In the past, the competition wasn’t that high, so it was easier to make mad money with an eCommerce store. However, things have changed, and now you run up against giant competitors like eBay and Amazon, which have taken this world by storm.
While the first step is to find the best products to sell, that’s not the only concern. You also need to drive traffic and target it, capture and convert quality leads, engage with your subscribers, and retain customers.
Typically, this involves many tasks that you may not have time for, such as inventory management, order processing, and other repetitive actions. They usually take up most of your time and prevent you from focusing on growing your online store.
Hiring an eCommerce virtual assistant (VA) helps you with many things, such as Excel spreadsheets, product tasks, research-based tasks, product listings, image editing, optimizing the product lists, inventory management, managing prices, processing returns and exchanges, fulfilling orders, and so much more.
What Tasks Can You Outsource to a Virtual Assistant?
You can outsource just about anything to your virtual assistant, but here are the top options:
It’s important to offer customers a good experience to get repeat business. While this is crucial for your online store, it’s highly time-consuming. Generally, eCommerce virtual assistants can respond to emails and messages, answer calls, and interact with customers through live chat and social media platforms. With that, you retain your customers and avoid negative reviews.
Store Design and Development
The look and feel of the online store are a top priority when it comes to success in business. Often, you require professional web design. Those who are already set up on Shopify or WooCommerce may need support to implement updates. That way, you can add more web pages, correct errors, and implement various changes to improve your conversion rates.
While all eCommerce virtual assistants don’t have web development skills, some do. The right developer can help you create your eCommerce business from the ground up so that you can expand the business. For example, if you currently sell on Amazon only, a virtual assistant can help you set up a new online store, such as through Shopify.
Many of your monotonous tasks focus on processing orders, sending invoices, and managing your shipments. Virtual assistants often have a basic knowledge of the eCommerce business world and can deal with that.
When you get new orders, they can fulfill them, but they can also manage your returns and exchanges.
Though you don’t want to have a lot of returns and exchanges because that indicates something wrong with the product, it’s bound to happen sometimes. Such eCommerce tasks are often boring. Therefore, it’s easier to let your eCommerce virtual assistant do that for you.
Product Sourcing and Research
Your eCommerce virtual assistant can also research the types of trending products right now. These are the items your customers want to buy or what the competition is selling. An experienced virtual assistant also uses their many connections with suppliers and manufacturers to find new product sources to procure them for you.
For example, AliExpress is a retail service from China that offers products to many locations. You can often buy them for a low price, and sell them for more. E-commerce virtual assistants can scour this and other websites to help you find the best products. While anyone can shop on AliExpress, anyone can use it to fill up your online store.
One of the most monotonous tasks you face is inventory management. You require more attention to detail, and it involves a risk of mistakes if you try to do it after a long day of work. If you hire an e-commerce virtual assistant, they can make this aspect must easier.
Just make sure that you’re focused on virtual assistants who can interpret data and find out the right time to order products so that you don’t run out. However, with that, you don’t want to waste money, time, and space on inventory that doesn’t sell.
Therefore, inventory management takes on many forms, but luckily, most e-commerce virtual assistants know how to handle that for you.
Without product information, people aren’t likely to buy from you. However, it might be hard to create compelling product descriptions that make users want to visit your store or even be allowed to find it.
While optimization is important, that’s not the only thing to consider. You should upload professional photos of each product to help people get a sense of what it is and does. Hiring a virtual assistant is crucial here. They can take photos of the items, edit the pictures you’ve already taken, and resize them for various platforms, including social media outlets. Plus, virtual assistants can be tasked with figuring out price options to maximize sales and profits without going overboard.
You always have the right to check the work of your e-commerce virtual assistant, which means there shouldn’t be issues. Before it goes on your store as live, you can look for grammatical errors and other common problems. Don’t feel bad about sending it back; your virtual assistant is there for you!
Just make sure that the job description you create when hiring a virtual assistant describes that rewrites and reworks might be necessary to ensure perfection.
Graphics are essential for many things. You can create marketing materials like social media posts and infographics, update your website with them, and upgrade the company logo. All virtual assistants don’t have this skill set, but it’s possible to search for one who does. From there, you can ensure that your brand image the way you want it to be without worries.
Many times, videos can sell the product better than a bunch of words on a webpage. Though you want a description for search engines to crawl, it’s not the only way to optimize your site.
Videos are usually preferred by customers who want to learn more without reading. Plus, they also create more engagement on social platforms if you center them around your social media posts. On top of that, they can keep people on the site longer because they’re watching a one- or two-minute video.
If you don’t have those skills or the time to do it, outsource video-making to your e-commerce virtual assistant. Give them creative authority or tell them exactly what you want. Regardless, your eCommerce assistant can help you out if they have videographer skills.
Social Media Management
Though we talked about it previously, having a social media manager is essential. They can create content for you, reply to any comments you receive, and much more. Having an eCommerce store means using social outlets whenever possible. Don’t negate this important feature, but don’t do it all yourself. Hire a virtual assistant to make it easier for you!
Many virtual assistants know how to write content for different areas of business. If you choose one that focuses on e-commerce stores, they can create promotional content for your business site, such as press releases.
When you add new products, a press release talks about and promotes them. Putting it on different websites ensures that your e-commerce business expands and grows.
Dropshipping and Virtual Assistant Help
Dropshipping is another type of online business where a seller accepts orders from customers but has no inventory at all. In fact, with this, you simply take your orders, buy them from discount companies like AliExpress, and have them sent directly to the customer.
It’s highly popular, but it’s a lot of work. As you get going with this e-commerce business, you can hire a virtual assistant. Sometimes, it’s even possible to find an eCommerce assistant who specializes in dropshipping. When you hand over those administrative tasks to the virtual assistant, you’re free to deal with other things, such as forging relationships with your suppliers and selecting the best product categories.
What You Pay
The amount you pay a virtual assistant depends on various factors. For example, you have to think of what tasks they’re performing for you and what country you’re in based on where they are. Filipino assistants are often the best choice because they have the skills you need and are inexpensive.
Just remember that web design or development services are sure to cost you more because there’s more work involved.
What to Consider When Hiring an E-commerce Virtual Assistant
Many eCommerce assistants have a variety of skills, such as the ability to multi-task, research things, and handle website design. It’s often better to use a virtual assistant pool to get the services you need without having to hire someone yourself.
With that, you need to run an interview and assess the VAs in your area to make sure they’ve got the right things.
Even if you use a pool for hiring VAs, you still need to know what they offer and how they can help you. Typically, these are the things to ask when focused on hiring a virtual assistant:
Experience with Big Data Management
A virtual assistant requires experience with big data to handle the information related to your e-commerce website. This is essential for managing and creating spreadsheets free of errors.
Languages Spoken and Proficiency Levels
VAs should know how to speak your language fluently. Though you can hire Filipinos to be your virtual assistant to keep costs low, they need to speak and write well in your language.
For example, if you’re an American business, you want someone who writes like they’re native-English speakers. It’s going to sound better to your customers.
How Can You Enhance the Product Listings and Brand Image
You are focused solely on sales, so your product listing must sound good and promote your brand image effectively. Generally, you should pair with a virtual assistant from the pool and ask this question directly.
Give them plenty of time to learn about your website and business so that they can make an informed decision about working for you. This can include marketing, sales, and other management tasks, such as inventory, dealing with customers, and other things that you might find time-consuming.
Use this time to assess the VAs knowledge of SEO and other aspects of managing and marketing your online business. You may also ask about the specific services offered, such as customer retention, marketing, and other things involved in the marketing or managing process.
What Tools Do You Use
You want a virtual assistant with knowledge of ERP software, especially if the VA is likely to handle inventory and orders. Request VAs with experience using the specific software that you use yourself. That way, it’s easy for them to manage it without having to learn about it first.
It’s also good to find out what other software the virtual assistant can use. You may already have those tools, which they can use to provide the services you require.
Other times, you may use tools that no one in the VA pool knows. That’s okay; as long as the virtual assistant can learn, you should be good!
Why Did You Become an E-commerce Virtual Assistant?
Find out why the person chose to become an eCommerce assistant. While they can work virtually and help business owners, they require a passion for that type of work. The best virtual assistants have an interest in e-commerce dealings. When hiring through an agency, ask how it chooses the right virtual assistant for each client.
If you’ve been running your e-commerce business alone so far, it might be hard for you to let go of the reins and delegate tasks to another person. However, you’re sure to discover quickly that it’s great to hire a virtual assistant. You can drop your routine tasks that waste your time or aren’t part of your skill set. That means your business is more professional, and you can grow.
What about Hours?
Your virtual assistant is there to help you, and this can include many different tasks. Most VAs are allowed to set their own hours, as long as it doesn’t affect your e-commerce website.
For example, if they assist with website maintenance, they need to be available when something goes wrong. Once the e-commerce website is set up, it has to be managed consistently. The right virtual assistant can keep customers happy and give them a seamless shopping experience on your e-commerce website.
The assistant can:
- Update web pages as you make changes to prices, services, add/remove products, and add more employees
- Check for any broken links
- Format the images
- Update copyright information
- Add news about the business
As you do these things for your business, the e-commerce assistant has to be ready to update the site efficiently. Usually, you want it done the moment it happens, but that’s not always possible. Alternatively, you can choose to change aspects during the VA’s hours of operation.
Ways to Get a VA for Your e-Commerce Business
There are two main ways to hire a virtual assistant: freelancer and agency.
It’s usually easier to go through an agency so that you’re matched with a VA who has the skills you require. The agency handles payments, and you can switch to another person if you have issues with your current one.
Plus, it’s easier to increase/decrease hours, and you can use multiple assistants when managing large tasks for the website. The hiring process is often easier, and they have more attention to detail for the tasks at hand.
A freelancer usually comes from freelancing platforms or job sites. You can search for specific skills you need and focus on your budget. Create a description of the job or task and wait for others to reply. Then, you must go through the interview process, negotiate pay, and all the rest.
Generally, it’s considered a roundabout way of getting a virtual assistant and can be much harder for you.
Most businesses focus solely on administrative needs, and it’s too hard to do it all themselves. If you find that you can’t manage your e-commerce business anymore, there’s no need to fear. You just need a virtual assistant to help you.
Their services come with the right strategy and techniques you need to manage inventory, process orders, and all the rest. While you need someone with skills to handle customers and the website, they are highly qualified to do that.
When you outsource these things to a VA, it creates more job opportunities. You pay them to manage much of the backend work, which ensures that you can take care of the rest.
Choose us to help with your management needs and streamline the process. You pay fair wages, your customers are satisfied, and we give you the VA with appropriate skills for the task at hand. Error-free work is our goal, and you’re sure to see sales jump.
Whether we work during your hours of operation or on our own time, we’re here for you.