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by Michael P. Hill November 25, 2016

While most Shopify stores offer a wide selection of products, sometimes your store might only offer a handful of items — or even just one — and the most flexible Shopify themes on the market include the features needed to “shrink down” to a store that has a smaller inventory count.

Types of stores

There are a wide variety of stores that might benefit from this approach to ecommerce, though obviously it does require a relatively low product count:

  • A store that offers only a single product or a single product with multiple variants
  • A store that offers just a handful of products (perhaps six or less).
  • A store that uses a crowdfunding approach to sales.
  • A store that’s offering only pre-orders for a single or small number of items.
  • A store whose main product is a single service, monthly subscription or event

Homepage only

The simplest version of a small inventory store is a single page store that includes all promotional and marketing information as well as product names, details and more — plus the ability to buy directly from the homepage.

The advantages to this type of setup include:

  • The store is easier to get set up and running.
  • The store is simpler to maintain and update.
  • Customers can quickly and easily find your products and complete a purchase.
  • Shoppers can get all of the information about your product or products from a single page.

However, there are also some considerations that you should take into account:

  • With fewer links to interior collection, product and informational pages, your site won’t have as much opportunity for certain search engine optimization techniques for Shopify themes.
  • You’ll need to be able to craft a succinct and visually eye-catching homepage since it’s your first and only chance to grab shoppers’ attention.
  • If you only offer a small inventory but the products are significantly different or unrelated, this can create a bit of an odd user experience while also making it hard for search engines to determine what your site is all about.

Also, keep in mind that your “ catalog page” and each product you create will still technically exist as separate, standalone pages. While it is possible to prevent some of these pages from being indexed, you may want to consider leaving them available for indexing.

The reason? So that search engines still have the option of displaying these pages if they are determined to be more relevant. After all, most stores will still want to grab visitors no matter what page they enter on.

If you do go this route, remember to make sure your single product pages still have well written product descriptions and background information about your products and company.

A good way to do this is to use a “split page” that lets you offer an expanded product description area below the two columns at the top of the product page.

Setting up the homepage

Most Shopify themes include flexible modules that can be included on the homepage and used to create single or low-page count stores:

Single page Shopify theme banner

  • Slider or banners: These are a great place to grab shoppers’ attention at the top of the page with large, vivid imagery and eye-catching copy.

Featured promotions

  • Featured promotions: Use these to showcase photos and a word or two about your product features. This is a great way to showcase unique features of your product and unique selling propositions.
  • Featured links: These areas can be used to link to blog content, social media profiles, crowdfunding pages, press mentions or other related content that helps customers find out more about you and your products.

Single page Shopify theme product detail

  • Featured collection in full detail: This module can be configured to show the full product gallery, product name, variants and quantity box, as well as an “add to cart” button. This ability to purchase the product directly from the home page is key for one-page shops.
  • Checkout features: For a more seamless process, some stores may find it advantageous to automatically transfer users to the checkout process once an item is added to the cart. This is especially true if you’re selling only one product or it’s unlikely customers will purchase multiple products.
  • Social feeds: Spotlights your social media buzz and engages followers using Instagram or Twitter feeds with built-in integration. This can be especially effective for crowdfunding or pre-order style stores.
  • Featured collection in grid: Although this feature doesn’t necessarily make your site a single page experience, it’s worth noting here because it can, when combined with a “quick shop” popup, allow the shopper to add the product to their cart without ever leaving the homepage.

Finally, remember that you can also configure the arrangement of these sections using themes with advanced Shopify theme homepage layout options.

Branch out a bit

If if you do opt for a single page shopping experience, keep in mind that it’s often a good idea to use additional pages on your Shopify site that users may expect and ultimately enhance the experience:

  • About us and company profile pages
  • Contact information pages
  • FAQ and customer service pages
  • Blogs 

Blogs are probably one of the more notable justifications for branching out beyond a single page, since they can be a great way to boost your SEO scores and distribute strong, relevant content via social media and email marketing.

So what about the rest of the theme?

Although it may seem a bit counterintuitive to purchase a fully fleshed out Shopify theme if you’re just going to use a small portion of the available pages, keep in mind that most Shopify themes are still priced competitively enough to make the cost of purchasing a pre-made theme much more cost effective than having a custom, single page theme built.

Also, as your business grows and expands, it’s always possible that you’ll need to move away from a single page format and by having a fully functional Shopify theme already installed, it’s a much easier transition.

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.

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