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Your eCommerce business is growing, but you’re struggling to take it to the next level? You cannot keep up with a lengthy to-do list of administrative and other routine tasks on your plate every day:

  • update your online store products on selling platforms such as Shopify or Bigcommerce,
  • update the pricing information,
  • ensure customer satisfaction,
  • handle shipping,
  • manage returns and exchanges,
  • process orders,
  • manage promotions,
  • take care of your finances,
  • and the list goes on and on and on…

Well, as an eCommerce business owner, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed!

Remember – if you’re trying to juggle everything, you’re going to drop the ball sooner or later.

Luckily, by outsourcing some or all of the following day-to-day tasks to a specialized eCommerce Virtual Assistant will enable you to refocus your efforts in the right direction – to growing your online business and profits.

Better still, you can always keep track of the tasks your virtual assistant is doing and how much time they have spent working on each task. In the end, you only pay for the work done. Wondering how? Check out Hubstaff.

Now, let’s take a closer look at eCommerce tasks for your virtual assistant.

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1. Order and Shipment Processing

A trained eCommerce Virtual Assistant could easily step in and handle processing for your orders and shipment on a daily basis. These tasks are significant for an online store and they involve:

  • compiling the orders,
  • order entry,
  • updating orders with order tracking,
  • setting up shipments,
  • sending your customers’ invoices to your shipping companies etc.

In short, your VA can track all your orders up to the fulfillment process to make sure everything is delivered according to the plan.

Most of these tasks are repetitive and can easily be automated with the use of various inventory management programs, but you may need a good VA for some non-manual duties.

2. Inventory and Stock Management Tasks

Skillfully managing inventory and stock is critical for every online store because there’s nothing to sell if the inventory is insufficient while keeping excess inventory is too pricey.

That’s why it’s key to hit the perfect balance, which can become overwhelming.

Still, a skillful VA can help you:

  • check inventory to ensure that you always have the right amount of it available to your customers,
  • add new inventory,
  • update existing product lists,
  • manage product categories,
  • manage repetitive barcode and label downloading tasks,
  • correct any mistakes that can occur making sure all the live information on your website is updated and reliable.

Besides order and inventory management, your eCommerce Virtual Assistant can cooperate with your suppliers to make sure your store virtual shelves are stocked properly i.e. to:

  • monitor your stock levels regularly,
  • update your online store website with the latest stock information,
  • keep track of order times,
  • recommend restocking when the stock gets low.

In a nutshell, your VA can keep an eye on your stock and warehouse.

3. Managing Returns and Exchanges

When your products end up in your customers’ hands, they sometimes don’t live up to their expectations or they simply realize they’ve made a wrong order.

In such cases, your Virtual Assistant can manage the communication between the dissatisfied customers and your suppliers to handle product returns, exchanges or refunds if needed.

Your VA will need the following skills to handle this type of tasks professionally:

  • superb communication skills (especially perfect written English),
  • expertise in Customer Service so that they know how to resolve disputes with unhappy and irate customers,
  • a bit of organization,
  • attention to detail.
checking sale and data
Photo by: Burst from Shopify Partners

4. Customer Service Tasks for eCommerce

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Ensuring customer satisfaction 24/7 is another vital part of every eCommerce company, which is time-consuming and can be tremendously difficult at times.

That’s why it would be wise for every eCommerce business owner to have a Customer Service specialist in their online team who will know how to skillfully handle all the challenges and help you:

  • quickly respond to your customer queries via different channels (email, phone, live chat, social media),
  • handle dissatisfied customers’ complaints when their orders are lost or when they get wrong products and the like,
  • pacify irate customers,
  • handle aggressive and other types of truly difficult customers,
  • spot the opportunities for upselling and cross-selling and realize them gracefully,
  • engage with prospective and existing customers on social media,
  • respond to your customers’ positive and negative reviews and comments with tact,
  • follow up with them and take it a step further to retain customers and many other similar tasks.

Yes, chatbots can help but many people still prefer communicating with a real human when an issue arises. So, make sure you find a communicative people person with the necessary experience or some specialized eCommerce Customer Service training.

man holding headset
Photo by: Burst from Sarah Pflug

5. Creating and Submitting Press Releases

You can also hire a Virtual Assistant to submit press releases for you or if you find a talented person, you could also let them write those press releases and save up a lot of your precious time.

Whenever you have something newsworthy to share such as a new product launch, awards won, relevant research results, interesting events, partnerships or any other announcements your audience will care about, your skillful Virtual Assistant can create a cost-effective press release to help your business to:

  • build the brand reputation,
  • earn backlinks from credible websites, as well as to
  • get public attention and media coverage.

You can even take it a step further and include those press releases in your eCommerce press or media kit for further promotion of your online business.

6. Maintaining Your Online Store Website

Setting up your online store website is not enough. Its consistent and professional management is absolutely necessary for success, which is what you could outsource to a Virtual Assistant with eCommerce skills and training.

Here’s what they can do for your online store website:

  • update the pricing information on your product pages,
  • change or update the description of your services,
  • add new or remove old products form your product lists,
  • find and replace any broken links on your website,
  • make sure the copyright information on your website is updated,
  • keep the Latest News subsection on your website regularly updated,
  • polish up product descriptions,
  • upload relevant blog content or even create it if skilled and knowledgeable enough,
  • find, include, format, modify and attribute product and all the other images on your website,
  • optimize your website to make the pages load quickly
  • take care of some server issues to make sure your website always runs smoothly to avoid unpleasant customer experiences, and so on.

Sometimes you may need an IT specialist, but a skilled Virtual Assistant will be able to handle many simple tasks related to your website maintenance.

7. Market Research

Engaging a seasoned eCommerce Virtual Assistant to conduct market research for you and provide you with valuable business insights would be highly beneficial for your online business.

It would enable you to fully understand your industry, figure out the secrets of your competitors’ success and realize your customers’ needs.

For instance, you can request relevant:

Besides doing extensive market research, your VA could also compile all the findings into systematic reports easy to understand, so that you can adjust your business mission and vision if necessary by taking a glance at a few pages only instead of spending hours and days behind the computer keyboard.

8. Managing Your Finances

An eCommerce Virtual Assistant can effectively manage your finances, i.e. pay your bills, prepare invoices, send out payments, prepare all the necessary tax documents, as well as keep neat records of all your business transactions.

9. Online Marketing Tasks

Delegating your online marketing tasks to a Virtual Assistant could bring financial and many other benefits to your business since these people are typically experts in performing such tasks and handling a wide range of online marketing tools.

Not only can they help increase your store visibility and promote your brand, but they can boost your sales with their marketing efforts, as well.

Here are some of the most common online marketing tasks they can take over:

  • creating content such as articles or videos and posting it online to generate sales leads,
  • managing your various social media accounts and ensuring your strong presence there,
  • scheduling your social media posts and blog content,
  • engaging with your audience on various online platforms,
  • building online communities to promote your business (e.g. creating, moderating and managing a Facebook group),
  • tracking how your posts influence the audience and finding room for improvement,
  • creating an email marketing campaign for your business to convert readers into customers and track results, and
  • many other ways of advertising your brand online.

All these tasks require not only a lot of time but the knowledge of many tools, expert skills and patience.

Good news is that many eCommerce Virtual Assistants have a diverse set of skills and can lend you a hand not only with administrative but also with technical and more creative types of tasks.

Wouldn’t you prefer finding a trustworthy dependent Virtual Assistant and delegate time-consuming routine work to them rather than getting buried in invoices, emails, updating your website with relevant pricing and the other exhausting daily tasks?

Sure! Every entrepreneur would rather focus on business growth.

Then, figure out which tasks you should outsource, find a proficient eCommerce Virtual Assistant and start saving your time and focusing on the right business areas.

This approach will take your business to the next level in the blink of an eye.

Click here to download your free Cheat Sheet on how to become a successful Freelance Virtual Assistant.

Photo courtesy of Nicole De Khors from Burst


I'm Katrina McKinnon, creator of eCommerce University, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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