12 Tasks You Can Delegate to a Shopify Virtual Assistant
When you first started your ecommerce store, you probably didn’t anticipate spending hours responding to customer inquiries, creating copy for online ads, and monitoring orders.
How are you supposed to scale your store if you’re spending 90% of your time on menial tasks?
You’re an entrepreneur with a vision, and your time is much better spent focusing on business growth. But the reality is that you must deal with a ton of admin if you want your online store to succeed. That is where an ecommerce virtual assistant comes in.
Working with a VA who specializes in ecommerce will free up your time. It will also ensure that your online business runs smoothly and that your customers are satisfied. Virtual assistants are experts in multi-tasking and handling those jobs that you either don’t have time for or simply don’t enjoy doing.
What Tasks Can You Outsource to an Ecommerce Virtual Assistant?
Ecommerce virtual assistants do more than just answer your emails. They have a wide range of skills that are hugely beneficial to running and expanding your online store. There are many moving parts to operating an online store, from creating and updating listings to fulfilling orders. On top of that, you have digital marketing, customer service, bookkeeping, new product sourcing, and more. You can offload all of these to an ecommerce virtual assistant.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at how hiring an experienced ecommerce virtual assistant benefits your ecommerce business.
1. An Ecommerce Virtual Assistant Sources Products
So, suppose you start an ecommerce store selling industrial coffee machines, and it’s doing pretty well. But you hear that the more products you include in your catalog , the more opportunities you have to make sales. Prospective customers will likely drop off your site if your selections are limited. What if, besides coffee machines, you also sold espresso and coffee grinders, replacement parts for the coffee machines, hot water dispensers, and coffee mugs?
In order to offer more products in your ecommerce store, you need to find high-quality suppliers. And that can be extremely tedious and time-consuming. A virtual assistant can source all new products for you. Provide them with a list of some new product ideas, and they will get to work finding the best suppliers in the industry. They’ll even handle communication with the supplier to achieve a fair partnership without you having to do any of the work yourself.
2. They Can Perform Shop Administration Tasks
Admin. Just the word makes every ecommerce business owner shudder. Unfortunately, admin work is a pivotal cog in the machine of running an online business. There are always small tasks that pop up unexpectedly during the day that need to be handled. Or there may be some things that you’ve been putting off due to lack of time. Your virtual assistant will be able to take care of them for you.
If your Google Drive has become a disorganized mess or your email inbox is reaching the thousands, it’s common just to say. “I’ll deal with that tomorrow.” But when you’re running an ecommerce business, tomorrow never comes. Virtual assistance can bring some order back into your life. Your ecommerce assistant can organize things for you, optimize your processes, and deal with any other admin tasks that you just can’t seem to get around to.
3. Ecommerce VAs Can Set Up Online Stores
Why have one ecommerce store when you can have two, three, or ten? Setting up online stores takes a long time. Even if you’re using a Shopify template, you still need to do plenty of things yourself. You must upload all your products, customize the design as needed, install plug-ins, insert and format copy, and so much more.
Also, even if you hire a web designer to build your website and a copywriter to write the copy, you will still need to set the website up. A virtual assistant can do this for you; with a VA, you can continue to expand and open new shops without adding to your workload.
4. An Ecommerce Virtual Assistant Handles Order Fulfillment
Fulfilling all orders to your customers’ expectations is one of the most important aspects of running your ecommerce store. Customers expect to receive the correct product, exactly as advertised, and in a timely fashion. If they don’t, you’ll likely receive a bad review and lose any future business.
A virtual assistant can focus on getting those orders fulfilled as soon as they come in. With a VA, you can focus on higher-level tasks like analyzing which items are popular and which ones you’re having trouble moving.
5. They Can Set Up and Monitor Platform PPC Ads
You won’t sell any products if your target market doesn’t know you exist. PPC (pay-per-click) ads are the best way to put your ecommerce store on the map and get your products in front of the people most likely to buy them. Creating and running PPC ads is only half the battle. You need to constantly monitor them to see how they perform and optimize them accordingly. That sounds like a job for a VA!
An ecommerce virtual assistant can set up your PPC ads on different platforms and keep an eye on the metrics. Based on their performance, your VA can alter PPC ad spend or change targeting accordingly.
6. Ecommerce VAs Can Create Store Listings
If you want to keep growing your ecommerce stores, you need to consistently add new listings. The best customers are returning customers. It’s important to offer your loyal clients new products if you want them to continue to buy from you.
The process of listing new products is simple, but it takes time. Each new product has to be uploaded individually, including pricing, product descriptions, images, etc. An ecommerce VA will have no problem creating store listings for you, so you can start selling more products quickly.
7. They Can Update and Delete Listings As Well
You might have products in your online store that you anticipated would sell well, but they just don’t seem to be converting. There are two options. First, you can stop selling the item entirely. Second, you can update the listing to see if you can make it more attractive. You can outsource either of these tasks to a virtual assistant.
8. An Ecommerce Virtual Assistant Handles Email Marketing
Email marketing is more effective than both search engine marketing and social media when it comes to ROI. A strong email marketing strategy is non-negotiable if you want to convert leads into customers. If visitors sign up to your mailing list, that means they are already interested in your products, and it provides you with a means to continue engaging with them.
Having your ecommerce virtual assistant take care of your email marketing means that you can keep consistent communication with your leads. And as you well know, consistency is everything when running a business.
9. They Can Also Support Your Social Media Marketing Efforts
4.55 billion people around the world use social media. That’s a lot of people to market to. But just having social media channels is not enough to put your ecommerce store on the map. Similar to email marketing, if you want to effectively use social media to market your business, you have to be consistent.
If potential customers land on your social media profile and see that it’s inactive, they will lose interest and trust. Beyond just posting on your feeds, you also need to use strategic hashtags, engage with followers, and reach out to your target audience.
Having a virtual assistant take over your social media marketing will enable your business to publish higher-quality content and remain active on a daily basis. This will build authority in your ecommerce store and will also help increase traffic.
10. Ecommerce VAs Can Monitor and Track Orders
Until your ecommerce product is in the hand of your happy customer, you need to stay on top of the order. You might be a liaison between the supplier and the customer, or you may be sending out products yourself, but regardless of your process, it’s on you to monitor the orders.
If a customer calls or emails asking about the status of their order, you need to tell them exactly where it is and when they can expect it. Monitoring and tracking orders help you build a good reputation as a business, but it’s not something you should spend your time on as the business owner.
Outsource this task to a virtual assistant, who can keep an eye on all orders to ensure they get to your customers on time. If there are any issues or delays, your VA will be aware of them and communicate this well with the customer.
11. They Can Act as Your Customer Service Representative
Have you ever found yourself ready to purchase a product online, but you just need one tiny question answered before you hit pay? Most of us have been in this situation ourselves, and your customers likely have the same dilemma. Even if you have a chatbot feature on your website, if it takes you 48 hours to get back to your leads, then it’s too late.
If a potential customer wants to buy a specific product, they want to buy it now, not tomorrow. If a competitor provides better customer service, your potential customer will choose them instead of you. Quickly responding to queries is one part of good customer service, but so is your communication post-purchase. If a customer has a problem with an item, such as it arriving damaged, they want the matter solved.
96% of customers say that customer service is one of the most important things when choosing the store they want to purchase from. However, it’s unrealistic to think that you can instantly respond to every customer email, call, or chat request since you’ll almost always be busy with other tasks. But an ecommerce VA can be on call to respond to customers in real-time. If you have a global store, you can even have a VA in a different time zone to respond to messages while you’re asleep.
12. Ecommerce Virtual Assistants Can Handle Inventory and Bookkeeping
The last thing you want is for someone to buy a product in your online store that you no longer have in stock. Staying up-to-date with inventory is beyond important and will save you a lot of hassle. Plus, you’ll know when you need to order more stock or reach out to suppliers to check in on their inventory. A virtual assistant can do frequent check-ins with suppliers or keep an eye on your inventory to ensure that you have the product available if someone wants to buy from your store.
On top of that, an ecommerce virtual assistant can handle the bookkeeping side of your business. Expenses, profits, and taxes are all part of running an online business, but they won’t drive your business to achieve bigger and better things. You focus on that and let the VA handle the bookkeeping.
Shopify Virtual Assisstant
As your ecommerce business grows, it can be hard to release control over tasks you normally handle yourself. But when the work starts piling up, having some assistance will become essential to your business success.
Hiring an ecommerce virtual assistant enables you to increase customer satisfaction, boost sales, and expand the reach of your online store.