Dawn Shopify Theme Review: Features, Pros, Cons


“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works”, says Steve Jobs.

More often than not, Shopify merchants get carried away by how their store looks and forget about how their store functions. A great storefront is a combination of both - looks and functionality - neglect either and it could cost any online business heavily.

For most Shopify stores, design begins with picking a suitable theme. 

However, today there are too many options available on the Shopify Theme Store. This can get confusing for many. Which one do you use? How do you compare them against each other? Which is the perfect theme for your business?

These are the questions we try to answer in this series where we deep-dive into popular Shopify themes to help make your life easier.

In this blog, we will discuss one of the most popular Shopify themes - the Dawn theme.

Dawn Shopify theme - An introduction

The Dawn theme is a very minimalistic theme created by Shopify itself. This is the default theme that every Shopify store will have when they set up their storefront.

Dawn has been developed to enhance store performance, offering merchants and customers increased flexibility and user-friendliness. Constructed primarily with HTML and CSS, the theme prioritizes minimizing Javascript usage to simplify complexity and enhance loading speed.

Throughout Dawn's development, extensive testing has consistently demonstrated a loading speed that is 35% faster than Debut, the previous default theme on Shopify. 

Furthermore, it is optimized to function seamlessly across all browsers, including outdated ones such as Internet Explorer 11, ensuring broad compatibility.

The Dawn theme is a very minimalistic theme created by Shopify itself. This is the default theme that every Shopify store will have when they set up their storefront.


The Dawn Shopify theme is available completely free of cost.

Dawn Shopify theme - Key features

Let’s take a closer look at the various capabilities of the Dawn Shopify theme and analyze if it's in fact one of the best Shopify themes.

Quick setup

Given the Dawn theme is Shopify’s default theme, it has been carefully optimized for efficiency. The theme setup entails minimal steps to allow for a quick store launch. This is undoubtedly the easiest theme to set up on Shopify.

Mega menu

Shopify Dawn Theme offers a multi-level menu feature that allows you to create hierarchical navigation menus with dropdowns. This feature is particularly useful for stores with a wide range of product categories or subcategories. It enables customers to navigate your site easily, find what they're looking for, and discover related products or collections effortlessly.

Sticky header

The Dawn theme includes a sticky header feature, which means that as users scroll down your website, the header stays at the top of the page. This makes it easy for them to find and click on menus and important links without having to scroll back up. It's a handy way to keep navigation simple and accessible, improving the overall experience for your website visitors.

Quick buy

In e-commerce, the number of clicks it takes a user to complete a purchase plays a major role in determining the likeability, profitability, and retention of that store. You should try and avoid unnecessary steps that add no value to the overall shopping experience of your consumers.

Dawn has a powerful feature called ‘Quick Buy’ that lets you easily add products to the cart without being redirected to a separate product page. 

Enhanced search

With this feature, users can search for products, collections, and pages with a predictive and real-time search bar. The predictive search function displays the most relevant results as the customer types, making it easy for them to find exactly what they're looking for. 

This feature enhances the user experience by providing quick and efficient search functionality, minimizing the time spent searching for products and increasing the chances of making a sale. 

Image zoom

Sometimes in design, it’s the small things that create a larger impact. One such small thing in the Dawn theme is the image zoom feature. 

This feature lets you enhance customer experience by letting website visitors magnify product images for a closer look.


Whether showcasing fashion lines, interior designs, or product assortments, Dawn's intuitive lookbooks make it effortless to create polished and inspiring presentations. 

With customizable layouts and design options, users can tailor their lookbooks to reflect their unique brand aesthetic, effectively engaging customers and driving sales. Dawn's lookbook feature not only streamlines the creation process but also elevates the overall presentation, enabling businesses to leave a lasting impression on their audience.

Pros and Cons

  • Product-centric design focus: Dawn's design prioritizes showcasing your products prominently. Through large, captivating images, sleek design elements, and subtle typography, the theme ensures that your merchandise remains the focal point, effortlessly capturing the attention of potential buyers.
  • Streamlined setup for rapid deployment: Dawn's straightforward setup process expedites the launch of your online store. This simplicity enables you to initiate your e-commerce operations swiftly, reducing the gap between conceptualization and implementation.
  • Engaging visual storytelling: The theme emphasizes impactful visual storytelling and offers extensive media options, empowering you to effectively convey your brand's narrative. This feature enables customers to immerse themselves in your brand story and product offerings, fostering deeper connections and understanding.
  • Responsive across all devices: Dawn ensures a consistent and enjoyable user experience across various devices. Whether customers access your store via smartphones, tablets, or desktops, the theme's responsiveness guarantees an optimized display, enhancing accessibility and user satisfaction.
  • Flexible design and customization capabilities: Dawn provides a variety of flexible design and customization options. These features allow you to achieve your desired aesthetics and functionality without requiring intricate coding knowledge, facilitating a hassle-free customization experience.

Cons of Shopify Dawn Theme:

  • Absence of log-in button and password reset redirect:
      • Potential lack of visibility for the log-in button and password reset redirect, affecting user accessibility.
      • Customers may face difficulties accessing their accounts or resetting passwords.
  • Limited homepage customization
    • Potential functionality issues: Certain functionalities, like the color setting part, may not work correctly.

    Who is it best for?

    Dawn is a great starting point for any store of any size. Given its versatility, it can be used across multiple industries, be it home decor, fashion, nutrition, fitness, SaaS, etc.

    Stores using the Shopify Dawn theme

    1. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

    Fenty Beauty by Rihanna uses Dawn Theme

    That’s right - one of the highest converting Shopify stores today - Fenty Beauty also uses the Dawn theme. Fenty Beauty has used this default theme and made very strategic customization to take its design to the next level.

    Also read: Ecommerce Web Design Inspiration from Fenty Beauty by Rihanna 

    2. Runners Athletic

    Runners Athletics uses dawn theme

    Runners Athletics sells athleisure products. This Shopify brand also uses the Dawn theme and has leveraged the theme’s minimal aesthetic.

    3. Bubble Tea Club

    Bubble Tea Club uses Dawn theme

    Bubble Tea Club sells bubble tea and also shares DIY recipes to make amazing bubble tea at home. What we love about their storefront is how much personality it holds. Despite using a minimal and simple theme like Dawn, they’ve made small customizations throughout the store to give it a strong brand identity.

    Need professional help setting up your Shopify store?

    Design can seem scary, daunting, and time-consuming to most business owners. 

    We get it, and that’s why we’re here!

    Bring your ideas to life with us with our Shopify web design, development, marketing, and support services. 

    Our team of Shopify experts works with Shopify merchants like you to design a store that reflects the personality of your brand and caters to the functionalities you require. 

    Whether you want to revamp your existing design or build a new one from scratch, we will help you create a positive shopping experience on your Shopify store design. 

    Reach out to us at and we’ll help you set up your Shopify store design! 

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