A 10-Step Guide To Successfully Market Products Online



‘Profit starts telling you a story in terms of what to do next – or what not to do’ and ‘With the odds against you, you need people who think they can take on those odds and win.’ These are just some of the pithy words of advice offered by South Africa’s entrepreneurs in Heavy Chef’s new book, Selling Products Online.




Heavy Chef provides local entrepreneurs with practical education platforms that include a range of learning experiences. Now, in an exciting and innovative partnership with publishers Pan Macmillan, Heavy Chef has released Selling Products Online, a practical guide to E-commerce that’s been in development over the past year. The vision of Heavy Chef and Pan Macmillan is to follow Selling Products Online with more recipe books for entrepreneurs. 

The whole area of E-commerce is challenging for many budding entrepreneurs. “Research conducted by our Heavy Chef Foundation and published in our 2021 E-commerce Education Report found that more than two-thirds of online shop owners had no exposure to other E-commerce entrepreneurs when they first started their businesses,” says Heavy Chef Foundation’s CEO Louis Janse van Rensburg.

This evident lack of training provided the impetus for Selling Products Online. In 10 easily digestible steps, the book distills everything an entrepreneur needs to know about starting an Ecommerce business from the perspectives of experts in the field, enabling motivated entrepreneurs to access vital information about this key success factor in modern commerce.

Entrepreneurs behind brands such as Yuppiechef, OneDayOnly, WooCommerce, KOODOO, Tshepo Jeans, Payfast, Faithful To Nature, Dermastore, SnapScan, and many more are included. They’ll answer all the burning questions about taking online payments, marketing your product, finding your customers, storing your stock and anything else you’ve ever wondered about selling products online.

The aim is to build E-commerce skills without the need for specialised training in websites, advertising, logistics and other elements of the marketing mix,

E-commerce is more than just about selling products. Janse van Rensburg explains, “Selling Products Online takes the entrepreneur through the whole journey, from setting up the platform and presenting the products to receiving orders, getting the product into the customer’s hands and receiving payment.”

Heavy Chef’s platform includes a range of learning experiences for entrepreneurs, including evening events and Masterclasses where entrepreneurs interact with leading technologists and creative people. 

“We believe that inspiration comes from creating tactile, authentic and magical ‘interactive moments’ that add richness and permanence to the learning journey,” Heavy Chef CEO Fred Roed says.

Roed emphasises that entrepreneurship is vital for the success of the South African economy. 

Small businesses impact employment and social stability and there is a positive link between entrepreneurship and economic growth, essential in the current South African environment. We believe our role is to equip these businesses with the right tools to perform at their optimum and to give them the best opportunity for success.

The impact Heavy Chef has had in this space is reinforced by the numerous successes enjoyed by participating SMMEs. 

 Andrew Smith, co-founder of Yuppiechef, says, “Over many years, Heavy Chef has shown a deep commitment to equipping entrepreneurs with practical knowledge and the support of a community.”

Natalia Carvalho, founder of Estrela Studio, reports, “Heavy Chef has been instrumental in providing me with valuable insights that answer the challenges I’ve encountered while growing my design studio. Their culture of sharing and growth has been a great support in my personal journey as an entrepreneur.”

The 10 recipes to be found in Selling Products Online include:

Recipe #1: Finding your customers.

‘Make sure you’re in the digital space at the right time, speaking to the right audience, with the right deal.’ – Lauretta Ngakane.

Recipe #2: Setting up an E-commerce store.

‘I’m not here to build a website. I’m here to start selling stuff online.’ – Warrick Kernes

Recipe #3: Taking online payments.

‘We’re not asking anyone who’s building an online store to understand the technology behind online payments. Your business is whatever you’re selling, so we make the payments side really simple.’ – Matt Cohen.

Recipe #4: Selling on existing platforms.

‘Sell your product everywhere. Do not restrict yourself. Do not be the reason why customers are not able to give you money.’ – Nyaki Tshabangu.

Recipe #5:  Attracting more customers.

‘The most important place to start in digital marketing is to make sure that everything is trackable.’ – Jessica van der Westhuyzen

Recipe #6: Fulfilling online orders.

‘Packaging is everything … How you package, how you fold, how the product smells – it all plays a role. We go deep into those things so that when the product arrives, it’s beautiful.’ – Tshepo Mohlala

Recipe #7: Managing stock.

‘In South Africa, there are many third-party warehouses. You are the one managing your website and getting sales, but your stock is in somebody else’s warehouse. You must integrate into their system and they will do the picking, packing and delivery.’ – Anita Erasmus. 

Recipe #8: Serving customers.

‘Selling is a byproduct of support and customer experience.’ – Greg Webster.

Recipe #9: Making A Profit.

‘Profit starts telling you a story in terms of what to do next – or what not to do.’ – Louw Barnardt.

Recipe #10: Building your team.

‘With the odds against you, you need people who think they can take on those odds and win.’ – Sheraan Amod.

Fred Roed concludes, “We at Heavy Chef are proud of our track record and Selling Products Online will be followed by a range of other practical guidelines we plan to offer. We encourage entrepreneurs who want to market their goods and services online to get one. It could mean the difference between success and failure.”

Proceeds from the sale of Selling Products Online are donated to Heavy Chef’s NGO the Heavy Chef Foundation that supports research and scale impact for disconnected entrepreneurs.


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