Interested in hiring a dropshipping virtual assistant for your online store?
Dropshipping is a fulfillment method where a seller doesn’t hold stock on hand. They instead purchase products from a third party that holds inventory and ships to customers directly. Using the dropshipping method can save you a lot in overhead costs. However, it can be a lot of work. That’s where hiring a dropshipping virtual assistant comes in.
Whether you’re selling on Amazon, Ebay, Shopify, Etsy, or any other eCommerce marketplace, hiring a dropshipping virtual assistant can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
15 Tasks You Can Outsource to a Dropshipping Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant can help your dropshipping business perform several different tasks:
- Product research: A virtual assistant can help you find profitable and trending products to add to your online store.
- Supplier research: They can also help you find reliable and trustworthy suppliers to partner with for your dropshipping business.
- Order processing: Your virtual assistant can process and fulfill customer orders, which includes verifying payment, packaging the product, and shipping it out to the customer.
- Inventory management: They can keep track of your inventory levels and ensure that popular items are always in stock.
- Customer service: A virtual assistant can handle customer inquiries and complaints, respond to emails and messages, and provide support through live chat.
- Social media management: They can help you manage your social media accounts by creating and scheduling posts, responding to comments and messages, and running paid ad campaigns.
- Administrative tasks: Your virtual assistant can handle administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, answering phone calls, and managing your calendar.
- Product Tracking Management: A dropshipping virtual assistant can keep a close eye on the product journey from order placement all the way to fulfillment.
- Refund and Returns Management: Your dropshipping virtual assistant can handle some post-purchase customer support tasks.
- Email marketing: Your virtual assistant can help you create and send out email newsletters, promotional offers, and abandoned cart emails to help increase sales.
- Website maintenance: They can help you update your website content, images, and product descriptions, and ensure that your website is running smoothly.
- Data entry: A virtual assistant can help you enter product details and other data into your e-commerce platform, as well as organize and maintain your database.
- Product listing: They can help you create and optimize product listings to improve your search engine rankings and increase sales.
- Keyword research: Your virtual assistant can conduct keyword research to help you optimize your website and product listings for search engines.
- Competitor analysis: They can analyze your competitors’ websites and pricing strategies to help you stay competitive in the market.
- Analytics reporting: A virtual assistant can help you track and analyze your website traffic, sales data, and customer behavior to identify trends and opportunities for growth.
- Graphic design: They can help you create product images, banners, and other graphics to improve the overall look and feel of your website.
What Should You Look For In a Dropshipping VA?
1. Works Well With Others
You obviously wouldn’t want to work with someone that has a sour attitude towards their work or towards other members of your team. Part of the process of onboarding is making sure that your remote hire is a good fit for your business not only in terms of skill, but also in terms of work culture, values, and attitude. Managing a team of remote workers is challenging, so you want to make sure your VA can communicate, collaborate, and cooperate well with the existing members of your team.
2. Customer Service Experience
Dropshipping VAs may also interact with customers directly when answering order inquiries and handling issues with payments and returns. They may have to serve as a bridge between the supplier and the customer. As such, you want someone with a pleasing personality. They need to be able to handle all types of customers with a calm, patient, and helpful attitude. You may want to confirm the VA you are hiring has some experience in the area of customer support.
3. Flexibility and a Wide Range of Skills
As we’ve discussed, there are a variety of tasks that can be delegated to a dropshipping virtual assistant. The main tasks involve product descriptions, product research, inventory management, customer service, data entry, and website management. While we do not recommend over-working your VA, we also recommend you to find someone who is able to handle multiple tasks with proficiency. The mark of a good virtual assistant is their flexibility and adaptability. They are able to seamlessly flip from one task to another as needed. (E.g. When a customer has an urgent issue that needs resolving quickly.)
How Much Will Hiring a Dropshipping VA Cost?
Several factors affect the cost of hiring and maintaining a dropshipping virtual assistant.
- The scope of the work
- The type of tasks
- The length of the project
- The level of experience/skill/specialization
- The country they live in
- Their individual rate
The amount you would pay a VA for basic tasks will be very different from what you would pay for tasks requiring specialized knowledge. For instance, data entry is a basic-level task that costs around $4-$6 per hour. On the other hand, if you are hiring a content manager to help you keep your website updated, it can cost you between $8-$12. This can go all the way up to $20 if you need someone with a background in SEO.
If you want someone who is proficient in most tasks related to dropshipping specifically, it can run you up to $50/hour.
Note: Some VAs will prefer per-hour rates while others calculate their rates on a per-project basis. Keep this in mind when hiring.
Access to a global talent pool also means access to differing rates. Hiring from a country with a lower cost of living might mean more affordable rates than outsourcing locally.
While there are quite a few variables to consider regarding outsourced VA rates, one thing is certain. They are far more cost-effective than hiring in-house, full-time workers. With VAs you don’t have to consider worker benefits, overhead costs, or taxes.
Where Can You Find Reliable Virtual Assistants Online?
Freelance virtual assistants are everywhere online. However, security and quality can sometimes make people hesitant.
This is why we recommend going for verified freelance marketing and business platforms. These places make it easy for employers to find the specific talent they are looking for while also connecting skilled individuals to businesses that need them.
Not only do these places typically vet their freelancers before allowing them to post their services on their site, but they also have social proof systems in place. These systems include freelance ratings, rankings, and reviews that you can look at to inform your hiring decisions. You can also view their profiles and see their education level, and certifications. Check their work history and see how much experience they have working with other companies in your industry.
The freelance marketplaces we recommend are:
Tips to Onboard & Manage Virtual Assistants
The importance of onboarding cannot be stressed enough. Onboarding helps get your dropshipping virtual assistant set up with tools and resources for the job. Not only that, but this process is where you can iron out all the essential details before the working relationship starts.
When you are conducting remote onboarding and management, make sure you:
- Build rapport and make them feel comfortable.
- Get them acquainted with your business, goals, values, and culture.
- Set expectations
- Provide a rundown of the tasks they will be performing.
- Negotiate rate and work schedule.
- Provide the set of tools they will be working with (especially the communication channels they will be using) as soon as possible.
- Introduce them to team members, especially those they will be working closely with.
- Set deadlines and milestones
- Set meeting schedules.
- Open the floor to any questions or concerns they may have.
- Orient them on SOPs (if you have any).
What Is Outsource School?
Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.
Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.
Free resources you might like:
- Outsource School Case Study: How We Scaled to 45+ VAs and 8 Figures in Revenue
- Free VA Calculator | See How Many VAs You Can Afford
- Free Training on 5 Keys to Working With VAs
- Learn Outsourcing 101 | Guides, Downloads, and Checklists
A dropshipping virtual assistant can help you take full advantage of your dropshipping method. If you don’t do dropshipping yet, but are considering it, we hope this all-in-one guide will help you get started the right way. Keep focused on improving your core business offers and let your VA handle the other tasks for you.