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Running an eCommerce business can be very time-consuming.

You have to advertise your products on social media, respond to customers’ queries, handle shipping, update prices, balance your books…the list is endless!

As a small to mid-sized eCommerce business owner, it is easy to get overwhelmed by all these tasks.

Although routine tasks and administrative duties are important, they can take you away from your core task as a business owner – running and growing your company.

This is why many smart eCommerce business owners hire a virtual assistant.

A virtual assistant (you can hire either domestic or offshore), will typically cost you a lot less than contracting a full-time employee.

Having a virtual assistant for your eCommerce business can significantly boost efficiency and productivity, which improves customer satisfaction. 

It also frees you up to focus on creating a winning strategy for your business, all of which ultimately leads to faster growth and more profits for your business.  

As an eCommerce business owner, you can keep track of your VA’s tasks by using a website such as Hubstaff to ensure you get value for your money. 

If you’re wondering if hiring a virtual assistant is the right move for your business, take a look at the following tasks which a VA can help you with.

Customer Service

The customer is king

If you want to be successful in any kind of business, you have to prioritise your customers’ needs. 

However, keeping customers happy can turn out to be more difficult than it sounds. 

A trained and experienced virtual assistant can help you with these key customer service tasks:

  • Quickly and courteously answering customers questions via phone, email, live chat, or social media.
  • Handling complaints from dissatisfied customers ( such as when orders are delayed or wrong)
  • Spotting and taking advantage of opportunities to upsell or cross-sell 
  • Keeping your social media pages active and engaging
  • Tactfully responding to both negative and positive reviews from customers
  • Assisting customers through the sales process 

Although you can use chatbots to help you with some of the above customer service tasks, most of your customers will be happier communicating with a real human

Managing Your Website

After setting up an online store, you will have to consistently manage it. 

This ensures that your eCommerce site is always in tip-top shape and your customers have a seamless experience.

When you hire an experienced and trained VA, they’ll help you:

  • Check and fix broken links on your website
  • Ensure that all images on your website are in the right format and size
  • Update the site with the latest news about your business.
  • Update the web pages with any changes such as available products or services, prices, or team members.
  • Update product descriptions to capture the customer’s attention
  • Create and upload relevant content on the “Blog” section of your website
  • Spot (and if they have the required skill, fix) any server issues to ensure the smooth running of your website.

There will be some instances where you need an IT specialist for website management. However, a skilled virtual assistant will be able to handle most of the simple website management tasks.

Managing Your Store’s Inventory

Inventory management is an important routine task which can make or break an eCommerce business.

A virtual assistant can help you with these crucial inventory stock management tasks: 

  • Keep an eye on the available inventory to make sure you always have enough products to fulfil customers’ orders
  • Add and update the records on new inventory 
  • Manage the store’s product categories and update existing product lists
  • Correct any errors regarding inventory
  • Keep track of orders and order times
  • Cooperate with your suppliers to ensure your virtual shelves are always properly stocked.

Order Processing and Shipping

You can also delegate the processing and shipment of your eCommerce business orders to a virtual assistant.

Tasks which are related to order processing and shipment include:

  • Order entry and compilation
  • Arranging shipment of ordered products
  • Updating orders with order tracking 
  • Sending customer invoices to your shipping company and other vendors
  • Handling returns and exchanges 

Creating and Sending Press Releases

You can also delegate the writing of press releases to your virtual assistant, especially if they’re are proficient in writing.

Press releases can inform your customers (both existing and prospective) of new product launches, awards won, important partnerships, corporate social responsibility activities, and interesting events you’re organizing. 

Whenever you have something newsworthy, your virtual assistant will create the relevant press releases and distribute them to PR agencies and media outlets.

Well-written press releases help your business to: 

  • Get positive media coverage
  • Bring more traffic to your online store
  • Build your brand reputation and recognition
  • Earn backlinks from credible websites

Online Marketing for Your Business

Every eCommerce business can benefit from marketing their products or services online. 

Here are some of the most common online marketing tasks you can assign to a virtual assistant:

  • Creating content on your social media platforms to generate sales leads
  • Scheduling posts for social media platforms and the blog section of your website
  • Engaging with existing and prospective customers on social media
  • Tracking social media posts to find out what the audience likes and making the necessary improvements
  • Creating email marketing campaigns for your eCommerce business to engage existing customers and attract new ones

Next Step

If you’re handling all of the tasks outlined in this article on your own, you will probably get overwhelmed and have little time left to strategize for your business growth.

This is the point where many eCommerce businesses stagnate. Don’t let that happen to your business.

By delegating to a professional virtual assistant, you will significantly improve the efficiency and productivity of your business.

An experienced eCommerce virtual assistant will have a diverse set of skills can help take your business to the next level.

Photo by tirachardz / CC BY

Author

I'm Katrina McKinnon, 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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