One of the most incredible aspects of Shopify is the full customization potential. There are a million add-ons you can use to increase functionality and automation within your store, for example, and you can accept multiple different payment plans. You can also create a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind store that looks exactly how you see fit. This is thanks to your Shopify theme.
Shopify themes are what determines how your store looks, dictating your layout. It’s what prevents your store from looking like something that was created in the early 2000’s to a store that looks modern, up-to-date, and established.
There are paid and custom themes for brands, but there are also plenty of high-quality, professional-grade free themes, too. In this post, we’re going to take a look at the best free Shopify themes to enhance your virtual storefront in 2020.
Before We Get Started…
There are a number of different free Shopify themes that you can find online through third-party creators, which can be downloaded from the creator’s site. You want to be careful to ensure that these are high-quality enough that you’ll be able to keep your store going.
Many of these themes on this list were created by Shopify directly, and all have the following features:
- Theme support from the creator
- Optimized for mobile-first or mobile-friendly designs
- Drop-down navigation support
- Built-in styles and color palettes
- Free updates
- Customizable sections on the home page
Note that on the bottom we included some themes that often show up in the best Shopify theme lists but have too many issues for us to count them as the best choices at this time.
The Best Free Shopify Themes
If you have a starter inventory or a starter store and are looking for something pretty bare-bones as far as design goes, Shopify’s Simple could be a good choice for you.
This theme comes with three different looks (“light,” “beauty,” and “toy”). “Light” is pictured above, and “toy” is pictured below.
This Shopify theme has some great native features built in, including an accordion-style sidebar menu for easy product display, strong product image zoom when users hover over a product, animations for product and brand images on pages, and product recommendations tools to increase discoverability and purchase add-ons.
Brooklyn is an excellent choice if you want to go for a modern-but-classic Shopify theme. It’s straightforward but it looks outstanding, and with two theme options (“classic” pictured second, and “playful” pictured first), there is a lot of flexibility here.
Brooklyn was designed for modern eCommerce clothing stores, but many brand-oriented businesses can benefit from using this theme. It’s got a larger-than-typical header slideshow to highlight products or brand imagery on your home page. You can also add a YouTube or Vimeo video here without the use of any additional plugins.
Two of the best features for this free Shopify theme, aside from the video ability, are their dynamic product grid and their slide out cart.
With the product grid, the layout of products will change automatically depending on how many are displayed. This keeps your page looking full without being overwhelming and can help customers better assess their options.
The slide out cart is also great, allowing customers to add items to their cart without leaving the current page they’re viewing.
Note: Brooklyn was featured in our giant Shopify tutorial if you want to see more of it in action.
This is a simple, minimalist Shopify theme that looks great on mobile while putting gorgeous, high-quality photography front and center.
It’s going to be incredibly important to have photography of similar aesthetics here, even more than normal, or things can look out of balance quickly. If you’re shooting in neutral backgrounds, though, this could be a great choice.
The home slideshow has a great fading effect, which can help it stand out. You’ve also got “sticky” navigation here, which keeps your menus at the top of the viewer’s page as they scroll.
The grid layout features collection images at full-width, which is designed to showcase product imagery and photography.
For a free Shopify theme, this is pretty slick stuff.
Have a small inventory you want to feature well on your site? Check out Shopify’s Narrative theme.
This theme has four different styles (all of which look relatively similar), and it was built for stores with either a single product or a small number of products. If your product is your business, so to speak, this may be a good fit.
There’s a big focus on brand storytelling here, too. There’s a large “hero video” on your home page, which a fullscreen video that will auto-play.
The layout of this free theme is also designed for storytelling and product awareness, allowing you to highlight different key features quickly.
This Shopify theme name says it all: this is a minimal storefront, but minimal isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Minimalism can look clean and modern, and it can help your audience focus on what you need them to.
There are several different styles to choose from here, each of which can give you a distinct.
This free theme is equipped with a lot of features other options in this list share; home page videos, great slideshows, and product filtering abilities.
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Great Free Shopify Themes Not Made by Shopify
Thalia is the one of the non-Shopify themes on this list, but the creators have (aThemes) have a strong history of producing great themes for WordPress and Shopify.
Thalia was designed to for fashion sites, but it can work well for most storefronts selling physical goods. It has advanced search features, filters, and swatches, making it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for. Their product slideshow (which appears on the homepage) is fully responsive, so it will benefit both desktop and mobile users.
This Shopify theme is fully customizable. Switch up the color, the font, and page content as needed.
This is a nice free responsive Shopify theme that has the standard features you expect.
Also another nice advantage is that not being a free theme from Shopify you could expect your store to look a bit more unique compared to the rest.
Looking for a non-Shopify created fashion focused theme? This may be the one for you.
Fashe is a nice responsive design that originally was a paid design, so it is pretty full-featured compared to many free Shopify themes.
Free Shopify Themes with Potential but Major Flaws
Stylistically, Debut looks a lot like Brooklyn; both styles have that same clean, modern look that allows businesses to feature product and brand imagery well.
Some of the features are similar, too; there’s a larger-than-life slideshow so you can feature multiple images on your page, and the option to add a homepage video.
That’s essentially where the native similarities end, however. This free theme was designed for small inventories, though it does still have strong product filtering and recommendation features.
Debut also has a great predictive search feature, which displays live search results and quick links, and native customer testimonial features. It also comes with a promotional banner that you can use to promote sales, promotions, or discounts at the very top of your home page.
Debut Theme Issues
Some of the more common complaints include:
- Lack of flexibility
- Poorly designed product page
- Responsiveness issues
Many of the complaints are from 2019 but since Shopify does not have a transparent list of product updates and bug fixes (at least none I can find) it is unclear if the issues all remain today in 2020.
If you have a small, relatively simple inventory and are looking for a basic design and to get your shop up fast, this may be the theme for your Shopify store.
This theme was designed with food companies in mind, including small restaurants that allow online ordering or those that ship items to their customers. If you want to shoot for a one-page store, however, it could be adapted well to suit your purpose.
The “express” part applies to customers, too. They can quickly add items to their cart with a single click and not leaving the page to see a “view cart” option. You can break your products into different categories for easy viewing and organization.
Express Theme Issues
Some of the more common complaints include:
- Only displays first image and ignore others
- No support for variant images
If you have a food related store though, this may still be a great choice for your Shopify theme.
Supply is another Shopify-created theme, and it’s designed for businesses with large inventories. If you want to be creating large collections and need outstanding filtering abilities so that your customers can find exactly what they’re looking for, this can be a solid choice.
It comes in two different color variations: “light” and “blue.” It comes with the option to add a slideshow banner at the top of your homepage to feature specific products or promotions if you choose.
Supply Theme Issues
Some of the more common complaints include:
- Issues with responsiveness
- Bugs and performance issues
If you’re looking for a free Shopify theme, these eight are all safe choices, and the remaining ones could be good if you can live with the flaws.
There’s enough theme selection here that you can likely find what you’re looking for.
If you haven’t fallen in love with something here, though, remember that free Shopify themes aren’t your only choice; there are plenty of great paid options as well.
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