The continuous innovations in technology can be overpowering for any entrepreneur, especially if this is your first time selling on the internet. Venturing into ecommerce can be lucrative and competitive at the same time.
Delegating tasks to an ecommerce virtual assistant may seem strange to someone who has built their product from an idea to a brand that is known and trusted by customers. However, in order to stay ahead on the online scene, you need to simultaneously run your business and manage your online store.
Hiring a freelance ecommerce virtual assistant can ease your everyday responsibilities and give you back your valuable time, first of all. Getting skilled professionals to do the tasks required to operate your business 24/7 also empowers you to become more productive.
The first time is never easy. We understand the concerns of hard-nosed owners when it comes to handling over tasks that they have learned the hard way and have been doing since the beginning of their journey.
In this article, we will introduce you to the different specializations of ecommerce virtual assistants and how they can help grow your online store faster. Below is an extensive list of 30 ecommerce tasks that you didn’t know you could delegate to a freelance VA.
Virtual assistants are self-employed professionals who provide technical, administrative, creative, and collective assistance to business owners. They belong to the global freelance workforce that has been helping companies scale up their operations since the birth of the internet.
These independent contractors work remotely, withdrawing the outlays of transportation and other allowances normal office workers need. They have flexible work times that can match the needs of your business. Also, they can work on a per project basis that has proved to be both time-efficient and cost-effective for most companies.
Freelance hiring experts like the founders of FreeUp have gathered a wide pool of talent that you can tap into. Generally, these freelancers are multi-skilled. It is important, however, to note that not all of the requirements you have can be found in one skill set or one VA.
As professionals ourselves, we can appreciate the uniqueness and expertise of one’s craft, right?
But if you can’t find everyone you need right away, FreeUp can recruit the right person for you, at no cost.
This is probably the first freelancer to look for. As you move to ecommerce, you will need to peddle your products through different online selling platforms. Who doesn’t know Amazon or Shopify? An ecommerce platform, plus your own website, is necessary to market your brand.
Your website is the face of your brand. You can choose to make it look amateurish (the drag-and-drop templates are so easy to learn) or professional. The latter requires the skill of a professional web designer who will go beyond just customizing the free templates on Shopify, for example. They are also capable of integrating different applications that will make store transactions easier for both you and your customers.
Online stores do not get sales from just one product. Although you may have original products that define your brand, you would also need to give your store some variety. Online shoppers have their own buying patterns, and depending on your target market, you should be able to showcase interesting products that will nurture their fondness for your brand.
A product sourcing specialist has the expertise for finding products that will fit your brand’s buyer personas. He or she has an “eye” for the most in-demand products on the market today. Most importantly, a product sourcer has a strong network of retailers and manufacturers from whom you can buy items in bulk and on sale.
It’s not just having the right product that impacts your sales. There is a significant effect on your profits when you have too much or too little inventory. You cannot waste money and overstock on products that don’t sell. Likewise, you can’t run out of stock on your products in general, especially when talking about the holiday season.
An inventory manager helps balance things in your store. One of the keys to success in ecommerce is the having the right level of supply to keep your customers satisfied and happy. Assistants who specialize in inventory management will help you avoid huge losses and drive a steady flow of sales into your online store.
How you present your products can influence the buying decision of customers. Take a potential buyer browsing through a specific type of product in Amazon. If your product titles are optimized and listed accordingly, they should be able to catch the buyer’s attention. That is why product listing is also important in running an online store.
The time-consuming task of uploading product titles, assigning prices, and downloading barcodes and labels can be delegated to an ecommerce virtual assistant. Furthermore, if you operate on different ecommerce platforms, product listing VAs will be capable of listing your products through multiple channels and updating them regularly.
More than the satisfaction that a customer gets from a product, they are also impressed by how your store is able to deliver their order as promised. A fulfillment specialist is responsible for managing all orders, making sure that the right products are delivered to the right customer, and that they arrive safe and in a timely manner.
A fulfillment specialist has experience in all of these areas plus tracking orders and returns. Depending on your store’s size and the volume of orders you receive, you might want to hire another ecommerce assistant who specializes in order shipment tracking and managing returns.
The next set of ecommerce virtual assistants will help you with the overall content of your online store.
This type of ecommerce freelancer can be hired on a per project basis. At the start of your business, you will of course need a logo that is on point with your brand. Often times, you will need more than just one design of your logo to be put on different product labels, your site, and other materials.
As the business owner, you know your company by heart, but you need a talented person to convey your ideas through amazing artwork. A skilled designer will be able to attract people to your site and impress your brand on them through this imagery.
Product photos empower your brand to build great first impressions. Almost all ecommerce platforms provide the option for buyers to examine your product up close by zooming in and looking at it from different angles. Using professional looking photos improves your customers’ online shopping experience.
A professional product photographer is one of the worthy investments you can make to convey to your market that you mean business. More than photography skills, they can also develop the photos to fit your platform’s requirements and marketing efforts.
Visuals are important in ecommerce. The shopping experience of your buyers needs to be recreated digitally. That is why you need an assistant who has great image-editing skills. Infographics and other imagery engage the audience, in general. Graphic designs contribute to high sales conversion rates.
A graphic designer can produce most of the designs needed for your content marketing, and affordably, too. This includes product photos, website images, graphics for ads and social media, and even e-book covers and content.
A picture paints a thousand words, they say. And we all know this is true! And videos are generally more engaging than still photos. Most ecommerce brands use short marketing videos on their website and social media pages to poke the curiosity of their audience.
According to CISCO, 82% of consumer traffic by next year will be video. You might want to think of investing in video marketing as early as now. Consult and hire a professional videographer and video editor to discover the best strategy to use for your brand.
Content is, basically, everything that your customers read about your product. It is your sales pitch and a powerful sales tool. You will want the words on your websites match your brand.
Ecommerce content writers have the ability to empathize with your target market and convince them that your product is the best solution to their problem. These writers are also able to incorporate the right keywords that will optimize your content and increase conversion.
You can hire a content writer to do your website page, blog posts, and more.
Once you venture in to ecommerce, you will create content for different platforms such as your online store, website, blog, and social media pages. There are different types of content that you can use to engage your customers.
A content manager will decide when and where (which platform) to publish either a blog article, curated content, an infographic, social media posts, video teasers, or an e-book. This assistant will have the ability to analyze the shopping behaviors of your target market in order to schedule high-converting content.
A product description writer is a freelancer who specializes in writing the descriptions for all of your products in your store. This is different from other writing tasks in a way that it requires more of strategy than creativity. Product descriptions are typically short yet eye-catching and very convincing.
The goal of a product description writer is to make sure that you follow the latest SEO trends in order for your products to show up on Google search results. Each platform may have a different formula to optimize your descriptions. Hiring an ecommerce virtual assistant who has experience in this task is a must.
Keyword research is often used by ecommerce businesses to find a popular and profitable niche and invest in products in that area. It’s also necessary to rank for and sell these products.
A person must be knowledgeable in SEO to be able to source keywords that will help a site rank well on search engines. The goal of a keyword and SEO specialist is to optimize your overall content and drive organic traffic to your online store.
SEO experts are equipped with the right keyword research tools and are up to date to the recent digital marketing trends within your industry. Content writers, in turn, use these keywords to create relevant and high-quality content to attract the right customers.
Using high-ranking keywords is just one way of making it to the top of search engines. Link building is another method that will help increase your SEO ranking. The objective behind incorporating external websites in your content is to make you look more credible. Just like influencers, your site appears to be more trustworthy if you have quality sources to back it up.
Big search engines like Google have certain rules on link building. The best way not to get penalized is to hire a professional link builder. It’s a good investment if you want your store to be recognized quickly without getting reports for spamming.
Competition among online brands is stiff, which is why most companies have used social media to leverage their marketing efforts. Whether it’s on other websites or social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, posting ads is necessary to drive traffic to your store.
An effective ad campaign can reach a wide audience and convert sales at a higher rate. An ad campaign manager will take care of setting up your ad campaigns and testing which one works best. He/she can also optimize your current campaigns for the future.
Pay Per Click or sponsored ads are targeted to reach your target market through online channels, specifically search engines and social media. Hiring an expert in PPC advertising will allow your products and brand to reach a more targeted audience. In platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, they make use of specific demographics, interest, buying patterns, and online presence of your market.
Social media plays a big role in any ecommerce business. It has become a part of our daily lives and it’s not going away any time soon. You don’t need to represent your business in every social media platform available, just the relevant ones where you can engage with your target market. Marketing skills and experience in ecommerce is needed to know where your potentials buyers are.
Apart from knowing where to find customers, social media managers also help plan out the kind of content to share. One of the most basic tasks they do is create a social media post schedule.
Placing ads comes with a price and without the assurance of getting responses. Increase your return on investment by hiring a professional digital marketer.
Many talented freelancers have the skills and experience to make a name for you online. They are adept at applying the latest trends in your niche along with the tips & tricks in digital marketing, and can use all the tools necessary to implement a successful marketing strategy.
Buying patterns constantly change. Businesses need to adapt and find new ways to reach customers and get heard online. Unfortunately, you don’t have all the time to sit at your computer and capture visitors who come to your site, or click on your ads.
There is a reason why we have outsourcing and one ecommerce virtual assistant you need to add to your group is a lead generation specialist.
The lead generation process is relatively easy. The challenge, however, is in capturing leads that will translate to sales. Hiring an experienced freelancer for this task will give your business more income opportunities.
A company’s email list is a priceless tool for marketing and increasing sales. The people you have in your email marketing database are the clients whom you have already built relationships with. They are the loyal ones who save a space for you in their inbox and take time to read your emails.
Email marketing can be used to foster new relationships and strengthen the old ones. But you can’t just whip up any kind of email and send it to them whenever you like. Email marketing also has its own strategies and hiring an email marketing assistant will do your business good.
Customer reviews are very important for both shoppers and sellers. Because online buyers rely so much on bad and good reviews of a product, customer service now becomes the make or break of an ecommerce business.
Your sales depend on how much you satisfy your customers. Their shopping experience does not simply end at point-of-sale. It extends beyond how delighted they are in using your product for them to leave a review.
You can hire a customer service representative to answer queries and concerns from different channels (e.g. phone, chat, email). You need to make sure that your company is able to provide pre- and post-sales support for your clients.
There’s no easy way to please an irate customer. Sometimes it will be your company’s fault and other times it can be from factors that are beyond your control. A customer retention specialist is similar to a customer support representative who takes care of bad reviews. It is better for business owners to leave this task in the hands of a professional.
Ecommerce virtual assistants who specialize in customer retention are great pacifiers. Their people relations are remarkable and can convince others with their words and expert knowledge of the product. With a representative like this, you can keep more loyal customers for your brand.
Refund requests come every now and then. You must have your own business guidelines for providing refunds to buyers. An assistant who deals with such requests and additional queries from customers will come in handy. Again, this will depend on the size of your store and the amount of orders you receive.
To stay head of competitors, most ecommerce entrepreneurs develop themselves to become experts in their own niche. They are called “influencers” and becoming one will prove to be beneficial to your business, especially if you are able to build a large following of people with the same interests.
Joining online forums has become essential in order to interact with potential buyers and promoters of your brand. It is a time-consuming task, however, to join online communities (e.g. Facebook groups) and remain an active member. That is why most ecommerce owners choose to hire a forums moderator to help them stay connected and significant in their industry.
Keeping your database up to date can be a tedious task. A database manager will be responsible for maintain records of your inventory, leads, contacts, finances, and other important information.
Most of the time, ecommerce store owners hire a database manager specifically for their websites, to ensure a smooth experience for shoppers. A well-organized database keeps your website pages from loading too slowly, which tests the patience of online users.
As the CEO of your company, you know you will be receiving lots of correspondence from many different sources. It’s easy to lose an important email from hundreds of unread messages piling up in your inbox.
You need to keep your virtual office clean but somehow, you just can’t find time to do something about that email ibox with 1,999 unread messages sitting on the top left corner of your screen.
Hiring someone to organize your emails and answer them for you is a big help!
You can easily lose potential customers if your online store has glitches and they keep experiencing issues. Keeping your site up to date and smooth impacts the overall shopping experience of your customers.
Independent contractors such as web designers and developers can be hired to create a smooth site, and called on again periodically to update it or fix any bugs.
There are so many other time-consuming tasks that you can hire a virtual assistant for. Depending on the nature of your business and the size of your store, you may need someone to manage your daily activities so you don’t lose track of important things.
VA’s, in general, are adept in all kinds of admin tasks. They can be your personal assistants, albeit remotely, and fix your schedule, pay your bills, book your tickets, remind you of meetings, and so much more.
Being an ecommerce entrepreneur and online store owner is not an easy career path. With all the different tasks you need to get done to keep your business running, you need a manager to oversee this part of the operations in your behalf.
A professional project manager is very much capable of leading others and getting everyone to work together to bring your online business to success.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, you may need to hire not one but many different ecommerce virtual assistants tailored to the needs of your business. The next challenge, after finding out which tasks to delegate, is to find the right people to work with.
Getting a hiring expert will take the burden of reviewing applications and the tedious interviews off your hands and free up your valuable time. It is more efficient for both parties (the applicants and you) to go through the hiring process with a professional.
There are many other ecommerce tasks that are not mentioned in this list. But you already know which areas in your business are crucial to the success of your online store.
Now that you have a better understanding of how ecommerce virtual assistants can help you grow your store faster, we urge you to revisit the current processes of your online business.
As a business owner, no one knows your business better than you, so you need to prioritize which areas need help fast. The people you need to get these tasks done will most likely require different skill sets. To help you with your hiring needs, we recommend that you read about hiring freelancers on hiring platforms such as FreeeUp, which specializes in hiring for ecommerce businesses. You can find tips there on leveraging your business with remote talent, and much more to grow your business.
Lailah Paredes is an engineering student, creative entrepreneur, and a self-confessed island girl. As a travel junkie, she loves experiencing different cultures and sharing them through her writing. Read about her travels across the beautiful islands of the Philippines at her blog.
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