There are many aspects to consider when it comes to selecting a theme and it is a lot more than just color schemes involved. A lot has to do with the business brand, the business model on how you work with clients and partners, the way your business markets itself and communicates on social media and other forums. Web development has all the tools available to create your dream theme, but in most cases, doing some web design changes to a pre-built theme is more time-efficient and can deliver what you are looking for. So what are the categories of themes to consider?
Bigcommerce Theme or Framework
There are 2 approaches that are provided by Bigcommerce - Theme or Framework. Most people understand that there are plenty of Themes to chose from in which they have categories by business models and types, but what does "Framework" mean, and is it relevant to your business model?
Some Bigcommerce-compatible Themes can be used in WordPress through "Bigcommerce for WordPress" - allowing the template to be applied in a different framework for your shopping cart. Allowing developers to change the storefront experience, performance, and management through a plugin directly on the WordPress platform. This bridge is unique in that most eCommerce platforms try to be protective of their technology and space, but Bigcommerce recognizes that a lot of store migrations would have prototyped in WordPress, and giving businesses the option is a competitive advantage. This means your WordPress Theme could be brought over to BigCommerce - this is a major consideration if you are looking to grow from WordPress into BigCommerce.
Content Architecture and UI/UX considerations
Graphic design or website design hinges on the content that you are going to promote, give access to and surround conditions, security, and the way you would want to determine the experience. Considerations need to be made not just on your Bigcommerce template, but also on your digital marketing plan, social media platforms, and your search engine optimization (SEO). There is a lot to consider, so let's break down a few and how relevant they are to your theme selection:
Types of social media: If you plan to use photography as the main source of content to share products, testimonials, and lifestyle categories such as Instagram or Pinterest - then the Bigcommerce Theme needs to include a plugin that has a carousel of the images embedded on the front page. Social media marketing is a key component especially for the consumer market really needs to incorporate a Theme allowing for its content to be represented showing your brand and activity.
Mobile responsive functionality: If your target audience is a mobile-centric one, then focus on being minimalistic in how your content communicates from a social media site to your google amp speed scores. Social media users have very short attention spans as they scroll through their feeds, this means if they see your eye-catching promotion, they don't want to be going through an over-the-top content page or hard-to-navigate shopping cart. Online stores need to be streamlined for their target audience.
Cross-selling of upselling: As most businesses use this practice, it would make sense to address it here. Your Bigcommerce theme would have to factor in the ability to select optional and complimentary items into the shopping cart. A grocery cart for example might recommend "people also bought this item" when selecting an item into the cart. It reminds customers, and it is a good customer experience. These sales tools are important to have available for the audience to have visual access to when considering and selecting an item.
Blog Posts, Videos, and Photo libraries: While most of this content is now pushed onto social media, allowing them to drive excitement about your products, services and experiences can augment your customer service side of the business in FAQ's, How-to's which can extend your website design post-sale, reducing warranty cost while upholding a good experience.
While other content considerations are well known such as page load speed, good navigation and search, product detail, and variation with a simple and easy checkout experience, your content and how it is presented will help shape the type of theme you are going to be looking for.
Hosting your Bigcommerce Theme
While it may be obvious to some that if you are creating a Bigcommerce store, the theme would be hosted on Bigcommerce itself, the additional options of having the theme or framework hosted on WordPress is an on-server option where hosting is involved. Theme Editors are available on both sides of the solution, while WordPress offers an open-source environment where full access to all the website functionality is available, while on Bigcommerce, back-end access is restricted and accessed via their API. Programming languages aren't too varied by either server-side scripting or being able to connect over to another architecture such as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
A Bigcommerce theme has a lot to offer when it comes to flexibility, prototyping, and have the ability to ensure that you have all the features needed to successfully communicate to your audience. Having an organized list of requirements, UI/UX features, your content with social media considerations will make the job of selecting your theme easier. It is worth considering to go over your selection with your Bigcommerce Expert or web developer to ensure that what you are looking for is compatible with your selection. If you have any questions, feel free to check in with us at firstname.lastname@example.org