Theme recommendations for very large inventory

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Thony12
Tourist
7 0 3

Our company has a very large inventory of clothes from several brands. We are interested to purchase a theme that has a VERY FAST LOADING feature and can support very large inventory.

We are considering 4 themes from different developers and would like to ask for your honest opinion and recommendation. Below are said themes and developers:

1. Turbo $350 - Out of the Sandbox

2. Superstore $280 - Pixel Union

3. Empire $180 - Pixel Union

4. Warehouse $180 - Maestrooo

We are interested with Superstore/Empire due to the Pixel Union's apps like Wholesale club but due to several negative reviews, we are very hesitant to push through with the purchase. We even tried to email them for support and experienced the very long response time. I'm not sure if this will improve if we avail the Theme updater pro plan. 

Maestrooo's Warehouse seems to be ok but we find it a bit lacking in terms of customization. The developer replies fast and very helpful so we are also considering this theme despite the lack of customization. We are not sure though if the theme can handle our large inventory. Our concern is the consistency of the loading speed.

As regards Turbo, this seems like the best bet due to its customization and tons of tutorials and guides found in their website and youtube. The only thing we are reluctant about this theme is the long response time of the developer and the price of the theme.

We need fast loading speed regardless of the quantity of items we upload. We have no coding experience and will only depend on tutorials and guides found on Shopify community and developer website. We plan to integrate severals apps as well so we are looking for a theme that is stable with app integration and a developer that can assist us if needed. We will also hire experts that will insert codes for size recommendations and checkout address formats, this is one of the reasons why we need the best theme that can handle some code customizations.

In your honest opinion, which between the 3 developers and 4 themes would be best for a large inventory?

Thank you to anyone who can help us. 

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I hear good things about https://themes.shopify.com/themes/boost/styles/inspire and https://themes.shopify.com/themes/prestige/styles/allure for larger stores.

Speed will be determined by a few things 1) compressing your images, 2) lazyloading images 3) minimizing JS errors appearing in Chrome Console.

On another note, we just released an app called InventoryHero built for clothing stores and large inventory. https://inventoryhero.app

Mike Belanger | Web & App Developer | UX Design & Marketing Specialist
InventoryHero - Automatically Discount Weak Inventory
https://apps.shopify.com/inventory-hero
https://inventoryhero.app
Ottawa, ON, Canada
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JoesIdeas
Shopify Expert
1310 118 340

This is an accepted solution.

The amount products has no effect on which theme you choose, other than design (like if you have 1 product you would choose a theme geared towards a single product).

I vote for any theme by Out of the Sandbox, they've been my go to company for site build projects for about 6 years now. As a developer myself I appreciate their attention to detail on putting out quality code.

Haha ya I've heard this from a lot of clients about their support being bad, I'm not sure why they don't have better support but their support quality does not reflect their developer quality.

If you're paying under $500 for a professional theme with lots of features you're getting a smoking deal. Most sites I've worked with stay with the same theme for 2 - 5 years, so consider it a long term investment.

As for performance, if you're buying a modern, professional (paid) theme, then the performance difference is usually quite small. Most performance issues happen after customizations and apps. As long as the theme has lazy loading and good control of image sizing (which most pro themes have now), then you should be good. There are other tactics for speed that some themes have and some don't (like preloading, which Turbo utilizes to some extent), but most performance can be dialed in with any theme.

For reference on my suggestions, my team speedboostr.com have expertise in Shopify performance optimization. We've optimized 1,000+ sites and built the first performance analysis tool specifically for Shopify: the Shopify Analyzer... free for the community to use. Whatever theme you get, you can run some pages through there to see where it stands, with a new theme at most you'll only need to spend a few hundred on optimization, but most likely you want need to spend anything.

Turbo has 1 fault that I'll point out, their lazy loading is not true lazy loading (they do placeholder lazy loading), so you'll see warnings pop on analysis tools. That's a small project to fix if you want to have it implemented... or you can reference this guide: Lazy Loading on Shopify and replace your src attributes on images with data-src (your developer will know what that means ).

Good luck with the new project!

Founder of Speed Boostr (Shopify optimization experts, theme customization, custom app development).
Creator of Shopify Analyzer (first performance analysis tool for Shopify sites, free for the Shopify community).
Creator of Order Automator (auto tag orders and customers + auto fulfillment + more automations).
More apps: Theme Scientist (A/B testing), Tip Jar (add a tip button), File Optimizer (optimize CSS, JS, Liquid).
Thony12
Tourist
7 0 3

Thanks for the suggestion, We will look into this.

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Thony12
Tourist
7 0 3

@JoesIdeas Thanks for the info. We will definitely consider this.

Lastly, do you have any experience with Pixel Union's themes and support? I think they are a partner company of Out of the Sandbox? I'm really interested with their Superstore theme and wholesale club app.

Darin23
New Member
1 0 0

Certain stores need a large inventory due to the very nature of the store while others need it due to the size of the store.

 

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JoesIdeas
Shopify Expert
1310 118 340

@Thony12  I checked their themes and a couple look familiar but I don't have a recollection on the details of them. They look legit though.

Founder of Speed Boostr (Shopify optimization experts, theme customization, custom app development).
Creator of Shopify Analyzer (first performance analysis tool for Shopify sites, free for the Shopify community).
Creator of Order Automator (auto tag orders and customers + auto fulfillment + more automations).
More apps: Theme Scientist (A/B testing), Tip Jar (add a tip button), File Optimizer (optimize CSS, JS, Liquid).
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Thony12
Tourist
7 0 3

@JoesIdeas Hi Joe. Thanks for your prompt response. Will let you know once we need help with website speed optimization.  

Thony12
Tourist
7 0 3

@JoesIdeas Just wanted to ask since you've experienced Out of the sandbox's themes.

Between Turbo & Flex, which would you recommend? Is it true that their loading speed are almost identical but FLEX is better in terms of 3rd party apps integration?

I tried both themes and I'm leaning towards FLEX due to better customization features. My only concern is the price. Would it be better to invest in FLEX in the long run or would Turbo suffice?

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JoesIdeas
Shopify Expert
1310 118 340

@Thony12 I would go with whichever one fits your vision for the design of your site. Performance is negligible in comparison, and for app integration the theme choose doesn't matter (for apps you either just install the app, or add a theme snippet, or slightly modify theme code, which theme doesn't have an effect).

The price is about the same if you're thinking long term, so I would go with whichever you feel more comfortable with and that your customers will enjoy more.

Founder of Speed Boostr (Shopify optimization experts, theme customization, custom app development).
Creator of Shopify Analyzer (first performance analysis tool for Shopify sites, free for the Shopify community).
Creator of Order Automator (auto tag orders and customers + auto fulfillment + more automations).
More apps: Theme Scientist (A/B testing), Tip Jar (add a tip button), File Optimizer (optimize CSS, JS, Liquid).