7 Essential Skills an E-commerce VA should have

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Skills are the only reason why employers will hire you because they need someone to help them run their business. They would still provide you continuous training once you get on board, but having skills in the first place will give you a good foundation, value, and the ability to learn things quickly. Here are the 7 Essential Technical Skills that I encountered that I believe, every single E-commerce VA Should have.

Spreadsheets

If you don’t like spreadsheets or don’t know how to use it, I believe you should start practicing it now because they are very handy. Spreadsheets are your Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. Why is this important? because in e-commerce, you’ll be dealing with a lot of data information, such as inventory levels, sales reports, customer relationship management, listing management, and so on. Most importantly, they help you stay organized and saves you time by crunching the numbers using formulas. There are a lot of tutorials on Google and Youtube about spreadsheet functions, and I really suggest you should try to apply it by making dummy projects, tracking your household and personal expenses, or use them for feasibility studies or income statements for your business, etc. — I personally use spreadsheets every day for my work.

Both Excel and Sheets are great tools for online work. It will all depend on what you are comfortable using and what type of information you are using it for.

Copywriting

Copywriting is basically salesmanship in writing, and if you work in e-commerce, copywriting is very essential. Since it is the best way to sell your product or service by creating captivating headlines or description that makes the customer buy your product, and will let you stand out from the competition. When you see an advertisement or product, and when your read their headings, description, tagline and it got you convinced in buying it or believed that it’s a good product, then that’s the power of copywriting.

Graphic Design

If you already have the skills on this, then you’re lucky. Graphic design is an essential skill to have as well, since apart from the captivating title and product descriptions you’ve made, Images are also a driving factor when it comes to purchasing decision. Because in E-commerce, the first thing that you actually look at is the Photo of the product, then next is the title and the product description. Even with basic graphic design skills such as creating specification images and creating a pure white background for your image is already a handy skill. And to go even further, designing skills work hand in hand with copywriting when you are creating stunning posts on social media, landing pages, company’s website, and email marketing. Some companies though, just outsource their graphic design projects to freelancers, but they would prefer if they have an employee who has the skill for this, and ultimately save them money.

Communication

As long as you are alive and breathing, communication skills are very important. In my experience as an e-commerce virtual assistant, written English is utilized about 95% of the time, the other 5% is verbal English wherein I communicate to suppliers and my boss. I have never done verbal communication or talked to a customer over the phone — but for some VA’s they do. Maybe I was just honest with my employer from the start that I don’t do voice calls so that’s why he never let me answer or call someone on the phone apart from suppliers. In my experience, voice calls are not necessary for e-commerce since most of the time, I communicate through email, messages, or chat, I create reports, and do copywriting. Communication skills are not just about writing and speaking, it is also how you communicate with your boss, your customers, and teammates. This includes your interpersonal skills and empathy in dealing with customers.

Research and Analytics

I combined these two because they are related to e-commerce. Most of the time you will do research such as product sourcing, keyword research, trends research, competitor analysis, troubleshooting, and knowledge acquiring. Then the research or studies found needs to be compiled and analyzed for best results. — Are the keywords highly searched or profitable? Are the products of good quality and competitive in pricing? What is the trend during the holidays, school season, lifestyle trends? What are your competitors doing that makes them sell more than you? Why did our sales decline this month? You have to expect these things when working as an E-commerce VA. This also includes any form of SEM and SEO, whether its google SEO or Amazon SEO, Amazon PPC, they’re almost the same but works differently. Also, if you are good with research and analytics, you’ll be able to handle inventory and supply chain management as well.

Marketing

Marketing skills works hand in hand with copywriting and graphic design. But more importantly, it’s about creating strategies on how to promote your product or services and ultimately increase sales for the company. Because the ultimate goal for every business is always to profit, there is no use entering into a business if you don’t want to profit. So marketing is how you’re going to come up with ways, to promote and have your customers buy your product or service. So maybe have a marketing plan for social media on what type of content you would like to put out, how you are going to partner with influencers to promote your brand, how you are going to design your website, How would you expand the business outside Amazon, and also Social Media Management.

Project Management

This will be on the top of your game since I consider project management not only for specific, time-bound projects, but for managing the overall business as well. You have to think, plan, and execute ideas from start to finish as well as focusing on how to make the business more profitable and run effectively.– Setting budgets for marketing, PPC, google ads, youtube, facebook ads, Creating email and social media campaigns, and product launchings to name a few. It’s basically all about planning, implementation, and execution of strategies and studies. It also involves how work is delegated proportionately to team members and tracking their progress.

Other Notable Skills

Accounting and bookeeping, programming and coding, as well as website development are other notable skills to have but if you don’t have them its okay, because even though they are essential, they are not necessary because they can be outsourced to a freelancer.

Final Thoughts

I only listed down 7 technical skills that I found essential for an E-commerce VA, and you also have to consider having the Soft Skills because they are equally as important. I didn’t include soft skills in my list because I believe Soft Skills are necessary to any work or business that you involve yourself into, such as being proactive, having a great character or attitude, good listener and follower, leadership, attention to detail, typing skills, computer skills, organization skills, planning skills, ability to learn new skills, perseverance, time management, interpersonal skills, and the list goes on. These are life skills that you should acquire regardless of profession or work.

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