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by Michael P. Hill July 27, 2016

This week, Out of the Sandbox is excited to introduce Responsive 5.2, the latest version of this acclaimed and iconic Shopify theme — an update that’s packed with improvements and new features.

The release marks another milestone in Out of the Sandbox’s continuing efforts to provide new features that meet the evolving needs of Shopify store owners.

To set your store up with the latest version, you can follow the upgrade instructions here.

So, what exactly is in store for you when you upgrade? Plenty. Here’s a quick look at the major updates:

Featured promotions

Featured promotions

To give store owners more space and flexibility for showcasing content on the homepage, Responsive now has a featured promotions section. Each promo can include its own image, headline and description plus a link, and are perfect for spotlighting products, collections, blog posts or other areas of your store.

Setting up your featured promotions is easy through the “Customize theme” section of your Shopify backend. Full instructions and more details are available here.

Not only do the featured promos represent the addition of an oft-requested feature, but the Out of the Sandbox team developed it with an eye to store owners needing more than just two or three promos on the homepage.

One particularly intriguing use for these promotional areas is to spotlight specific blog content that can help visitors learn more about your products and store plus gain helpful insights and tips.

Shopify Reviews app ready

Responsive now includes tight integrations with the Shopify Product Reviews app, one of the highest rated — and free — apps in the app store.

This app allows visitors to leave star ratings and reviews of your products using a simple interface and now it’s easier than ever to add it to your store. Previously a few minor liquid code modifications were required, but no more.

With full integration, you can simply complete a few simple setup and activation steps in the theme settings and start collecting reviews right away.

Choose thumbnail position

Product gallery

This feature, another direct result of user feedback, lets you decide the positioning of product thumbnails on product pages. Before, thumbnails would be placed based on the size of your product images, but now you have the ability to “force” them to always be on the right, left or bottom.

Improved size charts

Size charts have been a popular feature in all Out of the Sandbox Shopify themes for some time now, but the latest update to Responsive gives you some better ways to control how these size charts are displayed, making it an ideal Shopify theme for clothing and apparel retailers.

It’s now possible to feature an unlimited number of size charts that can be assigned at the product level. This means you could have a different size chart for every product in your store — or simply enjoy the flexibility of changing the size chart for the products that need it (and removing it from any products that don’t)

More information and detailed instructions for getting started are available here.

It’s also worth noting that the revamped size chart code can also be used to include other unique content at the product level — so this feature is helpful even if you don’t need size charts but do need to repeat specific information on multiple but specific products.

Video on homepage

Responsive now includes the option to add an additional, full width video banner to the homepage, which is a perfect way to engage shoppers and spotlight your products and brand. You can use a video hosted on YouTube or Vimeo or opt to upload files directly to Shopify’s servers.

There’s also the option to chose a 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio for more ideal scaling across all devices.

Flexible homepage

Responsive Shopify theme homepage settings

In addition to the new homepage features outlined already, Responsive 5.2 introduces the ability to control the order of each section of your homepage below the main slideshow.

You can access this under Sales Channels > Online Store > Themes > Customize theme (blue button) > Homepage and use the list of dropdown menus to assign the order, from top to bottom, in which the content should appear.

Keep in mind you still have more options for each individual homepage section (look for the sections that start with “Homepage”) for even more flexibility. For example, if you enable the new video section on the homepage, you’ll also need to go to the “Homepage - video” setting to specify the video source, set the autoplay, add any text on top of it and manage other aspects.

Define number of blog articles per page

The latest version also adds a setting to dictate how many blog posts should be shown on each page. Once this limit is reached (or for existing blogs with many posts), a pagination menu appears allowing users to jump directly from page to page.

You can set this up under Sales Channels > Online Store > Themes > Customize theme (blue button) > Blog page.

Improved newsletter signup form

Responsive theme newsletter signup

If your store relies heavily on email marketing, you’ll love this next update. You can now collect your shoppers’ first and last names with the built-in MailChimp newsletter signup integration. Previously, this functionality required using a custom embed form and couldn’t be easily done in the footer menu or popup.

No more — the new Responsive lets you include these additional fields with the click of a mouse.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the more fields you require users to fill out, the less likely they might be to sign up. In most cases, asking for first name, last name and an email address isn’t going to be a problem, but it’s something to consider and you may want to monitor if your newsletter signups start dropping off.

More updates

Currency converter location

In addition to the major feature updates listed above, the Responsive Shopify Theme v.5.2 release includes these additional enhancements:

  • New location for the currency converter dropdown menu on mobile devices for improved access
  • New narrow page template option
  • Minor bug fixes and adjustments
  • Integration of newer versions of jQuery and Flexslider

The latest version of Responsive is available at no cost to existing license holders. Full  upgrade instructions are here. If you'd like to add Responsive to your store, click here for purchase details.

Michael P. Hill
Michael P. Hill

Michael P. Hill is a Shopify, Shopify theme, content marketing, digital marketing and product management expert based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelphill or connect on LinkedIn.

1 Response

Leslie Nicole
Leslie Nicole

August 19, 2016

I started using Responsive several years ago and I’m still extremely happy. Great theme. Great company. Looking forward to checking out these exciting upgrades. Thanks!

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