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How To Hire E-Commerce Virtual Assistant Service For Your Online Store Business

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Like everything else, business exists in the virtual world these days. When you are running an eCommerce venture, you are very likely to juggle multiple responsibilities at the same time. If your business is not making a sufficient cash flow and demanding your extra time for precise backend works, it’s time to change your working strategy.

As a business person, it may not be practical for you to spend maximum hours daily for working with backend requirements of your online store, even if the business is making enough money and profit. Hiring a virtual assistant for ecommerce store gives you an extra pair of hands to tackle many difficult tasks and offers extra time to spend on more severe responsibilities such as business expansion.

The need for an e-commerce virtual assistant is equally essential for start-up, developing or developed online businesses. Generally, virtual assistance is a process where a remote assistant handles tasks of a business via a virtual medium. They can be located in any part of the globe, lending their services to businesses around the world. You can hire virtual assistants to perform a variety of tasks that require specialized skills. An e-commerce virtual assistant is the one, who can help you in dealing with your e-commerce business tasks.

Hiring an e-commerce virtual assistant is always a smart choice as it proffers numerous advantages.

  1. Firstly, it saves a lot of time for the business owner; it spares you from the processes of hiring full-time employees to handle online store.
  2. Virtual assistants would be handling responsibilities of multiple companies at the same time, so they will be better informed, updated and skilled at the tasks outsourced to them.
  3. A virtual assistant can contribute best to the research and development of your e-commerce business.

What Can You Outsource to an E-commerce Virtual Assistant?

You cannot trust all the responsibilities of an e-commerce website into the hands of a virtual assistant, although, he would be able to help you manage some significant tasks. Here are just some of the tasks that you can hand over to a virtual assistant:

Product Data Management

product data management

Every e-commerce store includes the list of brands and lakhs products. Therefore it is very difficult to manage new adding products, existing products updates, discontinued products removal, etc. Once you commit with a team, you only have to provide data source or your vendor portal to collect the product info. An efficient VA can help you with proper ecommerce product listing and management of your online store.

Ecommerce Order Management

An ecommerce virtual assistant can also support processing orders. They can make order entry, shipment, and invoice stress-free for you.

  1. Capture the order
  2. Order confirmation from manufactures
  3. Let the customer know about the order status
    • Estimated Ship Date
    • Who the carrier is
    • Back-ordered items
    • Discontinued / Cancelled item
  4. Follow up the orders with the manufacturer
  5. Request tracking from vendors
  6. Quality in service ensured by the following parameters
    • Ensure quality in service by catching any discrepancies in the order before it reaches the customers
    • Bridge the gap between client and customer to avoid unnecessary issues.
    • Follow up with the vendor on a regular basis and update client’s system
    • Quick, Safe and Effective service

etc. to an e-commerce virtual assistant helps you to make your business more professional without any drawbacks.

Inventory Management

Making inventory management safe in the hands of VA with expertise relieve you from the tension of profit loss due to improper stock management. Monitoring stock levels, updating and highlighting available stocks on the website, and taking care of replenishing products etc. can be outsourced to a virtual assistant in confidence.

Updating Website

After you set up an e-commerce website, it is essential to manage consistently. With the help of a virtual assistant, you can ensure that the site is best at creating comfortable shopping experiences. To update web pages with products, images, prices, services, copyright dates, news, team members, etc. a virtual assistant can help with great expertise.

Customer Service

customer service

Having a dedicated customer service wing is crucial in proffering good customer experience and ensuring customer loyalty. You can hire virtual assistant to answer phone calls or emails via your website from customers and save a lot of money by not hiring full-time customer support employees.

Social Media Management

Social Media Management is an area that cannot be compromised for any E-commerce firm. A Virtual Assistant can handle the Social Media pages, reply to comments, promote pages, curate content, and perform other community management tasks.

Research for Product Price Market Analysis

Sell your products in different marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Channel Advisor,a detailed market search is a must. If you are processing Product Per Click, same is the case. To regularly research on competitor’s price and product listing particularities, you can seek the help of a virtual assistant.

When Should You Hire a Virtual Assistant?

when should you hire a virtual assistant

You should not rush into Virtual Assistants even before you start your business, or immediately after you commence your operations. You should not imitate some other business while handing over the responsibilities to a VA. You will only get a clearer picture of when your business is executed. Within two or three months after beginning your business, you will know the areas you need external help and the areas you could manage on your own.

Here are some guidelines that could help you while hiring a VA.

  • Familiarize yourself with part and parcel of your business so that you know what kind of help you need. It also helps you to teach your VA before handing over the responsibility easily.
  • When you feel like you could do more significant, more important things if you had time, that is the cue to hire a VA
  • You should be in a position, budget-wise, to hire VA. Even though it is a lot cheaper than hiring full-time employees, you still need some disposable income to pay the VA. According to the present market, you can hire 170 hour VA from an outsourcing company at $600 to $700.00 for a month.
  • You may not need full-time VAs for your business. Sometimes you would only require a few hours of help every day. Examine your business thoroughly and discern how much help you need.
  • If you are an already established business and you are encountering overwhelming success or if you are working more than 9 hours in your office, both these situations call for the assistance of a VA.
  • For almost all ecommerce businesses, customer service, adding new products, product, order, inventory, customer management would be the areas that would require more attention and effort. When you have multiple areas that need help, get help for more important areas before any other.
  • After handing out the responsibilities, monitor it regularly. Scrutinize and make sure that you are benefitting from VA.
  • Reduce your operating costs by avoiding unnecessary recruitments and placements of employees while you can outsource the majority tasks to VAs.
  • Boost your online shop productivity by utilizing the service of experts and clear the channel of profits for your e-commerce business.
  • Expand into additional sales channels with the help of efficient and enthusiastic ecommerce service providing team with great industrial exposures.

How to Hire Your First Virtual Assistant

Just like hiring a full-time employee, you need to screen the VA carefully to make sure that he/she is trustworthy and right for the job. Document your process thoroughly and have a good grip on the topic so that you can inform and teach the VA properly.

When you hire VAs for Social Media Management, Customer service or similar tasks where VAs are communicating directly with the customers, vendors or partners, make sure that you provide the pre-approved script and canned replies for common queries and scenarios. For example when the customer requests to know the status of an order or ask generic queries. The key to effective delegation is to research thoroughly and to anticipate common issues that could come the customers’ way. That way you can give a prompt reply to a customer queries as well as you will have a remedy in place to address the issue. Make sure that your VA does not have to come up with his response or solutions every time a customer raises a query. Write out these to the VA in the format: "IF X happens, THEN do Y".

Managing Your Virtual Assistant

Regularly review the help contributed by the VA and make that it is on par with the standards and worth the money you spend on him/her. Establish a communication channel such as Skype, Hangouts, Trello, Slack, Smartsheet, Zoho, Favro, Asana, regular daily work report, emails or your internal communication systems to regularly communicate with your VAs and to keep them updated about the process. Trust is a big part of this relationship between you and your Virtual Assistant or Outsourcing service provider. You potentially trust your VA with the life and existence of your business. So do not divulge sensitive company information immediately after you hire the VA. Let the person earn the trust and share information such as login credentials for your accounts or passwords to Social Media profiles only after you are entirely sure of his/her loyalty.

Your objective behind hiring a VA is saving time and money for your business. The success of hiring a VA, therefore, lies in the money and time you saved.

What tasks should you never outsource to an E-commerce Virtual Assistant?

Virtual assistants may be experts at many things, but there are something’s in business that is not very good to outsource. Especially for a start-up business, you should never contract out the most crucial responsibilities like marketing, advertising, sales and strategy planning that matter most in your business.

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