely difficult for future designers and developers to incorporate new functionalities as your online shop evolves and grows. Thus in the long-run, you end up paying much more than you expected.
But this is not the case with a custom Shopify theme! A custom built theme is written with taking your plans for future growth into account, making it easier and less time-consuming for future developers to jump into the codebase in order to make further customizations and expansions. Moreover, it is also less expensive to hire a developer for integrating a particular functionality with your theme.
Value for Money:
Although a custom Shopify theme does cost considerably higher than a pre-built theme, it definitely offers good value for your money in terms of scalability, branding, and control. In fact, there’s really no comparison between an expensive custom theme and a relatively inexpensive readymade theme if we consider all the amazing features and functionalities offered by a custom-built Shopify theme.
Pre-designed Shopify themes are cheaper but a cheaper option doesn’t necessarily represent the best value. Also, it doesn’t necessarily mean less hassle when it comes to making customizations and integrating new functionalities. So, if cost is not a big concern to you and you want something that differentiates your online store from the crowd, going with a custom Shopify theme would definitely prove a worthy investment for you.