With great eCommerce opportunities come great responsibilities. From customer support to product management, marketing to administrative tasks, the to-do list can often feel never-ending. The growing on-demand need for assistance plus the need for regular and consistent content upkeep are more than enough to burn your team out. Here’s where hiring a virtual assistant for eCommerce can change the game.
Virtual assistants (VAs) are essentially remote assistants you can hire online. Regardless if you’re just dipping your toes into the eCommerce waters or you’re already a seasoned pro looking to streamline your operations, it’s high time to explore how virtual assistants can help you achieve that elusive state of eCommerce zen.
6 benefits of hiring a virtual assistant for eCommerce
Running an eCommerce business can be a demanding endeavor, but eCommerce virtual assistants are here to make your life easier. Let’s dive into the numerous advantages they bring to the table:
1. They’re cost efficient
Virtual assistants can significantly reduce your labor costs. You only pay for either the hours they work or the output they deliver. Since virtual assistants work remotely, there’s no need for additional office space and equipment.
Here’s an illustration. If you hire a full-time, in-house customer support representative, you’d need to provide a salary, benefits, and workspace. In contrast, a virtual assistant who handles the same tasks can save you up to 78% in costs while maintaining high-quality support.
2. Increased productivity and efficiency
An eCommerce website experiences a surge in orders during a sale or special events like Black Friday. With a VA, your online business now can operate smoothly, minimizing delays and bottlenecks.
Additionally, VAs are skilled at handling multiple tasks simultaneously. They can swiftly manage order processing and ensure that each customer receives timely updates and tracking information—leading to increased customer satisfaction.
3. You can focus on core business operations
Assigning routine tasks to your virtual assistants will allow you and your own team to focus on your core business functions and operations.
Virtual assistants can shoulder a variety of operational tasks on demand. Because of that flexibility, you can focus on more time-sensitive operations.
So instead of spending hours on data entry and inventory management, you can dedicate your time to researching and launching a new product line, ultimately expanding your eCommerce offerings.
4. They can easily scale with your business
Are you facing a period of increased demand? You can hire more VAs to immediately handle the surge of tasks. Do you need to scale a specific aspect of your operation? Then hire VAs with skills specialized in that aspect. You won’t need to worry about the usual expenses incurred when hiring additional permanent staff.
Your eCommerce store experiences exponential growth during the holiday season. Virtual assistants can quickly take on additional tasks such as customer support, order processing, and social media management to accommodate the increased demand.
5. They provide great customer support
One of the popular tasks you can give your virtual assistants is customer support. They can help provide timely responses, issue resolution, and even elevate the overall customer experience.
Additionally, when you hire VAs for customer support, you can hire those who are already experienced in the tech stack you’re using. That way, they’re ready to start working right from the get-go, instead of you spending resources to conduct in-house training.
So when a customer encounters an issue with their order and reaches out for assistance, a virtual assistant is ready to promptly address their concern, providing a solution and leaving the customer satisfied and more likely to become a loyal repeat buyer.
6. They are equipped with different task specializations
Virtual assistants have a wide range of specializations you can choose from. Graphic design, SEO optimization, and even web development are just some of the many specializations out there. Whatever need arises in your business, there’s a virtual assistant ready to deliver.
For example, if you need to revamp your eCommerce website’s design, hiring a virtual assistant with expertise in web design ensures your site looks professional and appealing to your target audience.
10 tasks that eCommerce virtual assistants can help you with
As an eCommerce business owner or manager, you wear many hats—and it’s not always easy to strike that perfect balance between overseeing your business’s growth and ensuring day-to-day operations run smoothly.
1. Data entry and management
An eCommerce assistant can definitely take on the time-consuming tasks of data entry to make sure your database is always up-to-date. By delegating these mundane tasks to virtual assistants, you can focus on strategy, product design, and marketing operations.
Example: You run an online fashion store with thousands of product listings. A virtual assistant can efficiently update product details, prices, and inventory levels, reducing the chances of errors and improving the overall customer experience.
2. Inventory management operations
If you find yourself getting preoccupied with inventory management a little too often, a VA can take that off your shoulders as well. They can help keep vigilant coordination of your restocking endeavors, minimizing or even preventing ‘out-of-stock’ emergencies.
Example: During the holiday season, your eCommerce store experiences a surge in orders. A virtual assistant can monitor inventory levels, send alerts when items are running low, and even help with restocking orders to maintain seamless operations.
3. Content creation, management, and promotion
Is your blog page feeling a little… dry or stagnant? You can hire VAs to add more meat to your content pages. They can help with content creation for your web pages, blogs, and other resources.
Aside from content creation, you can also have your virtual assistants moderate the content. They can examine and assess your existing content, ensuring your content is free from error or up-to-date with current trends.
Lastly, there are many VAs who specialize in promotion and marketing. This involves managing advertising strategies and implementing promotional campaigns.
Content creation, moderation, AND promotion too? Usually, business owners would hire a virtual assistant to handle one of these three, but there are some who can handle all three tasks.
Example: Suppose you’re launching a new product line. A virtual assistant can craft persuasive product descriptions, create visually appealing graphics, and schedule blog posts, press releases and social media updates to generate excitement among your customers.
4. Market research
Let your virtual assistants handle the market research so your team can focus on strategies, product quality, and logistics. Virtual assistants can research and analyze competitor strategies and market trends, giving you valuable insights for decision-making.
Example: Let’s say you want to expand into a new market. A VA can research the local demographics, study competitors’ pricing strategies, and provide a comprehensive report to guide your market entry strategy.
5. Management and processing of orders
Virtual assistants can also assist in your fulfillment operations and the post-purchase journey. They can organize and coordinate procedures, ensuring your customers get their orders in an orderly and timely manner. This includes scheduling pick-ups by the courier and setting up automated reminders and updates to the customers.
Example: During a flash sale event, your eCommerce site may receive a surge in orders. A virtual assistant can organize the orders, coordinate with your fulfillment center, and provide tracking information to customers, creating a seamless buying experience.
6. Social media management
Flesh out your social media profile by assigning a virtual assistant to manage it. They can help with building your social media presence with relevant content, scheduling posts, and overall engaging with your followers.
Example: Your eCommerce brand has a strong following on Instagram. A virtual assistant can schedule daily posts, engage with followers through comments and messages, and run targeted ad campaigns to increase brand visibility.
7. Email management and email marketing
On the personal side, you can hire a virtual assistant to handle your emails. They can organize your email communications and respond to time-sensitive messages. On the business side, there are some VAs who specialize in email marketing—creating welcome flows, cart abandonment flows, you name it.
Example: During a product launch, your inbox is flooded with customer questions and inquiries. A virtual assistant can categorize and respond to these emails, ensuring that no query goes unanswered while maintaining a positive customer experience.
8. Handling of the nitty gritty administrative tasks
VAs excel at managing administrative tasks like appointment scheduling, travel arrangements, and document organization, allowing you to focus on top-level strategies.
Example: You have a busy schedule filled with client meetings and conferences. A virtual assistant can manage your calendar, schedule appointments, and even book travel accommodations, ensuring you stay organized and stress-free.
9. Bookkeeping and accounting assistance
If keeping track of your accounting-related needs is a hassle, virtual assistants can handle that for you too. They could provide services such as financial record-keeping and reconciliation of digital accounts for an easy and breezy tax season.
Example: As tax season approaches, your virtual assistant can compile all financial transactions, categorize expenses, and generate a comprehensive report that you can hand over to your accountant with confidence.
10. Multilingual and 24/7 customer support
There are virtual assistants who specialize in multilingual communication. You can hire them to help with broadening your reach to prospects not fluent in your native tongue. A popular application would be customer support for customers who don’t speak your language.
There are also virtual assistants who would be willing to offer 24/7 support. If you’re the kind of eCommerce business that would experience high customer traffic from different timezones, these VAs are ready to provide around-the-clock assistance.
Example: Your eCommerce store attracts customers from around the world. Virtual assistants can provide support in multiple languages, ensuring that all customers receive prompt assistance, regardless of their location and time zone.
What eCommerce industries usually leverage virtual assistants?
Virtual assistants have proven to be versatile assets in various eCommerce industries in various stages of growth. Here’s a look at some eCommerce sectors that frequently leverage the power of VAs:
Fashion and apparel
The fashion industry demands constant product updates, social media presence, and customer support. VAs can assist in researching fashion trends, managing product listings, updating inventory, and engaging with customers on social media platforms.
Electronics and technology
This sector requires technical details and requires timely customer support. Aside from handling product descriptions and specifications, and providing tech-savvy customer support, VAs can also play an important role when it comes to post-purchase troubleshooting or tutorials.
Health and wellness
Health-conscious shoppers often have a lot of questions and seek detailed product or service information. Aside from helping with managing online appointments, VAs can produce content for blogs and social media to share information on healthy living.
Home and living
VAs specializing in home and living eCommerce assistance can help manage product databases and create engaging and relevant connections to enhance customer engagement. If you need more of a VA specializing in writing, they can come up with content on home decor insights and research.
A virtual assistant specializing in the automotive industry can contribute a lot—product cataloging, managing inventory, providing technical assistance to customers, and even writing maintenance guides.
Pet parents can be some of the most detail-oriented customers ever. With an eCommerce virtual assistant, businesses in the pet supplies industry can delegate the following tasks: managing and updating product information, product sourcing, processing orders, maintaining the website, compiling pet health resources, and even managing social media efforts.
Cosmetics and beauty
The beauty industry is massive. In fact, it is predicted that by 2025, the overall beauty industry will surpass $120 billion. It is also a highly competitive industry, and hiring experienced virtual assistants can definitely help any beauty business grow.
A virtual eCommerce assistant can conduct research on beauty trends and preferences, reach out to beauty influencers, write interesting blogs and social media posts on beauty tips, create press releases, help you maintain a strong brand reputation, process returns, and assist in managing loyalty programs.
Day 1 of your journey to eCommerce zen starts now
Achieving “eCommerce zen” is very much a realistic scenario, especially if you have virtual assistants. They are, after all, the unsung heroes of this competitive and action-packed industry.
If you or your team doesn’t have enough time or resources to take on additional full-time employees, hiring a virtual assistant is your best bet. Just imagine what you could achieve with a dedicated team of skilled professionals ready to support your eCommerce journey—adapting to evolving needs and ensuring your business runs like a well-oiled machine.
So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey towards eCommerce Zen, it’s time to take action. Check out our comprehensive guide to get you started. At LTVplus, we also specialize in providing top-notch virtual assistant services tailored to your unique requirements. Contact LTVplus today and discover how we can help you streamline your operations, boost productivity, and provide exceptional support to your valued customers.