E-commerce virtual assistants are an exceptional support for any customers browsing products in your online store. The presence of a virtual assistant lets you inexpensively enhance your customer service, which improves your user experience and website usability.
You might not have the time to reply to each request you receive as a busy e-commerce company owner. Nonetheless, hiring employees to do this can be costly while negatively impacting your operations ROI.
Moreover, it would be even more expensive and difficult to serve each customer on a 24-hour basis across all time-zones, even you did have a massive customer support team.
However, you might wish to offer exceptional customer service all day and enhance your site’s usability. In this case, it’s highly recommended to learn what VA can do for you and how it can affect your store’s usability.
What Is VA in E-Commerce?
E-commerce virtual assistants are bots that implement machine learning and natural language processing to conduct numerous tasks. These roles include creating product descriptions, understanding user queries, and offering relevant information to these questions.
For most e-commerce business owners, using virtual assistants means less manual work. Moreover, your customers can receive 24-hour support, which improves the overall customer experience when using your website.
What Is the Role of an Ecommerce Virtual Assistant in Amazon?
An e-commerce virtual assistant can have many roles in your online business. In most instances, these roles fall under task automation. Such tasks might include:
- Product description writing
- Product research
- Image editing
- Product optimization and listing
- Managing inventory
- Processing and handling orders
- Assistance with exchanges and returns
The capabilities of these tools can save you time and money while managing your e-commerce platform’s operations.
For the prospective customers entering your online store, you can offer quick and easy access to any information they require. Including a virtual assistant in the structure of your ecommerce business increases human to computer interactions. This is because the popularity of online shopping now surpasses conventional bricks-and-mortar.
Why Do You Need an Ecommerce Virtual Assistant?
Many studies have been conducted to examine how VA implementation impacts online store user satisfaction. These results show that people trust virtual assistants and enjoy the ease of use offered by such implementation.
Additionally, it was understood that the bots’ usefulness could even increase the likelihood of a user coming back to an online store in the future. This is a fundamental element for all e-commerce assistants to understand.
The effectiveness offered by a virtual assistant is generally measured by how well it understands user queries and how these responses are to such questions. It’s crucial to remember that the levels of effectiveness offered by this virtual assistant bot impact the usability of your online store the most.
How Do You Find the Right Ecommerce Virtual Assistants?
When incorporating a virtual assistant into your online website, you have two primary options. These are either to hire a freelance virtual assistant or go through an agency. Here are the considerations you should make for each option to help you find the best option for your specific e-commerce platform:
Freelance Virtual Assistants
E-commerce virtual assistants can be found on freelancer platforms and job sites. You’re required to write a job description and wait for individuals to reach out or reply. From here, you need to create a shortlist of candidates and interview each to find out if they have the right skills to effectively manage your online website store. Even though you don’t pay as much when compared to VAs from agencies, this takes a lot of time and you aren’t guaranteed to find the best VA for your website.
Virtual Assistant Agency
Although you likely need to pay more when using agency services to outsource a virtual assistant, you can reap many great advantages. In most instances, finding a virtual assistant can be overwhelming because there are so many options available. However, using an agency takes away that overwhelming feeling when searching for an ecommerce assistant.
What Do You Get When You Outsource VAs from an Ecommerce Assistant Agency?
Many benefits come when using a virtual assistant agency, such as:
- Consulting: Many agencies offer an initial consultation to help place the business owner with the right virtual assistant. During this time, you can decide what tasks you should like the virtual assistant to perform on your e-commerce website store while ensuring maximum efficiency. Additionally, this is whether you decide how many hours you would need this virtual assistant to work each week.
- Experienced virtual assistants: Having experience as a VA is vital in understanding how such business relationships work and what needs to be done. All virtual assistants coming from an agency are well-vetted on the tasks they need to do and how a VA relationship should work with the business owner. Freelancers don’t typically come with the reassurance of being well-versed in such matters.
- Training: Most agencies offer training to all their VAs to ensure they stay up-to-date with various applications and processing systems.
- Back-ups: There’s always some uncertainty and you, the business owner, might find that working with one virtual assistant isn’t offering the benefits that you would have initially liked. If this is the case, you don’t need to start the recruitment process all over again. This agency can have a replacement in no time to help you remain on top of your work.
- Hassle-free: As a business owner in the ecommerce world, you have your hands full making sure your business is growing to where it needs to be. Gaining some assistance when it comes to the daily runnings of your company can help you focus your attention on its long-term growth and development. However, going through the hiring process to recruit an ecommerce virtual assistant can be time-consuming. Hence, using a VA agency can help make the process more hassle-free and allow you to focus on what you do best.
What Are the Common Ecommerce Tasks Conducted By a Virtual Assistant?
As a business owner, you can’t afford to constantly be overwhelmed by your online store’s runnings. It’s vital to remember that juggling everything can lead to a massive mess later down the line. That’s why you should invest in specialized assistants now to avoid issues in the future.
Luckily, outsourcing can be done easily, which allows you to realign your efforts towards growing your online website store while assistants can conduct the day-to-day tasks. Let’s take a closer look at what tasks these virtual assistants are likely to offer you:
Order and Shipment Process
A trained ecommerce assistant can easily manage your business’s order processing and shipments on a daily basis. Such duties are crucial for any e-commerce site and involves:
- Setting up shipments
- Compiling orders
- Order processing
- Sending your shipping companies the respective customer invoices.
- Updating orders with all necessary tracking information.
Overall, your virtual assistant can track these orders to fulfill the entire shipping process while ensuring everything is delivered according to plan. Most of these tasks are repetitive. Hence, automation is a great option for your store. You can automate such processes by incorporating various task and inventory management tools. Nonetheless, you might require a good e-commerce assistant for more non-manual services and roles.
Inventory and Stock Task Management
Efficiently managing inventory and stock is a crucial part of any e-commerce business. This is because there’s nothing to sell if the inventory is insufficient while holding excess stock can also be pricey. That’s why it can be an overwhelming task maintaining a perfect balance when managing inventory.
However, a skillful inventory management virtual assistant can help you:
- Update existing product lists
- Add new inventory
- Check your inventory to ensure you have the right amount available for your customers
- Correct any errors and ensure all the live information on your site is reliable and updated.
- Manage repetitive label downloading and barcode tasks.
- Manage product categories
Along with inventory and order management, ecommerce virtual assistants can cooperate with your supplies to ensure your virtual store shelves are stocked correctly. This is done by:
- Updating your business’s website with the latest stock information
- Monitoring your stock levels regularly
- Keeping track of order times
- Recommending restocking when inventory levels get low
Managing Returns and Exchanges
When your products are delivered to customers, the quality sometimes doesn’t live up to their expectations. Alternatively, they might realize that they’ve made the wrong order. In such instances, your virtual assistant can handle the communication between these dissatisfied clients and suppliers and effectively provide returns and exchanges. From here, they can handle refunds, product returns, and exchanges if required.
Your e-commerce virtual assistant needed the following skills to handle such returns and exchanges professionally,
- Organization skills.
- Attention to detail
- Fantastic communication skills, especially perfectly written English.
- Expertise in customer service to ensure these virtual assistants know how to resolve disputes with unhappy and irate customers.
Ecommerce Customer Service Tasks
Offering customer satisfaction on a 24-hour basis is another essential part of any e-commerce website. However, this is time-consuming and can be tremendously difficult at certain times. That’s why it’s highly recommended for each e-commerce company owner to employee a customer service specialist on their online team. This type of virtual assistant knows how to skillfully manage various tasks and help you:
- Rapidly responding to customer queries through various channels including email, live chat, phone, and social media.
- Handling dissatisfied clients’ complaints when orders are lost or when they receive the wrong items.
- Having the knowledge to handle aggressive and other difficult clients.
- Spotting opportunities for upsetting and cross-selling.
- Engaging with existing and prospective customers on social media.
- Responding to positive and negative reviews left by customers.
- Following up with these clients and taking it one step further to enhance customer retention.
Of course, chatbots are helpful tools that can perform similar roles. However, many customers prefer communicating with a real human when problems arise. Hence, you should have employee communicative virtual assistants with the necessary experience or specialized e-commerce customer service training to reap the most benefits and enhance your customer’s satisfaction.
Developing and Submitting Press Releases
Virtual assistants can also be employees to submit press releases for your business. Talent individuals can develop social media posts and conduct image editing for your platform to enhance your brand image while saving time.
You might have something newsworthy to share with your customers. Such news might be a new product launch, you’ve recently won the award, interesting partnerships, findings, and other announcements your audience may care about. These virtual assistants can take care of this by creating a cost-effective press release to help your business:
- Earn backlinks from credible websites.
- Gain media coverage and public attention
- Build your brand reputation and awareness.
Additionally, you can take this a step further and include these press releases in your e-commerce media or press kit to further promote your business.
Maintaining Your Online Store Website
Setting up your online platform isn’t enough when partaking in e-commerce. Consistent and professional management is necessary for your business’s success. This is where virtual assistants with adequate e-commerce skills and training can be beneficial to your sales performance. Here’s what these virtual assistants can do to support e-commerce businesses and respective platforms:
- Keep the pricing information on product listing pages up-to-date.
- Change or update the product descriptions and services offered by the business.
- Remove old and add new products from your existing product listing pages.
- Identify and replace any broken links on these e-commerce platforms.
- Ensure the copyright information available on these websites are updated.
- Maintain the Latest News subsection on your website to ensure its up-to-date, reliable, and accurate.
- Polish up product description sections on the respective e-commerce website.
- Create and publish relevant blog content.
- Locate, incorporate, format, modify, and attribute products and other images on your website.
- Optimize these platforms to make the pages load faster.
- Take care of any server problems to ensure your website runs smoothly while avoiding any unpleasant customer experiences.
In some instances, you might require an IT specialist. Nonetheless, VAs with the knowledge and skills can manage many simple tasks relating to your platform’s maintenance.
Employing a seasoned and knowledgeable VA to perform market investigation for your business and focus on offering valuable insights that are beneficial to your sales and overall business performance.
Spending a lot of time on such investigations can be problematic for a manager or owner. However, such investigations would enable you to fully understand the industry you’re trading in and help figure out secrets of your competitors’ success while realizing your customers’ needs. Hence, employing VAs to get the research work done can help you gain information on:
- Keyword research
- Product testing
- Competitor investing
- Target customer investigation
- and more
Besides conducting extensive research, these virtual assistants can also compile such findings into systematic reports, making it easier to understand. Hence, you can adjust your business missions and vision if needed by looking through these findings, rather than spending a lot of time behind the computer.
Online Marketing Tasks
Delegating your online marketing tasks to VAs can offer many exceptional benefits to your website. Good virtual assistants are typically experts in processing such tasks and controlling a wide array of marketing tools. Not only for this support increase your store’s visibility and promote your brand (and its services or products), it also boosts sales. Here are some of the most common marketing work done by virtual assistants:
- Writing (or creating) and publishing content, like videos or articles online to generate leads.
- Managing various social media marketing accounts while ensuring a strong presence.
- Scheduling social media pieces and blog content.
- Engaging with your audience on numerous online platforms.
- Building digital communications to promote your store and business like creating, moderating, and handling a Facebook group.
- Tracking how your posts can influence an audience and find room for improvement.
- Developing an email marketing campaign for your business to convert readers into customers while tracking results.
All of these responsibilities require skilled virtual assistants who are familiar with the various tools to ensure optimal performance. The good news is that most. virtual assistants are equipped with a diverse range of skills that can lend a hand with administrative, technical, and more creative-type tasks.
Wrapping It Up
When designing an online store website for your ecommerce business, be it focusing on high quality assets or creating a user experience, a critical aspect commonly forgotten is interactions. Of course, we can incorporate micro-interactions to make the design more fun, sleek, and professional. You can also design user flow, to ensure ease-of-use is offered when navigating through your online store and customers can straightforwardly take the desired action.
Nonetheless, there are moments where users might like to interact with human-level support. That’s why you should place great importance of enabling human-to-computer or human-to-human interactions. This is especially the case when dealing with ecommerce business. When choosing an e-commerce virtual assistant, it’s strongly advised to focus on its effectiveness and usefulness while making your customer’s experience enjoyable.