Hiring a virtual ecommerce assistant will drive new sales, grow your customer database and make running your online business easier.

Full disclosure – I’m an e commerce entrepreneur myself. I grew my e commerce business to a seven-figure company in a little over 3 years and I quickly became overwhelmed by the multiple tasks I always had to be on top of all the time.

Hiring a remote, specialist ecommerce VA changed my life. My online store continues to grow even though I now only devote a few hours to it every week. In fact, now, I’ve got loads of time that I spend with kids and, alongside that, grow this business (Resources Worldwide).

But that’s enough about me. I wrote this page about you, what you’re going through right now, and how I can help.

Do the bullet points below reflect your current struggles with your e-commerce business?

  • Keeping online stores up to date
  • Inefficient business processes
  • Generating revenue from their email database
  • Mastering social media
  • Administrative tasks

In this article, we’ll show you exactly what an ecommerce virtual assistant and why it’s a better business decision to work with virtual staffing companies like Resource Worldwide right now than grow your payroll.

Want to find out more about hiring a virtual assistant to run your e commerce store better? Get a free initial consultation by clicking here.

21 tasks your e commerce assistant could be doing instead of you

From managing websites to social media to helping your business to run smoother, here are 21 things your RWW virtual assistant can do to save you money and to give you precious time to build your e-commerce store.

Website tasks ecommerce virtual assistants can take over from you

Your e commerce website is your shop front and our virtual assistants can help you increase online sales:

  • Tech support. Website slow? Images not loading? Choose an ecommerce virtual assistant with web development experience who will look behind your web pages, find out what’s going wrong and fix it for you.
  • Adjustments to your website. From web design to doing keyword research, little changes to your online store can make a big difference to visitor numbers and revenues.
  • Configure analytics. Got a basic knowledge of Analytics and Search Console but want to know more about how visitors behave when they’re at your e-commerce store? Your virtual assistant can set that up for you.
  • Uploading images of products. The most successful product listings feature multiple images of your products. Let your assistant upload them for you and assign them to the correct products.
  • Writing product descriptions. From uploading product titles to writing SEO-optimised product descriptions, we can help you beat your online rivals for premium Google rankings.

How a virtual assistant makes an e commerce business run better

Being the most efficient online store that hits delivery targets and manages returns relies on important but often time-consuming and routine tasks. Here’s how we can help.

  • Managing automations. Get your apps and other tools to talk to each other so that when you get an order, the following happens automatically: payment is taken, a new order is created on your customer database, a new customer record is created if this is their first time buying, your ERP software is updated and more.
  • Workflows. When an order comes in, your software automation will tell the floor team that there’s a new delivery to pack and send and the courier is booked. Processing orders just got faster. It’ll also update your stock records so that the person managing inventory is alerted if supplies of a particular product are running low.
  • CRM management. Your virtual assistant can amend your CRM or add new functionality to it, for example, adding extra stages after an order is made to tell customers when their order has been packed, tracking numbers and so on.

Ways virtual assistants can drive more sales for ecommerce business owners

You can use email to drive new revenue and to find out more about what your customers want.

  • Configure email platforms. Your e-commerce virtual assistant can configure platforms like Mailchimp to connect to CRMs and other systems.
  • Write email sequences for new registrants. When someone registers with you for the first time, create an email sequence to tell them about your company, the range of products you provide, and incentivise them to visit your site again with a special offer.
  • Write and send email campaigns to clients. Retaining customers is key to ongoing success so stay in touch with your latest ranges and offers to bring in more sales.
  • Report analysis. Send A/B email tests to determine the types of offer and visual/linguistic styles which produce the highest conversion rates.
  • Market research. Use email to ask your customers about how well you’re doing, where you can improve and what they want from you in the future.

How virtual assistants supercharge ecommerce business social media

Social media is big business so make sure you include it in the job description of the virtual assistants you want us to provide you with.

  • Social media writing. Content calendars for all major social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Post interesting, engaging new content every day.
  • Graphic design. Great images help increase engagement on social media and your ecommerce virtual assistant can design striking visuals for your brand.
  • Creating digital assets. From product description sheets to e-books and other marketing materials, create digital assets customers can share with their friends, family and colleagues by email, social media and private messaging apps.
  • Video editing. Send your virtual assistant your footage, let them know what you want to appear in the video and use the polished end result on social media and your website.

Behind the scenes help your e commerce virtual assistants provide

Your ecommere VA can handle general administrative tasks and troubleshooting as well as:

  • Customer service. Your e commerce assistant will be there to field questions, comments and complaints. Let them know when issues need escalating and they can then send them to you and your staff.
  • Responding to all enquiries (phone, email, message). Customers expect companies in the ecommerce industry to respond quickly. Your ecommerce VA can respond instantly and professional whether by phone, email, text message or chatbot.
  • Order processing. Want to give customers the option to order over the phone as well as online? Your e-commerce virtual assistant can take all the details and transmit customers’ addresses, orders and financial details securely over to you.
  • Product sourcing. South-East Asia is where most of the products we love and take for granted in the West are made. Use your virtual assistant’s local knowledge and expertise to help you find quality new suppliers.

Is there anything virtual assistants can’t do?

Yes. Because they’re based in the Philippines, an ecommerce virtual assistant can’t:

  • Do inventory management.
  • Send out orders or manage returns.

Hiring UK staff versus an ecommerce virtual assistant

So, why hire a Filipino ecommerce virtual assistant for your business rather than hire British? Let’s look at the pros and cons.

British workers

What’s great about having a Brit working at your office is:

  • They add to your team. New ideas, new approaches, new personality and perhaps a new friend.
  • There might be more under the surface. This new person could be a future manager or director in your company.
  • UK qualifications. You know about GCSEs, A Levels, degrees, apprenticeships and so on because you took them yourself. It’s hard to know what exams people take abroad and compare them to their British equivalents.
  • Referees. Just send an email to their former bosses to find out if they’re the real thing.

The disadvantages are:

  • Pricey. It costs is £31,447 or £604.75 per week on average to employ someone in the UK, even more for some of the technical skills listed above.
  • Taxes and Pensions. You need to add another 16.8% (£101.60 per week) on top of the wages you pay in National Insurance Employers’ Contributions and Workplace Pensions.
  • Competition for staff. There’s a real shortage of staff at the moment so competitors are more likely to poach your staff for higher wages..
  • 28 days off a year. That’s 28 days worth of work you’re personally likely to have to cover yourself.
  • Office space is expensive. Despite the pandemic and WFH, price per square foot on leases has not really dropped at all.
  • Regulations. UK employment law is among the toughest in Europe and tribunals nearly always fall on the side of the employee, no matter how useless they might have been in the role.
  • Big cost if you get it wrong. Lost money in wages, lost money in recruitment fees and the problem you originally want to solve remains unsolved.

Hiring is tough in the UK.

When you do find someone great, hang on to them. But be aware of how hard it is to find that special member of staff in the first place.

Filipino ecommerce virtual assistants

So what are the pros and cons for ecommerce businesses in choosing a Filipino virtual assistant instead?

  • Cheaper. 44% cheaper in fact with the average virtual assistant wage being £17,680. You’ll save even more with more technically able staff
  • No taxes. There’s no PAYE or pension contributions to take from cashflow, only VAT which you can claim back.
  • Less likely to leave. Filipino unemployment is right now high meaning that staff stay longer with their employees as there is downward pressure on pricing.
  • Many talents. Many of our e-commerce VAa are degree-educated. And they’re all thoroughly trained and tested before we pair them with UK clients.
  • No extra office space needed. So no having to find the money for phones, internet connections, computers, furniture and more.
  • UK employment law and HR does not apply. We look after everything for you.
  • Low commitment. We give you two weeks to find out if your VA is right for you – if not, let us know and we’ll recruit again.

The disadvantages are:

  • You won’t shake their hand. They’re in the Phillipines but you could book your next holiday in the country and give your manager a couple of weeks’ notice.
  • Familiarisation. The pandemic showed us that it’s hard to train someone remotely but it’s possible. Our VAs become a full part of your business but onboarding can take a little longer.
  • UK norms. The Philippines has a strong vibrant culture just like Britain. Our VAs grew up in Filipino culture so there may be some methods of expression or business practices they’re not immediately familiar with. Don’t worry – they adjust in quick time but it does take a little longer (but not much).

How to build your virtual team with Resources Worldwide

First, talk to us about your business and its potential. Let us know where bottlenecks and inefficiencies are occurring. Let us know the work you and you’re staff are doing at the moment you want to pass onto VA. Also tell us what extra you’d like doing that you’re not able to do at the moment.

The first part of our hiring process is to find the ecommerce VAs with the exact skills you need. Then we whittle them down to the most promising candidates and you interview them by video call.

Let us know who you want to work with and we’ll get everything set up from there.

How running your business will be so much better with ecommerce VAs

You’ll make more sales because:

  • Your website will work better and load faster.
  • Your website will look better meaning more product sales.
  • It’ll be easier for your target audience to find your site because of the optimisation and keyword research your assistant has done.
  • You’ll kill it on social media by growing follower numbers and getting them to your site.

Your customers will be happier because:

  • They’ll get their products faster because you and the team will be much more efficient.
  • They’ll return less because the images and descriptions on your site will be far more accurate.
  • They’ll have a wider choice of products thanks to your new manufacturer contacts your assistant has found you.

Your staff will be happier because:

  • There’s a better division of tasks because of automation.
  • They’ll have more time to do things properly.
  • They won’t have to work so much overtime.

Last but not least, the five main benefits you’ll see almost straight away after your e-commerce virtual assistants start work are:

  • Spend time working on the business, not for the business.
  • Get time back to see your friends and family.
  • Take home more money with higher turnover and profit margins.
  • Your workforce will still be a manageable size.
  • You’ll make your business more attractive to potential buyers.

Hiring virtual assistants with experience improving e-commerce businesses

Work with Resources Worldwide, the leading virtual assistant jobs provider for the e-commerce industry. Book a discovery call to tell us about your online store, your business requirements and your vision for the future.

Email us at info@resourceworldwide.co.uk.

Want to find out more about hiring a cost-effective virtual assistant to run your ecommerce store better? Get a free initial consultation by clicking here.