How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for E-commerce

Haven’t you heard “Hire a virtual assistant” to ease your stress? It is right, you don’t want to waste valuable time and effort in searching for the right person. A virtual assistant is an independent identity that assists with admin, social media market, business development, and other tasks.

Now that you have decided to get a virtual assistant to grow your business, which method will you choose out of the three options:

  •     Freelance Platforms: Here, a person works independently, which means they are not under any company or organization liabilities. Ultimately, they are self-employed. 
  •     Agency: These will have a team of virtual assistants who will always be there for your services and can bring actual results from their experience.
  •     Job Portals: Many websites provide virtual assistants, through their resources. Some of them are LinkedIn, Monster Jobs, UpWork, and more.

These will give you a vast pool of candidates that are eligible to handle your tasks efficiently. It depends on your budget and business requirements. 

Who is E-Commerce Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant will understand the client’s queries and issues to give relevant information, or create content. In short, they are capable of handling your tasks, which means less work for you. Some daily routine tasks where e-commerce virtual assistants come handy are:

Handle shipping and order process

A trained virtual assistant will help in managing your orders successfully. Some significant tasks that you can assign them are:

  •     Compile orders
  •     Maintain Order records 
  •     Track orders
  •     Set up shipments
  •     Send invoices

An E-commerce virtual assistant can automate many such repetitive and complicated tasks for your online store.

Stock and Inventory Management

You might want to hire a virtual assistant, who is skilled in managing inventory and stocks. Somewhere a virtual assistant can provide better services are:

  •       Check inventory to ensure the  availability of products 
  •     Add new inventory if required
  •     Update product lists
  •     Handle product categories
  •     Resolve any errors
  •     Keep website updated with the latest content
  •     Monitor stock levels
  •     Keep track of orders
  •     Recommendations of restocking

Manage Exchanges and Returns

Sometimes your products might not meet customer’s expectations, or they have made a wrong choice. In such scenarios, E-commerce virtual assistants can communicate with them and handle the further process. Some scenarios where virtual assistants can help are:

  •     Communicating with unsatisfied customers
  •     Resolve issues instantly 
  •     Organized methods to handle queries
  •     Pay attention to the customer’s action on the store

This would ensure that you will not lose any potential customers. As virtual assistants will assure to resolve their issues in the best method possible.

Customer Service

Every e-commerce store’s most important target is to provide customer satisfaction, which requires time, patience, and effort. That is why it would be smart enough to hire a virtual assistant to handle them. Some best virtual assistant agencies have the capability to handle the below tasks effortlessly:

  •     Send quick responses to customer queries
  •     Handle unsatisfied customers
  •     Grab opportunities for cross-selling and upselling
  •     Engage with existing customers
  •     Respond to customers reviews and feedbacks
  •     Follow up with the consumers

Create Newsletter and Press Release

Businesses often have some newsworthy information that should reach the right audience. A skilful e-commerce virtual assistant can create cost-effective newsletters and press release to:

  •     Build brand reputation
  •     Gain backlinks
  •     Grab attention and media coverage

Virtual Assistant Newsletter and press release will definitely help in gaining potential customers. They have the proper knowledge and strategies to improve your presence in the market. 

Maintaining your E-commerce store

Building an online platform is not enough. It needs consistent and professional attention to be successful. With their skills and training, E-commerce virtual assistants can help your store in various ways, like:

  •     Manage pricing for your products
  •     Change and update your product descriptions
  •     Add, remove, and edit product lists
  •     Search and replace broken links
  •     Update copyright information on the website
  •     Add the latest news, deals, and discounts on the website
  •     Polish content regularly
  •     Upload blog content
  •     Add and format images
  •     Website optimization for faster page loads
  •     Handle server issues for better customer experience

Perform market research

It is vital to know valuable business insights which can benefit you. For instance, you can ask your virtual assistant to handle the below things:

  • Product Research
  • Competitor research
  • Latest Trends in the market
  • Keyword research 
  • Target customer research   
  • Customer demands

They can also help in compiling their research in systematic reports that are easier to understand. This will save your time as you can easily track valuable insights that can help grow the business.

Manage Finances

A skilled virtual assistant will have a strategy to handle your business finances. When you hire a virtual assistant for financial duties, they will handle the below sections for your business:

  •     They will save your time and let you focus on the core responsibilities of the business.
  •     They stay updated with the latest policies in the market, which makes it easier to implement required changes.
  •     Technology has become an integral part of industries. Virtual Assistants can easily research and guide you on the tools and apps to ensure you make a suitable investment.
  • Economic situations are unpredictable and affect businesses drastically if not appropriately handled. Outsourcing accounting duties will save your business from such disruptions.

Monitor Online Marketing

The Best virtual assistant agencies are putting their best efforts to increase profit for businesses. They have the right skills to handle such tasks and manage online marketing tools effortlessly. Some everyday tasks that they can run for you are:

  •     Add content such as videos, articles, or blogs that helps in increasing user engagement
  •     Manage your social media accounts 
  •     Schedule posts and blog content on the social media
  •     Build communities to promote business
  •     Track your influence on the audience and make necessary improvements
  •     Create email marketing campaigns
  •     Advertise your brand on various platforms

What are the Benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant?

1.    It makes your life easier

Businesses must have a robust online presence always, which is a complicated task with this growing industry. E-commerce virtual assistants will make your life easier by providing the best services. As they will help to take your workload and handle your time-consuming tasks.

2.    Drive Business Growth

You cannot manage all the tasks by yourself, and you are aware of that! Get talented Virtual assistants in the business and tell them about your requirements. They will look for chances to grow your business in the market. You just have to develop an understanding of your business policies and ethics before the process begins.

3.    Cost-Effective

When you prefer hiring an employee, you need to give them a salary, and also take care of the below things:

  •     Taxes
  •     Sickness
  •     Leaves
  •     Compensation
  •     Other benefits

Virtual assistants are independent workers, which means you are not liable to handle their expenses. All you should do is hire them for a specific job and pay them as required.

4.    Higher Productivity

In any standard agency, you will have 8-hours of workday, which means less productivity. To your relief, virtual assistants work differently. They focus and dedicate all their time to complete their tasks before the deadline.

5.    Reduce your work stress

The Business owner has many tasks due to which there are chances that they can miss some tasks. In such cases, an e-commerce virtual assistant can come into action and handle some crucial functions like:

  •     Market Research
  •     Email Management
  •     Scheduling
  •     Search Engine Optimization
  •     Content Writing
  •     Data Entry
  •     Online Marketing
  •     Call Answering
  •     Web Development

Professional virtual assistants are skilled in various sectors and help in organizing your store efficiently.

6.    Improve online presence

You need to post regularly on various online platforms to strengthen your brand reputation. Some aspects that you must pay attention to are:

  •     Keep a habit of sending prompt responses to the customers
  •     Create engaging content
  •     Add promotional activities and posts
  •     Bring innovative deals and discounts for your customers

An active online presence needs time and persistence. Hire a virtual assistant as they have the best knowledge in various segments. They will help in increasing customer involvement with your platform. 

Which type of tasks should you outsource to Virtual Assistants?

1.    The task that will grow your brand/e-commerce

 A skilled virtual assistant will give you time to enjoy your business and look at the bigger picture. They can tackle a list of tasks to flourish your business:

  •     Manage social media channels
  •     Prepare analytical reports
  •     Carry financial decisions
  •     Plan your appointments and meetings
  •     Take care of your customers
  •     Be an HR department for your business
  •     Handle email marketing
  •     Manage recruitments
  •     Manage internal and client projects
  •     Write and public relevant content

2.    The task that will save you time

An intelligent virtual assistant can perform many roles for your business. Having a reliable assistant will help to reap benefits by saving time. Some roles they can play are:

  •     Email Management
  •     Organize tasks
  •     Travel plans and arrangements
  •     Reminder services
  •     File storage and organization
  •     Data entry
  •     Administrative tasks
  •     Blogging
  •     Audio, Images, and Video Editor

You need to decide the tasks that will be better with the guidance of virtual assistants.

3.    The hard task

Might it be tough to juggle between multiple tasks? Well, save your stress as virtual assistants would happily take your workload. Some challenging or complicated tasks you can outsource are:

  •     Deep online research
  •     Regular data entry
  •     Organized data presentation
  •     Perform market research
  •     Online Marketing
  •     Revert to calls
  •     Social Media Marketing
  •     Email Management
  •     App and website development
  •     SEO-friendly platform
  •     Content Writing

4.    Burden some tasks

These are tasks that need time and knowledge to grow the business. It is best if you outsource some of these to virtual assistants:

  •     Bookkeeping
  •     Customer Service
  •     Data Entry
  •     General Research
  •     Backlink outreach
  •     Product Sourcing
  •     Keyword research
  •     Basic photo editing
  •     Personal Errands
  •     Calendar management

5.    Tasks that you do not know about

Many business owners are stuck at such tasks, as they do not know what to do. This might affect business reputation if not handled properly. So, trust a skilled Virtual assistant for such tasks:

  •     Testing of website and apps
  •     Backlink outreach
  •     Social Media management
  •     Prepare different reports to know the performance of your platform
  •     Backend workload
  •     Start new business
  •     Handle business activities

6.    The task that will give you returns

Virtual assistants can be a great asset to your business if you know your requirements and expectations. Some ways in which you can leverage more revenue for your business are:

  •     Lead generation
  •     Increase conversion rate
  •     Content Marketing
  •     Media outreach
  •     Press Release Outreach
  •     Build engaging landing pages
  •     Sell your services
  •     Online advertising
  •     Marketing automation

How to hire a virtual assistant: The Whole Process

1.    Search on Google

The first step is simply to take help from a search engine. It will give you an exhaustive list of options to hire a virtual assistant. You need to list down your requirements and expectations from the assistants to choose the best one.  

2.    Check if they provide the service you are looking for

Even if you have chosen the best one, what if they don’t offer the service you are looking for? So, ensure that you look at the services they provide and how much experience they have in the same industry.

3.    Check for the pricing

This is essential to know if they fit into your budget. Also, compare various agencies to make sure you don’t pay more than required for your services. You can also ask for approximate charges if they are not telling you the exact costing for your project.

 

4.    Check for the social proof, men power, and hours of availability

They must have a portfolio of their services. This will help to know if they have the right skills to manage your business. A skilful virtual assistant will have strong social proof and should be available all time for your services.

5.    Book a meeting

After you have done deep research about their services, plan to meet them. This can be through video calls where you know if they are genuine and reliable to handle your work.

6.    Ask the questions based on your requirements

Communication is the key! So ask all the questions that pop into your head before hiring them. Some common questions are:

  •     How do they approach complicated tasks?
  •     What makes them unique from the crowd?
  •     Why are they perfect for this service?
  •     How much experience do they have in the market?

7.    Ask for a paid trial

This will help you to know if they are the right fit for your business. A paid trial will make you aware if you have made a suitable investment or not. An expert virtual assistant will get on board when you ask for a paid trial.

8.    Final decision

After getting a trial, you can easily decide if you want to continue with them. To avoid stress, make a list of the best service providers. This will give you a backup when something goes wrong.

9.    Sign up a contract

Once you have completed the above steps, it is time to take the final action. Sign a contract with them after you have gone through their portfolio and services.

Which tools can you use to track the performance of the best virtual assistant agencies?

Communication is essential

You need to reach your assistants to clear the requirements of your business. An email is always an option, but sometimes they might not check it and miss important information. So, you need to have a platform where you can get instant replies:

  •     Skype
  •     Slack
  •     Flock
  •     Chanty
  •     Microsoft Teams

Video Conferencing

There are rare chances that you will be able to meet your virtual assistants face-to-face. Video calls are one of the best ways to avoid complex conversations. Some tools to arrange a video conferencing with your virtual assistant are:

  •     Zoom
  •     GoToMeeting
  •     Google Meet
  •     Zoho Meeting
  •     Join.me

Time and Activity Tracker

You might pay your virtual assistants on an hourly basis, which means you need to track them regularly. Good time tracking will protect you from time theft. Some popular tools in the market are:

  •     Hubstaff
  •     Clockify
  •     My hours
  •     Paymo
  •     Timecamp
  •     Tsheers

Schedule Meeting and Appointments

Some modern calendars help in creating a balance between your professional and personal life. Here are some tools that might help you:

  •     Google Calendar
  •     Calendly
  •     SimplyBook.me
  •     Setmore

Project Management

Many startups need an excellent virtual assistant for their project management. These software products help them find the answer to common questions like:

  •     What should be my next move in the market?
  •     Who should be eligible to take this specific task?
  •     Which project is at high risk?
  •     How can you be more productive?

Project management tools that can serve you better are:

  •     Basecamp
  •     Asana
  •     Trello

Social Media Management

It is essential to have a solid social media presence as it grabs the visitors’ attention and helps in gaining organic traffic. The most effective tools in the market are:

  •     Buffer
  •     Hootsuite
  •     Later
  •     Sprout Social
  •     Oktopost

Conclusion 

Hire a virtual assistant to invest your time and money in what matters to your business growth. Don’t stress yourself on time-consuming daily tasks. As a skilled virtual assistant can do them efficiently. Now you must have understood the importance and effect that a virtual assistant can bring into your business with their productivity.