Discover curated products from our exclusive brands

Shopify marketing

/ 6 mins

Redesign your Shopify storefront: with or without an agency

Rudi Eihenbaums profile picture

Rudi Eihenbaums

Dec 27, 2023

Website redesign

Website design evolves so fast that a redesign you make in 2024 will already start to feel dated by 2025. The key is to not let that bother you. While branding is important, what’s most important is how your business performs.

I sat down with OpenStore’s Mauren Kaufmann, a designer focused on user experience, e-commerce, and branding. OpenStore currently runs nearly 50 Shopify businesses in the U.S.

Here are our tips on how to launch your new website with a bang.

Do you really need to redesign?

Don’t redesign your Shopify website for the wrong reasons.

Changing your site too frequently can confuse existing customers.

Your goal should be to improve conversions, customer experience, or brand loyalty. Don’t do it to keep up with trends.

Signs that you should redesign:

  • Inconsistent branding across your social platforms.

  • Decline in traffic and conversions. Check your analytics to see where people drop off. 

  • A cluttered design or frequent error dialogues.

  • A bounce rate above 50% can be a red flag. Customers may be having issues with navigation or how you are presenting your brand. Look at behavior over the last month and quarter.

  • Slow load times due to outdated plugins, theme files, or JavaScript frameworks. Site speed significantly impacts conversions and affects your SEO.

  • Lack of a mobile responsive theme. Nowadays, most internet users use their mobile phones for browsing. Analyze the differences in sales between mobile and desktop devices.

  • A stale user experience and outdated visuals, especially when compared to your e-commerce competitors.

Quickstart research

  1. Audit your Shopify store’s current design and performance. Click every button, every call-to-action (CTA), and check every page: legal, categories, about, contact, and so on.

  2. Group areas that need improvement into categories like layout, navigation, technical changes, speed, bugs, checkout, or product display.

  3. Browse competitors in other business verticals to see design trends and think about what would resonate with your customer personas. Are your competitors doing better than you in the areas of improvement you highlighted in the previous step?

  4. Prioritize the user-experience features that improve and simplify the shopping and checkout processes.

Redesign plan

Consider the scope of your redesign.

You have three main options:

  • Basic changes: update visual elements like hero banners, text, photography, the sequence that existing sections appear in, and colors.

  • Choosing a new theme: select a brand theme that will retain brand continuity while providing a better user experience and new features.

  • Complete storefront overhaul: explore new and potentially custom theme design and functionalities. It’s typically best to engage professional developers, designers, and Shopify experts for this. Consider upcoming technology and your store’s potential future needs.

Option 1: basic redesign

To identify what to improve, Mauren has a tip:

“Dive into your analytics and see which pages have been buzzing with traffic over the past 90 days. Focus on these pages and craft content that highlights specific products and collections.”

Use exciting headlines on all of your pages and communicate your brand’s unique value propositions throughout. Outline the problems your customers face and how your brand solves them.

Content can be reused across various other sections of your site. Focus on your homepage, collections pages, about page, and product detail pages (PDPs), as well as blog articles, if any are significant traffic sources.


Implement solutions that you identified in your audit, such as:

And make sure you have the basics down:

Option 2: choose a new theme

“A crucial step is choosing a versatile theme that brings your business to life and offers a bunch of cool sections,” says Mauren.

Here are her go-to themes (that cost between $320 and $360 USD):

Assess your business’ needs and customer experience goals. When choosing a theme, consider features, competitors’ offerings, product display preferences, and budget.

Make sure your new theme reflects your brand’s positioning and target audience and avoids the user journey obstacles that your old theme caused.

Features to consider

First, review the ideas list for option 1 above.

  • Live chat and other support options.

  • Showcase your top-selling products prominently, avoiding cognitive overload with excessive details.

  • Prioritize must-have items and simplify the presentation of products and information.

  • Enhance user navigation with a search function and track the keywords that customers enter (and whether or not it returns results).

  • Add ‘you might also like’ sections to pages to cross-sell or upsell related products and keep customers engaged. Showcase ‘related blog articles’ and other content on your site. (Scroll to the bottom of this article for an example.)

  • Take note of these 16 things that Shopify clothing brands do well.

Mauren adds:

“Remember, a mobile-first design is usually key!”

And plan to regularly review and update any Shopify apps you’ve added for optimal performance and feature integration (and whether they’re still needed).

Marketer’s tip: consider setting up automation for your emails and SMS with tools like Klaviyo.

Option 3: complete storefront overhaul

This option typically means engaging with a designer or developer. You might hire an agency or freelancer (here’s how they stack up).

Since you’re working with a third party, prioritize your asks.


In addition to the ideas for options 1 and 2 above:

  • Optimize your site speed. Reduce your images’ file sizes without losing visual quality. Remove unnecessary widgets, apps, tracking scripts, and plugins. Drop carousels and consult experts on other heavy elements that don’t improve conversion.

  • Use forms that auto-fill customer information.

  • Streamline the checkout process; consider a single-page checkout for ease.

  • Add automations to your Shopify store.

Ensure there’s space in your new theme for any new features like:

  • Social media feeds that showcase your product in action (from your account or those of customers). 

  • Wish list or a favoriting/bookmarking feature to encourage return customers.

  • Email sign-up bar with a compelling CTA for lead capture.

  • Loyalty programs for customer retention and data collection.

Streamline your redesign process by focusing on features that boost revenue and improve user experience. Remember, a successful redesign is a balance of aesthetics, functionality, and technical optimization.

Technical changes

  1. Ensure logical site architecture for better SEO and user navigation. Use clear, keyword-rich URLs.

  2. Migrate carefully. Make sure to redirect URLs from the old location to the new if you’re changing structure, especially for pages designed to drive SEO results.

  3. Optimize images and tags (with a title, description, and header).

  4. Follow our comprehensive SEO checklist for e-commerce.

Staging site or not?

Setting up a staging site while you work on your redesign will make sure you don’t change the live site before you’re ready to.

Unless you’re on Shopify Plus, you won’t be able to run multiple sites under the same Shopify account. You’ll need to create a staging site on a separate account.

The benefit of making changes to your live site means that you’ll be able to see how the changes you make work contextually and if they’re driving real impact and playing nice with your existing setup.

Website design agency alternatives

Seeking professional help for your Shopify store’s redesign can make a significant difference.

Mauren recommends the following options when looking for a designer.

  • Shopify Partners: make sure they align with your vision.

  • Upwork: it's a treasure trove for cross-functional talent.

  • Creatively: perfect for finding those designer pros.

  • Instagram: use hashtags like #shopify, #ecomm, and #uxui for some undiscovered talent.

Check their portfolios and reach out for quotes and advice.

Shopify experts

If you’re dreading having to coordinate yet another redesign, OpenStore can run your business for a year while paying you.

OpenStore Drive is an all-inclusive Shopify management solution that pays you guaranteed passive income.

OpenStore goes beyond redesigns and landing page optimization. OpenStore’s experts will handle marketing campaigns, logistics, shipping, and other daily operations, while you enjoy time off.

OpenStore’s dedicated studio team makes sure that all design decisions align perfectly with each brand and target audience.

“We're deeply committed to crafting user journeys and experiences that aren’t just good, but amazing — ensuring efficiency every step of the way,” Mauren says.

Leave your Shopify business to professionals

Our experts will run your Shopify business for 12 months while you receive guaranteed monthly payments. OpenStore analyzes your store’s performance to calculate your monthly payments.


Discover more