I recently did a website for Boston Scally using Shopify to power it. Shopify is my favorite e-commerce solution as a designer and also gives the most power and is easy to use for the client. You can read my longer detailed review of shopify here.
For this website I used the theme called minimal. It is one of their best free themes and it just gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t. I love its responsive design and it looks great on all sizes of screens. It also has a slideshow for the front page and features in the backend so you can have either 3 or 4 products per row, choose what products you want to show on the front page, a welcome message, and the option of having 3 category images. I would highly recommend having a welcome message with a brief message about your company. You should make it so a complete stranger could go to it and understand what your website is all about in seconds.
It is a pretty simple design with some texture in the background and footer. All the text on the site is html, we used a google font for the navigation.
I took out the search feature on the theme to simplify it further and we also did a custom navigation where the links are on the left and right of the logo. When the screen gets smaller like for tablets the navigation goes below the logo, a cool little feature but I haven’t seen it done very much.
Some other improvements we made to the theme was adding a sidebar on the pages. Having the text go all the way across the pages makes it hard to read because the line length is so long. We fixed this by adding a sidebar with an ad for the shop.
For the About page the client wanted to do something custom. We used a picture with html text which went above the image when the screen got too small. Everything on this site is responsive and we wanted to give the best experience to users no matter what they were using to look at the site.
Building responsive sites takes more work, luckily most of the responsive aspects of the site were already done with the theme we just had to tweak a few things to make our design work with it.
If you have any questions about this design or responsive design leave them in a comment below. Click here for a free trial of Shopify.