Running an eCommerce business is tough – especially for small to midsize companies. But you didn’t need me to tell you that.

Not only do you have to run your business, you also have to manage your online store. You have to update products, add new products, update prices, manage promotions, handle shipping, provide customer support – the list is endless.

However, as a business owner, it’s better to spend your time doing what you do best – running and growing your company. But that’s not to say the routine tasks and administrative duties aren’t important because they absolutely are.

I’m just saying maybe you should outsource those jobs to some eCommerce virtual assistants who can help you run your website, freeing up your time to focus on the more strategic aspects of your business that can increase revenue.

There are any number of virtual assistant services – both domestic and off shore – you can turn to if you’re looking for skilled people to help you become more productive. And you can contract of their services for much less money than hiring full-time employees. You can Google the phrases “virtual assistant” and/or “eCommerce virtual assistant” to find such services.

To get you started, here are seven eCommerce tasks you can outsource to your virtual assistant team:

1. Customer Service: To be successful, you have to keep your customers happy. But that’s a time-consuming job. A virtual assistant with good customer service skills can answer customer questions via phone, live chat, email and on social media. He can answer questions in real-time for customers almost ready to pull the trigger on a purchase, tactfully handle dissatisfied customers, deal with shipments that are lost and more.

A virtual assistant can guide customers through the sales process while they’re still on your website, increasing your conversion rates by offering human support at the time of purchase. Additionally, while the virtual assistant is interacting with your customers, he can identify opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.

2. Order Processing: A virtual assistant can handle processing your company’s orders including order entry, shipment and invoicing. So let him compile the orders, send customer invoices to your drop-ship vendors and/or shipping companies, and other daily tasks.

3. Returns/Exchanges: Your virtual assistant can manage the returns and exchanges of products for you. He can communicate directly via email with customers and suppliers to set up product returns, exchanges and refunds.

4. Manage Inventory: If your virtual assistant is skilled in inventory management, he can monitor stock levels, update your website to reflect the stock your suppliers have on-hand and in their warehouses, and let you know when you need to replenish certain products.

5. Order Products: Not only can your virtual assistant manage your inventory, he can keep your virtual shelves stocked. He can work with your suppliers, send invoices to accounts payable and handle getting stock into your warehouse or anywhere else it needs to be.

6. Website Maintenance: After you set up your eCommerce site, you have to manage it consistently. A virtual assistant with the right qualifications can ensure that your website is offering your customers seamless shopping experiences with no errors.

Your virtual assistant can:

  • Update web pages if you make any changes to your prices, services, add or subtract products, or even add new team members.
  • Check for broken links.
  • Format images to be sure they are of the highest quality.
  • Update copyright date to ensure it’s current. An out-of-date copyright on your website could cause visitors to think you’re out of business.
  • Add the latest news about your business. Do you have a “latest news” section on your website? If you do, your virtual assistant can keep this section updated for you with current news about your business. There’s nothing quite as bad as having news that’s six months old on your “latest news” page.

7. Writing/Submitting Press Releases: If your virtual assistant has the right skills, he can write your press releases for you and submit them to the press release websites. If you’d rather write your press releases, your virtual assistant can still set up the accounts with the press release websites and submit them for you.

So, if you’d rather spend time growing your eCommerce business instead of spending it on administrative tasks, maybe hiring a virtual assistant can help you refocus your efforts.

Mike Arsenault
Mike Arsenault is the CEO and Co-Founder of Rejoiner. He works with 350+ online retail & eCommerce companies like Hallmark, eTix, Liftopia, and Vtech Electronics to help them grow faster using lifecycle email. He once lived aboard a 36' sailboat in Boston.