With shelter-in-place orders, businesses have to find a way to continue to provide their products and services to customers. At the same time they must practice social distancing and ensure everyone’s health and safety. Companies have been letting their employees work from home while shifting to online transactions. From restaurants relying on online delivery services to clinics pivoting to telemedicine, eCommerce is the name of the game. And Virtual Assistants are uniquely suited for this, as their capabilities help make businesses more resilient in the time of COVID-19. So here is how you can leverage your eCommerce Virtual Assistants and bolster your online business:
Process Orders and Shipments
eCommerce Virtual Assistants can handle these aspects of the business, especially if you and your in-house staff are just transitioning to these operations and not yet as well-versed. The VA can take point and most likely will have a well of prior eCommerce experiences, helping you dodge pitfalls and giving tips on how to optimize your processes. Basic order and shipment processing tasks include:
- Compiling orders
- Order data entry
- Filing updates for order tracking
- Arranging shipments
- Sending customer invoices to shippers
So the Virtual Assistants are the ones who input, track and oversee the order up to fulfillment. That’s pretty critical, though these can be pretty repetitive. A lot of these can be automated with various programs and tools but the human element is necessary for non-manual tasks and to check if everything’s in order.
Inventory Stock and Management
Stores need stocks to sell, otherwise they will have nothing to sell if the inventory is insufficient. On the other hand, an excess inventory can incur storage costs or imply that purchases are down. So these must be balanced out. Enter the Virtual Assistant. One skilled in eCommerce can handle:
- Checking inventory to make sure the amount is just right
- Adding new stocks when supplies are low
- Updating product lists
- Managing categories and listings
Correcting data input and inventory logging errors or mixups to ensure the information on the website is up to date for customers
eCommerce VAs can also touch base with suppliers to make sure everything is going smoothly.
Customer satisfaction is crucial for any business, and eCommerce is no exception. Even though the company is providing the best possible products and services, there will be hiccups. So this is where customer service specialist Virtual Assistants come in.
Sometimes customers are not satisfied by the product they receive, maybe they made the wrong order or there was a mix up. Virtual Assistants can handle the customer service role, relaying communications between dissatisfied customers and suppliers, handling product returns, exchanges or refunds. eCommerce Virtual Assistants need:
- Excellent communication skills, especially in spoken and written English
- Expertise in customer service so they can resolve disputes with potentially irate customers
- Responsiveness to customer queries in various channels, from email to calls and social media messages
- Attention to detail to avoid any oversights
Online Content Creation and Marketing
Successful eCommerce needs brand recognition, and building that is the purview of marketing and advertising. Your Virtual Assistant can play a pivotal role in this as well. VAs can submit press releases to spread the word for your business. Moreover, VAs with content creation capabilities can even write these PRs, or do graphic design and create infographics, even make short informational videos. They can also handle your social media accounts.
Virtual Assistant web designers and web developers are a staple. They can help you set up your online store and manage it so that it will function optimally. Too many businesses neglect updating their website, and these become obsolescent, hard to navigate, and generally turn off potential customers.
Save yourself from this fate, and the hassle of a costly and exhaustive website rebuild, with a Virtual Assistant. They can:
- Keep updating crucial information on products and services, like prices, promos, etc.
- Remove old products no longer being offered
- Find and replace broken links to maintain good SEO ranking
- Ensure site is updated
- Keep news section current
- Polish and edit product descriptions
- Upload new and relevant content or even make it themselves
- Handle complex backend site maintenance matters and coding, in the case of specialist Virtual Assistant website developers
Whether it is market research or SEO, Virtual Assistants can handle these and provide invaluable insight on where to take your online business. They can see what the competitor is up to, what is trending in the market, which hashtags are hot, what keywords are being used in search engines, and so on. VAs can do:
- Product research
- Keyword research
- Customer research
- Competitor research
And much more. Then they can collate all these things and present them as easy to read and digest reports. Saving you hours of time that you would otherwise spend if you were to do it yourself.
Bookkeeper Virtual Assistants and accounting Virtual Assistants are perfect for this. Many businesses already leverage VAs in their operations, so if they expand to eCommerce the VAs can get right on it. Needless to say, having a specialist balance your books is crucial for a business venture’s success and your Virtual Assistant will spare you from a lot of headaches as they crunch the numbers for things like:
- Accounts payables
- Accounts receivables
Virtual Assistants come with diverse skill set making them suited for eCommerce’s many requirements, from administrative to technical tasks and even creative content making. And the eCommerce market is only going to grow. The trend has been growth for quite some time, and current circumstances will only make companies and consumers alike rely on online shopping even more. So businesses need to think ahead and position themselves well to stay afloat during these trying times and be ready to land on their feet once things get better.