Author: Tim Trampedach

How to choose a theme for your eCommerce store (part 2)

In part one we looked at the visual and layout aspects of finding a theme. Now it’s time to choose a theme that works for your store’s brand identity, whether that’s colors, visuals or something else, but where do you try to find one?

Don’t go custom

At first glance, it seems to daunting to find a theme which works for what you have in mind that you think you need to have one custom made. Buyer beware here. There are a few pitfalls. First, you have to be sure that you can provide excellent guidance, meaning you can write a detailed spec or project proposal for freelancers or companies to provide proposals for. Marketplaces like or Upwork have plenty of high quality service providers, but you have to dig deep for them and they will also cost. Quite simply, you get what you pay for. Expect to pay $1000 at a very minimum for a decent-looking theme, probably 2-3x that.

The power of many

Instead, we strongly suggest using a standardized theme and adjusting it to your needs. Why? Because any moderately popular theme is already running on thousands of sites, so all of the kinks and bugs have been ironed out well before it goes on your store. Furthermore, the theme will work on all kinds of screens and devices right out of the gate and if small stuff does come up, all developers give you at least a year’s worth of updates. In comparison, if there are bugs you discover in 3 months after install, you have to go back and bug the developer of your theme. That will take time and probably cost money again. Either way, a hassle.

Picking a standard theme

Before you pick a theme, go and put some dummy content on your site. Add some products, categories/collections, set up menus, an about page and any other key content. You’re basically going to do a bunch of “let’s try this one”, so you’ll want your own content on the site to see how it looks.

Depending on your eCommerce platform, there are a number of places to find a theme. For Shopify and BigCommerce we recommend using their theme stores. Again, the main reason is compatibility and support. If it’s being provided on the actual eCommerce platform’s store, the quality will be high. For WooCommerce, there are a few different places like ThemeForest, TemplateMonster and many others.

Pick a few and put them on your store so you can toggle between them. Try to block out the default color scheme and/or fiddle with the settings of each theme to adjust the colors to something in the range that you want. Ask yourself as a customer:

  1. Can I find the product info I need?
  2. Is it easy to add a product to the cart?
  3. I want to see pictures. Are the pics above the fold, but not the only thing there?
  4. Can I see part number and/or SKU clearly besides the part’s name?
  5. To learn more, is the full/long description easy to get to?

To give you an example of custom theme which isn’t so great: we encountered a store where all the product pictures had to be a very exact format for the them to work. The store does look pretty, but that means you will need to rescale almost every single product picture on your store. That’s an incredible amount of effort you probably don’t want to sign up for. Standard non-custom themes will not require something laborious like this.

The home page & widgets

Widgets (sections) and the customization of the home page can sometimes make or break a theme selection. Without focusing on what the default view looks like, start looking at the home page and see if the various widgets the them comes with, like carousels (scrolling images), columned sections, featured products, etc. is all there. You won’t have to use the exact order the them proposes – just make sure you like the different options the them provides.

In the end, no theme is going to feel perfect, but you’ll learn to like it as you understand how to set it up. The best part will be that it will not cost you more than $200 to get a high quality, highly configurable, great converting and stable theme for your store.

Customizations, plugins & apps

Need to do something special with your theme? See if you can solve it with plugins and apps first before you have someone dive into the code. For example, on Shopify you might want to install an app which allows better filtering by various attributes in each collection. That’s easily done by an app and should not need any customization of the theme code. Same goes for social sharing buttons or popups for email collection of store special. Those are all plugins or apps which can be installed.

Bottom line, our suggestion for the most pain-free experience is to use standard popular themes, apps and widgets to build your site on the eCommerce platform of your choice.

Press the easy button!

Sometimes it’s best to let the pros help you out, preferably without breaking the bank. Since Torqued Distribution is technology-driven, we often encounter different agencies and freelancers who are working with our dealers to set up and manage their stores. The quality of the sites they create and their general knowledge of how to build a top tier website for performance and motorsports parts can be… lacking. It’s not for lack of skill, but because sites in our world can have some very unique requirements like year/make/model search or a huge amounts of options/configurations for a part. This requires special expertise.

We’re therefore excited to launch our new Torqued Distribution Official Partners program. In this program we’ve selected agencies who meet our requirements for knowledge, skill and prior experience in creating beautiful and high performing eCommerce stores for performance and motorsports parts. These companies are familiar with our Warehouse as a Service (WaaS™) and will use it to its fullest potential to build you a site suited to your budget.

If you’re just starting out, think about whether it might be best for you to get this built out to you fast by the pros. It may seem like pressing the easy button, but in reality it’s actually the smarter choice.

Desktop product view
How to choose a theme for your eCommerce store (part 1)

When you’re setting up your eCommerce store, choosing a theme or skin for it can seem daunting. There are so many to choose from with so many different styles. Should you have a custom one made? Maybe buy a third-party one? Do the standard ones just seem too plain?

Where do you even begin to try to narrow down the options? To help you do a more targeted search, we’ve selected a few key points and features to focus on when making your selection. More…

The question to ask before you start

There are good, bad and mediocre reasons for starting an eCommerce store for automotive, motorsports or performance parts. Before you even start thinking which of these customer segments you want to go after – or more generally if you’re considering setting up and eCommerce store in some other industry – it’s good to clarify why you might want to go down this road, pun intended.

Writing a business plan is overkill, but before thinking of store names, buying a domain name, researching different eCommerce platforms, looking for suppliers, etc., you should think about why this is a good opportunity for you or your company. Starting an eCommerce store isn’t just a matter of being a “car guy” or “being good with computers”. Both of those help a lot, but we suggest starting your journey with a much more simple question. More…


Hello! We’re excited to announce the launch of our new blog here at Torqued Distribution. Thank you for stopping by.

You’re probably wondering what we plan to talk about here. It would seem logical for us to be promoting all the cool parts we distribute – and maybe that will happen from time to time – but that’s not going to be the focus area. Instead we’re going to talk about how to start and run a successful motorsports or performance aftermarket eCommerce business. It’s about wrenching – wrenching a site together so you can make money by selling parts for your customers to wrench on their cars.

eCommerce sites can seem so simple to start. That’s the generally true promise of Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce and lots of other eCommerce platforms. Yet at the same time they can still seem daunting and complex to set up and manage. We’re therefore going to use the experience of the staff at Torqued Distribution to explain some of the key aspects of starting, developing and running a site to be an online dealer of motorsports and performance aftermarket parts. We’ll cover the basics of how to get started and cover lots of important areas like SKU management, customer acquisition, sales and support, marketing strategies, promotions and much more.

While our PRI and SEMA directory listings shoehorn us into the Warehouse Distributor category, our approach is much broader than that. At Torqued Distribution, we’re focused on providing tools to online sellers large and small to efficiently source products, have accurate product data, real-time stock updates and drop ship order processing. We call this Warehouse as a Service (WaaS), which in our view is the key piece to running a modern eCommerce store that’s cheaper to run and sells more products than your competitors.

So join us in this journey and come back soon for the first “real” post.

Torqued Distribution

The most technologically advanced aftermarket warehouse distributor featuring eCommerce automation, Warehouse as a Service (WaaS) and No Cost 3PL services.

Office & Warehouse

1407 Allen Drive
Suite G
Troy, MI 48083