Shopify Narrative Theme Review: The Best Theme for Storytelling

The Narrative theme is designed to keep your visitors engaged on your website.

It’s a free theme created by Shopify and comes with three different styles.

It utilizes an interactive, storytelling layout to showcase your products features and highlights the finer details, similar to the Apple website.

In today’s post, we will review the Narrative theme, its features and benefits.

Keep reading to find out if this is the best theme for you.

What is the Narrative Theme?

The Narrative theme combines a bold and minimalist approach to showcase your brand’s personality and products. The theme comes in three different styles, Warm, Light and Cold.

Although all three styles are similar in functionality, the smaller details is what sets them apart.

Let’s take a closer look at each style.

Warm Theme Style

The Warm theme style lets you display a slideshow on the homepage. Unlike other themes, the Narrative theme utilizes a full window slider.

Keep in mind the images you use in the slider. Depending on the image colors, it can affect how visible your customers can see your logo, menu and cart icons.

However, the slider does not change the images by itself. It will require the user to manually click to change what they currently see on the screen. Constant changes in the slideshow

Under the slider, you can add an image combined with text to showcase what products you sell on your store.

For example, you can display a high-quality photo of coffee beans and include a short description explaining what makes your coffee beans unique and different from your competitors.

Below this section, you can embed a video to create more engagement with your visitors by linking a YouTube video to your home page.

Viewing the video on mobile will trigger be an overlay in the background to put more focus on the video.

If you continue scrolling down the theme, you will have more sections to add product images, customer testimonials and offering customers the opportunity to purchase a gift card.

Just before the footer, you will see a section that is split into two with the right side scrollable. I think this feature is not really important and can be a bit confusing for mobile view.

Light Theme Style

The Light Theme style lets you embed a video on the home page slider. The video will continue to loop automatically.

I’m not the biggest fan on displaying a video on the home page because it can slow down the loading speed of your website. Plus, who would want to see the same thing played over and over again?

The Light theme also lets you add a button on the slider to direct your visitors to a specific collection or the product page. You can also place text on top of the video to provide more context about your business.

Similar to the Warm style layout, you will have sections where you can display images, add text and buttons. This style also has the scrollable right-hand side which is a nice feature to showcase multiple products.

Cold Theme Style

The Cold theme style uses bold colors and masculine font style. The homepage layout is similar to the Light theme. It also displays a full page slider and also lets you embed a video.

Just like the other two styles, you will have sections to display images and text to showcase your brand. If you keep scrolling down, you will notice a section for Featured Collections.

Narrative Theme Features

The Narrative theme is suitable for entrepreneurs with a small niche business. The theme thrives for store owners who have no more than ten products in their catalog.

The layout of the theme was designed to showcase a single product and highlight its features.

If you’re a drop shipper who plans to start a single product store, this theme is perfect for you. You can always add more products in the future if you plan to scale your business.

Here is a list of features of the Narrative theme:

Hero Video

You can upload a video onto your homepage to showcase your brand. This video will be displayed above the fold in full screen on a continuous loop.

The widescreen layout looks amazing when being viewed on mobile.

Visual Storytelling

The layout of the theme was designed to take your customer on a journey. As they are scrolling from top to bottom, the theme’s layout will display your content in a storytelling layout.

For example, if you are selling handmade jewelry you can use close up product images to demonstrate the finer details. This makes your website more engaging and interactive.

Fixed Navigation

When a customer is browsing your website, scrolling up will trigger the header. This keeps navigation simple and easy for your visitors.

Vertical Slideshow

You can display your business information, photos and blog posts in a vertical slideshow. To view more content, just scroll down on the slider.

Wide Layout

You can showcase high-quality images to demonstrate your brand’s personality.

Take advantage of the full width.layout. The layout is responsive and performs amazingly well on smaller screen devices.

What are the Benefits of Using This Theme

Besides the features and full-width layout, Shopify has added a few little details which make the theme perform even better.

Benefits of using this theme include:

Custom Content Sections

You can customize what you want to be displayed on your website. For example, if you do not like the image blocks, it can be easily taken off your website by adjusting the settings.

Mobile Friendly

This theme looks and performs great on desktop and mobile.

The theme will automatically adjust its layout and content to fit the screen it’s currently viewed on.

This ensures your customers can easily navigate when browsing your website.

I have seen many free Shopify themes which looked great on desktop, however, it was the total opposite when viewed on a smaller device.

It’s disappointing to see amazing themes on a desktop that are not responsive to mobile screens.

Footer

You can add links in the footer which directs your customers to pages containing important information about your business.

These pages can include Terms of Service, Return and Refund Policy, Shipping and a Contact Us page for customers to communicate with you in case something goes wrong.

There’s also a section on the footer where you can collect your customer’s email addresses. Building an email list for your business can help you make more sales in the backend by sending email marketing material.

Social Media

You can link your social media profiles to your website in the theme’s admin settings.

If a customer clicks on one of the icons, they will be directed to your social media profile page. This helps with social proof and increasing trust with new visitors.

If they logged into their account, they can also share your website on their profile and friends.  

Free Photography

If you don’t have the budget for professional photos, especially if you’re just starting out with drop shipping, you can download free images from Shopify’s partner, Burst.

Just make sure you pick photos that are related and consistent to your brand’s personality and niche.

Blog

One way to increase your web traffic is to upload blog posts onto your website. Sharing blog posts rich in content will help search engines understand what your website is about.

You can optimize your content to contain keywords that people are searching for to attract new visitors to your store.

Make sure you format your blog posts so that the content is easy to digest, to keep a consistent user experience.

What are Users Saying About This Theme

The common complaint about this theme are images being cropped on mobile devices.

A quick way to solve this problem is to pick images with a focal point in the middle. This helps the slider to display the most important section of the photo on a smaller screen.

It will take some time to find the best photo, but in the end, the results are worth it.

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