Choosing an eCommerce Theme and 15 of the Best eCommerce Themes for WordPress (2018)
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More and more businesses are opening stores online — and it’s not just brand new businesses, with even old and established brick-and-mortar players now understanding the importance of having an online presence.
Getting online customers to actually make a purchase on your website, however, requires proper planning. In the few seconds a mouse hovers over your homepage, you’ve got to tempt the visitor to stay longer, look around more and, most importantly, buy!
In this article, we’ll cover a few of the most critical things to consider, how to choose an appropriate ecommerce theme for your site, and finish up with a brief look at 15 of the best WordPress ecommerce themes on the market.
Let’s get started.
Imagine yourself in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. The salesman would invite you in and persuade you to check out a product in ambient surroundings. The decor, the lighting, and the entire product presentation platform would all be designed to highlight the product. The salesman would likely try to get across to you why you should buy the product, and point out the great value proposition it presented. He would also compare his product to other similar products, and explain why you should buy from him and not from the store further along the road.
Now, all this, which the salesman does in the few minutes you spend in his shop, your website’s homepage must do in the first few seconds after a new visitor arrives.
It absolutely must do enough for the visitor to stick around — if not, all is lost!
How to Convince a Visitor
The short answer is product presentation. The product display on your store pages must be eye-catching enough to cause the mouse to linger. The images must be sharp, viewable from different angles and zoomable. The product description must be comprehensive, but concise. Product comparisons and prices must be readily available to a prospective buyer.
If you can’t convey value proposition well, you can’t begin to hope for a reasonable conversion rate. A good ecommerce thrives on displaying a product catalog in a manner that entices a buyer. Combining a smashing product display with top-notch navigation within your website means you’ve given yourself a fighting chance of running a profitable ecommerce business. And this is where WordPress themes can excel.
Why WordPress for Ecommerce?
Chances are, you’re not going to build the next Amazon, in which case WordPress will almost certainly be your best bet. (Note: If you’re still undecided on the exact platform to use, take a look at this earlier post of ours before continuing.) If you have, or intend to start, a small business that will cater to less than a few million every year, or if you already have a WordPress site for your business, adding an ecommerce component to the equation is remarkably easy.
Keep in mind that content marketing is an incredibly popular mechanism to increase conversion rates. And adding blog pages is a surefire way to improve customer connect. WordPress is a neat publishing platform and can handle these functions exceedingly well.
Ecommerce Plugins for WordPress
If you’re running an online store, you’ve almost certainly heard of WooCommerce. An incredible WordPress ecommerce plugin that’s by far the most dominant player — currently powering more than 37% of all online stores — WooCommerce is simply superb! What’s more, it’s now under the management of, and is being actively developed by, the very same company behind WordPress.com: Automattic. This means it’s not only super reliable, but also an absolutely solid long-term bet!
In the interests of fairness, however, it needs to be said that WooCommerce isn’t the only WordPress ecommerce plugin around — and, for some sites, it may not even be the ideal one to use. Other WordPress ecommerce plugins to consider include iThemes Exchange, MarketPress eCommerce, WP eCommerce, Cart66 Cloud and Easy Digital Downloads. (Note: Here’s a handy article to read for more info on each.)
Choosing an Ecommerce Theme for WordPress
The choice of ecommerce themes is truly vast. On ThemeForest alone (by far the most popular place to buy WordPress themes), you’ll find close to 1,000 ecommerce WordPress themes to choose from. This can be both liberating and overwhelming, if not downright confusing.
So how do you pick the best ecommerce theme for your website?
The theme you pick should represent your business — and in a manner that enhances your brand identity. In most cases, it will be better to keep the theme simple, retaining only features that are important to your website. Remember: It’s your product that must be in the spotlight, not the theme.
Four important things to keep in mind:
- When in doubt, remember: User experience first, last and always.
- Tailor your customer experience and personalize the theme you use to reflect your brand. Ensure the theme is malleable enough to accommodate these changes.
- Compatibility with the market standard ecommerce plugins is essential.
- While many interesting layouts are possible, it’s safer to stick with familiar layouts for stores. Shoppers have come to expect a certain kind of format for stores, and if you stray too far from familiar presentations, they may find it hard to browse. A simple test would be to see if a user can find their way, even if the site is in an unknown language. That’s the desired degree of visual familiarity.
What Else to Look for in an Ecommerce Theme?
The other must-haves include:
- Free or Paid: Competent free themes are available for ecommerce, but I’d rather pick a premium theme any day over a free one for two reasons. (1) Premium themes are generally more secure as they’re updated more often, and security holes and bugs are fixed regularly in the updates. (2) Premium themes offer better support.
- Responsive: The world is moving to mobile, so it’s imperative your theme looks good on such devices. In fact, you should go for a mobile-first approach as most browsing now happens on mobile. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the larger screens, as most sales or conversions happen on them, but a theme must be perfectly responsive, sizing down precisely to smaller devices. Touch optimization is a welcome feature.
- Navigation: The route from landing page to checkout must be clear, and a visitor must find his or her way within the website without hesitation, wherever he or she lands on your site. Mega menus do the task well enough, but sticky headers, arrows, and call-to-action buttons can all help. The shopper must move within the website intuitively, without having to figure out his or her next click.
- Security: The theme must afford maximum security, and this is particularly important for cart functions. While a lot of this is dependent on hosting, SSL and plugins, the theme itself can minimize security issues. Divi (an extremely popular multipurpose theme from Elegant Themes), for example, is a holder of the Safe Seal by Sucuri, and this is a matter of comfort for Divi users.
- Speed: A speedy website is of utmost importance to online stores. Shoppers are impatient, and if they have to wait for a product to load, they’ll simply move their mouse away to a different website. Animations and scrollers are a drag on page speed, so you must use them sparingly. You can also speed up your website by making sure you’re using an appropriate ecommerce hosting provider, a Content Delivery Network (more info) and image optimization, and by generally tweaking it to include only what’s really necessary (to lessen the amount of data required to load each page).
- Support for plugins: The theme must support the plugins you need for your site. Complete integration with WooCommerce or other ecommerce/other plugins is important.
- Social Sharing: Word of mouse translates into visits, and visits convert into sales. So social media integration is vital. If users can log in from social media accounts, all the better.
- Translation: If you want to sell the world over or to a varied demographic group, the theme must be ready for translation.
Fifteen of the Best WordPress Ecommerce Themes on the Market:
Now that we have a fair idea of what to look for in an ecommerce theme, let’s take a look at some of the best WooCommerce/WordPress themes around.
With Shopkeeper, you can simply adopt a prebuilt page from among the many that come with the theme. Or, if you wish to be adventurous and start from scratch, the advanced theme options will help you to create the page that best reflects your store’s brand. The theme is a delight for developers too, as they can put together a website in no time at all for different clients using prebuilt layouts, numerous design elements and customization options. The feature-rich and multiple style header will prove handy here for sure.
Almost every store function — from product display to shipping — is taken care of. Two premium plugins, Visual Composer (which helps with page building) and Revolution Slider (for slideshow display), are bundled with the theme, making it a good-value proposition.
Updated only in early June, Atelier is now better than ever, and its improved WooCommerce and Visual Composer compatibility means users can set up shop without any hassle. The 12 demos can also be imported easily and adopted for your store.
Ten types of header with animation options and four different product layout options (each with their own variations) can help to display your store’s products to advantage. The cart experience for purchasers is smooth, with visual cues leading them to checkout. The four cart styles can animate in five ways, and take away the tedium of making payments. The theme is quick-loading and fully optimized for search engines.
Gravity Forms is styled to match the theme, and you can add them almost anywhere on the website, so users can reach out at any stage of the shopping process. If it’s a chain of shops or multiple brands you’re looking at, don’t fret: Atelier is multisite compatible, so, if you wish, you can have a separate site for each brand, shop or chain — or for each language.
With a sales figure touching 28,000, Flatsome is the best-selling WooCommerce theme on ThemeForest.
Searching for products on the website from any device is a delightful experience with this theme, as it includes touch-optimized sliders and product carousels. Attractive display of products are possible with CSS animated banners, parallax banners, video banners and sliders, predefined and animated banners, and built-in Quick View.
The theme offers a number of options, which you can add according to requirement — Facebook login, quick zoom of product images, live search for products, sticky headers for easy navigation, unlimited forms and ‘wishlist’ or ‘like’ features. A catalog display option is also on offer, hiding the prices and shopping functionality. An important requirement for ecommerce themes is unlimited sidebars and widget areas, and you’ll find these are possible with Flatsome.
PSD files and child themes are included, and access to online documentation is allowed, so developers have a lot of flexibility with the theme. The authors also offer one-on-one email support.
MayaShop uses a lot of white space to put the focus back on the product. Similar to the other themes discussed here, it comes with prebuilt layouts, sliders, and customization options. Eight homepage sliders are packed with the theme.
The cart is a bit oversized, so shoppers can keep an eye on the items piling up in it, and each product can be tagged. When the mouse hovers over the product thumbnail, a small popout at the bottom shows what to do next — add to cart, pick a size or read more about an out-of-stock product. Shoppers can compare products before adding to cart, and a search option can be turned on in the header.
The Retailer is a high-quality ecommerce theme that’s quite the favorite with store owners. A good number of prebuilt pages can help even a novice get started with building a website, and then go on to customize it from the powerful theme options panel. You can refer to the step-by-step guides and video walkthroughs whenever you hit a hurdle, and Visual Composer is also included in the theme for free, which can lend a hand with visual page building.
This theme helps you manage a store almost single-handedly, as it supports with collecting payments, managing inventory, and tracking orders and customers, as well as keeping you up to date with store performance using built-in reports. Under every listing, you can also display related products.
The prebuilt pages can be used for other websites as well (not necessarily just ecommerce websites), in which case you can opt to hide the ecommerce feature.
Kallyas is a multipurpose WordPress theme that you can use across multiple niches, including ecommerce. Visual Builder is included in the theme, more than 100 elements to suit any application are available, and you can find just the one you want using the live search feature. After you’ve designed a page, you can save any part of it or the whole page for future use.
The shop-specific features in this theme include homepages designed specially for shops, sliders and carousels for product display, category with sidebars, product pages, shopping cart, checkout process and customer accounts. Many features for use by online stores find a place among the drag-and-drop elements — Google Maps, pricing tables, contact forms, image boxes and more.
The new addition to layout, ‘Modern’, can pretty much be adopted as such by shops. It provides for new product listings, product page layouts, and general WooCommerce layouts. Kallyas is SEO ready, and, with an eye on site speed, loads just the required resources.
Neighborhood is a theme that comes packed with ecommerce-inspired design features to help you build a trendy online store. It trains its focus on providing superlative customer experience, and so you’ll find that the theme, besides being responsive, is touch optimized. All the sliders incorporate swipe functionality, so browsing from any device is easy.
Neighborhood comes with the Swift framework and Swift page builder, so if the 19 prebuilt pages aren’t to your taste, you can easily change them. An optional wishlist can be included on your store’s website — users can add products to the wishlist via the product page or using thumbnails, and then access the wishlist from the header or through their account.
To merely display products without actually putting them on sale, you can opt to hide the cart and checkout features. One feature in particular that shoppers will find useful is the super search or personal shopper feature, which allows them to apply filters to up to six different fields, and then assign attributes to these fields. Customers can then access super search to find the products using a natural language form.
The 20 pre-made layouts and the Divi Builder included in Divi make it a favorite with WordPress users. The layouts can be customized, and the Divi Builder and the 46 content modules will help you to build your website visually. The theme includes multiple header options — you can center your logo or create multiple menu areas and more — and you can check if you’ve got it right by making use of the live preview feature.
Among the 46 content modules, check out the shop module in particular. This gives you the whole range of features to build a fully-fledged online store. Divi is entirely translatable, and has already been translated into 32 languages. The fully translated Divi Builder interface will make it easy for users, and readers can also access it in the available languages. The front end and the builder interface can be RTL enabled.
The Divi Builder bundles an integrated split testing and conversion rate optimization system, from which you can obtain statistics that can offer valuable insights for your store. You can compare different versions of the same page to check out which works best for you, and split testing can be applied to every aspect of your website building, so you can arrive at the best model.
The theme has been awarded the Safe Theme Seal by Sucuri.
Price: Divi can be purchased as part of membership packages from Elegant themes that cost between $69 (Personal Package) and $249 (Lifetime Access).
Store is a multipurpose ecommerce Theme from Obox Themes. It’s designed to be suitable for all online stores, however big or small. It comes stacked with customer-friendly features — one-page checkout, rating by customers, shipping calculations (so there are no unpleasant surprises at checkout), interlinking products for a better browsing experience, and many more. The hero widget will allow you to show up to five different ecommerce categories on your homepage.
The theme is fully optimized for SEO, and the product page is designed to increase conversions. Featured products and categories, related products, product ratings, good social integration and the option to sell items through Facebook fan page with the addition of a plugin, make it easier to convert a search into a purchase.
A choice of fonts, the use of visual customization, uploading custom headers and changing options in the theme settings panel will help you to create the look you want for your site. The ability to embed videos easily and resize images using the WordPress image resizer will take away the drudgery of having to resize images manually for your product pages and elsewhere on your website.
Price: $79 ($139 if you want to add priority support).
Bazar Shop theme pays a lot of attention to the product pages, and you can post multiple images of your product with zoom effect. Besides the ratings and product description tab, you also have a product inquiry tab with a contact form, so a visitor can make inquiries about the product without leaving the page. The related products tab also finds a place in the product page, and the custom tab allows you to add custom content about the product.
Eight slider types can be used, including the premium revolutionary slider. The width and height of each slider are customizable, and they can be used in multiple locations such as the header and in individual pages. Any number of header images are possible, and you can display offers or products as static images or on a slider within the header. The footer width can be adjusted as desired, and the layout can be boxed or stretched, with or without sidebar. All these options mean it’s possible to get your website layout to match your exact preference.
Two custom checkout pages are available, and a pop out can be used to catch attention for any special offers, sales or news. Custom login page for customers and a shortcode manager with 300-plus shortcodes are bundled with the theme. (Note: Not sure what shortcodes are?) Unlimited sidebars, easy navigation and efficient product display make Bazar an ideal theme for shops.
Aurum is a minimalistic and fast-loading theme for WordPress stores. It has four demo versions that you can simply import and adopt — Online Bookstore, TechShop, Jewelry and Fashion — and other stores can adopt these templates as well. It makes use of high-quality images, fonts and text, and a welcome page receives visitors and directs them to the regional store that’s closest to them.
The header comes in many variants, including a transparent one that will add effect to parallax backgrounds, and stores can adopt this combination to their advantage. Aurum is touch optimized, and so viewing the products on a carousel is a pleasant experience. The YITH Wishlist, the custom search page with content filters and breadcrumb navigation are all shopper-friendly features present in the theme.
Using content blocks or sliders, you can display limited products right in the homepage. Latest products, popular products or special offers can be displayed prominently here, and the homepage can also carry a few popular blog posts to draw attention to specific products or promotional offers, or anything that’s of topical interest.
GoodStore is another premium ecommerce theme that finds favor with stores on the internet. It allows you to choose from six different headers and 22 different layouts, which you can simply import with a click. If nothing takes your fancy, you can try your hand at building a page with the Revo page builder that comes with the theme.
The theme is multisite compatible, and is already translated into 14 languages, making it suitable for shops selling in multiple countries. It’s easy to manage inventory and build and display a portfolio with GoodStore. The JAW slider will help you to create simple sliders that can be used for display, 50-plus shortcodes are included, and the shortcode editor will help you to perfect the look of your website. Widgets and pictures can be added to the menu using the JAW plugin that’s included. To manage content blocks for advertisement, you have the advertisement manager, and you can even place a banner between posts.
It supports many plugins, and all the recommended plugins can be updated with a single click.
North is quite a complete ecommerce theme. The full page slider on the homepage combines with a few parallax elements for a stunning presentation, but North isn’t just about looks — it also creates a wonderful online customer experience. The account pages for customers are unique and include a wishlist, while the products, when featured on the full-screen layout, can tempt a customer to add to cart.
North is a good-value purchase as it includes six super functional premium plugins worth $161: Visual Composer, Slider Revolution, WooCommerce Product Filter, WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing and Discounts, WooCommerce PDF Invoice and WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping. So, there’s deep integration with WooCommerce and the result is a super functional store.
Storefront is a WooCommerce theme from WooThemes, and it comes to WordPress users absolutely free. It’s designed by Automattic, the same folks who built the WordPress platform and the WooCommerce plugin, and offers an efficient platform for online shopping.
To date, it has been downloaded 774,327 times, which gives you an idea of just how popular this theme is. Now, this is a bit of a bare-bones theme, meaning it’s kept intentionally light to perform core ecommerce functions with great efficiency, but it gives you the room to add functions as you please to a rock-solid platform. If you do want to add functions, you simply have to look in the extensions offered by WooThemes.
Using the child themes, you can change the look of your website. This theme is ideal for store owners who would like to run a lean and efficient online store, offering a base from which they can start building their website and the option to add on just the features they need — with no excess baggage to slow it down.
WooPress is yet another impressive ecommerce theme. It shares many of the features discussed in the themes above, such as layouts, and headers and footers, with customization possibilities to help you get the look and feel you want for your website.
The theme is fast-loading, and is designed to attractively display products. A number of premium plugins, such as Visual Composer, Master Slider, Slider Revolution, Essential Grid and Live Chat, are bundled with the theme.
A Few Parting Tips
This list of themes will hopefully have given you a fair idea of how to select the ideal theme for your store. When zeroing in on a theme, however, always have the specific needs of your own website in mind.
If a theme you’re looking at displays a lot of images and you don’t yet have any top-class images of your own to replace those in the demo, either a) get some asap, or b) consider a theme that works with lesser or smaller images and highlights other aspects, such as text, videos or product features, instead.
Most importantly: Don’t rush into making a decision until you’re sure! Keep in mind that a well-thought-out online presence can have a huge impact on the bottom line — so be sure to get everything just right before diving in!
Used/using any of these themes? Any other ecommerce tips?