The use of testimonials is a tried and true way to build confidence with shoppers and showcase real-life examples of your products in use. It’s a type of social proof that shows potential customers how satisfied your existing customers are, so it can be a powerful form of endorsement.
The new “testimonials” section in Out of the Sandbox Shopify themes is a great way to introduce this element in your homepage.
The testimonials section is easy to use and incredibly flexible — so much so that it can be used for a wide variety of purposes well beyond just testimonials.
New section: Testimonials
At its core, the testimonials section lets you display multiple blocks of text within a single section, with all the building blocks you need to show a quote, the customer’s name, and the customer’s title or company (with an optional link):
The crux of each testimonial block is the main block of text. Most of these are designed to be a sentence or two — or perhaps a short paragraph.
The section can also have a heading (such as “Customers Say”), though this can be left blank and it will not appear.
Each testimonial can also have a name and link credited to it, but both of these are optional. If left blank, they will not appear within that block.
Depending on which Out of the Sandbox Shopify theme you’re using, the exact look and options of the testimonial sections vary slightly.
In the Retina theme, the testimonials section uses a full-width slideshow-style layout with a stationary background color or image, and testimonials that can be scrolled through on top. There is also a “transparency” setting that allows for a semi-transparent background on the text section, a great way to make your testimonials more legible if you have a busy background image; these can be set under General Settings > Colors.
In Mobilia, the design follows the same layout as an “image with text” section but without the button, and it’s a slideshow as well. The image is required, but each slide can have different image or text alignment settings. You can also control how long each slide appears before advancing to the next one.
In both the Parallax and Responsive themes, the testimonials appear in a grid with one, two or three testimonials per row (though they become stacked on mobile devices). Each one can also have an image that appears above the text and each image can optionally be cropped into a circle shape.
In Turbo, a slideshow approach is used. Select a background image and apply a darker screen over the image to boost readability. Other options include animation, alignment and positioning options.
Using the testimonial Shopify theme section
While this section is obviously a great way to add customer feedback and reviews in the form of quotes attributed to them, there are lots of other ways you can use this new section.
Here are 13 ways to use the testimonial section on your Shopify theme’s homepage:
Testimonials: The first, and most obvious way to use the testimonials section is to, well, show customer quotes and testimonies. These are a great way to build confidence with shoppers. Consider linking the person’s testimonial to his or her social media profiles or their company for added authenticity. If you’re using a theme that has an image associated with each testimonial, use a photo of the product they purchased, their company logo, an image they sent you of them using your product, or even a photo of the customer themselves, if they’ve given you permission to use it.
Step by step: Given the slider or side-by-side nature of some of the testimonials sections, it’s also a great way to show off processes. Consider using it to show customers your design process or how you source products. Use the link option to direct users to specific products or more details.
How it works: Similarly, the testimonial section is also a great way to explain how your service works, which can be particularly helpful for subscription based services.
Press mentions: Like our logo list section, the testimonial section can also be a good way to showcase mentions you’ve had in the press. You can include a short excerpt along with the name of the publication and a link to the article. If your theme supports it, upload the publication logo or screen capture of the article.
Staff profiles: This option is a great way to showcase your team, including a photo, short biography and, if applicable, a link to his or her full biography page.
Staff favorites: Have your team members say a few words about why a particular product in your shop is their favorite, then display a photo of the product (or the staff member using the product!) and link directly to that product page
Customer profiles: Similar to the idea of a testimonial, another way to use this section is to spotlight customers and how each one uses your products or services.
What’s trending: Use the section to showcase popular products and manually link to the product page. The scrolling design found in Retina and Mobilia is especially effective to create a sort “live feed” of trending items.
Promotions: Like many of the other sections Out of the Sandbox offers, the testimonial section is also a great way to showcase special collections, sales or special offers. You can easily link to each relevant content as well.
Blog posts: Showcase your favorite blog posts by manually linking each testimonial slide to the individual post page. Keep in mind instead of using the “name” field for a name, you can also use it as a makeshift call to action (such as “see more” or “see full post”).
Slideshow: The testimonials section in Mobilia is also a great way to create an alternative slideshow look — though these will be more text based, which can offer an intriguing alternative.
Partners: If you do business with other businesses, the testimonials section is a great way to showcase their logos, names and link to their sites.
Certifications: Showcase logos or “seals” as well as detailed information about each certification your store or products has.
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. While comments and feedback are always appreciated, Michael regrets that, due to the volume of inquires received, personal responses are not possible. For specific assistance or support with Out of the Sandbox themes, visit the help center.