In the business of selling, whether online or in a more traditional, physical store, appearance is important to attract customers, build an image, and eventually, foster customer trust.
A sloppy presentation of products could give a bad lasting impression. Shopify allows you to change the appearance of your store to your advantage using pre-made themes.
Today, you will learn more about the Shopify Minimal theme. We will discuss the following in this Shopify Minimal theme review:
- Why is a theme important?
- Shopify Minimal theme styles
- Shopify Minimal theme main features
- Shopify Minimal theme other features
- How to customize Shopify Minimal theme
- Pros and Cons of Shopify Minimal theme
- What people think of Shopify Minimal theme
- How does it compare to other themes?
Let us get started!
Why is a theme important?
Themes are templates which allow you to easily add and edit the content of your website. They spare you the hassle of determining a good design on your own.
You do not need any coding knowledge. Your choice of theme is crucial since the appearance of your shop is a huge factor in attracting your desired customer niche.
Shopify’s collection of themes is diverse. Some are rather flashy while others are simple. They may be available for free or for a fee. There are also third-party themes which are not powered by Shopify.
Once you choose a theme, you may not change it as you would the background on your smart phone. All of your uploads will be disregarded and you will have to start from zero.
To add to the difficulty of choosing, the options seem endless and it would be difficult to find the ideal one.
This review will help you make an informed choice and it will explore one of the simplest but most beautiful free themes. There are many themes in Shopify, nine of which are free.
Some theme features are unique to certain themes so picking a theme is not only a matter of determining how your online store looks. This review will focus on Minimal and will touch upon comparisons with other themes.
The Shopify Minimal Theme is a free theme which allows the buyer to focus on the products of a store rather than its aesthetics. Its focus is more on functionality and it will not be so difficult to load on slower internet connections.
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Shopify Minimal theme styles
All themes have styles to choose from. Styles showcase not only different color schemes to match the aesthetic you want. They may also offer different functionalities which may help you build your online store.
The Shopify Minimal Theme has three styles: Vintage, Fashion, and Modern. All of these feature different color palettes from one another.
They have different appeals while keeping the presentation neat and clutter-free. They also differ in what may be featured in the homepage.
This style features slightly warmer undertones compared to the other two styles. The font has a classic feel and the font color is warm-toned. The background is off-white.
At the top of the body of the webpage are sliders. At first glance, these sliders would immediately catch your eye. It is the perfect space in the shop to post announcements and promotions.
The next area is the blog. Below the blog are two rows for the products. At the bottom of the layout, you may put the featured product. There is no option in this style for featuring collections.
This style is great for small to medium-sized product ranges.
Having a more neutral color palette, this style offers a no-nonsense layout. It has a more sophisticated font and color scheme. The background is a plain white.
It allows you to highlight your products with collections. It has huge sliders for adding bigger photos. The succeeding portions of the layout allows you to add two different collections with one row each.
Below are two spaces which you can use for adding pictures or maps. This style may be more suitable for stores with very few product collections.
The Modern style features olive undertones and has a more earthy feel. Like the first two styles, it showcases a simple font.
There is no extra space for the blog because the appeal of this style is more visual. The slider is shorter and the additional space allows you to maximize the presentation of your collections.
A maximum of 8 collections may be added. This would be optimal for stores with a wide variety of products.
Shopify Minimal theme main features
The Shopify Minimal Theme possesses features which are not present in other free themes. The following are some of those features.
They allow you to customize the presentation of your product while giving your buyers some ease of navigation around your online store.
1. Home Page Video
This feature allows you to highlight a video from Youtube or Vimeo at your homepage, and make it one of the first things your buyers see.
It is perfect for businesses that utilize video marketing strategies through demo videos or brand videos. It is also a great way to let buyers know more about your brand.
Not all themes have this and Minimal is one of the few that do.
2. Product Filtering
Filtering allows buyers to more easily find what they are looking for based on what they want and need. You may also customize how the search results may be narrowed down such as by brand, price, date, and other filters.
This feature is not available in other themes and is ideal for fashion stores that release new products by the season.
3. Product Image Zoom
With this feature, the customer may hover the mouse on an image to zoom-in on it. This feature is common in online shopping sites like Amazon.
It allows customers to more easily examine the product before buying them.
This is a great feature for shops whose products give emphasis on design. The zoom-in feature may allow customers to see any intricacies and appreciate fine craftsmanship or production.
It also helps ensure the authenticity of certain products.
4. Show Related Products
You would not need to manually search for related products to link to your shop as this feature automatically does it for you.
This is a common feature in almost all major online store giants like AliExpress and eBay. This makes your website easier to browse. Medium-sized to larger inventories would benefit from this feature.
Slideshows allow you to present a lot of information at once while keeping the interface of your shop clean and stylish.
You can easily showcase your bestsellers or new products. You may customize the slideshow feature by adding images or banners.
This feature also allows the images to be clickable for easy accessibility.
Even if this theme is product-centered, this slideshow feature my also help build the image of the store.
The seller may benefit from this with the right strategy and by ensuring that the slideshow does not distract from the products.
Shopify Minimal theme other features
While the features are specific to the theme, these other functionalities would also be within your reach and would make it more convenient to customize and style your store.
Some of these are intuitive while others are welcome additions for optimizing your shop’s visibility.
1. Color Palettes
Although the theme already has a set color scheme based on the style you chose, you may pick colors you find suitable.
To customize the background of your shop or any other element of its design, you may choose from the color palette. You can hover over a color to select it.
2. Frequently Asked Questions
This theme allows you to add a page for questions frequently asked by customers. This lessens the time you may spend on answering e-mails and increases customer confidence.
This allows you to put any important or required information in your site. Apart from adding your contact information in this area, you may also add links to help you with your branding.
4. Home Page Customization
With this feature, you may control the overall feel of your shop. It is a convenient marketing tool which allows you guide your buyers to what you want them to see.
You have the option to add or remove any element such as the footer. You can also add a map to your physical store.
5. Map application
If you wish to share the location of your store, you can add the map application.
The address of your store can easily be shared and the application can provide directions to your store without your customer having to open Google Maps.
The reality is that not all buyers access online stores through their desktops or laptops. Many go shopping while on their handheld devices.
All Shopify themes are mobile-friendly. This means that they allow your store to be visually pleasing on mobile.
An added value of the Minimal theme would be the customer’s ease in scrolling through the mobile version of your store.
It is also easy to load which is an added bonus for those who access websites through their mobile data.
7. Payment channels
You may easily share your preferred payment options with this theme. Like all other Shopify themes, you can choose from hundreds of payment channels.
8. Search Engine Optimization
With this feature, you can add text in the description of your products or search tags to make your store more easily searchable on search engines. Shopify themes are equipped with this function.
9. Stock photos by Burst
Stock photos are great if you are in a hurry and want to ensure that the images you add are still aesthetically-pleasing. Minimal gives you access to some stock photos offered by one of Shopify’s partners.
How to customize Shopify Minimal theme
Apart from choosing a theme, you also have the option to edit the code of your theme to change its appearance. For those who prefer to edit their store based on look and feel, here is a simple guide.
We begin with the topmost portion of your webpage, the header. From the home screen upon log-in, go to Online Store.
From Themes, select Minimal then Customize. Click on Theme settings then finally, Header.
This is the part of the page where you can put identifying information such as your logo. The custom logo must have dimensions of 450 x 200 pixels.
What you add in this portion affects the first impression of your customers so it is better to keep it simple and sweet.
You can also make it functional and user-friendly by adding links to the main pages of your online store.
This area is not for uploading new content. It contains settings which let you share your content on social media.
Enabling social media sharing allows your buyers to share their finds on social media. This is an effective marketing tool given the wide reach of social media sites.
To customize this area, from Theme settings go to Product page.
As mentioned earlier, this feature is not available in all themes and may be used strategically. To access the settings, from Theme settings, go to Slide show.
You are given the option to adjust several elements such as button style, slide height, slide headings, among others.
You may adjust the tempo of the slide show as well by adjusting the rotation and time gap of the slides.
You may edit this area by clicking on Online store> Themes. From there, select Minimal and then Customize. Select Sections then finally, Video.
You may link either a Youtube or Vimeo video.
A panel would then appear on your homepage for the video so buyers would not be redirected to the actual video site. Buyers have the option to share the video on social media.
This is a great tool to allow buyers to browse through your products by category. Not all styles may feature collections.
For the styles that do, you may edit the featured collection and edit the featured products by going to Customize > Sections > Featured collection.
You may show or hide any information you want such as what products are in stock.
Pros and Cons of Shopify Minimal theme
The features of the Minimal theme are quite promising for both new and experienced sellers. We gave the theme a quick look and we also saw how it may be customized.
We must now delve into more reasons why you should or should not use this theme for your store.
Here are some advantages this theme:
The Minimal theme is for those who want a clear presentation of their products. It is tidy. Your customers will not get distracted. Depending on what you are selling, the theme can also make your products look more luxurious.
It is free also and is perfect for the seller on a budget. You do not have to pay for the theme every month. A free theme does not mean that it is a poorer choice to a paid theme.
It is easy to customize and you would not need to have coding knowledge to make your shop look presentable.
Your customers may sign-up for the newsletter where you can send promos and information on new products directly to your customers’ e-mails. This function may be found at the lower part of the theme. Newsletters are a great way to establish a relationship with your customers.
You may also add a blog. Your entries are shareable on social media. This feature helps you establish your branding as an online store. Not all themes allow you to add a blog.
Minimal is also one of the most reliable and established themes. Many Shopify users still use this theme.
Here are some disadvantages:
You do not have the full freedom to customize the appearance of your online store. You do not have many design options.
It is possible that the look of your store would be very similar with others. This poses some risks because customers might associate your store with their bad experiences with other stores with a similar look and feel.
This problem may be easily fixed by customizing your store and making it look more individual.
Though the available features are great, they are not many, either. Premium themes may have a feature for quick buy or for allowing your Instagram feed to be visible on the store. Those features, though, may not be for everybody.
There are only a few navigation tools. One such tool is a sidebar. Because of this, it would be harder to find products if the inventory is large.
The advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages. Simplicity is the main focus of the Minimal theme. If you want to be able to customize more or feature more products, this theme is not for you.
What people think of Shopify Minimal theme
The Shopify Minimal theme received mostly favorable reviews. It received an overall rating of 86% positive.
It has 74 positive reviews and 6 negative reviews. It is established as one of the go-to themes on Shopify. More than 15,000 websites use this theme.
A positive review stated that the theme helped improve her speed score. Another review stated that any issues with the theme were easily resolved by professional support.
There was one complaint that the theme is not mobile-friendly. Other complaints mentioned that the icons for social media are replaced with numbers and that some colors do not appear on the page.
Both concerns may be easily remedied by ensuring that the uploaded content is compatible with the theme. Any concerns regarding the theme may also be relayed to the Shopify team.
How does it compare to other themes?
Minimal is more of a product-focused theme. It allows buyers to easily navigate through a decent selection of products.
It is not for every store. A good seller should consider the content of his or her store before picking a theme.
For stores which focus more on other aspects, here are some suggestions:
Stores with a larger selection of products would benefit more from the Supply theme which allows users to more easily browse through huge inventories.
Unlike Minimal, it has a sidebar which makes filtering even easier. You can also feature multiple rows of products. A wide range of products can easily be organized because of the filtering system.
Another option for large collections is Simple. It is a bit duller than Minimal but has a more aesthetic appeal than Supply.
It also has some features which are similar to Minimal such as product image zoom. A major difference would be the ability to add image animations in Simple.
Because of its versatility, you can use this theme for any kind of product.
Brooklyn is more focused on branding. It provides options to show more photos which could be maximized by adding high-quality photos which give emphasis to the look and feel of a brand.
It is stylish and makes the store seem hip and contemporary. Because of the focus on aesthetic, it is an ideal theme for clothing and accessory brands.
For stores with smaller catalogs and for a better focus on the story behind products and the store, Narrative would be the better option.
The images in this theme are larger and the view of the store is wide. It allows for users to be more immersed. It is a better option for inventions or one-product stores.
Overall, I give this theme a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is functional, easy, and most of all, it is completely free.
Shopify Minimal theme review summary
In order to sell, your online store does not need a fancy theme. It needs a theme which is compatible to your content and to the kind of branding you want for your store.
For a no-nonsense and product-focused user experience, Minimal does the job. You have excellent features such a product image zoom and slideshows.
You also have the option of adding your collections. You are also able to add social media buttons for easy sharing. These features make it ideal for a decent range of product types such as handicrafts and clothing.
The downside to this theme is the fact that not many navigation features are available. You also do not have complete freedom to customize your store.
This would no problem, however, for stores with a small to medium-sized inventory. For other needs, you may always browse through Shopify’s wide collection of themes.
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