If you are aware of the ecommerce market and online stores, you can’t really be unaware of Shopify. For those who don’t know, Shopify is DIY ecommerce software that allows you to set up and run an ecommerce store! Yeah! A great cloud-based software with low start-up costs, easy to use interface from which you can promote, sell and ship your products.
So if you’re an entrepreneur looking to start an online shopping store with a tight budget and little knowledge of web development and coding, Shopify is a godsend. Shopify offers a comprehensive web builder with customizable templates that you can use to set up an online store and give it a look you want with just a few clicks.
Little wonder then that Shopify is home to more than 500,000 stores worldwide.
I know, you’re probably wondering if it’s that easy, you can do it all yourself without any additional help. Well…it sure is easy to set up a store on Shopify but how about running the store making it profitable? That bit isn’t easy.
Do you really need help managing your Shopify store?
Shopify really is DIY ecommerce platform that takes you through the entire process of setting up a store right from looking for a brand/website name, getting a logo, choosing a design for your storefront out 70 free and paid themes, built-in SEO features, automated marketing that helps you stay one step ahead of competition.
That’s not all, Shopify offers over 3200 apps from social media to drop shipping to help you manage and grow your business. Does that mean one can run a Shopify store alone? Certainly not! All these choices mean management, oversight and a thorough knowledge of the platform to be able to make use of all the features effectively.
Enter Shopify Virtual Assistants!
Who or what is a Shopify Virtual Assistant?
Simply put, a Shopify Virtual Assistant is a VA who can help you with the management of your Shopify store. They are remote workers who work on contractual basis. They are experts at Shopify and have years of prior experience working on the platform. They have a thorough knowledge of how the platform works and what it takes to run a successful online store.
What can a Shopify Virtual Assistant do?
That being said, they’re not superman and cannot be expected to do everything. So before you go ahead and hire a VA for your Shopify store, it’s important to be clear about your expectations from the VA. Just like you cannot do everything, similarly you cannot expect a VA to single-handedly manage your complete online store seamlessly.
For instance, areas like Customer Service, Inventory management; product sourcing, product listing & optimization all require different skills and cannot be handled by a single VA and may require more than one Virtual Assistant.
Therefore it’s important to first make a list of tasks you would like to outsource to your Shopify Virtual Assistant. We’ll make it a little easier for you.
Below is the list of tasks that you can outsource to your Shopify VA:-
- Product Listing and Optimization – Preparing product feed and uploading it on the Shopify server can be time-consuming especially if you have multiple products. Also managing listings on Shopify to make sure all product information is entered correctly is something which needs to be done consistently to make sure that your products online are updated. Not just that, your listings needs to be optimized with SEO-rich descriptions etc so as to make them rank higher in customer’s search results.
- Site ManagementSure, you can set up your online store and get it running but as your business grows and your store makes money, it will be great to have someone who can take care of the tech bit and minor hiccups at the backend quickly and easily.
- Order and Inventory Management – Once your business picks up and orders start coming in, you need someone to ensure that customer’s orders are met and products are in stock. Your Shopify VA can be your reliable partner here and can manage it for you while you take care of more important tasks as a CEO.
- Graphic Designer When selling something online, visuals make the first impression. Therefore it’s important to make your product images stand out with image editing skills. Your Shopify VA would be a perfect person to manage your storefront graphic needs.
- Customer Support – Purchase and payment process is pretty seamless on Shopify but you will still have customer queries, feedback and grievances. You can get your Shopify Virtual Assistant to manage customer queries and manage feedback and reviews.
- Digital Marketing – If you have online store, you must get the word out to drive traffic and sales to your website. You must indulge in social media marketing, SEO, Email marketing etc to make your presence felt in the online world. Moreover, Shopify also has a number of email marketing integrations and apps that trigger abandoned cart alerts etc. You need a Digital marketing wizard who can handle the digital marketing side of your business while you take care of the strategic marketing moves to grow and expand your market.
Things to consider before hiring a Shopify Virtual Assistant
- Document the tasks that you wish to outsource – As An e-commerce entrepreneur, you cannot do everything yourself. There will be certain tasks that you would want to retain while outsourcing others. Create a list of all the tasks that you would like to outsource.
- Outsourcing v/s hiring a full-time employee – Most tasks related to online store management is ongoing. Do you think you’d be better off hiring a full time employee? What is your budget? What ROI do you expect? All these things require careful consideration. If you are a start-up that has just opened, hiring a Virtual Assistant would be a wide decision where you hire someone to work on a contractual basis with a weekly or hourly payment depending on the tasks.
On the other hand, if you have been in the business for some time and are looking to expand, hiring a full-time employee would make sense as you would already have an office and the necessary infrastructure in place.
- A freelance Virtual Assistant or a Virtual Assistant from an outsourcing company – When you wish to hire a Virtual Assistant you have two choices. You can either hire a freelancer or sign up with a Virtual Assistant service provider or an outsourcing company. Your choice depends on a lot of factors like cost, quality, tasks to be outsourced, data involved etc.
- Level of Competency – Depending on what tasks you want your VA to perform, be clear about the level of competency and skill you want your VA to have. For instance, if you want a VA for Image editing you would want him or her to be proficient in the use of image editing tools and software like Adobe Photoshop etc. Be sure to check for these skills while shortlisting Virtual Assistants.
- Costs – You should do your homework with regards to charges demanded by a Virtual Assistant because you certainly don’t want to overpay but you don’t want to underpay either as that would affect their productivity. VA charges differ greatly depending on whether you need a VA for general tasks or specialized tasks. Also cost differs with experience. An experienced VA would charge more than an inexperienced one.
Where to hire a Shopify Virtual Assistant
Now that you’ve decided that you need a Shopify Virtual Assistant and know the tasks you want to outsource, it’s time for you to start the hunt.
Now there are two ways to hire a Virtual Assistant to manage your Shopify store:-
1. Freelance Virtual Assistants
There are a number of freelance sites available where you can post your requirement:-
Upwork – It is a global freelancing platform which connects businesses with independent professionals to collaborate remotely. It’s simple and easy to use. All you need to do is register and post your requirement. Be clear with your job description and mention the key skills that you would want your freelancer to have. You will get proposals with bids. You can compare bids, review the profile and select the best fit.
Fiverr – Another one of online marketplaces for freelance services that connects businesses with freelancers, it covers services in over 250 categories.
PeoplePerHour – This platform helps you connect with an international community of freelancers. It has a worker for every service imaginable.
2. Virtual Assistant Companies
There are a number of outsourcing companies such as us that provide Virtual Assistant services across categories:-
Acelerar Technologies – A leading provider of virtual assistant services and tailored back office solutions to clients internationally. They provide an array of services across categories such as Data Entry, Ecommerce, General VA services, Creative Design, Writing etc.
NinjaVA – A virtual assistant service provider that specializes in providing VA services for Social Media, Ecommerce, Data Entry, they have a solution to all your work-related problems.
Outsource2India – An Indian outsourcing company that provides solutions across a range of services like Data Entry, Ecommerce, Finance, Market Research, Graphic Design, Writing etc.
Zirtual – An American company providing Virtual Assistants for a range of services.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant to manage your Shopify store can be a rewarding experience for you provided you do your homework well beforehand. It may seem daunting at first to trust somebody you barely know with key tasks related to your business after all no one understands your business better than you. But trying to do everything on your own can be disastrous not just for you but also for your business.
Entrepreneurship isn’t all about managing things, it’s also about learning to let go and leaving parts of your business in capable hands. You cannot have all the skills required to handle different aspects of a business. Therefore it is wise to outsource tasks you cannot do or aren’t good at while you focus on things that matter thereby increasing productivity and growth.
So what are waiting for? Your hunt for a reliable growth partner in the form of a Shopify Virtual Assistant ends here. Get in touch with us now to take things further!