Is Narrative a good theme?
Shopify offers at least nine free themes. Today, we will take a look at Narrative, and I will help you decide if this theme is a great option for your e-commerce website or not.
Narrative is a theme developed by Shopify. The theme has three versions, and you can use videos on your slider or hero page.
The Narrative theme is called so because, in it, you can tell the story of your products. It has sections that allow you to put large photos and then describe each photo.
So, if you have a device for sale, you can shoot different angles of that device and tell a story.
This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
An Overview of the Shopify Narrative Theme
The Narrative theme comes with three versions, all with different color palettes and section placements, which are called templates.
The three themes are Light, Warm, and Cold. All these three themes have similar features, but some are exclusive to a particular theme style.
For all the three, the branding section is located in the top middle area. The menu button is positioned to the left, and there is a shopping cart icon to the right. Below the brand name is a slider, which is in full-width mode for all three styles.
The Light and Cold Styles
This is the style where you can use a video on the slider instead of photos. This is great for products that need a demonstration, like gadgets.
The video slider is set to automatically playback, so make sure you have a video that is long enough, so the site visitor does not get spammed.
Within that video, there is a call to action button that you can edit. This call to action button is linked to a page. Another option is text placed on top of the video, within the video slider.
After the slide, you can find sections of photos and text, which are similar to the Warm style, which we will discuss below.
The Warm Style
For this style, you can only use still images on your slider. One great feature is that you can put a series of menu options inside the slider, which is called a carousel menu. The carousel does not move; the site visitor has to swipe the carousel to view the options.
Once clicked, the website will take the site visitor to that menu page. Below the slider is a photo that showcases your product. To the right side of that is a text where you can add a product description, or write a story about that photo.
If you are selling cookies, you can use this area to show a photo of flour, and then describe the grade of flour you use for your goodies.
If not, you can use a product photo that represents a collection. However, this photo has no price tag area. This is okay, as the home page is not really designed for you to put price tags.
In fact, home pages are like warm-up sections of your store, so the absence of a price tag area is alright.
After this photo, you can add a section where you can embed a video. The video will expand if clicked, giving your customer a full-screen view of the video. The video will automatically minimize if a customer scrolls down the page.
Shopify Narrative Theme Features
The Narrative theme was designed for small businesses. It is ideal for dropshippers and e-commerce operators who have a few products to sell, like less than ten items.
The reason I am saying this is because the home page was built for highlighting the capabilities and features of your products. Unlike other themes, this one does not have a presentation style for huge product catalogs.
The theme itself does not limit the number of products that you can add, but they can get lost in your landing page because you can only tell one story at a time.
Now, let us take a look at the major features.
Also called hero pages or banners, the sliders allow you to use videos instead of photos. Videos explain more than images, and they can improve your customer’s session time since they will watch your video from start to finish.
The theme was designed to allow you to put a lot of images that will show the best qualities and features of your product. The landing page is a storytelling page where you take your site visitor from one aspect of your product to another.
For example, let us say you are selling a speaker. On each section, you can put a photo of the speakers, buttons, microphone, USB hub, and then say something about it in the text area.
Fixed Menu Navigation
The menu navigation panel of the theme is on the upper left-hand side. You cannot put this anywhere, like at the bottom of your page, top middle or top right. The designers made it this way because they know what is best for customer experience.
Typically, slideshows are horizontal, but this one is vertical. There is a section below the landing page where a customer can scroll products within that section only.
The left side of this section is a big photo, and the right side is the vertical slideshow of various products of your choosing.
If they click to view, the theme will take them to that product page.
Many themes today only occupy the middle area of the screen. This one is different. It has a wide width, and you can put the entirety of your webpage to good use. As a result, you can use a large photo format without compromising the quality of your page.
Why Should You Use the Shopify Narrative Theme
All these features put together have benefits. But on top of that, the theme developers have incorporated some more back-end features that will help you grow your business.
You do not have to depend on how the theme was arranged; you can delete or add sections as you wish.
If you do not want a scrollable vertical product carousel, you can take it off. With this capability, you can make your landing page longer or shorter, depending on what is effective for your business.
The theme knows if the person viewing your store is using a mobile device. As such, the theme will automatically change into a mobile-friendly website, making it easier for your site visitors to browse your Shopify store.
Footer and Social Media
The social media links are icons that site visitors can click. If they do that, they will be taken to your brand’s social media channel. This is how your site visitors can share your content with their friends.
In the footer area, you can also make use of Shopify’s built-in email subscription form.
Burst Free Photos
If you use this theme, you will receive access to thousands of free stock photos through Burst, Shopify’s stock photo arm.
This is great because you do not have to pay for them. Instead, you can reinvest that money into your marketing efforts.
The theme comes with a blog page, which is an important component of every website. You can post meaningful and valuable content to improve your customer’s experience, and also to drive loyalty and improve credibility in your niche.
With a blog, you can use SEO the right way, and get free traffic from search engines.
As it stands, the free Shopify Narrative theme is at 68% customer satisfaction rating with 31 reviews. Most of the complaints come from Shopify store owners who want to be able to change the code.
This theme was not made to do that. The reason it is free is that it has limitations.
I will give this 4 out of 5 stars because in some cases, the sliders do not automatically adjust from desktop to mobile view. The image gets cropped o mobile.
Overall, I would recommend this theme to store owners with one or two products with several variants. This is not a great option for big stores, especially those who are in the fashion niche.