Featured image for blog post: The essential guide to choosing a Shopify theme for hardware and automotive stores

The essential guide to choosing a Shopify theme for hardware and automotive stores

Choosing a theme for your Shopify store might seem tough, but it’s super important. This is where all your online sales happen.

The theme you go for should match both how you want your store to look and how you need it to work. A top-notch Shopify theme not only looks nice but also does everything your store needs. Ideally, it should make it simple for people to browse your products, add them to cart, and complete transactions smoothly. Surprises are cool, but not when you’re shopping online. So, it’s best to steer clear of them.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of choosing a Shopify theme for your hardware or automotive store, let’s talk about the key stuff you need in any good theme, no matter what you’re selling.

Essentials for all Shopify themes

This article covers essential criteria to consider before buying a Shopify theme. While the following list could be much longer, we aim to highlight key points to help you make an informed decision.

A solid theme demo

This is the first thing you should check. Demos aim to show a potential buyer all the main characteristics of a theme regarding functionality and design. If the demo of a candidate theme covers your needs, you have the first green light. If it is somewhat different that the ideal one (it happens often), keep checking it and at the same time do notice what is missing. Modern themes tend to include numerous details, we can’t always be aware of all of them. Shopify offers unlimited free trials so make sure to thoroughly test it and if you have any questions, well, read on.

Customer support

Don’t hesitate to ask customer support pre-sales questions in order to get the relevant answers. Strive for clarity and quick responses. However it is even more important to check the way the people behind a theme provide support in general. Search their forums -most of them are free to navigate- and observe the way they respond to customers’ questions. It’s important to feel you can trust them.

Reviews – Track record

Shopify is famous for their strict theme submission process. All themes you will find in Shopify’s marketplace meet the high standards of the platform. As a result, it is highly unlikely you will buy a mediocre theme.

At the same time customers’ reviews tend to highlight specific aspects of a theme. Or the way support is provided. Good ratings are valuable because they show the extra care a Shopify theme provider takes.

Technical considerations and customization

To begin with, every high-quality theme should encompass certain standard features. These include rapid loading times, seamless responsiveness across various devices, integrated SEO capabilities, support for multiple languages, and seamless integration with other Shopify apps.

Moreover, contemporary themes offer a diverse array of options that can be easily toggled on or off. While features like Deals of the Week, Shop by Brand, New Arrivals, and Popular Categories can enhance a shop’s appeal, they may not always be necessary. A good theme should facilitate effortless addition, removal, or modification of such sections.

Furthermore, shop owners often have more specific requirements, such as layout versatility (e.g., product carousels, mega menus, grid versus column layouts), the ability to utilize different color palettes and fonts, adaptability to brand identity, support for high-resolution images, various search functionalities, and more.

Clearly, there is much to take into consideration. Before making a purchase, we recommend compiling a list of your potential needs and comparing them against the features offered by the theme.

Choosing a Shopify theme for hardware and automotive stores

So what makes a great Shopify theme for hardware and automotive stores?

Look & Feel

It’s evident that design should align with the essence of the products being sold. For instance, a fashion brand’s shop has distinct traits compared to one focusing on outdoor activities, a contrast that’s often intuitively recognized.

Preview of the Shopify theme Tokyo
Our Shopify theme Tokyo

In the realm of hardware and automotive themes, clean and sharp designs tend to excel. Clearly defined sections, high contrast, and bold colors are favored over muted tones. Additionally, solid sans-serif typography is preferred over decorative or serif fonts, emphasizing simplicity as the cornerstone of these themes.

Product Variety

E-commerce platforms specializing in hardware and automotive goods often feature a wide array of products, varying in size, material, weight, and more. An effective Shopify theme should seamlessly accommodate and showcase this diversity. This requirement extends to the design aspect as well. For instance, when hovering over a product users should be able to view items from multiple angles or zoom in for closer inspection. This can significantly enhance the shopping experience. Moreover, the theme should highlight key product attributes such as size, color, and weight, while also ensuring that multi-part products are visually represented in their entirety.

Special shops have special needs

Hardware and automotive items possess unique characteristics like size, texture, and material, often accompanied by user manuals and safety instructions. Unfortunately, most themes overlook these specific requirements. For instance, themes designed for apparel or footwear typically don’t incorporate sections for user manuals or warranties because they just don’t need it.

Another consideration is Value Added Tax (VAT): while many themes may not prioritize indicating whether VAT is included in the price, it’s a significant concern for buyers of hardware and automotive products due to tax implications.

The importance of Information Architecture (IA)

As you might anticipate, managing an online store for hardware and automotive products can be extensive and disorganized. This underscores the critical role of Information Architecture (IA) in determining the success of a theme. Establishing collections based on logical criteria, facilitating brand-specific shopping, showcasing prominent offers, and incorporating guides are effective strategies for organizing your inventory in a coherent manner. However, even within a dashboard, managing such a diverse range of products can be overwhelming. Therefore, excellent themes offer shop owners various tools to streamline their product assortment and provide guidance on managing it seamlessly and efficiently.


Filtering is a fundamental feature in e-commerce platforms, significantly enhancing the user experience when implemented effectively. Consequently, Shopify inherently supports filtering, mandating that all themes include this functionality.

However, not all filters carry equal weight, nor are they all necessary. For instance, while filtering by color may hold little relevance in hardware and automotive stores, filtering by size is paramount. Determining the appropriate type and quantity of filters proves challenging, particularly in large shops with diverse product offerings. Achieving the optimal balance between available filters and essential filters requires careful consideration and effort.

Final thoughts

Online shops on Shopify offer a series of great advantages (e.g. secure transactions, a well thought checkout process, abundant extensions etc.) but making your shop successful requires more. Hardware and automotive stores can be even more difficult to be tamed thanks to their special characteristics. A well-designed and organized Shopify theme tailored to these specific needs can lighten the load, leading to better decision-making, improved discoverability, and ultimately, increased sales.

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