Running a retail business on Amazon can quickly become a time-consuming activity. This can be quite dreary, especially since many of the tasks you perform are repetitive and may not directly generate profits.
If you are a business-oriented individual, you know that your time is very valuable and will be a lot more beneficial when spent doing something more productive.
This is why hiring an Amazon virtual assistant is very crucial to the growth of your business. Here’s everything you need to know about outsourcing non-core business tasks.
What is an Amazon Virtual Assistant?
An Amazon virtual assistant is someone who works remotely as part of your team. Usually, they only work a few hours a week whether in a full-time or part-time capacity.
A virtual assistant can help you handle routine activities that take up your valuable time. In addition to this, he or she can effectively fill in the gap where you lack specific skills.
What Does Amazon Virtual Assistant Do?
The duty of an Amazon virtual assistant is to provide support in terms of handling routine tasks.
Typically, virtual assistants only require minimal knowledge of a specific business. That means they can help online businesses with routine activities to give entrepreneurs enough time to focus on growing their businesses – in this case, their Amazon business.
If you run an Amazon business, you can outsource non-core tasks to virtual assistants.
These individuals can help you accomplish many tasks from remote locations all over the world, thanks to the array of skills they have.
The next section will list specific tasks performed by virtual assistants. But before we get into that, how do you know when it’s time to hire a virtual assistant for your Amazon business?
Should You Get an Amazon Virtual Assistant?
It is common for new small Amazon retailers to assume that the serves of virtual assistants are only required by big brands and businesses.
But every online merchant can benefit from having one or more virtual assistants on their team, regardless of the size of their business.
Time is one of the most invaluable assets to every Amazon retailer. And you shouldn’t be spending it on mundane or non-core activities.
If you are just starting your Amazon business, take a week to track your activities. Make sure to record the business-related tasks you perform every day.
At the end of the week, spend a few minutes reviewing all those activities.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I need to do this task myself?
- Is this task essential to growing my business or is it a monotonous admin task?
- Can I save more time by outsourcing this aspect of my Amazon business?
- Do I have the skills to perform this task or am I better off hiring someone else with the proper knowledge to do it?
By providing honest answers to these questions, it will become glaring whether or not you should hire an Amazon virtual assistant.
In any case, you definitely need to seriously consider hiring an Amazon virtual assistant if you use Amazon FBA or your retail business is registered as a Professional Seller Account.
Advantages of Hiring Virtual Assistants
If you’re still not sure if a virtual assistant is right for you, consider the following benefits:
- Frees up your time: You don’t have to spend time doing routine tasks. Running a business shouldn’t trap you in a monotonous grind.
- Reduces your overhead: Virtual assistants work remotely. That means you won’t need to spend money on providing extra office space, furniture, and working tools.
- No employee obligations: Virtual assistants are independent contractors, so you don’t have to worry about paying benefits or providing insurance.
Typical Tasks for a Virtual Assistant
Before you outsource some of your Amazon business activities, it is important to understand the difference between core business tasks and monotonous tasks.
In a nutshell, you want to dedicate your time to business activities that are more productive. Any task that is a waste of your time should be outsourced to a virtual assistant.
Some of the most obvious tasks you should outsource include:
1. Administrative Task
This should be the number one item on your list if you are thinking of hiring a virtual assistant for your Amazon business.
That’s because admin tasks are typically repetitive, easy to do, and usually don’t generate any profits.
While administrative tasks are easy to do, you shouldn’t overlook their importance. Shipment reconciliation, inventory adjustments, pricing, and other routine admin tasks can negatively affect your profitability if you handle them properly.
Thankfully, most virtual assistants have the necessary skills to perform this set of tasks.
2. Creating and Optimizing Product Listings
A virtual assistant can be a huge asset when it comes to creating listings that comply with Amazon guidelines.
Usually, it is best to outsource listing optimization to someone with lots of experience and understanding of keyword research.
This will make your product descriptions more appealing to customers as well as make your listing rank for specific keywords.
Additionally, hiring someone with email marketing skills can be an added advantage. They will help you write and send out emails to give customers more details about existing products as well as new releases.
Overall, an experienced virtual assistant can help you get greater visibility, which can translate to more sales.
3. Customer Service
Outsourcing this aspect of your business to a virtual assistant is usually a great idea. Among other things, a virtual assistant can help you to:
- Provide more accurate information to customers about shipping procedures, product details, and more
- Answer customer queries very quickly
- Provide appropriate responses to negative and positive reviews
- Deal with refunds
You may enjoy some level of customer service from Amazon, depending on your type of business.
While this can give you some free time, it is usually not a good idea to completely rely on Amazon for this service.
4. Market Research
Virtual assistants can research and discover the best-performing products on Amazon. They will also provide in-depth competitor analysis with the right data to help you know how to tweak your business.
Also, a virtual assistant can help you quickly detect when sales for specific products are beginning to drop.
By helping you closely monitor your listing, a virtual assistant can provide information that will help you determine when to update listings to increase sales or lower prices to make your products more competitive.
5. Order Processing
Virtual assistants can help you handle several aspects of order processing. Some of the more common order processing tasks they can help you accomplish include:
- Monitoring shipment
- Downloading shipping labels
- Sending in FBA inventory
- Checking units received to make sure no units are missing
- Obtaining Amazon barcodes for every unit
6. Amazon Ad Campaigns
One of the ways to increase your visibility and reach is by running ads on Amazon. Hiring a virtual assistant would be an excellent idea if you don’t have the required experience or skill in this area.
A virtual assistant with the right skill and experience can help you set up campaigns in the most effective manner.
Beyond running ad campaigns on Amazon, the virtual assistant will also monitor the performance of each of your campaigns, noting the areas that need to be tweaked for better results.
7. Translation Services
You need to hire a virtual assistant to translate product descriptions if you plan to extend your retail services to Amazon marketplaces in non-English speaking countries.
In addition to product descriptions, the translator will come in handy when communicating with customers in foreign countries. That means the virtual assistant will likely handle part of customer service, too.
8. Image Support
A picture is worth a thousand words! That can’t be any truer when it comes to your product listing because the product picture is the first thing customers will notice.
A virtual assistant can provide image enhancing support by handling tasks such as adding eye-catching product pictures, designing logos, including infographics in product descriptions, and more.
9. Product Sourcing
We saved the most time-consuming and most challenging task for last.
Product sourcing isn’t an activity that any virtual assistant can handle without some serious training unless you can find someone with prior experience.
The task involves creatively finding new and better ways to get wholesale products from vendors. It also requires someone with excellent negotiating skills.
If you do this correctly, product sourcing can make a huge difference in increasing your product selection as well as reducing your overall costs.
However, whether or not you outsource this aspect of your Amazon retail business mostly comes down to personal preference.
We suggest thinking carefully before hiring a virtual assistant to handle product sourcing.
What Are the Best Places to Hire A Virtual Assistant?
Deciding that you need the services of a virtual assistant is a good first step. The next logical step is researching where to find the perfect fit for your business.
Here are the best places to look if you are looking to hire someone to help you with your retail business.
1. Virtual Assistant Agencies
The safest and surest place to hire someone to handle routine tasks is from a virtual assistant agency. These services usually have plenty of potential candidates with lots of experience.
Virtual assistant agencies also offer the advantage of high-quality services. Plus, you can easily change someone if they do not have the experience you want.
Some of the top-rated virtual assistant agencies include:
- Upwork (excellent choice for small businesses)
- Fancy Hands (best for on-demand tasks)
- Prialto (a great option for solopreneurs)
- Wood Bows (offers unbeatable service guarantee)
- Time etc (perfect for all-round tasks)
- Belay (an ideal choice for outsourcing specialized virtual assistant tasks)
2. Freelance Platforms
Freelance platforms are your best bet if you want to vet candidates yourself.
There is usually no shortage of potentially suitable candidates on these platforms. Plus, you can read honest reviews from other businesses that hired them.
Some of the freelance platforms to look for virtual assistants include:
3. Direct Hire
You can also hire someone directly by searching job sites or through referrals. Social media is another place to find potentially suitable candidates for the job.
Keep in mind that direct hire offers the least service guarantee.
How Much Should You Spend on Hiring a Virtual Assistant?
The exact amount to pay an Amazon virtual assistant will depend on a few different factors. These include:
- The type of tasks you want to outsource
- The experience and skill level of the virtual assistant
- The location of the virtual assistant
Generally, you can expect to pay someone in the US about $15 per hour on average. The cost can be as low as $5 per hour if you are hiring from overseas.
Here’s the thing; you don’t have to outsource every non-core aspect of your Amazon business. You can start with just one or two tasks.
For example, you can hire a virtual assistant to handle administrative and customer service tasks. These tasks usually cost less, depending on the location of the virtual assistant.
However, tasks that require more experience and skill level, such as listing optimization, market research, and image support, will typically cost more.
You definitely need a hand if you plan to grow your business to the size you want. This means hiring one or more virtual assistants to help you manage routine tasks while you do what you do best.
Of course, finding and training the right Amazon virtual assistant isn’t a walk in the park. It takes an investment in time to get someone suitable to join your team. Thankfully, the rewards are more than worth the time investment.
Consider hiring an admin-based virtual assistant for a start. You can outsource more tasks as your Amazon retail business grows bigger.