folder Shopify

9 Major Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to a Premium Theme

calendar 2021-10-07 | glass 7 min read | user Ricky Hayes
Free vs Premium Themes
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'Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it's not going to get business.'

The incomparable business magnate Warren Buffett said this himself. I reckon to believe him, as he's famous for being one of the most successful investors. And you should believe it, too.

So, is your brand premium?

I believe it is. That's why you're reading this post right now. You want to deliver 'something special' to your customers.

And of course, you want to bring more business.

A premium brand like yours needs a premium theme, and a high-quality theme that matches your business.

Once you set up your Shopify store, you have choices. Free themes or the more expensive ones-- the premium themes.

I know what you're thinking.

If there are free themes (which look cool), then why should you pay for the theme?

That's exactly what we're going to discuss in this article. What can you gain by choosing the more expensive Shopify themes?

Don't free themes offer enough features to run a profitable store?

What things should you consider before buying the best premium paid Shopify theme?

The Difference Between Free And Paid Shopify Themes

Let's start with free themes first.

A free theme offers all the basic features you need to set up an online store.

With basic themes, you can customize basic features like colors, fonts, etc.

On the other hand, premium Shopify themes support more customization and integrations features.

Premium themes have more design and branding options. They include built-in apps and features.

The Difference Between Free And Paid Shopify Themes

So what exactly can you gain by choosing a more expensive Shopify theme? Let's figure this out in the following section...

What Can You Gain By Choosing A More Expensive Shopify Theme?

1. More Design Options

Premium themes come with many designs and customization features. This enables you to create an online store that reflects your brand personality and tone.

Most paid themes come with a drag-and-drop editor. This allows you to move and place elements easily. And it's easy as it sounds!

It's taking an element (text, image, video, etc.) onto a template. After that, just add your headings and buttons to the page.

You can also fix the margins and lining of your Shopify store so they look good on any device.

The premium themes mostly have a live preview of your website, too. While dragging and dropping, you have a good look at what your page will look like.

I told you it's easy. It also does not require a lot of coding knowledge!

Another benefit of using the best premium paid Shopify theme is...

2. More Customization Features

More Customization Features

Your website is the reflection of your core business values.

Let's say you sell handmade jewelry online.

Now, imagine three other stores selling scented candles, tea for weight loss, and kid's clothing using the same theme as yours.

The worst part?

You can only tweak colors or fonts using your free theme's personalization options.

You don't want your store to look like a kid's apparel shop or a scented candles business. You have your own identity. 

Paid themes take the look and feel of your website to a whole new level. You can create and apply color schemes to highlight key content.

Also, you can group similar content in a description to give it a more cohesive look.

Not only this, but you can also play around with images and other visual elements.

All of this gives you the freedom to design a website that is unique and more identifiable.

Up next is...

3. Mobile-Responsiveness

Almost everyone does their online shopping on mobile devices, phones, and tablets. In 2021, mobile shopping took $3.56 trillion in eCommerce sales. That's almost three-quarters of the whole ecommerce sales!

Is your Shopify store optimized to look good on mobile devices? If not, then get to it! That way, you won't miss out on sales you could be making now.

Premium themes make sure that your website is navigable on any gadget.

Most free themes don't have that kind of feature. It's a good thing that premium themes can optimize your store for mobility!

4. Direct Theme Support

If there is one thing that makes your website stand out, it's your customer service.

They're more likely to leave if you won't answer their queries in time.

Most paid themes come with a built-in live chat support feature. That means you can answer your customer's questions right away.

Besides that, you can also use theme support to streamline your selling experience.

By purchasing a paid theme, you get direct access to the support team.

Whether you have questions about troubleshooting or setup, you can talk with the support team. You can also open a ticket or connect via email to get your issues resolved instantly.

Direct Theme Support

5. Updates

You don't get any support or updates when you install a free Shopify theme. 

Why do these updates matter? Because they help you stay in the know and enrich your customer's experience

The best Shopify themes 2021 come with the 'latest updates' feature. That means you'll be notified whenever a developer releases a new update. 

Another benefit you gain by choosing a paid Shopify theme is Page speed optimization. Let's see how it affects your business...

6. Site Speed

Let's face it. Your customers won't wait for more than 3 seconds for your site to load.

Get ready to lose a lot of customers if your site is taking forever to load.

While some free themes offer a decent page load speed, they're still not as fast as the paid ones.

So if you want to play safe, paid Shopify themes can be your safest bid.

Looking to rank your store on the first page of Google? Here's how you can do it with premium Shopify themes...

7. SEO Features

Creating a website is one thing. Getting it on top of SERPs is another. 

Paid themes include a range of SEO features, including title attributes, alt tags, and more. 

You can't find these options in any free theme. So, if your goal is to get your store on top of Google search, a premium theme can be your best friend. 

Do you want your brand to be more recognizable? Here's how you can do it with a premium Shopify theme...

8. Brandability

Setting up and running a business isn't easy. So much goes into creating a profitable setup that drives growth and conversions.

That's the reason entrepreneurs want to establish a brand rather than a traditional setup.

And that is only possible when you have a paid theme installed on your site.

The most important thing you gain by choosing a more expensive Shopify theme is…

9. Conversions

Conversions

A lot of factors affect your rate of conversion.

Among these factors are all of those we just discussed. Let's go over them on how it affects your conversion, shall we?

Firstly, for each second that your website loads, you lose 7% of your revenue. With a short site speed, your store would keep its potential revenue.

For instance, Think Tank Photo saw a 188% increase in online sales just because of a responsive web design. And that's mostly from mobile devices sales!

Secondly, having an eye-pleasing website is an excellent way of drawing the attention of your customers.

Great use of design will emphasize that significant conversion button. It will also show how unique your store is.

Lastly, trustworthy customer service guarantees customers coming back again. And increasing customer retention rate by 5% can increase your revenue by 25% to 95%. That's worth a lot!

Premium themes can offer you these conversion increases and more. You just can't get these kinds of numbers with a free theme.

So, now that you wanna upgrade...

How To Choose A Shopify Theme (Premium Shopify Theme - Buying Guide)

I am sure you now have a clear idea of the benefits you can gain by choosing a premium theme.

But just having an idea won't benefit you in any way. So, take your pen and paper out and create a list of features you want in your next theme.

Here are a few things you need to do before you buy a premium theme for your business:

  • Determine your budget
  • List down the features you need (you can match your list with the features listed on each theme's page)
  • Look for themes related to your industry/niche
  • Talk to the developers (if possible) or send out an email to clear your doubts
  • You're all set

To Sum It Up...

According to some people, you should start with a free theme if you're starting out. I'd say you only need a premium theme if you've just started your business.

This is the right time to make an impression on your target audience. As they say, the first impression is the last.

I'd suggest only go for a free theme if:

- You have a limited budget

- Your product is in the testing phase

But if you know what you're doing, it's time to invest in the more expensive Shopify theme to grow your business.

With 50+ add-ons, did you know that Debutify is THE premium theme for revenue optimization?

Build A Successful Shopify Store With Debutify Today!

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Written by

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify - free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.

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