Starting up an e-commerce business? Or diversifying to e-commerce to give your business a new income stream? If so, you’re probably going to need some support to help with everyday tasks so that you can concentrate on strategy and making the business work. We’ve highlighted 23 key tasks that e-commerce businesses often choose to outsource to virtual administration services, both to lighten the load and to give them someone experienced and professional to help out.
Why outsource at all?
It’s easy to think that you can do it all – it helps to save money and it means you ‘stay in control’. But actually, unless you already have a lot of e-commerce experience, doing everything yourself can cost more money, take more time and be more stressful. That’s why it’s a good investment to outsource some key tasks to someone who has the ability to help, and who’s only charging for the time you use.
The 23 tasks you can outsource, starting today
1. Branding, design and collateral – you’ll need a unique brand for your e-commerce business, with a logo and colour palette to go with it. You may also need printed collateral like gift tags, compliment slips, product information and business cards.
2. Setting up your website – using one of the leading ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Wix or BigCommerce can help, (see larger list here) but you may want professional advice on design, style and usability.
3. Product photography – presenting your products in the best possible way will entice your buyers, and it’s usually better to ask for help to get the professional touch.
4. Product description content – don’t just describe your product; sell your product. Knowing what your buyers are looking for and what will make them click to buy is a skill that you may need to bring into your business.
5. Website maintenance – ecommerce sites have to be up to date. or you risk losing a sale, Use a website updating service to make sure that your customers are seeing the right things.
6. Customer journey processes and communications – putting together the emails that customers get when they buy, and when their products have been dispatched are key to how they feel about dealing with your business. And asking for feedback after a sale helps to keep you in mind and get some positive reviews.
7. Order fulfilment – your customers expect to get their products quicky and safely. So make sure you use an order fulfilment process that delivers to those expectations.
8. Social media updates and management – social media is a key way to drive business to your ecommerce website. Making your posts relevant, sending them at the right time, and keeping in touch with your customers online is crucial.
9. Email campaigns – a successful way of driving people to your website is through good email campaign management. Services like virtual assistant support can run your campaigns for you, including maintaining your email lists and helping to drive more people to sign up.
10. Stock management – you don’t want to run out of stock, or have excess stock that you can’t sell. Keeping up to date with stock levels helps you to manage your cash flow.
11. Ongoing website content – blogs, news and opinions are great ways to support your ecommerce site, and ideally you’ll need a content plan and someone to help you write and post regularly.
12. Analysis and reporting – knowing how people are using your website, which products are selling best and where your most valuable leads come from will help you to refine your ecommerce business as you go.
13. Data management – your website needs to have access to the right data – particularly with sites that pull information from other sources. That’s why it’s useful to outsource website data entry – it helps to make sure your site is always accurate.
14. Customer service – your reputation rests on good customer service. Put proper processes and a great service culture in place and follow them.
15. Managing phone queries – you need someone friendly, approachable and efficient on the end of your phone line. It gives a great impression of your business and often helps to secure more sales.
16. Order processing – far more than an admin task, order processing is key to a smooth sale and a great customer experience.
17. CRM system – this helps you to keep track of your customers, including what they buy, how much they spend in each basket and where the lead came from A good customer relationship manager can help you to make the most of your existing customers for repeat and referral business.
18. Bookkeeping – managing your finances is crucial and can often get dropped to the bottom of the list. Outsourcing will give you some peace of mind.
19. Market and product research – ecommerce sites can’t sit still. You need to be aware of the latest market and product trends so you are never behind the game.
20. Product development – product testing, customer research and live events are just some of the ways you can see how to develop your existing product lines to bring in more business.
21. Organic and paid search rankings – the higher up your site appears in targeted search rankings, the more likely customers are to click through. You can do this ‘organically’ or by using paid ads. Either way, you need expert help to get it right.
22. Video and animated presentations – video is extremely appealing to buyers. However you do it, it can help to differentiate your store from the competition.
23. General admin – there is always a lot of general admin to cover for an ecommerce store. Buy back some time for yourself by outsourcing yours.
If you’re short on time and think you might need help from virtual administration services, free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above.