eCommerce Virtual Assistant Services: What to Expect?
In our new normal lifestyle after the pandemic, many people are leaning towards online-based work. Recently there is a rise in working from home and outsourcing jobs. Virtual Assistant (VA) is such a job that is gaining popularity day by day.
Now the question is, can Virtual Assistants help you in your eCommerce business? If so, how?
Today, we’re answering exactly that. We’ll discuss what an eCommerce VA does and what services can they offer to take your eCommerce business forward. Let’s get started.
What Does an Ecommerce Virtual Assistant Do?
Virtual assistants (VA) are self-employed individuals or agencies that remotely provide technical, administrative, creative, and collective assistance to business owners. They are freelancers who can help you scale up your operation without joining your in-house team.
VAs who can provide eCommerce-related support are known as eCommerce virtual assistants. They have the necessary skill set to make your eCommerce operation seamless. The most important qualities an Ecommerce VA can offer are practicality and specialized skill sets.
Virtual assistants work on a per hour or per-project basis and have flexible work hours. You can do almost anything with a VA, including maintaining your core functionality. If you want to learn more about VA and how to hire one, here’s your best guide.
An Ecommerce VA will be able to help you with various tasks you need to be done. From product research up to administrative tasks; an Ecommerce VA can help you with one or multiple parts of the process.
However, it would not be wise to have unrealistic expectations of your VA. Now, let’s check out what an e-commerce VA can help you with.
E-commerce Virtual Assistant Services
Virtual assistants can do almost anything that doesn’t require them to be present on-site. Let’s check out the services you can expect from your virtual assistant specialized on eCommerce operations.
1. Product management
The goal of any eCommerce business is to provide products/services online. However, the task isn’t as easy as it sounds. You’ll need to find the right products, source them in a way you can secure profit, and manage the products in a way that is convenient to you and your clients.
Here’s how an eCommerce Va can help you in the “products” department.
The first step starts with well-conducted research. An eCommerce VA can help you find out the best product that not only satisfies your customer but also gives you distinctive advantages against your competitors. They will do market research and competitor analysis as well.
Once you have a list of potential products/services, it’s time to source the product. This can be a very daunting process when you have your hands full with other important works. An expert product manager will help you choose the right vendor, and even collect products if you’re not available.
Just sourcing products isn’t enough. If you don’t showcase your product on your website, it’s of no use. A product listing assistant can help you present your products in a way that influences the buying decision of your clients. Remember, your target is to catch the buyer’s attention.
Additionally, if you use multiple platforms, you can hand over tasks like uploading product images, assigning prices, and managing the tracking system (barcodes). That way, you’ll be able to focus on more important tasks.
Another crucial task an eCommerce VA will take on is inventory management. Having too many or too few products can harm your business. An Inventory manager can help you bring balance to your product management system. A VA can help you satisfy your clients and drive a steady sales flow.
2. Graphics design
Visual influence is still the best kind of influence you can have over your customers, and a virtual graphics designer can have an astounding effect. They can help you convey your message to your peers through logos, infographics, product photos, campaign images, and a lot more.
However, you don’t need to hire an eCommerce VA per hour for these tasks. The per-project approach is more feasible here. A virtual graphic designer can fulfill most of your design needs. If you want to build a brand, you’ll most definitely need an eCommerce VA specialized in graphics.
3. Content creation and management
The content was, still is, and most probably will remain the king in any online platform. The primary goal of content is to inform your clients about your service and related topics. You’ll need a skilled content manager to make the content production process seamless.
You can hire content writers/creators and content managers that can help you produce, publish, and optimize quality content. Quality content will help your visitors to engage more with your website and, in turn, generate sales. Having a content manager/creator VA can be a huge advantage.
4. Video/photographing and editing
Contents are getting more and more visual every day, and the best way to visually influence your clients is to provide engaging photos and videos. The demand for engaging videos/photos is increasing day by day. Nowadays, every business needs at least one of them.
Starting from product photography to video promotion, a VA can help you produce and publish quality content. Professional photo/videographers and editors can help make your brand more appealing and engaging to your customers.
5. SEO and keyword research
Here comes behind the screen jobs that an eCommerce VA can help you with. An eCommerce business needs more than just products to survive in the long game. You’ll have to find the right products/services to invest in and make your business more visible to your clients.
An eCommerce VA with SEO and keyword research knowledge can help you find the best places to focus on and improve your online presence. They can help you optimize your content to drive more organic traffic to your website. If you ignore SEO and Keyword research, your business will suffer.
6. Social media management
Social media has become an inseparable part of our daily life and most eCommerce businesses take advantage of it. You don’t need to be present on all the social media out there. Just figure out where most of your target clients are, and create a strong online presence there.
A virtual Social Media Manager (SSM) can help you with every step of that process. They will maintain your social media profile and try to direct your target audience to your website. They will help you publish info on the latest updates, deals, promotions, new products, and many more.
7. Campaign management
Running campaigns are a crucial part of every eCommerce business. The campaign is the strongest pillar of digital marketing. With strategically placed campaigns, you’ll be able to acquire new leads and convert those leads into your customers. That’s why campaign management is so important.
A skilled campaign manager will create relevant campaigns and publish them in the right place so more and more people get to know about your business. They will help you grab the attention of your clients through push, awareness, email, contests, and many other forms of campaigns
8. Lead management
Once you’ve got some leads, the next task is to convert those leads into loyal customers. People change their buying choices frequently. If you don’t catch the trend train, your progress will become slower. Today’s hot topic can become obsolete today, and you need to be prepared for that.
Conversion is way harder than generating leads. An experienced Lead manager can help you find the best ways to attract your target audience and later turn them into your customers through active promotions. This will give your business more room to grow as your customer base increases in number.
9. Order management
Once a customer puts an order on your website, a chain of processes starts till that product reaches that customer. The process includes finding the right products, assigning an order, tracking the order, and delivering the products on time. Tackling the process alone can be daunting.
Also known as a fulfillment specialist, a virtual order manager will take on all the tasks you need to do till that product gets received by the customer. This is especially helpful when you are outside your business area and need someone to keep the process running.
10. Billing and refund (database) management
Every business needs to maintain a database. A well-maintained database can make your business seem automated, which improves the overall customer/user experience. Many people hire a virtual database manager just for their website so the visitors can have a seamless buying experience.
A database manager (VA) will take on the tedious task of keeping your database up-to-date. He/she will keep track of the billing, refund, inventory, leads, contacts, and many more so that managing your business becomes more straightforward.
11. Customer service and retention
The work isn’t over when your products reach the customer. You need to provide quality customer service to please your customers. Customer reviews play a major role in the shoppers’ buying decisions and have become the make or break for many eCommerce companies.
A virtual customer service/retention manager can help you answer queries, pacify angry clients, provide refunds, and improve your customer retention program. Your company needs to provide before and after-sales support to your clients.
Last but not least, an eCommerce virtual assistant can also help you take on administrative tasks to give you more flexibility. In general, VA’s are adept in all kinds of admin tasks. The number of tasks you’ll need to do will depend on the size and complexity of your business operation.
You can even hire an eCommerce virtual assistant for recruiting other people to your eCommerce business. They can also take on tasks like setting appointments,
Why Do You Need a VA in Your Ecommerce Business?
In our post-pandemic, new normal life, most people are tending to work from home. Besides having a few downsides, this method proved to be more efficient and cost-effective. A Va can take on the repetitive and tedious works off your shoulder, giving you more creative freedom.
Additionally, people are adapting more and more to contactless transitions. That’s why a VA can help you manage your operations without joining your in-house team. With a flexible working environment, hiring a VA for your eCommerce business is also less risky.
You won’t need to invest in the training of your VA like you do with a newbie joining your team. This not only reduces your operation cost but also makes the process more efficient. You won’t need to pay for an office, working platform, or internet.
However, the most important task a VA can do is to take on the repetitive and tedious work from you. That way, you can focus on more important tasks. If you feel overwhelmed managing your eCommerce business, it’s time you look for an eCommerce virtual assistant.
Things to Look For in an Ecommerce Virtual Assistant
If you want to make sure that you’re hiring the best candidate for your eCommerce business, look for these qualities in your VA.
The most important quality you need to look for in your eCommerce VA is professionalism. They should meet the deadline, maintain proper communication, be able to take constructive criticism, and have the courage to provide new ideas that can improve your business further ahead.
Your eCommerce VA should be skilled in the task you want to be done. If you hire a social media manager, he/she should be able to keep up with the ever-changing trends and be skilled in managing various platforms. They should also be familiar with the platforms/technologies you use.
Organization and management
An eCommerce VA should be good at organizing and managing multiple projects at the same time. Every small, detail-oriented task your eCommerce business has needs to be managed carefully so that you don’t need to worry about them. Some tasks require heavy skill, and some don’t.
However, all of your tasks need proper management in order to take your business forward.
Aside from multitasking, another crucial skill an eCommerce VA needs to have is adaptability. They should be able to absorb the information they get. They should be able to adapt to various working conditions, new research, and guidelines.
The more your eCommerce VA can absorb and learn, the better their performance will be.
Patience and empathy
This is especially necessary when dealing with customers. Your VA should be able to listen to customer queries and reply to them with patience and empathy. This will improve your customer retention and your overall brand image. If you hire a CSM online, this is crucial.
1. Do I have to own an agency to hire a VA?
Ans: No, absolutely not. A virtual assistant can help you with your personal projects as well. You’ll get services like making appointments, booking flights/tickets, planning, managing finances, and many more tasks from your VA.
2. How do I communicate with my VA?
Ans: The primary communication will be online. You can use messaging platforms like Whatsapp, Messenger, Skype, and Zoom to maintain communication. You can also use dedicated platforms (like Asana, Slack, and Trello) to maintain communication and the task flow.
3. Will my virtual assistant be able to work unsupervised?
Ans: Yes. Virtual assistants are specialized in working in solitude, away from all the disruptions a typical office environment offers. You’ll have the option to monitor the work process in your want, but most VAs are capable enough to work efficiently without any supervision.
4. How to know if my VA is reliable?
Ans: You don’t have to trust your VA right away. Trust builds up with time and effort. If you keep a close eye on the communication quality and work ethics of your VA, you’ll get to a decisive answer pretty soon.
You can use password managers and contract agreements and set boundaries to build a trusting relationship with your VA over time.
5. What happens if the internet gets disconnected?
Ans: There are many tasks that don’t require an internet connection. In case of a connection problem, you can instruct your VA to focus on the offline tasks and report to you once the connection is restored.