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Startup Shopify Theme [Impartial & Detailed] Review: Is It Right For Your New Business?

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The Startup Shopify theme by Pixel Union is a mid-priced theme that offers a unique design for online stores. According to BuiltWith, there are currently 1400+ users of this theme. As such, there is an established user base which tells us that it’s a likable one.

💡 We meticulously evaluate Shopify themes and apps based on our hands-on experience. Read more about our comprehensive review process and methodology.

But this begs the question, Is it the best Shopify theme for new online stores just like what its name suggests?

There is only one way to figure that out. In this article, we’ll be conducting an in-depth review of the Shopify Startup theme to truly know if it's a theme that is worth trying for your new venture.

Let’s get started!

Pricing And Key Features Of The Startup Theme

Pricing And Key Features Of The Startup Theme

The Startup Shopify theme was developed by a company called Pixel Union. They are a long-time Shopify partner and they are responsible for the creation of other visually appealing designs such as the popular Atlantic, a premium Shopify theme that has a 97% five-star rating from online store owners.

Another popular theme for online stores is the Empire theme which is currently used by the Gap apparel brand.

With that in mind, we can say that Pixel Union knows what they are doing when it comes to Shopify themes. But the question is, is the Startup theme as functional as the other themes from the developers?

Well, let’s look at the core features to answer that:


The Startup Shopify theme is at the middle of the pricing spectrum of themes

Priced at only $240 one-time payment, the Startup Shopify theme is at the middle of the pricing spectrum of themes. It sits on the same bracket as other Shopify themes such as StyleScape, Roam, Launch, Pacific, etc.

With that in mind, this Shopify theme is neither cheap nor expensive. And to make it worth your money, it should have more features than the cheaper ones, with slightly less features (or more preferably, the same features) as the more expensive ones.

Let us talk about the features of the Shopify Startup theme in the next section.

Read more: Best Shopify Themes 

Key Features

Full list of features of Startup theme

First, let us state the obvious. The Startup Shopify theme does not have a lot of features. To be honest, we were unimpressed with what it offers as we’ve seen other themes at this price point that offer more for the dollar.

For example, the StyleScape theme offers EU translations, in-menu promos, cross-selling, and color swatches at $240.

Full list of features of StyleScape theme

Elevate Your Brand with Shine
Say goodbye to generic designs and embrace uniqueness with the Shine theme. Craft an online store that perfectly aligns with your vision and goals.

The Roam theme, also at the same price, offers gift-wrapping, pre-order, sticky cart, trust badges, sticky header feature, and shipping/delivery information, among other things in addition to the extra features of StyleScape.

Full list of features of Roam theme

This makes us think that the Startup Shopify theme is a bit lacking in terms of features because other themes of similar prices were able to offer more.

The built-in features are very important when you’re choosing a Shopify theme. Because if those features don’t come with your theme, you would have to pay for them later on if you need them. Better have the feature and not use it, than need it but you don’t have it. It’s practical.

Let’s take a look at a sample computation of the monthly costs of apps of some of the extra features of the Roam theme to see how much value you are getting for free:

  • Gift-wrapping - starts at $5.99 per month with Wrapped
  • Sticky cart - starts at $9.99 per month with Ultimate Sticky Add to Cart
  • Pre-orders - start at $19.90 per month with Notify Me! PreOrder
  • Cross-selling - starts at $8.99 per month with Selleasy
  • Color swatches - start at $14.90 per month with Swatch King

By just adding up all the monthly costs of these apps, you are looking at a $60 saving if you can use them all. But if you are using a Shopify theme that doesn’t have these, you need to spend $60 per month to have these features.

Be that as it may, the Startup Shopify Theme is not bad at all. Especially in the design department because the theme is well-conceived and we love the way it looks and feels.

Realistically speaking, the needs of business are not all the same. As such, you might not need these added features. As such, if you are solely focused on the design department, the Shopify Startup Theme is definitely a compelling one.

Quick read: Shopify 2.0 Themes

Who Is This Theme For?

Considering the limited features of the Startup Shopify theme, we can assume that it isn’t for all types of businesses. More demanding businesses such as those with large inventory and complex branding designs would find this theme a bit lacking.

Therefore, we think that this Shopify theme is best suited for the following businesses:

  • Dropshippers with small catalogs and few variants
  • Niche businesses such as handmade products
  • Single-product stores like Fybelle
  • Ecommerce businesses that need a theme that is good for visual storytelling
  • Solopreneurs who are launching their ecommerce businesses at a small scale
  • Startups who are looking for a basic theme
  • Those who are looking for a quick-launch Shopify theme that’s well-designed out of the box
  • New Shopify users who want a simple and uncomplicated theme because they will be designing their stores themselves

Startup Theme Shopify Demo

The Shopify Startup theme has four theme styles that feature varying main colors and feel. These theme styles are called: Tech, Travel, Cloth, and Home.

Let’s take a closer look at each one of them

Try the demo stores here: Startup Theme Preview

Tech theme style

Tech theme style

The Tech theme style features a muted dominant color, giving it an airy feel that is not tiring to look at. The large image blocks are a plus as these help emphasize the individual products.

The full-width sections for the desktop also work wonders in maximizing the space while avoiding information overload towards the audience.

Elevate Your Brand with Shine
Say goodbye to generic designs and embrace uniqueness with the Shine theme. Craft an online store that perfectly aligns with your vision and goals.

Travel theme style

Travel theme style

The travel theme style is the total opposite of Tech in terms of color palette. This theme style features a bold black color that can be seen throughout all its pages.

It gives that elegant and luxurious vibe that gives nice contrast to the white background color. Full-width sections were also utilized in the design of this theme style, making it perfect for showcasing clearly organized catalogs.

Cloth theme style

Cloth theme style

The Cloth theme style features a combination of matte pastel colors that gives it a homey look and feel. Based on their demo store, it is directed towards online stores that sell small catalogs of bedroom products.

We also like the product tiles at the home page which contributes to the great balance between visual and text details.

The menu drawer on this theme will also allow an ecommerce business owner to list down clearly organized catalogs for ease of navigation.

Home theme style

Home theme style

The most unique theme style of the Startup Shopify theme is Home. It features a full-screen space for the hero image which is great for displaying the product as if it's really in front of you.

But what makes it truly unique is its structure as it is designed for single-product stores.

Single-product stores must put high emphasis on product imagery as it is their only chance to truly capture their audiences.

So if you plan to launch a similar ecommerce business, this theme style is worth considering.

Note about theme styles: Although these theme styles differ in their designs and structures, you can mix and match the attributes of these styles to suit your taste. So if for example, you like the structure of the Tech theme style but you want the colors and fonts of the Home theme style, you can customize your Shopify Startup theme to look that way.

The theme styles on all Shopify themes are only for illustrative purposes and you can tailor them to suit your taste and brand identity to create a personalized shopping experience for your audience.

Startup Theme Shopify Reviews

The Startup Shopify theme does not have a lot of reviews in the Shopify theme store. With just 99 current feedback about the theme and getting an average of 82% positive rating, we can infer that almost 20% of its users either feel indifferent or unsatisfied.

Startup theme gets 82% positive rewiews

Let us look at some of the positive and negative feedback about this Shopify theme:

Positive feedbacks

01. “Pixel Union’s support team is reactive and helpful”

Pixel Union’s support team is reactive and helpful

02. “The theme is phenomenal and simple to use. It has all the features needed for a single-product store.”

The theme is phenomenal and simple to use. It has all the features needed for a single product store.

03. “An excellent solution if you’re looking to enhance user experience”

An excellent solution if you’re looking to enhance user experience

Negative feedbacks

01. “Inventory levels do not update and have a lot of bugs”

Inventory levels do not update and a lot of bugs

02. “The theme design is nice but you can find a better theme with this price”

The theme design is nice but you can find a better theme with this price

03. “There are better options for the same price”

There are better options for the same price

To summarize all this feedback, the Startup Shopify theme has some satisfied users. These satisfied users gave high praises regarding the spectacular customer support, ease of use, and well-crafted design.

On the other hand, unsatisfied users mainly complain about the functionality of the theme for its price. These users expected more from the theme.

Real Stores That Are Using The Startup Theme

The Shopify Startup theme has undeniably aced the design department. Because of this, current users were able to implement unique designs to their Shopify stores.

Let us take a look at some of the stores that are using this Shopify theme.

01. Ogtog


Ogtog created a simple and fresh-looking online store using the Startup Shopify theme. Their homepage makes use of large image blocks to emphasize their products and the light-gray background gives the website a cool look.

Large image blocks are also implemented on their collections pages up to their product pages.

02. Checkpup


Similar to Ogtog, Checkpup used large images to display their products. This decision rewarded them with a vibrant website that is very easy to understand and navigate.

The product tiles sections, on the other hand, contributed to great visual storytelling.

03. Notsu


Notsu used full-width sections for their hero image and footer. For the rest, they used padded sections to give their website a streamlined look. Large images were used to show their products and collections.

However, instead of displaying more product images, they increased their chances of converting more sales by utilizing the homepage to add quick add-to-cart blocks for all their products.

04. UnpackThat


UnpackThat has the most unique website design in this list. They did not utilize a full-width section for their hero image. Instead, they have a section that displays a video and a product copy to inform the website visitors about what their main product is.

But the most impressive thing about this Shopify store is their use of oversized images on all web pages, especially on their product pages.

05. BasketPong


BasketPong is proof that the Startup Shopify theme is best used for single-product Shopify stores. Case in point, BasketPong only has one product in their store.

In essence, their website acts as an interactive online brochure that showcases the experience of using their product.

Cheaper Alternative To Startup Theme

Going back to the main gripe of users with this Shopify theme, too expensive for its features, we want to recommend an alternative theme that isn’t just significantly cheaper than Startup. It also offers more features compared to Roam and StyleScape which also sit on a $240 price tag.

This Shopify theme is Blum.

The Blum Shopify theme is a premium theme that gives merchants access to premium features at a very affordable price tag. At only $170, it can rival the features of more premium themes like Impulse and Prestige which cost $380.

Craft theme style of Blum

As you can see below, Blum has a lot of features that are absent from the Startup Shopify theme. As such, it is suited for all types of business – be it an online store with large SKUs and variants or a single-product Shopify store.

It can also work great for most categories such as Apparel, Health, Home & Garden, and more.

Full list of features of Blum theme


At the beginning of this article, we asked this question, Is it the best Shopify theme for new online stores just like what its name suggests?

After exploring the Startup Shopify theme, we can conclude that this Shopify theme is indeed -suited for startup businesses because of its ease of use and simplicity

However, we cannot claim that it is the BEST for startups because other themes offer more features for their price. For example, the Blum theme has premium features for $70 less than the price tag of Startup.

As we mentioned in the article, built-in features are crucial when choosing a theme. For us, aesthetics only come second.

That being said, be sure to explore other themes, read their features, and maximize the unlimited free trial on their demo stores before you finalize your purchase.

Explore more, check out: Fastest Shopify Themes


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