If you are building a one product Shopify store then you will have vastly different needs from the majority of stores that have a few dozen or a few hundred products in their catalogue. There are a number of single product Shopify themes that are specifically designed for small catalogues of 1 to a few products.
So, what should we look for in a single product Shopify theme? Here are the 8 most important criteria you need to look for:
1.Single Product Layouts:
Since you only sell one product you will need to do a lot more selling. Your product page layouts will have to be different since your product descriptions will most likely include a lot more images, text and even video.
2.Story Format for One Product Stores:
One product Shopify stores are usually built around a narrative or a story. If you sell just one product you need to build a story around that product and get people to buy into the story more than the product. This has been a very successful formula for a lot of modern brands like DollarShaveClub.com.
3.No Redundant Features:
Shopify themes that are generic and can be used for any type of store usually includes a lot of redundant features. While it might be nice to have a lot of features available, if it is redundant it will just slow down your store unnecessarily.
Speed is incredibly important for any store whether you sell 1 product or 100. The challenge for single product stores is that you will most likely have to include high resolution photos, videos and even 3D that other stores probably won’t have or need.
Your theme needs to be able to handle this with ease. Speed is the name of the game and any product page that takes more than 3 seconds to load will start losing you money.
5.Easy to Edit:
Getting a one product Shopify theme that you can use out of the box is super important – especially if you are going to pay for it. Making edits can be incredibly time consuming and if you have to outsource it the costs can add up quickly.
I would recommend you find something that matches your vision as closely as possible so that you can minimize customization – especially when you first start..
6.Eliminate the need for apps:
While you can do almost anything in Shopify with Apps, you want to use apps sparingly. Most apps will slow down your store and if you have to rely on an app for basic functions of your store it can become incredibly clunky.
The cost of apps can also quickly add up and in most cases buying a theme with the essential functions as part of the app will save you a lot in the long run.
Mobile has taken over shopping and if your Shopify theme is not mobile friendly your sales will suffer. In fact, design now has to be mobile first. Do not get caught up in how beautiful your store looks when you work on your desktop. Your end users will most likely be on mobile.
This goes without saying but a single product store needs to look great. A store with a large catalogue can look quite generic as there will be a lot of visual distraction with all the products.
If you sell just 1 (or a few) products then your site needs to look incredibly professional. The smallest detail becomes important because everything about your store can and will affect sales.
Below is a list of my top 10 best single product Shopify themes. The paid themes tend to look much better and come with more features. You’d expect that. Paid themes vary from $50 all the way to $350.
Most paid one product store themes can be used out of the box with minimal edits or apps. Buying a theme is a one-off expense – unlike apps that are recurring.
If you think about it a “cheap $10/month app” actually costs you $120 per year! Add 2 or 3 of these and you quickly see why I prefer paid themes.
The only free themes I recommend are those released by Shopify themselves.
DO NOT trust free themes from 3rd parties as there is too much they can get access to through your theme.
One HUGE benefit from using a free Shopify theme is that they offer free support and if you ever do get stuck you can get help via their live chat. I’ve had Shopify do edits and fix issues for me on a free theme that would have cost hundreds if I had to outsource it.
When I evaluate a Shopify theme for a particular store I ask 3 very important questions:
- What does it look like?
- What can it do?
- Will it work for my product(s)?
In the end it boils down to whether it will look great, do whatever it needs to do and work for your particular product or products. Don’t let a price tag of $200 put you off.
You will spend a lot more than that on apps and editing by trying to make many free themes work for you – not to mention the lost revenue from a poor theme.
Cost: $0 (Free)
Narrative is probably the most popular single product Shopify theme. It is free, looks beautiful and is built for showcasing a single product. It is an official Shopify theme which means that it will always “work” and be updated as the Shopify platform updates.
The Narrative theme is designed for your product to tell its story. It allows for rich images and a very visual experience. It has a transparent navigation bar and full screen image and video options.
This allows your images to be front and center on your store.
It comes in 4 different styles and each with a unique look and feel. You can easily switch between the different styles which allows you to match your vision for your store with minimal manual edits.
Like most free themes it is very limited in how you can customize it – unless you dive deep into the CSS and layouts.
There has also been a lot of complaints of the theme not saving collections correctly and the checkout being buggy. I believe Shopify has since fixed all these issues in the latest update.
Startup is a paid theme that is specifically designed for one page stores. It allows you to build an entire “store” around your landing page and is ideal for one product stores where you need to include a lot more selling on your product page.
While the Startup theme is not officially developed by Shopify, it is endorsed by Shopify which gives it a big tick.
Startup has a very sleek and clean look and comes with 4 Styles that you can easily switch out. When you buy the Startup theme you also get free theme updates.
It has a lot of customization options that you would expect in a paid theme but it is still quite limiting in how much you can adjust your layouts. Out of the box it is still a great theme and perfect for a one product store that has a great story to tell.
The Shopify Launch theme is a premium theme and is a great option for single product stores. The theme is designed for crowdfunding products which is obviously built around one product.
If you are doing any crowdfunding on your Shopify store then the Launch theme can help you track your funding. It also has a lot of built-in tools to make sharing your crowdfunding campaign easy.
Whether you do any crowdfunding or not, this is a great single product theme that comes with 3 great styles that can easily be switched out. It allows for rich visuals and the ability to tell your product’s store.
Editing the Launch theme is really easy and you can easily edit the whole color scheme. It also allows you to built an amazing home page with tons of customizable features.
If you use this theme for your single product store then I would recommend you use your home page as your “sales page” instead of trying to focus on a product page since the home page allows you so many modules to pick and choose from.
The Parallax theme is one of the most popular single product themes for Shopify. The theme is designed for branding and allows you to tell a visual story. If you have great photography for your product then this theme is a feast.
As the name implies, it uses a parallax effect on images that adds motion to static images. This creates a very visual experience for users.
It comes with 4 great looking styles and features full width images with a transparent navigation bar. It has multi-level menu’s, a slide-out cart and allows for multiple videos on your home page.
The Shopify Turbo theme (by Out of the Sandbox) is not really a one product theme. In fact, it was originally built for stores with a large inventory. It is built for speed and is probably the fastest theme available as it strips out all the necessary features and functions.
Speed translates to sales. Any store that takes more than 3 seconds to load will lose you money. If you use the Turbo theme on a single product store it is lightning fast.
I’ve seen load times under 2 seconds for long form product pages with Gif animations.
Another feature that makes Turbo my theme of choice for single product stores is the custom layouts for product pages. You can create full screen layouts that allows your product pages to have the same sections and functions as a home page.
With this you can design full-on landing pages instead of relying on the standard Shopify product pages that is very limiting.
Turbo comes in 9 different styles but each style is a single license. That means you only get 1 style for your $180 which is not great value for money.
The Motion Shopify theme is a very interesting theme. It allows you to add a multitude of moving elements to your store. It has some incredibly sleek animations for buttons, product images and almost anything you can think of.
Movement creates interest. People are so used to static images and buttons and anything that moves instantly creates interest. With the motion theme you can easily turn boring images into something visually appealing through the animated effects.
The Motion theme comes in 3 great styles. It will work great as a single product store but probably better of you have 2 or 3 related products or upsells.
The ability to add animated effects can really make a big difference in helping you showcase your product and/or related styles and upsells.
7. Ella (Soun)
Ella is a very flexible theme. Its more of a “base theme” with dozens of variations that can be use for almost any type of store. While I don’t like themes that are too flexible this is an exception.
Most of the Ella theme is not really relevant but it does have one particular style that is superb as a single product theme.
Ella Soun has some great features for showcasing a single product and it has some great image effects that allows you to create truly amazing home pages.
Your product pages might need some more editing to get it to a long format page but for the price Ella is a great theme.
Cost: $0 (Free)
The Debut Shopify theme is probably one of the most versatile and stable themes available. It is free and developed by Shopify. ii has a lot of built-in flexibility and with minimal editing you can customize it to look incredible.
While Debut is not specifically a single product theme, it is often used as one. This is mostly because the home pages has really easy to use sections that includes full screen sliders and video.
You can build a really clean and professional store with Debut but like most free themes it is very limiting in terms of your editing options.
Another problem with Debut is that it is a general theme and that it is built to accommodate a lot of uses. It can be slow and unless you pay attention to image sizes you will run into speed issues.
I’ve also been unable to embed any Gif images with this theme and had a lot of trouble with embedding videos on the home page.
Despite all that, if you are unsure which free theme to use for your single product store and you do not want to spend any money, then this is a super safe option.
9. Flex Theme
The Flex Shopify theme is a highly flexible theme and allows you to do almost anything with your Shopify product pages, collection pages, home page or even blog pages. Flex is not really a theme and it is more of a website builder.
If you are familiar with Gempages then this leans more towards that. It comes with some pre-built elements and it is a simple drag and drop job.
If you want a store that looks a certain way but you are not sure how to do it then this might be your saving grace. You do not need to know any coding or any advanced editing.
My concern always with drag and drop builders is that it tends to get slow and it often does not translate well across multiple devices. This seems to be different as it allows you a lot of flexibility and control on both desktop and mobile layouts.
I think they also know it and they are trying hard to convince the sceptics that this actually works. They have a 14 day free trail and I’ve been playing around with it.
It is really good but I am still not switching from Gempages – not yet. I am just too used to Gempages.
There’s a lot of things to like about Flex and if you want to build your own truly unique Shopify theme then it gives you the opportunity.
You do not need to hire a developer or a designer. It really allows you to do what would have cost at least $5k a few years ago.
I really like this for one product store because you do not look just like everyone else. You can be unique and really stand out.
Launch is a theme that is specifically designed for brands. It allows you to do a lot branding throughout your store which can be a great option for single product stores.
It is a very bold theme and probably more suitable to a younger audience. It is not your typical clean and simple design but rather a big and bold one.
It will definitely work for Gen Y audiences as this style appeals directly to them. It has specific single product features and you can easily built the entire store by just filling in the blanks.
Single product Shopify Themes Conclusion
Don’t get too caught up in the design of your theme and your store. Yes your theme is important and yes it does affect sales but it will rarely make the difference between success and failure.
If you do not have an eye for design, just buy a theme that looks clean and professional and do not try to edit the look.
Clean, simple and fast is what works.
All of the single product Shopify themes I featured above “works” and they are proven to work out-of-the-box. DO NOT try and reinvent the wheel.
When you start seeing significant sales you will have the resources to hire a professional to make edits that you think could improve your store. Until then, focus on the rest of your business because that will have a much bigger impact on your success.