HomeBlogShopify Theme Development: A Deep Dive into Customization

Shopify Theme Development: A Deep Dive into Customization

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First impressions last. Probably, it’s not fair that a fleeting, often misguiding perception can be decisive for whether to shop on a website or not. But since it plays an important role, it makes sense to customize Shopify store.

A well-designed storefront makes a customer stay on your website longer. If they do, the chances of completing a purchase grow. If the overall experience is positive, they are likely to come back. So, in the end, a nice storefront directly impacts customer loyalty and conversion rates.

If you look into e-commerce trends for 2024, you won’t find much about design here. But it doesn’t mean customization and quality visuals aren’t necessary. On the contrary, paying enough attention to design has become something non-negotiable. So, let’s dive into Shopify theme customization and learn how to make the design work for you.

Why customize your Shopify theme?

Before you learn how to customize Shopify website, let’s recall why it is worth the effort. To prove the point, we’ve gathered a list of benefits and successful brands that benefited from theme customization.

Design affects customer trust and loyalty

How is it possible? Customizing your Shopify theme is a strategic move that goes beyond mere aesthetics. Theme customization allows you to tailor the look and feel of your online store to match your brand identity. And building a strong, memorable, and recognizable identity is a sure way to reinforce user trust.

It’s not a secret that fonts and colors can:

  • trigger positive or negative emotions
  • associate with certain moods and desires
  • help communicate your core values and associations visually
  • build connection by looking familiar or relatable.

A visually appealing storefront contributes to user experience. It’s challenging to make an emotional impact or at least attract attention if you don’t stand out using the same design many others do.

Customization also adds to consistency across communication channels. It is easier to become recognizable using a defined set of visual elements. Customization lets you adapt your online store to trends, seasonality, and customer preferences. This way, it stays relevant and responsive.

Altogether, these things create a memorable shopping experience. Positive emotions users experience while interacting with your store now get a specific visual look. They are associated with the storefront built based on your brand book. Hence, customization stops being simply a matter of taste and becomes a strategic investment in the brand’s success.

Brands that benefited from customization

The theory is good. Yet, real cases from brands that have benefited from customized themes build stronger confidence in the necessity of changes. Here are a few.

  • Allbirds. The company uses big images on the homepage and very detailed product pages to drive attention to their products, make shopping convenient for users, and promote sustainability through superb footwear design.

  • Gymshark. The company migrated its fitness apparel store from Magento and customized the theme to reflect its dynamic and energetic nature. The shop is very laconic and easy to navigate while also featuring detailed product information.

  • Kylie Cosmetics. The brand aims to stay relevant through regular updates on product launches, collaborations, seasonal trends, etc. You’ll find one more variation of navigation and product pages that differ in both style and structure.

Sephora Beauty, Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate, Heinz Ketchup, and Red Bull are also Shopify’s users. Indeed, they get to offer more than just neat design. But so do you. Design is a great tool to communicate your benefits. Make them an example and learn from the best. And we’ll be sharing practical advice on how to do it.

Getting started: no coding required

So, how to edit your Shopify website? You don’t need any coding knowledge. A business owner, a content manager, a designer, a developer – basically, anyone can do it. Go to Online Store > Themes, select a theme, and click Customize to access the tools.

Theme elements you can set up without coding

What’s available in the customization section? Quite a lot, actually. You can modify and adjust everything that matters. It goes for both page structure and visual design. After you select a basic look, you can set up:

  • colors, fonts, and wording
  • change the Catalog page
  • add Contact Us page
  • add a newsletter signup
  • hide selected buttons
  • add related products section
  • add complementary items
  • add a delivery date picker
  • add order notes on the Cart page.

And that’s only half of the list. You can find more in the Theme Editor. Add, remove, edit, rearrange, preview, and start all over again until it all looks perfect. With such an abundance of tools, building a unique online store doesn’t sound challenging.

How to use a built-in Theme Editor

Now, a few words on how to edit Shopify theme quickly without touching any code. Use the built-in Theme Editor. Shopify is very intuitive, so you won’t find it difficult to figure it out.

  1. Log in to your Shopify Admin page.
  2. Go to the Online Store and select Themes.
  3. Find the theme you want to customize.
  4. Click the Customize button.
  5. Explore the theme’s sections.
  6. Click on a section to reveal the customization options.
  7. Adjust colors, fonts, and layout elements.
  8. Preview the changes to see how they affect your store.
  9. Once you are satisfied with customizations, click Save to apply the changes.
  10. If you made preview changes, click Publish to make them live.

The abundance of customization options is impressive. If you need assistance figuring them out, consider reaching out to DigitalSuits. Our team can guide you through the customization process. We specialize in Shopify development and will gladly share personalized advice on utilizing the Theme Editor efficiently.

Make it yours: colors, fonts, and images

How to customize Shopify store to match your brand’s mood and values? Start making the theme yours by adjusting colors, fonts, and images. Manifesting your visual identity is the first step to becoming recognizable.

Useful font and color tips

If you have a color scheme, align your Shopify theme with the guidelines. If not, use the colors from your logo. If it doesn’t look interesting enough, select a color palette that matches your brand’s mood.

Think about the nature of your product. For example, if you specialize in wood furniture or leather goods, earthy tones like brown, beige, and orange could work perfectly. If such associations aren’t easy, seek inspiration from online color palette tools. Go to Color Hunt or Pinterest. Look for examples online.

After you select the colors, find and save their hex codes for future use. These are the combination of six letters and numbers. For instance, #FFFFFF represents white. #000000 represents black. Insert these codes in the corresponding fields during theme setup and use them in other materials. Remember to choose colors with sufficient contrast. It is essential to account for the basic accessibility.

Typography is another core aspect of Shopify theme customization. Balance creativity with legibility, consistency, and clarity. It will help build and maintain a professional appearance.

  • Use two or three fonts that complement each other without becoming monotonous.
  • Choose font combinations within the same font family for a better aesthetic.
  • Use bold, regular, and italicized versions to differentiate headings and content.
  • Establish a visual hierarchy using different typefaces (serif, sans-serif, script, and monospace).
  • Vary font sizes to emphasize content importance and aid navigation.

Finalize your color palette and font choices in the guidelines. Add brief reasoning on why you’ve selected each of them. Write the rules on using fonts and colors. It is crucial to be consistent to become recognizable. The guidelines will help you do it.

Adding images to your online store

Adding images to your online store.webp

You’ll need images for product pages that illustrate the items you sell. You’ll also need photos or graphics for other website pages. It’s best to involve photographers and designers to help you customize Shopify website. If you don’t have such an opportunity, do your best to select the imagery. Pick what matches you in style, mood, and palette.


  • Use only high-quality product images – well-lit and on a consistent background.
  • Stick to uniformity in color tones, lighting, and composition throughout your store.
  • Showcase product with multiple photos, including zooming and different angles.
  • Display products in real-life settings to create a connection with the shoppers.
  • Optimize file size for fast loading – compress before saving theme changes.
  • Include descriptive alt text for each image to improve accessibility and visibility.
  • Use galleries for product collections or featured items.
  • Ensure consistency across devices, desktop and mobile.
  • Update main visuals to reflect new products or seasonal changes.

Following these recommendations will make the imagery well-organized and visually appealing and help increase sales. The right visuals boost user confidence in their purchasing decisions.

Adding personality: customizing buttons and icons

You’re past the design setup and can now move to the marketing part. So, let’s talk a bit about calls to action (CTA), namely buttons and additional items.

Writing button texts that work

Creating buttons that drive attention is critical. There’s no way to tell for sure what will drive conversion. What’s left to do is use smart color and copy tricks to push a user toward clicking. There are several ways to encourage making a purchasing decision.

  • Choose colors that contrast with your overall theme. They will catch the eye.
  • Make buttons large enough to click easily. Put them where users tend to focus.
  • Use actionable language. Encourage a specific action – “Buy now,” “Order Today.”
  • Maintain whitespace around buttons. It will enhance the visual focus on the CTA.
  • Add a slight color change or animation when users hover over the button.
  • Experiment with button shapes and borders – round, square, bold, etc.
  • Remain consistent. The button design should align with the brand aesthetic.

If you aren’t sure what CTA will work best, it’s not a problem. Try using several versions. Conduct A/B testing for button variations. Use different colors, copy, and styles. Learn what resonates best with your audience for making design decisions easier in the future.

Adding custom icons for better personalization

One more thing that allows adding a unique touch is custom icons. You can search for badges using one of many great Shopify apps for verification badges. Or you can design your icons for verification, product descriptions, etc. There are only a few simple rules to keep in mind:

  • Opt for simple yet distinctive designs that align with your brand aesthetic.
  • Use an SVG format. It scales well and adapts to different screen sizes.
  • Ensure icons have clear and purposeful functions.
  • Link icons to specific actions whenever relevant.

You can upload custom icons to your theme assets or insert them using HTML code. Again, align them with your visual style. Test several versions if you want. Update icons along with the product and store information. If there are changes, even the tiniest elements should reflect them.

Liquid markup for advanced Shopify customization

Now you know how to customize Shopify theme without coding. But what if it’s not enough? Then, it’s time to use Liquid markup. Liquid is an open-source template language. It is written in Ruby for Shopify, but other web apps use it nowadays. Liquid is the backbone of Shopify themes. The platform uses it to load dynamic content on storefronts.

Design modifications with Liquid templating language

Shopify shares detailed guidelines on Liquid. Your development team can start customization from here. Or you can consider contacting an outsourcing company that specializes in Shopify development.

There are a bunch of things you may enjoy about Liquid as a brand owner.

  • Dynamic branding. You can adjust branding elements to ensure relevance and consistency. For example, wear a Santa Claus hat on a logo in December.
  • Better UI/UX. It’s possible to customize everything within the theme – layouts, content, interactions, etc. And a sleek UI/UX design increases visibility and engagement.
  • Convenient development. Liquid doesn’t call for any