Running an e-commerce store can be a very profitable business if done right. With e-commerce becoming such a huge industry today, it’s not surprising that so many people have decided to go into online entrepreneurship.
Though setting up an e-commerce store has become easy, running the store and turning it into a money-making machine isn’t. It requires a ton of work once the site is up.
If you're thinking of running it on your own, you're headed for burn out.
With the amount of work that needs to be done, hiring a virtual assistant is one of the best decisions you can make. The question now is, which tasks do you need to hire a virtual assistant for?
Will you be needing someone to handle customer service? Someone to take care of your social media presence? Or maybe someone who can help with product fulfillment? The answer could be all of the above, and more.
To get you started, here are seven e-commerce tasks you can outsource to your virtual assistant:
1. Customer Service
To be successful, you have to keep your customers happy. But that’s a time-consuming job. A virtual assistant with good customer service skills can answer customer questions via phone, live chat, email and on social media. They can answer questions in real-time for customers almost ready to pull the trigger on a purchase, tactfully handle dissatisfied customers, deal with shipments that are lost and more.
A virtual assistant can guide customers through the sales process while they’re still on your website, increasing your conversion rates by offering human support at the time of purchase.
Additionally, while the virtual assistant is interacting with your customers, they can identify opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.
2. Order Processing
A virtual assistant can handle processing your company’s orders including order entry, shipment and invoicing. So let them compile the orders, send customer invoices to your drop-ship vendors and/or shipping companies, and other daily tasks.
Your virtual assistant can manage the returns and exchanges of products for you. They can communicate directly via email with customers and suppliers to set up product returns, exchanges, and refunds.
4. Manage Inventory
If your virtual assistant is skilled in inventory management, he can monitor stock levels, update your website to reflect the stock your suppliers have on-hand and in their warehouses, and let you know when you need to replenish certain products.
5. Order Products
Not only can your virtual assistant manage your inventory, but they can also keep your virtual shelves stocked. They can work with your suppliers, send invoices to accounts payable and handle getting stock into your warehouse or anywhere else it needs to be.
6. Website Maintenance
After you set up your e-commerce site, you have to manage it consistently. A virtual assistant with the right qualifications can ensure that your website is offering your customers seamless shopping experiences with no errors.
7. Writing/Submitting Press Releases
If your virtual assistant has the right skills, they can write your press releases for you and submit them to the press release websites and news outlets. If you’d rather write your press releases, your virtual assistant can still set up the accounts with the press release websites and submit them for you.
There are obviously more tasks that need to be handled by a virtual assistant. The list above should give you a head start since these areas are crucial to a successful e-commerce store. Now that you have a better understanding of which virtual assistants you need in your business, we encourage you to reassess your current situation as a store owner.
Take a quick look at which areas in your business you’re sorely needing help on. Make a list and start prioritizing so you can find help fast.
The different tasks require different sets of expertise that you won’t likely find in a single person. Though it may cost you money hiring virtual assistants for these tasks, they are worthy investments whose benefits you will reap in the future.