We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—ecommerce moves fast.
When we launched our best-selling Grid Shopify theme back in February 2015, parallax was brand new. Ghost buttons were everywhere, hidden navigation was still considered “experimental,” and mobile-friendly design was, well, let’s just say it wasn’t where it is today.
A lot can change in two and a half years! And while we’re constantly reviewing and improving all of our themes—as our release notes can attest—there comes a time in every theme’s life when it needs more than a couple bug fixes and a tweak to the Instagram integration.
We knew it was high time we gave Grid an in-depth upgrade, and today we’re pleased to report that that’s exactly what we’ve done.
Grid 3.0 turns Grid’s already robust feature set up to an 11, adding all kinds of new functionality and sections, including homepage video, customer testimonials, and even more of the distinctive masonry layouts our customers know and love. It also has a bunch of under-the-hood improvements to make your store run faster and perform better, especially on mobile.
Read on to learn more about Grid’s latest and greatest features, or skip over to the theme page, where you can peruse our new demos, read some customer testimonials, and download a super fly copy of Grid 3.0 for your store.
When Grid made its debut, homepage slideshows were everywhere. They were great for packing multiple bits and pieces of content into a single, coveted space, but their popularity has led to a lot of sites feeling generic and uninspired. Not to mention, they’re bad for SEO, bad for site speed, and bad for customer engagement.
A simpler and much more effective effective alternative is something you’ve probably heard of before: the homepage hero image. Best defined as a large, attractive and singular image or fullscreen background, hero images let merchants capture visitors’ attention and focus it around a single idea, promotion, or action.
Grid already comes with a great option for the above-the-fold area—the masonry section—but we wanted to offer merchants another way to customize their store. With the text-focused hero (which appears as a Promotion section in the theme editor) merchants can merchandise products, promotion and content using an eye-catching image or full-screen background, big, bold typography, and a clear call-to-action.
The text hero is also a great way to keep your store looking fresh and your customers engaged. Rather than have it act as a static, stand-alone image that sums up your entire brand, use it to advertise new products, limited-time promotions and timely store news. You can even move the section around the page—or create multiple—to create a truly one-of-a-kind homepage.
It’s hard to ignore the benefits of video to ecommerce. They’re easy for consumers to access and digest, they’re educational and demonstrative, they evoke emotional responses, and they’re easy to share on social media.
To help merchants leverage video in their stores, we’ve added a new video with text overlay section to Grid, making it easy to tell your brand and products’ story with a YouTube or Vimeo link. You can feature product videos, styling tips, interviews, user-generated testimonials, even cat videos (always a hit).
We’ve also added video support to our existing homepage masonry section. This means you can assemble dynamic and striking grids using not only static images, but conversion-boosting videos too! Mix and match videos and images to create a perfectly immersive and distinctive design, or add up to six videos to a single section for customers to enjoy in sequence.
New masonry sections
Grid has a lot of great features, but if we had to pick a favourite, it would be its unique homepage masonry section. And we’re not alone! Time and again, we’ve heard from customers how much they love the ability to feature several different product and lifestyle images to convey their brand’s aesthetic and drive home its value.
Besides enhancing the existing masonry section with video support, we’ve also added masonry layout options to the product, collection, and blog index pages. That means that instead of having variant images display as clickable thumbnails on the product page, you can display them simultaneously in a grid at the top of the page.
The same goes for the blog index and collection pages (and the collections list page, come to think of it!). Just switch the layout option to “masonry” and you can create a gorgeous grid pretty well anywhere in your store.
In addition to the new features detailed above, Grid 3.0 includes a number of bug fixes and other enhancements, including:
- A brand new customer testimonials section on the homepage
- A refreshed list of typography options, including bigger, bolder fonts designed with the “text hero” section in mind
- Improved mobile navigation and user experience
How to get Grid 3.0
If you already use Grid in your Shopify store, you’re eligible to upgrade to this version at no extra cost. Because it’s such a major update, it does not qualify for automatic updates, and you will need to follow these instructions to upgrade manually. Get in touch with our support team if you need a hand.
Or, if you’re on the lookout for a new Shopify theme and you like what you see here, there’s never been a better time to try Grid! Just head over to the theme listing, give our shiny new demos a gander, and hit that buy button. You’re gonna love it.