First impressions count. In the fast-paced digital realm with smartphones and minimum attention spans, you need to grab the attention of your website visitor fast.
You also need to instill a level of confidence that you are the real deal, and that the potential customer should purchase from you rather than a competitor.
This means that the look and speed of your website are important. When it comes down to your dropship store, the theme that you choose will directly impact both of these variables.
In short, your theme (i.e, the look of your website) has to be attractive and easy to use, while also loading fast on the customer’s device.
So with the thousands of themes available, how do you find the most suitable for your dropship store?
That’s exactly what we will look into today. The following tips will help ensure that you pick the best theme for success.
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What is a Theme?
First, we should quickly summarize what a theme is. When you build your eCommerce dropship store it is likely that you will use a platform such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Shopio, and more (there are a few available).
While the platform will take care of the nuts and bolts of how your webstore works, the theme will take care of how it looks to the customer.
In other words, the theme is a pre-designed template that you load into your platform of choice, so that the “front-end”, provides a great user experience for your visitors, and helps facilitate the smooth ordering of goods and/or services.
Themes are easy to install and use and give great control to the webstore owner without the need to employ expensive web developers and administrators.
With the theme in place, you can upload your products, and if compatible, install your dropship software and payment gateways and begin making sales.
Themes have helped revolutionize how eCommerce works, opening up opportunities for those with no technical experience to start online businesses.
How to choose the best theme for your dropship store
Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing a theme for your online business.
1. Features and functionality
Long gone are the days where websites have flash animations, banners, and other unnecessary add-ons in order to maintain your attention.
In fact, an over-the-top design is not recommended at all. Simplicity and ease of use are the most important factors.
This means you should focus on what functionality you need, and choose a theme that delivers that above all else.
For example, a theme selling digital products will require different features when compared to a print-on-demand clothing store. A small website focusing on knitting with very few categories will have different requirements to an electronic webstore with thousands of options. You get the picture.
Quality user experience needs to come above flashy aesthetics. Here is some of the functionality that the best themes will provide:
- Responsive design so that they work well on mobiles and tablets as well as desktop
- Efficient code so that page load times are fast
- Simple step checkout process with visible, easy access shopping basket
- Good compatibility with eCommerce platforms, payment gateways, and dropship software
- Easy, bulk upload of product images and description
- Easy for customers to leave reviews
- Cross-sell and upsell features, including coupons and offers
- Easy navigation and product search
If the theme you choose has the majority of the above, you will be in good stead.
2. Brand Compatibility & Appropriateness
Themes are built to cater to different needs. As we mentioned above, a digital download webstore owner will have different requirements compared to someone launching a knitting store.
When searching for a theme you should ensure that the style will resonate with your target audience.
You want the audience to have a clear sense of your brand before they have even seen a product. This is all communicated in the colors used, layout, the type and style of the logo, etc.
The theme used needs to complement and enhance all of these things.
When choosing your theme pay attention to how your logo will work in the heading of the website.
What color options have the theme creators made available? Will you be using social media as part of your marketing efforts? How well can these be integrated into the theme design?
If you are starting a blog on your sales platform does the theme offer options for this?
Essentially, the look and feel of the theme need to work in harmony with your brand image. If it doesn’t, you have chosen the wrong theme.
3. Take a look at what your competitors are doing
Looking at what your competitors are doing will give you an idea of niche and industry trends and expectations.
It will also provide insight into good design and bad design, (as you will definitely come across examples of both).
Doing this research will help you see what the most effective stores are doing and where you can hopefully better that and stand out among your competition.
It will also give you insight into what you should avoid.
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4. Consider your Content Strategy
Your content strategy will help determine the requirements of your theme and which one to use.
As your theme choice is directly associated with providing a great user experience, the content you create needs to be delivered in the best possible way.
This goes beyond choosing a theme that will display your products in a clean way that aids conversion.
Will you be using video? How can this be integrated into the theme? Your blog posts, how will these look? Social media and user-generated content (including reviews or forums for discussion).
The way all of this works is related to the theme you choose. Spend time working out your content delivery needs first and then choose a theme that will facilitate this.
5. Is the theme from a reputable provider (what’s the support like?)
It is no good creating a webstore using a theme that is not updated or the developers are difficult to get hold of.
Check the level of support given to the theme. It needs to have direct support from the developing team. It should also benefit from regular updates to ensure continued security and functionality.
Any theme that has lackluster support should be avoided.
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Choosing a theme that delivers a smooth customer experience is an important step towards launching a successful eCommerce, dropship business.
Focusing on this to get it right will only benefit you in the long run. Good luck on your journey….