6 eCommerce Tasks to Outsource for the Upcoming Holiday Season
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost upon us. As an eCommerce business owner, nothing can be more important than taking advantage of these two days, in particular. People are going to be busy buying stuff, especially when everyone is encouraged to shop online.
The majority of online sellers attest that there is always a substantial spike in their sales the Monday after Thanksgiving. And this trend has been on the rise in recent years. In fact, 2014 and 2015 saw online sales rise to a record $2.65 billion and $2.88 billion, respectively.
As a business owner, you need to be on top of things once the orders start flooding in. That is why it is important to be able to outsource some of the eCommerce tasks that may take up your precious time. You need to be using your time more efficiently by focusing on more important matters.
You don’t have to carry everything on your shoulders. Having someone like a virtual assistant handle the minor stuff will benefit your business more than you driving yourself crazy.
Here are six tasks to outsource to a virtual assistant make the most money between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
1. Order Fulfillment
Order fulfillment is not a complicated task, but it does take time to complete. Doing this task on your own can easily overwhelm you — something you can’t afford to have happen on these critical days.
Outsourcing order fulfillment to a virtual assistant will work to your advantage. You can concentrate on the larger tasks at hand, like possible escalations from customers or issues you may be facing with your suppliers.
Processing orders isn’t as hard as it looks, and hiring an expert or even training a virtual assistant to do it for you will increase your business’s productivity. In the process, you help boost your its income too.
2. Inventory Management
Maintaining an inventory requires time and the utmost care. With busy days ahead of you, you’ll be needing all the help you can get to monitor stock and make sure that you’ve got enough product to fulfill your customers’ orders. Remember, orders are going to be pouring in during this busiest shopping season of the year.
Though crucial in maintaining your business’s profitability and reputation, it’s not that complicated a task. Inventory management can be easily mastered by a virtual assistant who can do the job excellently on your behalf.
You are a busy person, and you’ve already got a lot on your plate. When Black Friday rolls around, you’ll need a dedicated hand to do this for you. You know that a simple oversight can cost you both money and customers. Make sure that there is enough time (and enough hands) to take care of everything by asking for help managing your inventory before the problem overwhelms you.
3. Product Sourcing
Every online retailer is probably up on their feet right now preparing for the holidays. With the competition so stiff, it pays to be a cut above the rest and offer something customers cannot find in other online stores. Preparing fresh inventory is not a simple matter, which is all the more reason to get someone to help out. A virtual assistant can take over your product sourcing duties to get new offerings ready ahead of time.
Products need to be stocked and up on your online store for everyone to see. It’s always better to be well-prepared for the busiest shopping days of the year. People are going to be more than willing to give you their money if you giving them a new, quality product. If you can get someone who has a good eye for sellable product and some market savvy, you can expect more orders come the holidays.
4. Customer Service
It’s one thing to acquire customers but quite another to keep them for a long time. One of the ways to get customers to become loyal to your brand is by providing a solid customer service experience.
Getting a virtual assistant (or assistants) to do this for you will definitely come in handy because someone who has the expertise and experience to professionally handle customer inquiries will be much better at the job than you, as an overwhelmed, distracted manager, would.
Dealing with customer problems like order issues, refunds and exchange requests will only give you additional headaches. This burden is draining and not something you need to suffer through. Having someone to take care of these problems will not only free up your time but also make the business more profitable. With an expert customer service assistant, you’ll be able to develop loyal customers who will recommend you and keep coming back for more.
5. Product Listing Optimization — SEO and Mobile
Cyber Monday is the biggest day of the year for online shopping. Two ways that you can take full advantage of this day are by
- Improving the SEO for your product listings and
- Making your online store mobile-friendly.
The majority of people today are always on their phones no matter where they are. Train stations, coffee shops, parks — you name it, they’re there with phones in hand. The mobile revolution has made it so easy for everyone to get online, and of course, shop online at their convenience. Having a website that is optimized for mobile viewing gives you a definite edge over those who don’t. People prefer using their phones over their laptops and desktops nowadays, and that’s something you need to capitalize on.
It will also be a big help if your pages are optimized for SEO. With good SEO, more people will easily find your product listings. If people can find you at the top of the search results, you’ll definitely get more visits than the competition.
SEO and mobile optimization are special skills, and there are a lot of freelancers available in the market who can do this expertly for you. Optimization and development take time, though, so you need to have them working on it ideally a few months before the big days.
6. Adwords, Facebook Ads, or Amazon PPC
The primary objective of having a business is profit. As an online entrepreneur, it is natural to not have all your eggs in one basket.
You have an online presence, and you do business through your different online channels. Even though you’re already earning a fair income from the products you sell, it wouldn’t hurt to boost that stream of income via ads.
There are several options to choose from if you want to earn more money through ads. You’ve got Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and Amazon PPC to name a few. You can try your hand at any of these, but they can be quite technical and tricky to master. You can also hire a virtual assistant who has expertise in paid advertising on these platforms. With help, these ads can increase your products’ visibility, and your business will definitely earn you more money.
Cyber Monday this year is bound to bring even more people to online stores than before. Your listings can enjoy a nice chunk of this traffic if you have your ads properly set before the crowds start flocking in.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be every business owner’s dream days. The probability of selling more products than on any other day of the year is almost certain because of the sheer volume of people who are frantically clicking “Add to Cart”. But that probability doesn’t mean you should remain complacent. If anything, you should be looking forward to these days as a huge opportunity to make even more money and increase your business’s exposure.
You can’t do it all alone, though. To maximize your business’s earning potential, outsourcing some of the key eCommerce tasks to one or more virtual assistants is essential. For tasks that require a certain level of expertise and very specific skills, this is even more true. But by having a plan and coming prepared, you can totally crush it.
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Connor Gillivan is the author of Free Up Your Business: 50 Secrets to Bootstrap Million Dollar Companies, a serial entrepreneur, and the CMO and co-founder of FreeeUp.com. When he’s not bringing together hundreds of freelancers and business owners, he’s mentoring entrepreneurs through his site, ConnorGillivan.com.
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