36 Tasks eCommerce Virtual Assistants Can Do
There’s no better time to go into the eCommerce business than the present. With so many ways for aspiring online retailers to start their own company with a small capital, and with so many skilled eCommerce virtual assistants to help them out, it’s not surprising to see how many more online stores are cropping up in various marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Jet, and Etsy. Many others are also creating their own online stores using easy-to-use and DIY-friendly tools like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento.
But while it’s easier now more than ever to start your own eCommerce business, the sheer number of competitors you’ll be facing means that keeping your store afloat and profitable is a lot more difficult. How do successful eCommerce business owners scale their businesses without being indebted due to massive labor costs? By hiring eCommerce VAs or teams of them to help out.
If you want to keep up with the stiff competition in the eCommerce industry, you have to provide exceptional customer service, ensure that your store has high-quality content and images, make sure that your store is ranking high on Google and other search engines, and so on and so forth. These are just a few of the things that hiring a virtual assistant for eCommerce store management can achieve.
What is an eCommerce Virtual Assistant?
An eCommerce virtual assistant is someone who is especially skilled in doing tasks related to eCommerce such as online store management, customer service specifically for online stores, content for product descriptions, and many more.
eCommerce virtual assistants can do tasks that administrative virtual assistants can do like email and phone support, database management, customer engagement, and so on. The main difference is that an eCommerce VA is actually trained to do all these things specifically for eCommerce businesses. They are either trained or experienced (or both) in doing eCommerce tasks, and they are adept at handling tools, apps, and software that are used in maintaining an eCommerce business.
Some eCommerce virtual assistants can also do tasks that specialist virtual assistants can do such as content writing, SEO, and graphic design. However, their skills in those areas are typically targeted for eCommerce purposes. For instance, an eCommerce VA can do content writing for product descriptions or social media marketing campaigns, but they may not be skilled enough to write blog articles or PR articles unlike specialist content writer VAs.
If you’re running an eCommerce business, it’s highly advisable to hire at least one eCommerce VA to ensure that someone in your virtual staff has knowledge and experience in dealing with common eCommerce tasks.
Hire an eCommerce Virtual Assistant to Do These Tasks
If you’re still unclear about what you need to hire an eCommerce VA for, here’s a list of the most common tasks that an eCommerce virtual assistant can handle for you:
Managing your account on any marketplace can be very tedious. Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay impose very specific rules for stores, so it’s important to make sure that you’re following them all and ensuring that your store meets all standards to avoid getting penalized, or worse, shut down. How can an eCommerce VA help with account management?
- Product Review Monitoring – involves checking your product reviews constantly to ensure a high product rating and flagging fake reviews for removal. They may do this manually or use a review monitoring tool of your choice.
- Feedback Management – involves monitoring customer feedback and relaying them to the correct stakeholders to improve products and customer experience.
- Amazon A+ / EBC Pages – creating Amazon A+ content and Amazon Enhanced Brand Content which includes multimedia like videos, interactive widgets, and other visually rich content.
- Customer Service – helping customers with their orders, shipping, and other questions through chat, phone, or email.
- Performance Metrics Tracking – tracking important store and customer data such as customer retention, revenue, average order value, and more.
- Generating Reports – generating comprehensive but easy-to-read reports from your performance metrics.
- Email Autoresponder Setup – setting up automated emails for typical customer transactions such as order placement, account signup, and more.
- Account Reinstatement – getting your Amazon, eBay, or other marketplace accounts reinstated in case of account suspension.
- Conversion Tracking – setting up and tracking conversions or sales on your online store or eCommerce website.
INVENTORY & ORDERS
An eCommerce VA can also help you ensure that your store has the right amount of inventory and that all orders, returns, and refund requests are fulfilled correctly and in a timely manner. Here’s a more detailed look at what an eCommerce VA can do when it comes to inventory and order management.
- Order Refund Tracking – making sure that order refund requests are valid and that valid refund requests are fulfilled.
- Shipment Refund Tracking – ensuring that failed shipments are refunded accordingly.
- Shipping Labels Management – managing the creation, printing, reprinting, voiding, and more of shipping labels.
- Logistics Coordination – coordinating the movement of inventory, and when applicable, materials or equipment, between supplier, store, storage, and warehouses.
- FBA / FBM Management – managing and categorizing your Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) items.
- Supplier Coordination – coordinating with suppliers for materials or store inventory.
- Warehouse Liaising – coordinating with marketplace warehouses or store warehouses for storage of your inventory.
- Order Fulfillment – involves handling online fulfillment of orders such as liaising with third-party fulfillment providers and managing shipment.
- Product Procurement – involves selecting the best vendors and suppliers, arranging terms of payment and managing purchase requests.
High-quality listings are listings that convert. However, it can be difficult to ensure that all your listings have great photos, content, and other enhancements if you’re doing everything yourself. This is one more thing that an eCommerce VA is good for. Here’s how eCommerce VAs can assist you with listing management.
- Multi-Variation Listings – ensuring that your listings have the correct attributes for a smoother customer experience during product selection and checkout.
- Listing Optimization – optimizing your listings including SEO-enhanced content, product photo editing, and more.
- Flat File Product Listings – generating accurate flat files of product for faster bulk editing of product listings.
- Product Title / Description – creating product titles and descriptions that are informative and catchy enough to entice customers to purchase your products.
- Product Listing Monitoring – monitoring important and potentially harmful product listing issues to avoid blocked and inactive listings.
- Product Price Monitoring – extract or monitor data from competitors to ensure that your product prices remain highly competitive but profitable.
- Listing Enhancements – improving listing content, images, and other variables for better ranking and marketability.
- Keyword Research – researching the right keywords to target (what potential customers search for) to improve product descriptions.
- Product Image Editing – basic image editing for more attractive product listings.
Keeping up with your competitors and industry trends requires lots and lots of research. Free yourself from hours of conducting research yourself by hiring an eCommerce VA to do internet research instead. Here’s what they can help you with when it comes to online research.
- Online Arbitrage – researching items in various marketplaces and purchasing products or creating a database of products with high profitability.
- Wholesale Sourcing – researching wholesalers who can provide high-quality but profitable products to add to your inventory or replace existing products.
- Product Sourcing – looking for trending products to improve your store offerings.
- Supplier Research – researching reputable suppliers who can give a good price for quality products.
- Product Research – conducting online product research for your product development team or to improve product marketability.
- Discount Research – researching promo and discount ideas for marketing.
- Promotions Management – managing your promotions to ensure a high ROI.
- Dropshipping Setup – finding reliable dropshipping suppliers and setting up dropshipping processes to ensure smooth transactions.
- Competitor Research – researching competitor products, promotions, marketing strategies, and pricing and generating reports based on gathered data.
One thing to take note of is that not all eCommerce VAs can do all of the tasks above. To build an effective eCommerce virtual assistant team, you need to hire eCommerce VAs with different sets of skills to complement each other’s skill strengths and weaknesses.
Do You Need an eCommerce VA?
Many eCommerce business owners, especially those who are just starting up, think that they only need to hire an eCommerce VA once their store has really started taking off. This is a common misconception. There’s no waiting time needed to get help when setting up your online store.
Whether you’re just starting your online store or are already running one for a couple of years, hiring an eCommerce VA is always a worthy investment. Even just one eCommerce VA can help you launch your online store more successfully and actually speed up the process of launching. The faster you launch your store with high-quality product listings, the faster you recoup your capital. Also, it’s pretty important that your first few customers get the best possible customer experience and support, and an eCommerce VA can definitely help you ensure that.
If you’ve been in the eCommerce industry for a few years, and you think that you’ve got everything covered, think again. There are so many improvements that can happen to your store when you hire an eCommerce VA. The best part is that outsourcing tasks to an eCommerce VA, especially overseas VAs, doesn’t require a massive budget. You can pay only for the hours you need or hire them only for seasonal support. It’s definitely easier to scale your eCommerce business if you don’t hire full-time local workers for every single thing.
Ready to build your team of exceptional eCommerce virtual assistants? Let us help! Submit a consultation call request (it’s totally free) to know what kind of eCommerce virtual assistant your business needs now.