Online Marketing

ECOMBOX Theme Review - The Best Ecommerce WordPress Theme

More and more businesses are opening stores online — and it’s not just brand new businesses, with even old and established brick-and-mortar players now understanding the importance of having an online presence.

Getting online customers to actually make a purchase on your website, however, requires proper planning. In the few seconds a mouse hovers over your homepage, you’ve got to tempt the visitor to stay longer, look around more and, most importantly, buy!

In this Ecombox Theme Review, we’ll cover a few of the most critical things to consider, how to choose an appropriate ecommerce theme for your site, and finish up with a brief look at 15 of the best WordPress ecommerce themes on the market.

Let’s get started.

Nailing Ecommerce

Imagine yourself in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. The salesman would invite you in and persuade you to check out a product in ambient surroundings. The decor, the lighting, and the entire product presentation platform would all be designed to highlight the product. The salesman would likely try to get across to you why you should buy the product, and point out the great value proposition it presented. He would also compare his product to other similar products, and explain why you should buy from him and not from the store further along the road.

Now, all this, which the salesman does in the few minutes you spend in his shop, your website’s homepage must do in the first few seconds after a new visitor arrives.

It absolutely must do enough for the visitor to stick around — if not, all is lost!

How to Convince a Visitor

The short answer is DigiProduct Video Volume 4 Review. The product display on your store pages must be eye-catching enough to cause the mouse to linger. The images must be sharp, viewable from different angles and zoomable. The product description must be comprehensive, but concise. Product comparisons and prices must be readily available to a prospective buyer.

If you can’t convey value proposition well, you can’t begin to hope for a reasonable conversion rate. A good ecommerce thrives on displaying a product catalog in a manner that entices a buyer. Combining a smashing product display with top-notch navigation within your website means you’ve given yourself a fighting chance of running a profitable ecommerce business. And this is where WordPress themes can excel.

Why WordPress for Ecommerce?

Chances are, you’re not going to build the next Amazon, in which case WordPress will almost certainly be your best bet. (Note: If you’re still undecided on the exact platform to use, take a look at this earlier post of ours before continuing.) If you have, or intend to start, a small business that will cater to less than a few million every year, or if you already have a WordPress site for your business, adding an ecommerce component to the equation is remarkably easy.

Keep in mind that content marketing is an incredibly popular mechanism to increase conversion rates. And adding blog pages is a surefire way to improve customer connect. WordPress is a neat publishing platform and can handle these functions exceedingly well.

Ecommerce Plugins for WordPress

If you’re running an online store, you’ve almost certainly heard of WooCommerce. An incredible WordPress ecommerce plugin that’s by far the most dominant player — currently powering more than 37% of all online stores — WooCommerce is simply superb! What’s more, it’s now under the management of, and is being actively developed by, the very same company behind WordPress.com: Automattic. This means it’s not only super reliable, but also an absolutely solid long-term bet!

In the interests of fairness, however, it needs to be said that WooCommerce isn’t the only WordPress ecommerce plugin around — and, for some sites, it may not even be the ideal one to use. Other WordPress ecommerce plugins to consider include iThemes ExchangeMarketPress eCommerceWP eCommerceCart66 Cloud and Easy Digital Downloads. (Note: Here’s a Email Uprising Review.)

Choosing an Ecommerce Theme for WordPress

The choice of ecommerce themes is truly vast. On ThemeForest alone (by far the most popular place to buy WordPress themes), you’ll find close to 1,000 ecommerce WordPress themes to choose from. This can be both liberating and overwhelming, if not downright confusing.

So how do you pick the best ecommerce theme for your website?

The theme you pick should represent your business — and in a manner that enhances your brand identity. In most cases, it will be better to keep the theme simple, retaining only features that are important to your website. Remember: It’s your product that must be in the spotlight, not the theme.

Four important things to keep in mind:

·       When in doubt, remember: User experience first, last and always.

·       Tailor your customer experience and personalize the theme you use to reflect your brand. Ensure the theme is malleable enough to accommodate these changes.

·       Compatibility with the market standard ecommerce plugins is essential.

·       While many interesting layouts are possible, it’s safer to stick with familiar layouts for stores. Shoppers have come to expect a certain kind of format for stores, and if you stray too far from familiar presentations, they may find it hard to browse. A simple test would be to see if a user can find their way, even if the site is in an unknown language. That’s the desired degree of visual familiarity.

What Else to Look for in an Ecommerce Theme?

The other must-haves include:

·       Free or Paid: Competent free themes are available for ecommerce, but I’d rather pick a premium theme any day over a free one for two reasons. (1) Premium themes are generally more secure as they’re updated more often, and security holes and bugs are fixed regularly in the updates. (2) Premium themes offer better support.

·       ResponsiveThe world is moving to mobile, so it’s imperative your theme looks good on such devices. In fact, you should go for a mobile-first approach as most browsing now happens on mobile. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the larger screens, as most sales or conversions happen on them, but a theme must be perfectly responsive, sizing down precisely to smaller devices. Touch optimization is a welcome feature.

·       Navigation: The route from landing page to checkout must be clear, and a visitor must find his or her way within the website without hesitation, wherever he or she lands on your site. Mega menus do the task well enough, but sticky headers, arrows, and call-to-action buttons can all help. The shopper must move within the website intuitively, without having to figure out his or her next click.

·       Security: The theme must afford maximum security, and this is particularly important for cart functions. While a lot of this is dependent on hosting, SSL and plugins, the theme itself can minimize security issues. Divi (an extremely popular multipurpose theme from Elegant Themes), for example, is a holder of the Safe Seal by Sucuri, and this is a matter of comfort for Divi users.

·       Speed: A speedy website is of utmost importance to online stores. Shoppers are impatient, and if they have to wait for a product to load, they’ll simply move their mouse away to a different website. Animations and scrollers are a drag on page speed, so you must use them sparingly. You can also speed up your website by making sure you’re using an appropriate ecommerce hosting provider, a Content Delivery Network (more info) and image optimization, and by generally tweaking it to include only what’s really necessary (to lessen the amount of data required to load each page).

·       Support for plugins: The theme must support the plugins you need for your site. Complete integration with WooCommerce or other ecommerce/other plugins is important.

·       Social Sharing: Word of mouse translates into visits, and visits convert into sales. So social media integration is vital. If users can log in from social media accounts, all the better.

·       Translation: If you want to sell the world over or to a varied demographic group, the theme must be ready for translation.

Fifteen of the Best WordPress Ecommerce Themes on the Market:

Now that we have a fair idea of what to look for in an ecommerce theme, let’s take a look at some of the best WooCommerce/WordPress themes around.

Shopkeeper

With Shopkeeper, you can simply adopt a prebuilt page from among the many that come with the theme. Or, if you wish to be adventurous and start from scratch, the advanced theme options will help you to create the page that best reflects your store’s brand. The theme is a delight for developers too, as they can put together a website in no time at all for different clients using prebuilt layouts, numerous design elements and customization options. The feature-rich and multiple style header will prove handy here for sure.

Almost every store function — from product display to shipping — is taken care of. Two premium plugins, Visual Composer (which helps with page building) and Revolution Slider (for slideshow display), are bundled with the theme, making it a good-value proposition.

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