Before you do anything with your Shopify store you want to make sure you have the right theme. The last thing you want to do is full your store with products then change the theme at a later date.
Because Shopify has dominated the market in e-commerce, you might be finding it hard to choose a them.
So in this review, I'll cover the Brooklyn free Shopify theme and see if it's right for your store. Before doing anything you need to consider the cost, themes do not come cheap.
The problem with the free ones is they may not have all the bells and whistles that you need.
Or do they?
Let's take a look at the Shopify Brooklyn theme, a free theme that anyone who has a Shopify store can use.
This is best for those who are starting their journey in the world of e-commerce but don't have a huge budget for themes or web development.
What Is The Shopify Brooklyn Theme?
In this Shopify Brooklyn theme review, we will take a look at the theme’s background, its features and how it will essentially help you run a store.
The Brooklyn theme is free and its created by Shopify.
It's designed specifically for stores that sell apparel and you can choose between two styles. These styles are called Classic and Playful.
Even though it's mainly designed for apparel you can use this Brooklyn theme in any niche.
On both the Classic and the Playful themes, the customer is treated with a bold home page slider that occupies the entire screen.
This is important because putting the slider in the middle of a page and wrapping it with white space on both sides, makes a customer feel like the store is unfinished.
With a wide slider, you are capitalizing on the space and you can use that to your advantage as you can place more details about your products.
Large banners allow you to “’wow” your customers because you can use vivid photographs with backgrounds that occupy the customer’s entire screen.
The main difference between the two Shopify themes is that in the Classic, you can put two Feature Collections side by side and the photos are the same size.
Below that, you can add three more photos of smaller sizes for three different collections.
For the Playful style, the collection is arranged in such a way that one gives way to a large photo and the other photos beside it are half the size of the big one.
You can add another collection with the same format below that.
Despite having only two sub-themes, it wont because there is only one key differentiator and thats the collections. The rest can be changed like the color palette and the positions of the links. This theme also integrates with photo review apps to add more style to your store.
Brooklyn Theme Main Features
The Shopify Brooklyn theme boasts several features that will help you create a store that sells. This theme is perfect or anyone wanting to sell food online. Learn more about that on our food store tutorial here.
- Sleek Design for Clothing: When you sell clothing, you need provision for photos that showcase the apparel. On a website, you must capitalize on showing the clothes in action, which means that the clothing you sell must be worn by a model. You can't do this in a theme that shows small pictures.
- Slide Show: Both theme designs allow you to put slideshows that will highlight your products. A slide show is a series of pictures that move, each containing an important message about your company or product.
- Home Page Video: On your home page, the theme allows you to upload a video. It is designed for linking a video that you have already uploaded either in YouTube or Vimeo.
What happens after you load the link is that the customer can watch your video on your home page, they don't need to leave your website to go to either YouTube or Vimeo.
- Dynamic Product Display: when using the Brooklyn Shopify theme, the website will automatically adjust the spacing of your photos to make the website look liquid. Can you imagine if you only have three pictures for a space that was designed for five? If the two photo areas are blank, it will look awkward.
With this Shopify theme, the photo spacing and sizes will adjust to occupy the five spaces, making your website look better.
It also works best if you have integrated upsell apps that can help boost your sales.
- Slide Out Cart: It's not good for a customer to go to a shopping cart page and then go back to previous pages after adding an item. With this theme, the cart will slide out and the customer can toggle the quantity of his purchase, then he can slide the cart back in once he is done.
All these features can do wonders for your site. If used correctly you can create a website that looks like it was developed by a huge corporation, even if you do not know anything about coding!
Brooklyn Theme Functional Features
The features laid out earlier are superficial, meaning they have something to do with what your customers see.
But, how about the important features that are important to you in the back end?
The Brooklyn theme has a lot of features that you will certainly like, these will make your job easier in managing your online store.
- Free Photos: If you are looking for photos taken by a professional, then this Shopify theme is a great option. If you use it, you can access thousands of photos from Burst, a division of Shopify where all photos are free of royalty. They are all free to use so you can market your products effectively
- SEO: Whether you are an expert in search engine optimization or not, you have to love this feature. The Brooklyn theme allows you to put meta descriptions for each of your products.
You can also edit the meta title. Both of these are important because search engines use the content of your product title and description to index your website.
- Drop Downs: You want to organize your store into specific categories. You can create drop-down menus.
For example, you can put a label on top of your store and put T-SHIRTS then under that category you can add sub-categories like V-Neck or round neck.
Organizing your collections and menus like this makes it easier for your customers to navigate your store.
- Social Media: This is an important aspect of every theme. You want a Shopify theme that shows icons of social media channels like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
All you have to do is to put your social media links in the admin panel and the Brooklyn Shopify theme will automatically display the icons.
Once a customer clicks on that icon, they will be taken to your social media page.
- Sidebar: A sidebar is a menu bar that is typically found at the left side of a website. This is where you place the navigation menus. With a sidebar, you can eliminate the headers, and make the top page of your store focus on photos.
- Footer: The footer is the part of every webpage where important links are found. Typically, this is where you place links for Contact Us, About Us, Address, Terms and Conditions, Shipping, and so much more.
With this Shopify theme, you can toggle the content of the footer and choose specific content that you want to show.
- Email subscription: The theme lets you set-up an email collection campaign. At the bottom of the page, you can place a bar where consumers can type their email address if they want to receive updates from you.
- Mobile compatibility: The theme was designed to adjust its display to mobile devices. You no longer have to program this yourself. Whenever a customer us using a smartphone, the theme will detect this and change the display to a mobile-compatible format
These backend features are critical, as you can't implement a decent-looking online store without it.
The Shopify Brooklyn theme was designed in such a way that you just need to tick some boxes to activate or deactivate some pages or add pages.
Backend Shopify Theme Features
Of course, this Shopify Brooklyn theme review would not be complete if we do not show the backend features
. As we go along, we will also be providing some instructional guides to help you visualize how this theme is used.
- Changing the color palette: If you do not like the color palette, you can change the color scheme. This is important so the theme’s overall look will match your brand’s motif, message, and spirit. You can change the site’s background colors, link colors and so much more.
To change the color, go to your store admin page and follow this path:
Online Store > Themes > Brooklyn > Customize > Theme settings > colors
After doing this, you will see the color palette and you can adjust the color. Don't forget to hit the save button!
- Typography: Despite limited options, you can change the font of your website. However, you cannot use any font, as you have to rely on the options available in the theme. Like the color, you need to follow this path:
Online Store > Themes > Brooklyn > Customize > Theme settings > typography
You can change the font styles of different elements with the Shopify Brooklyn theme, such as the font for your product description and the font for your product title.
You can also decide if you want to use bold, regular, or italics.
- Cart customization: Sometimes, you want to add more options to your customers. The Brooklyn Shopify theme allows you to add some cool features in your shopping cart before your customer finally checks out to pay. You can add a box where customers can place special instructions to you.
To do this, you need to follow this path: Online store > Themes > Brooklyn > Customize > Theme settings > cart page.
- Social Media: We mentioned earlier that you could add social media channels to your store. In addition to that, you can upload a social media image that visitors can share. A social media image is a photo that will show on the feed of the person who shared it.
To do this, follow these steps: Online store > Themes > Brooklyn > Customize > Theme settings > Social media
Once there, just click on the Upload Social Media Image button and you can choose what photo to show.
It can be your brand icon, it can be a photo of a product, a slider, or an announcement.
- Favicon: What is a favicon? This is an icon that shows on a customer’s web browser just above the URL. This one does not really have any technical function, but it does make your website look professional. It's great for branding purposes.
To change your favicon, do this: Online store > Themes > Brooklyn > Customize > Theme settings > favicon
Click on the change image button and upload your desired image.
Remember, the ideal size of a favicon is only 32×32 px.
Why You Should Use The Brooklyn Theme
So, why should you use this Shopify theme?
There are some advantages that set this theme apart from the thousands of themes out there.
This this part of the review, we will talk about the the benefits of using this Shopify theme.
- Free: Did you know that a theme like this can cost you more than $100? At that cost, do not expect free customer support, or free updates.
Web designers will stop supporting you once the transaction is complete. After you get the there themes, any excess work that you ask them to do will cost you money.
So what happens if Shopify deploys an update and your paid theme is no longer compatible? You have to pay them for support.
With the Brooklyn Theme, you wont have that problem. The theme is free and it does not have any subscriptions. All updates are also free.
- Nine Collections: Most themes found on Shopify will only allow you to upload a maximum of five collections. At most, you can create six. With this theme, you can create and showcase nine collections.
Although you can create more collections than that, you can only showcase a maximum of nine.
Why is this? The developers of the theme made this for apparel stores.
Clothing stores need to showcase a lot of collections like pants, shirts, blouses, underwear, and so much more.
- Home Video: Very few free themes allow you to use a video on your home page. The reason being is that videos eat up a lot of bandwidth. For a free theme, we feel that this is a real bonus.
- Featured Collections: Featured collections are those that appear right below your store’s sliders. Out of all the collections you have, you can choose one that you want to highlight.
- Newsletter: as mentioned earlier, you can collect the email addresses of your visitors. You no longer need an extra app to do this because it is built-in on the app. All you need to do is to change the wordings and make it much more inviting so your visitors will be convinced to provide their email address.
- In-slide button: A lot of themes do not have this. The in-slide button is a clickable button that will take the consumer where you want them to go. For example, you can create a slider about pants. If you put a button in there, the customer will be taken to the pants collection if he clicks it.
- Blog: This is the lifeline of any business. Without a blog, you cannot share content. The good thing about the theme is that there is a place where you can post your blog entries. Use this to educate and help your customers.
With a blog, it's much easier to build credibility.
This blog feature is built-in, and you no longer have to spend money on a separate blog account.
Online blogs can be very powerful on your online store if used together.
This is the reason why the Brooklyn theme is one of the primary choices for Shopify store owners, it has all the elements that a new business entity needs.
Brooklyn Shopify Theme Customer Feedback
So far, this theme is maintaining a positive rating in Shopify at 75%. Let us take a look at some of the common complaints of the people who used it.
- Frequent Updates: One downside to using this theme is that it introduces new updates frequently. All the updates are free, but they do not necessarily reflect on your store. The problem with this situation is that you have to re-do your website.
It means that you have to re-upload the photos, the pages, type the product names again and put the product descriptions again.
This is a huge setback. But, if you are satisfied with the theme and you do not want the updates, then this is no biggie.
- No Embedded Videos: You can only upload a video on the home page, but you cannot use the product page for videos. Some merchants prefer that they show a video instead of a photo.
You cannot do this with this theme and you are stuck with uploading product photos only.
There is also no option to put a video link that will automatically show on-page videos.
- Bad Photo Resizing: There are complaints about websites where the photos do not automatically display on smaller devices. Specifically, this error happens to the slide show, not the product photos.
The trick to fix this is to put the focus of your image in the middle.
When the photo is cropped for smaller devices, the customer can still see the middle portion of your slider.
Eve though the theme has some complaints thats normal, for a free theme it's great!
Brooklyn Theme Conclusion
Overall, we will rate this a 4.5 out of 5!
Its one of the best free Shopify themes online and it was designed for businesses that have large inventories, which is similar to the Shopify Venture theme.
You can upload up to 50 products in this theme and it is also a good choice for those that only have a few products.
The key element that makes this stand out is the boldness of the sliders.
Some themes provide a slider area, but the photos can only occupy about 75% of the screen’s width.
The other features that makes the Shopify Brooklyn theme a great choice is that home page video.
It't difficult to embed a video on any website if you do not know how to code.
With the Brooklyn theme for Shopify, all you have to do is to get the embedding link for your YouTube or Vimeo video and paste it in the area reserved in the theme.
As a customer browses your site the video will play giving you more marketing leverage.
The benefits that you get from this theme are unbelievable. Its easy to use and you can launch a store in less than one day! I hope this theme review helped you make up your mind on what theme you want to use!
Don't think this one if right for your store? Click here and check out what we thought about the Minimal theme!