Whether you are building a blog or an e-commerce store, a theme plays a crucial role on how your site visitors will respond. In an online store, your theme is responsible for page loads, bounce rate, user interface, and so much more.
In Shopify, there are thousands of these to choose from. Many are free, and there are mid-end themes that fetch for $180.
If you are just starting out a store with bootstrapped budget, the way to go is free Shopify themes. And since Brooklyn is made by Shopify—for Shopify—then it just makes perfect sense that you take we consider this one as a viable option.
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Today, I will walk you through the free Shopify Brooklyn theme. You will learn the following:
- An Overview of the Shopify Brooklyn Theme
- Shopify Brooklyn Theme Features
- What are the advantages if using the Shopify Brooklyn theme?
- My Rating
Let us get started!
An Overview of the Shopify Brooklyn Theme
The Brooklyn theme is a free Shopify theme. Unlike the Narrative theme, this is a great option of you have a lot of products to sell. The theme comes only in two styles called Classic and Playful.
There are only a few differences between the two, but first let us take a look at the similarities.
Both styles sport a wide hero banner, or what we also call slider. The sliders occupy the entire screen width, which puts the white space to good use. It is bold, eye-catching, and can easily tell your site visitor what your business is about.
Large hero banners like this also puts you in a position to use large photos and images without the fear of them getting cropped.
You can capitalize on this by using full-width photographs that showcase your product line, or a single-product that shows lifestyle or minimalism. It is completely up to you.
The only difference between the two styles is the collection pages. In the Classic style, the Collections, which are clickable photos, sit side by side. You can add another section with three collections, but the photos are smaller.
Take a look at this Classic collections structure.
In the Playful style, one collection has a large photo format, and the rest are placed beside that primary collection, with smaller photos.
Here it is:
As you can see, you have to choose a theme that fits how you want to present your collection on your home page.
Shopify Brooklyn Theme Features
Now, it is time to take a look at the features and benefits of the theme. These features should help you decide whether the theme will serve your marketing strategy, or if it fulfils your desired user interface and usability.
Designed for large inventory
The Brooklyn theme is best used for fashion stores. The theme was designed to focus its attention to a lot of photos. Both themes allow you to create sections where one product occupies a huge slot, while the other two beside that complement it—great for upsell and cross-sell marketing strategies.
What is a slide-out cart? It is a kind of cart that a consumer can swipe to the side to make it disappear, and then bring it back on the screen again, without having to leave the page.
Why is this important?
Some customers want to check what products are already in their cart, and then decide if they want to add more, or delete some and then replace them.
In typical stores, a customer has to click on the cart button, and then click the back button to go back to the product he was looking at.
This is annoying, and it takes time because the browser has to request for that information again. With a slide-out cart, the customer can easily add that product to the cart, or check the current contents and make adjustments to his purchases.
Home Page Video
What is this?
Instead of using images for your hero banner, you can use videos. With this theme, you can actually embed videos from Vimeo or YouTube.
The video area will play your video, and yet your customer does not have to leave your website. The problem with so many themes is that when they click in YouTube video from a webpage, their phones have to open the YouTube app.
The Brooklyn theme does not do this. The video section is static, and the customer will watch it without leaving your website.
Why is this important?
If a customer leaves you website and goes to YouTube, that customer is gone. He will see an interesting YouTube video and forget about your store. People have a short attention span, so you want to keep them in your website as much as you can until they complete a purchase.
The top of the page allows you to create a slide show. What this means is that you are not limited to using one big photo at the top of your landing page. The slideshow is a great way to ale people see what you are offering, in bold format.
Dynamic Product Display
Since themes are built as templates, they have specific spots where you can place photos. The problem is, what if you only have three pictures to showcase in a row of four photo spots?
What’s gonna happen is you have three photos, and then the fourth spot is empty, and you cannot remove that blank photo space unless you know how to code.
With the Brooklyn theme, you can take advantage of the dynamic product display feature. If you only have three photos, the theme will automatically remove the fourth spot, and then re-adjust the size of your three photos so they are even and uniform.
The fourth spot will be taken off, and the three remaining photos whose sizes were adjusted will take its place.
Stock photos are costly. You have to spend at least $10 per photo. If you use this theme, and if you build your store on the Shopify platform, you are entitled to use thousands of professionally taken photos from Burst. Burst is Shopify’s partner.
Search Engine Optimization
You may have noticed that in many online platforms, you cannot alter the meta-description of your product page or your blog post. A meta-description is the snippet of test that appears below the headline.
If you cannot change this, the search will engine will default to the first line or paragraph of the web page. You do not want this. What you want is to be able to use an enticing copy for this area, and use the appropriate keywords, which you can do on this theme.
In an online store, you want to organize your product pages in neat categories. These categories make it easier for your site visitors to navigate your site.
For example, your main categories can be:
These three major categories must have other sub-categories, and these sub-categories should also be broken down further.
Here is an example:
The MEN category can have Pants, Tops, Shoes, and Watches. Under the sub-category Pants, you can further break it down to Jeans, Slacks, Shorts, and others.
You can do this with the Shopify Brooklyn theme, and ensure that your site visitors find your website easy to navigate.
With this theme, you can add social media icons that will take a site visitor to your social media pages. You can add Instagram. Facebook, and Twitter. To do this, you have to add your social media link in the areas provided.
Once a customer clicks that icon, he would be redirected to your social media page. On this page he can see how engaged other users are, and you can use this to up your marketing game plan.
The theme allows you to use a side bar. A side bar is a menu either on the left or right side of a website. It is a static area that shows on every page with the same information.
Store owners and bloggers use the side bar to show offers on every page.
The theme, like all other Shopify free themes, have a default email subscription form. If a customer subscribes, you will capture his email address and you can send promotional materials.
The default term used for this email subscription for is Newsletter, but you can change it if you want to. You can also change the call to action, and add some texts to make your email subscription box much more convincing.
The theme was designed to change its format depending on the device that a site visitor is using. It will change into something that looks like an app, making it easier for the user to navigate through your website. The photos will also change in size, instead of being cropped.
These are all the features that you get with the Shopify Brooklyn theme. Again, the theme is free and was designed for Shopify, by Shopify. All the components work, and all you need to do really is to tick some boxes to activate them.
What are the advantages if using the Shopify Brooklyn theme?
There are many other themes out there, but why should you use the Shopify Brooklyn theme? What makes it so special?
Here are the benefits:
It is 100% Free
No, there is no trial period. You can use it forever. If you are just starting out your business and you have a tight budget, you need a functional free theme. Use your money on advertising instead of paying for a theme.
A good theme such as this will typically set you back $180. Advanced themes range from $300 to $500. No, you do not want to spend that money right away.
Here is the thing: paid themes come with free support only for a year. Once you are past that, you have to start paying more money if you need more support.
On this theme, you will receive free support for life. The support team can also help you with Shopify Brooklyn theme customization.
Most themes only allow you to put five collections on the landing page. This one offers nine. With nine, what I mean is you can display nine collections on the home page.
The truth is you can make more than nine collections; it is only the display that is limited.
What you can do is to create different collection pages, but showcase only the ones that mean more to you, like those that bring in the most profits, or those that are currently trending in the market.
Call to Action in Sliders
The sliders you create here come with a call to action. These are buttons inside the hero banners that your site visitors can click.
For example, your hero banner could be a photo of a man wearing a wristwatch. In that hero banner, you are showcasing your wristwatch collection.
In the call-to-action button, you can change the text and say “View this Collection” or “See More Watches”. If a site visitor clicks on that, he will be taken to your Wristwatch collection page.
Write a Blog
The blog is the most effective way of getting free traffic. You can create a blog page that contains all you blog post, to create several categories that people can browse.
Without a blog, you will have dependencies on paid advertising, which can prove to be expensive later on. Blogs are powerful because they stay on the internet forever, and they are free. You can also use your blog to provide helpful materials for your audience.
Helpful blogs will increase your credibility. And of you are credible enough, your site visitor is more likely to buy products from your store.
Currently, the theme sits at 74% positive rating from 68 reviews. No theme is perfect, and this one is not spared. However, I noticed that most of the complaints come from people who have unreasonable expectations.
For example, there was this one person who wanted to put a video on the spot where a product picture should be. Well, the theme was not designed for that. You can only use the video on the hero banner, not the product photo.
I would give it a 4.5 because it does have some limitations. On this theme, you cannot use the parallax effect—an effect where the background moves slower as the site visitor is scrolling.
My Rating for Shopify Brooklyn Theme
If you need more details, go to Shopify and see some Brooklyn theme examples.
Overall, though, anyone who is just beginning his journey in the e-commerce business must try this. It has a complete set of features that can run online store, which you can augment if you use Shopify apps.