The “best” way is very subjective but it could be the quickest and easiest.
If this is the case for you then Shopify is definitely what you need.
They make it very easy to set up your store and start selling within a single day, and even offer a 14-day free trial for you to test it out and see if it fits your needs.
I will now show you the step-by-step process of selling your products online. N.B. These steps are best performed on a laptop size screen or larger.
You'll be changing the images and products, but here is what we'll be creating: www.coffeesuperstars.com
N.B.: If you would like me to set up a website for you, to save time and look more professional, then this can be arranged. Simply use the form on the Contact Me page to let me know.
1. Signing Up
Sign up for their free trial by entering your email address here.
2. Name Your Store
The next screen you'll see looks like this. Here you will need to enter a memorable password and the name of your store.
3. Editing Your Website
Once you have entered a few details about yourself, you will see this screen which will show some important information once your store is up and running.
For now, we're going to click 'Online Store' and then the 'Customise' button.
Here you will see a preview of your website which is pretty bare at the moment but let's sort that out. Click the 'Image with text overlay' on the left hand side.
This is where we will add a background photo as the first thing people see when they visit the website. Click the 'Explore free images' link and type in a word which is related to the items you're selling.
Choose your favourite image and press the 'Select' button where you will then see the website preview automatically update.
Now we need to add a headline in the Heading text box. When thinking of what to write here, consider what they need to know when they visit for the first time.
My title in the screenshot below tells people what I'm selling and who it's for.
We need to also write another sentence or two in the 'Text' paragraph box directly under 'Heading'. This is to elaborate slightly on our title above.
Make sure to now press the 'Save' button in the top right, and then the arrow in the top left corner to see the previous set of options.
Now choose 'Image with text' and scroll to the bottom of the sidebar where you will see a 'Remove' button. We will delete this section as it detracts from our products on the same page. You can always add it back in at any time.
We will now select 'Slideshow' and do the same thing.
Now that we have a concise homepage with an introductory Hero section at the top and then a selection of our products underneath.
Press the 'Save' button once more and then the Shopify logo in the top left.
4. Adding Products
We will now visit the 'Products' page and press the 'Add product' button to add a few items.
Here we're going to start off by adding six of our best products. Type in a title and description of your product then click the 'Upload image' link to add a photo.
Scroll down to add a price. In the Inventory section, if you're not sure what the SKU and Barcode is then leave these boxes, but do click on the 'Inventory policy' dropdown to change this if you have a certain number of this product available.
Next down the page is the Shipping information. Add the weight of the product and in Variants, you can add more options if there are different sizes or weights etc.
Leave the 'Search engine listing preview' untouched unless you understand a lot about Search Engine Optimisation.
Save your product using the button in the top right or bottom right of the page.
Once saved, you will return to the top of the page where you can press 'Duplicate' under the product title to create a second item. Do this for a total of six products before continuing.
When you have saved six products, press the eye icon in the sidebar and a new tab will open where you will see the products as everyone else will see them.
5. Contact Page
Once you have finished marvelling at your handy work, we need to create a contact page in case people have any questions.
Within the admin area, click 'Online Store' again in the sidebar, then 'Pages' and the 'Add page' button.
In the Title box, enter 'Contact Us', then write your working hours in the larger box below. Now press the Template suffix dropdown on the right and choose 'page.contact'.
This will assign it with contact properties which are a working contact form. I believe emails will be sent to the address you entered when signing up.
If you need to change the email address, click on 'Settings' in the bottom left, and then 'General'.
The contact page isn't quite ready yet - we still need to add it to the main menu.
Choose 'Navigation' in the sidebar on the left, then 'Main menu' and now the 'Add menu item' button.
Name your page 'Contact Us' in the first box, then press the second box and choose 'Pages' and 'Contact Us'.
Now you have called the main menu item and linked it to the relevant page when someone clicks on it. Don't forget to save it in the top right.
If you would like to test it, press the eye icon in the left sidebar again, and your website will load in a new tab.
Now you may think we're finished, but not quite. There are a couple of quick things left which are very important.
Visit 'Settings' in the bottom left, then 'Payment providers'. Here we will set up a payment system to allow all money to be sent to you before you package anything.
In the Shopify Payments section, click the 'Complete account setup' button.
Fill out as much as you can, especially the 'Banking information' section near the bottom.
Don't forget to press the 'Complete account setup' button on this page as well when you have finished.
PayPal is also set up and active by default. If you have a PayPal account then check the email address is correct back on Payment providers page in the PayPal section. If you don't have a PayPal account then press the 'Edit' button and then 'Deactivate'.
Back on the 'Settings' page, make sure to also check the 'Shipping' page to add prices for physical products to be delivered.
In order to seem professional, you will need to upgrade your account to a paid version. This will allow you to use a custom domain. At the moment you are using something like shopname.myshopify.com, but you'll need something like shopname.com to look the real deal and give everyone confidence to buy from you.
This is where upgrading comes in, simply press the 'Select a plan' button at the bottom of the page and you'll be able to use premium features like the custom domain option.
There are lots of other things to do in order to optimise your website but I won’t go in to detail on here as it’s meant to be for beginners.
If you would like to watch step-by-step videos on the best way to set up a Shopify site, then head over to the DIY Marketing page where I will be showing you the complete process along with optimisations to make once you’ve finished, changing the design, how to advertise products and much more.
N.B.: If you would like to look more professional with a bespoke design instead of a Theme that everyone else has access to, then this can be arranged. Simply use the form on the Contact Me page to let me know.
What are you hoping to sell online? Did you try the steps above? Leave a comment below.