Shoplift offers a robust theme testing feature that empowers merchants to test two themes against one another. Theme tests allow you to test changes to elements that appear across your entire website, like navigation menus, mini carts/cart drawers, new apps, or entirely new themes that introduce major design or functionality overhauls to your online store's core experience.

How it works

Unlike template testing, which will allocate visitors to an A or B template experience when they encounter pages assigned to tested templates, theme tests will allocate visitors to an A or B experience the moment they encounter any page on your online store, regardless of which they are landing on.

Once a visitor is allocated to a theme test, all of the actions they perform throughout the customer journey will be tracked and attributed to the test. For more information on how Shoplift tracks conversions, see Visitor Attribution.

How to create a theme test

Step 1: Select your Original (A)

To create a theme test, create a new test draft, and select "Test a theme or global element" as your Original (A). This will open up the theme drawer, where you can view and select the themes loaded onto your store from your Theme Library.

By default, the theme drawer will present your live theme for selection as your Original (A), but you can also draft a theme test on an unpublished theme so you can prepare the test in advance and launch it when that theme is eventually published. To view the unpublished themes in your library, click the tab titled "Theme Library".

FAQ: How many themes can I have in my library?

The amount of themes you can have in your library depends on your Shopify plan. Shopify Plus stores can have up to 100 themes, while other Shopify plans can have up to 20.

Step 2: Select your Variant (B)

Once you've selected your Original (A) theme, you can select your Variant (B) theme. Your Variant (B) theme can be any theme in your library. Simply select the theme to load it into your test draft. If your Variant (B) theme is already edited for testing, then you can move onto Step 4.

FAQ: Why are some themes "missing templates?"

Some themes might be missing templates that are currently assigned to pages on your site by your live theme. These templates are required for your site to function normally. To resolve this issue, see Theme Compatibility.

Step 3: Edit your variant theme for testing

Once you've selected a Variant (B) theme from your library, you can make any edits you'd like to make for testing from within the Shopify Theme Editor. To do this, simply click "Edit in Shopify" from the test draft, and the Shopify Editor will open your Variant (B) theme so you can begin to make edits.

If you have more complex changes that require custom code, you or a developer can also open the theme files in the Code Editor in the Shopify Admin and make changes there.

For more information on how to create certain types of tests with the theme testing feature, like navigation tests or mini cart tests, check out our guides.

Step 4: Set your test parameters

The last step to creating your test is to establish your test parameters, like your traffic allocation, test goal, device targeting, visitor targeting, and audience targeting. For more information on each of these, see targeting.

Step 5: Preview your changes in the browser

Prior to launching your theme test, it is important to preview your changes in your browser so you can verify that everything in your Variant (B) theme looks and functions as expected.

To do this, click "View in browser" from the Test Draft page. This will open up a new tab that will provide you with a fully functioning preview of your Variant (B) theme. Interact with the elements you have made changes to for testing to ensure that all works as expected.

Step 6: Launch your theme test

If all looks good, then you are ready to launch your theme test. When you click "Launch test", your theme test will become active, and website visitors will begin to be allocated to your (A) or (B) variant depending on your test parameters.

Test data updates hourly, so within one hour of launching your test you will begin to see results. We recommend running theme tests for at least 14 days to ensure a statistically significant sample of tested visitors is reached.

Creating and deploying page builder pages while a theme test is active will end your active theme test, since the template is not shared by both original and variant themes.

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