Free or a Premium Shopify Theme... This is one of the most common questions from our customers that we at KondaSoft reply almost daily, and one that has a great deal of confusion around it.
We will try to explain the main difference between both options but most importantly, will list you some of the reasons that why you should choose one over the other.
First thing first, there are no strict decisions here. In the end of the day, you are the one which will have to make the call. We believe that your vision on what you are trying to accomplish with your e-commerce venture is far more important than all listed reasons combined.
So, to keep it short, the most important difference, which we also use as our own foundation when we develop our Free and Premium Shopify Themes are the "Advanced Features"
Regarding Free Shopify Themes
Ok, let us explain the above statement better. For our Free Shopify Themes, even that the quality of the code is the same high quality as our Premium Shopify Themes, the number of advanced features it's very limited. What you will get with a Free Shopify Theme is a solid base for you to sell your products. That's it. And that is fine if you are just getting started and you are not very knowledgeable in the e-commerce field, or that you are not sure and you just want to try and see if this is the right venture for you. When you are just getting started, your focus should be to learn more regarding e-commerce, to market your store, and getting quality traffic to it.
Enter Premium Shopify Themes
Before we explain to you the benefits of a Premium Theme, let us first list you some of the advanced features that our latest Premium Shopify, KS BoldShop offers:
- Announcement bar with countdown
- Currency Converter with IP detection
- 'Quick view' mode
- Brands Slider
- Instagram latest posts
- Live search
- Testimonials section
- Powerful image gallery
- Advanced animations on scroll
- Collection filter
- Sort by-products via ajax.
- Infinite scroll (no pagination)
- Sticky Add to Cart
- Size Guides
- Product Bundles
- Recently Viewed Products
- Cart Goals
- Wishlist feature
- Sticky Newsletter
- Cookie consent bar
As you can see, the list of advanced features, which are not found on our Free Shopify Themes, is quite lengthy. Almost all the advanced features are developed to increase your shop conversion rates, directly and indirectly.
For example, features like Product Bundles, which allows you to sell multiple products at once, something like "Frequently Bought Together", can directly increase your shop average order value (AOV), as your customer is "pushed" to buy a group of products at once with a small discount, rather than just one.
Also, another interesting advanced feature is the Cart Goal, a.k.a cart threshold, which can also "trigger" your customers to buy more (to reach a specific amount in the cart), and they will get something in return when they reach this goal, e.g Free Shipping or a discount.
A feature that indirectly cab help your store convert more is for example the Sticky Newsletter feature, which as the name suggest, shows a sticky newsletter box when your customers scrolls to a certain position. It is important to note that this feature, contrary to other similar options found on other themes, it'll not disturb your customer browsing experience. In other words, the customer can still continue shopping, rather than be forced to deal with the Newsletter pop-up. So, the Sticky Newsletter feature can help you get more subscribers, and indirectly help your store convert more as you may send them promotional offers, through your newsletters.
As we have stated above, it is your call to be made. Even that you are just getting started, your ambitions and vision may be high and you know very well what you are doing. If this is your case certainly go with a Premium Shopify Theme.
On the other hand, there might be certain cases in which you are satisfied with your Free Theme. It simply does the job and you are ok with it, and this is another good point as well.
To close, we suggest you try first a Free Shopify Theme, and if you feel that your store has the potential to reach more, certainly go for a Premium Shopify Theme.