Best Shopify themes for digital products and features to look for
We’ve been sharing a lot of content lately to help you start an online business across various industries. Be it fashion and apparel, beauty and cosmetics, or practically any other product, we’ve been covering them all one by one. But this time round, we have something for those who want to start an online business, but with non-physical products.
Posted 12 months ago by Jonathan Kennedy
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eCommerce platforms like Shopify are making it much easier for individuals, businesses, entities and organizations to start their journey online. Despite not having any physical products to sell, these are people who make thousands of dollars every month selling online.
But what exactly?
Well, right from subject-based classes, yoga training, nutrition and diet packages, workshops, rentals, memberships, consultations, digital products like ebooks and more, there are a number of things to sell on Shopify other than products.
While the dynamics of non-physical online businesses obviously varies from the physical ones, there is one thing in common that defines everyone’s success. The storefront.
Because you’re selling non-physical products, it is even more important that your storefront looks reliable. No one wants to interact with or transact on a website that seems nothing more like a scam that overpromises things. We’ve all seen them, haven’t we?
So to make things simpler, we looked into a few online stores on Shopify that are selling non-physical products and took note of what makes their storefront look ‘good’.
And to get you started, we have curated a list of the best Shopify themes for non-physical products. We’re also covering a list of features you should be looking for incase you intend to do your own research to find a Shopify theme.
PS. If you’re new to Shopify and don’t know what a Shopify theme is, read this guide.
Best Shopify themes for digital products (non-physical)
Remember, the only way to sell digital products is to make them look enticing enough to purchase. While the design and the quality of your product is what matters the most, the first touchpoint is actually your storefront.
List of Shopify themes for digital products
A number of Shopify themes have our attention. But these are the ones we would like to start recommending to those who are setting up an online store for digital products.
1. Editorial Shopify theme by Switch
A publishing-focused Shopify theme, designed for brand storytelling. Editorial is one of the best Shopify themes for digital products as it comes with customizable content sections for the home page and supports multiple blogs. It also enables you to engage your audience online by displaying blog posts on your digital product pages to explain them better or including videos to do the same. We have seen it being used by businesses and individuals who offer services online.
Need help customizing or setting up the Editorial theme on your Shopify store? Reach out to our Shopify design experts here.
2. Artisan Shopify theme by Out of the Sandbox
Another one of the best Shopify themes suited for non-physical and digital products, is Artisan. It comes with a portfolio or lookbook page that you can use to showcase your work or inspire visitors with visuals that share more about you or the product you’re offering. The category tabs further make it easier for visitors to browse through the gallery content if you have multiple digital products. We also like the custom form and customer testimonials the theme includes.
Need help customizing or setting up the Artisan theme on your Shopify store? Reach out to our Shopify design experts here.
3. Icon Shopify theme by We are Underground
Another interesting and one of the best Shopify themes for non-physical products or digital products like art pieces, for instance, is Icon. The theme is popular due to its smooth parallax scrolling galleries, strong range of collection and product options and a sleek design that brings all the attention to your digital product. It also comes with a Slideshow that you can add captions to, to explain what your digital product has to offer.
Need help customizing or setting up the Icon theme on your Shopify store? Reach out to our Shopify design experts here.
4. Minimal theme by Shopify
One of the free, best Shopify themes for digital products is Minimal. Built by Shopify, it comes with three styles, each built on a different color palette. The theme includes features such as a slideshow and a homepage video, that make for great ways to promote your digital products. It also lets you customize the content sections on your homepage to tell your visitors more about your product or service.
Need help customizing or setting up the Minimal theme on your Shopify store? Reach out to our Shopify design experts here.
5. Label – Record by Switch
A Shopify theme for contemporary creators who would like to sell audio, video or their records online, Label – Record comes packed with powerful features. It is a theme that is exclusively designed for musicians and publishers, and hence comes with features like dates and events section, full-width imagery and customizable content sections for the home page.
Need help customizing or setting up the Label theme on your Shopify store? Reach out to our Shopify design experts here.
6. Label – Publish by Switch
Another theme by Switch that makes it to our list of best Shopify themes for digital products is Publish, a variant of the Label theme. A publishing-focused theme that comes with bold typography, multiple blog layouts, video storytelling and a dates, and events section, the theme is a popular choice for selling ebooks, consulting services and more online.
Need help customizing or setting up the Label theme on your Shopify store? Reach out to our Shopify design experts here.
Features to look for in Shopify themes for digital products
If you’re still looking for the best Shopify themes for digital products, here are some features you should be on the lookout for. Of course, the features you will need on your storefront will entirely depend on what you’re selling and to whom. So list your requirements accordingly!
The Shopify theme you choose for your digital products, needs to feature large, high-resolution images throughout your home page. The reason being that since it isn’t a physical product that the buyer will get to touch and feel, you want to give them a visual appeal of the same.
Dates and events section
This can be a very handy feature to have in your Shopify theme for digital products if you’re a musician, speaker, consultant or trainer. You would want all your available dates and upcoming events clearly displayed to visitors.
Here’s how the Library Foundation displays its past and upcoming events:
About us page
When you’re selling digital products online, you need to share a little more about you to win the trust of visitors. This is why your “about us” page should be well-created and designed to nudge visitors to read through. See if the Shopify theme you’re choosing comes with multiple templates or customizable sections for your “about us” page.
Digital products sell better when you support them with content that helps the potential buyers visualise how they can be put to use. This is also important if you’re selling services online or offering consultations, or selling products like ready-to-use templates. So look for a Shopify theme that comes with blog page templates that are suited to educate your audience.
For example, Social Media Calendar that offers editable social content templates, has a blog that focuses on educating their audience.
The thing with non-physical products products is that most of them are non-returnable. Take for instance, rental businesses, ebooks, downloadable templates, checklists, etc. In this case, to nudge a visitor into buying from you, you need to clearly display some social proof in the form of product ratings, reviews and testimonials.
Here’s how FitzRoy, a dress rental business displays social proof across all its pages:
Multiple home page videos
Let’s say you’re selling a consultation online to help businesses with marketing. In this case, you may want to share your story about why you’re an expert for such a thing or a success/ milestone you achieved with a current or recent project. Or let’s assume you sell art online. Either way, you want to be able to help the visitors visualise how your product or service adds value to them. So having a theme that lets you add videos on the home page, is a must!
Customizable content sections on home page
Based on what digital products you’re selling, you may need to add more context for your store visitors to help them make an informed purchase decision. For example, if you’re a fitness trainer, you may need to describe the various plans you offer with dedicated sections before a visitor subscribes to one of them. In such cases, having a Shopify theme that lets you customize the content sections on the home page is essential.
Search engine optimization
You don’t have a physical, brick and mortar store. You probably don’t want your buyers to come visit you for everything you sell either. So one of the ways to lead buyers to your storefront, is the search engine. Make sure the layouts and features like the lookbook, testimonials, etc in your Shopify theme are optimized for easy crawling and indexing.
Built-in styles and color palettes
If you’re just starting out online or are maybe just wanting to start a quick course to see how many takers there are, you probably don’t want to invest in a full-fledged branding right away. But since the look and feel of your store matters, look for a Shopify theme that comes with a few built-in styles and color palettes that you can experiment with.
Related products and blog posts
If you offer multiple digital products that are related to one another or can add more value to the buyer if bought together, you need this feature. Engage store visitors by displaying blog posts and other products/ services on your product pages.
Individual product/ service-focused pages
In case you’re selling digital products like art or multiple services, you may have to describe them better before a visitor makes a purchase. This is where you have to set up dedicated pages for each. Look for a Shopify theme that offers you at least a few editable templates for your products/ services.
For example, Social Media Calendar. Since their ebooks and courses are meant for different purposes, their individual pages focus on sharing more information on them, and answering FAQs around them.
If your digital product is a bundle of things, you may want to give your buyers a sneak peek into what it includes. Having an image gallery helps you do this. See if your Shopify theme comes with an editable or customizable gallery section that can be added to your product pages.
Most of your buyers will come from your social media and search promotions. It is something they do on the go, and often on their mobile devices. This is why you need to keep your storefront’s design optimized for smaller screens. Whether it is an ebook, a course, or art that you’re selling, ensure it is easily scannable and consumable on mobile devices.
Social media icons
Digital products sell best when promoted on social channels. You can use social media to educate your audience about your products/ services and also create micro-content to increase demand for them. In case a visitor does not buy from you right away, you want to be able to capture their interest. Your Shopify theme should come with social media icons that call out to the visitor and make them want to follow you at least!
Depending on your inventory size, you want to ensure that it is easy for a visitor to explore all that you have to offer to them. Ensure the Shopify theme you pick comes with an interactive and elaborate menu that helps you guide a buyer’s journey.
Again, depending on what you sell, you may require getting to know your visitors better. This includes capturing their name, email address, what challenges they are facing, how they found you and what they’re looking for. Remember to ask your Shopify theme developer if they offer custom forms that can be embedded on different pages.
Here’s an example of a form that BUTI Yoga has on its home page to gather information on its visitors.
Whether you offer different products and services or you want to try different messages to appeal to your store visitors, a slideshow feature can be very handy. You can use this to guide a visitor’s journey to explore what you offer, capturing their interests with different images, videos and taglines.
Here’s how BUTI Yoga is making use of the Slideshow on their homepage:
FAQs page/ section
Digital product buyers tend to face the most amount of pre-purchase anxiety. They want to know whether the product/ service will add value to them or not, whether it can be refunded/ exchanged or if they will get any help after making the purchase. Don’t let such doubts make you lose sales. Look for a Shopify theme that comes with either a dedicated page template for FAQs or a custom section/ module that can be added to different pages.
FitzRoy dress rental does this well by combining how it works and FAQs onto one page:
If you’re offering different plans, combos or subscriptions, you want to make it easier for the visitor to compare them. This is where having the ability to create comparison tables comes in. Depending on what you sell, look for a Shopify theme that comes with a table module for you to easily add on your homepage or to your product pages.
Product search and filtering
If you have a bigger inventory, make sure the search and filtering feature offered by your Shopify theme is powerful. It should be able to let you create filters based on different variant data like type, sizes, colors, and more. The idea is to make it easier for a visitor to reach a product they are more likely to buy.
Similar to an “about us” page, the team page essentially shows a visitor who is behind a business – no matter what digital product/ service you’re selling online. It just helps people build trust in you before they make a purchase. You could also further link the visitor to your LinkedIn or other social pages to connect with you or reach out to you.
Policy and legal pages
The thing with digital products and services is that the buyer can have a number of doubts regarding the purchase – especially when it comes to returns, refunds, exchanges and more. Keeping this information ambiguous will only lead to problems later on, when buyers come back to you with queries regarding their purchases. So make sure your Shopify theme comes with legal page templates, making it easier for you to set them up.
Here’s a simple example of a legal page:
Golden rules to set up a Shopify store for digital products
Remember, while there is an instant gratification for the buyers of your products/ services, there is nothing that they can physically touch and feel. From the Shopify theme you choose to the customizations you build across all the pages, the content you include and how you promote your offering, every little thing plays into your success.
Here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself when optimizing your storefront for selling digital products:
- What information is important when potential buyers are evaluating the product/ service you offer?
- What content and content formats will you be populating your storefront pages with?
- Is the content going to be hosted on a third-party site or will you be embedding it on the store?
- How are your ideal buyers more likely to access and consume the content around your products/ services?
- What post-purchase support/ queries are your buyers more likely to have?
Are digital products really successful?
If you ask us, digital products and services sold online can be really successful. But your journey begins by offering a visual storefront to your audience, so that they can get a look and feel of your product/ service. And of course, how you position what you offer.
There are a number of businesses, run by individuals as well as small to mid-sized entities on Shopify that sell digital products online. From clothing patterns to online courses, tutorials, services like design, development and marketing, ebooks and other downloadables, digital art, audios and more, there’s an opportunity for everyone.
Don’t believe us?
Here are 17 thriving businesses on Shopify that sell digital products online, and are absolutely killing it!
Start selling on Shopify
Shopify wants to give everyone a chance to follow their passion and give their business idea a shot online. And we’re all up for it to enable anyone who has an idea!
If you’re not sure what kind of non-physical products you can sell online, or what digital products are, we have a complete guide to help you get started: Selling Digital Products on Shopify.
In fact, we are selling digital products in the form of services for businesses!
If you know what you want to sell online, and are ready to take the next step, we want to help. Reach out to us today to help you set up an impressive digital storefront on Shopify!