Is engaging a Shopify virtual assistant is a smart way to level up your online business? Short answer: yes. And we’re not just saying that: skilled assistance is the single biggest factor in being able to free up more time, get more done, and actually run your business strategically and profitably.
As a Shopify store owner, you already understand just how much work and fine-tuning goes into building a great online business. And you may have already done a sterling job. But there comes a point where your business begins to take on a life of its own. It grows to the point where you simply don’t have enough time to attend to everything.
You Have an Online Store: Now What?
Online business is booming – and there are a number of reasons for the sudden, powerful surge in e-commerce startups. One of the most obvious drivers is the global phenomenon known as The Great Resignation. A migration of workers from corporate jobs to entrepreneurial opportunities. With more than a billion new users projected to come online within the next 5 years, there’s never been a better time to launch an online business.
But, especially for beginners looking to launch a Shopify-based business, there are a number of challenges that quickly become apparent:
- Store setup: anyone can ‘create’ a store on the Shopify platform. It’s designed to be simple and is remarkably user-friendly. But there’s more to creating a well-performing store than simply populating a template with text and a range of products. Proper website setup involves having a clear plan in mind. The site architecture should be designed to enable easy scaling, while maintaining effective SEO as you grow. This is one of the key areas where a Shopify virtual assistant can save you time and bring you more customers.
- Product sourcing and management: you may know what you want to sell, whether it’s product-based or service-based, but finding and collating the suppliers, content, and presentation can feel incredibly intimidating. Where to start? What will sell best? How do I price competitively and still make money? All these questions, and more, can turn a promising business launch into a quagmire of uncertainty.
- Customer service: selling stuff and making money is great. Answering obscure queries, trying to get customers to make purchase decisions, dealing with abandoned carts… not so great. Then there’s managing your email subscriber list. You’ll need to arrange refunds. There’s reviews and product testimonials, and a dozen other time-consuming tasks that come at you from all sides.
Standing Out in the Crowd
Right now, there are more than a million Shopify stores in operation, accounting for $319 billion in annual sales. But that’s not all:
- Globally, online shopping is a $3.5 trillion industry – and it’s growing at an exponential rate.
- Industry analysts predict that by 2040, we’ll be making 95% of our purchases online.
- The average customer buys 4 times from the same store in a year (and for some, it’s ten times as much).
- There are more than 218 million active buyers browsing and purchasing on the Shopify platform – and they’re shopping for everything from artisanal craft goods to software services, alternative health products to skills courses, and more.
Sounds like an attractive business arena? It is.
But there are some challenges to be aware of, and the first one is visibility. As a Shopify store owner, you have all the tools to make money online and grow a thriving business. The only catch is that you’re directly competing with thousands of other people in the same niche. Because of that, you’re going to have to get skilled and creative in order to get noticed.
And when it comes to skill, a Shopify virtual assistant can save you a ton of time and money.
The Shopify Store Owner’s Setup Checklist
Very basically, here are the steps you need to take in order to set up a Shopify store. Once you’ve decided on your niche and what you’d like your business to be:
- You’ll need to do some analytical digging to find out if people are actually buying what you offer. How much they’re buying it for, and who they’re buying it from. This is just for starters.
- You’ll also need to figure out who your target audience is. Their age groups, social preferences, buying habits, and where they’re looking for the product or service you’re offering.
Setting Up Your Brand
- You’ll need a business name, a custom site URL that’s easy to remember and is SEO-friendly. Then you’ll need to create a logo, and have an idea of what you want the ‘look and feel’ of your online store to be.
- You may also want to know how you’re going to be communicating with your potential customers. To attract them to your brand – so, social media, blogging, and a newsletter they can subscribe to, must be considered. Hint: these are all functions you can delegate to a skilled Shopify virtual assistant!
Setting up Your Products
- You’ll need to carefully consider the options if you’re trading in physical products: should you be looking at drop-shipping or FBA (Fulfilment By Amazon)?
- You’ll also need to create policies around delivery fees, guarantees, refunds, and customer queries about your products.
Marketing Your Products
Ah, marketing. The process of making potential customers aware of your existence. Part science, part art, and (sometimes) part desperation. Starting out, you can get ahead of the pack by doing a few basics:
- Free and paid advertising on social media channels. You can also use the responses to your ads to gauge which products arouse the most interest among potential customers.
- Building a subscriber database. In other words, a mailing list of people who you want to receive your newsletter announcing things like special offers, new product launches, and sales.
- You may also want to consider setting up a blog. Blogging – or simply having a selection of genuinely interesting and relevant articles on your website – not only attracts customers but also helps enormously with your SEO or search engine optimization. For this, you might want to consider engaging the services of a knowledgeable copywriter.
Putting it All Together With a Shopify Virtual Assistant
Whether your Shopify online store is a full-time business for you, or a side hustle, it requires a decent amount of effort to ensure longevity and growth.
More than anything else, it requires time and attention, and one of the smartest and simplest ways to leverage your time is to engage the services of a Shopify virtual assistant.
Here are just some of the tasks that you can delegate:
- Communicating with suppliers and manufacturers for you.
- Keeping an eye on your store statistics and alerting you to stock issues, complaints, or technical snafus (yes, they happen too).
- Managing orders, especially during peak sales events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, etc.
- Monitoring or even uploading social media content for you.
- Liaising with people like graphic designers or copywriters who might be doing occasional work or projects for you.
- Handling your store-related email correspondence.
- Reaching out to people who can help grow your business, like influencers, collaborative brands, and affiliate programs.
And, of course, it means that you can take time off when you need it – without worrying about your store and knowing that someone is covering all the bases.
Book a discovery call with us today – and find out just how valuable a Shopify virtual assistant can be to your online business.