The Amazon Marketplace has become a competitive place for online sellers. From starting out as an online book seller, a lot has changed for Amazon. Today, it is the leading digital e-retailer in the world. When it comes to online shopping, Amazon is the first place that most buyers will visit. As of 2018, Amazon has collared 49% of the US ecommerce market. This represents 5% of all retail spent across the entire country.
On a monthly basis, more than 197 million people worldwide get on their devices and visit Amazon. As an Amazon seller, keeping track of the movement of your inventory can be daunting. It becomes more difficult once your business starts to grow. It will be even tougher if you are going to do it alone. If your focus is on growing your business, you can’t be doing tasks like cold calling, accounting and bookkeeping, data entry, and others.
This is where Amazon seller support comes in. Selling on Amazon entails multiple tasks in addition to just listing products on the Amazon Marketplace. Although you need to learn and perform these tasks, at some point in time you will need to find someone who can do these tasks for you.
One dilemma that you may face when learning how to outsource Amazon seller support is finding which task to delegate to a provider. In this article, we will provide you with some tips on effectively delegating tasks to a provider so you can focus on what an Amazon seller should be doing in the first place—growing your business. This article shall cover the following topics:
- When Is The Right Time To Outsource Support?
- Benefits of Outsourcing Amazon Seller Support
- Tasks You Can Delegate To A Provider
- How To Outsource Seller Support Tasks
Let’s get started.
When Is The Right Time To Outsource Support?
Let’s face it. It is okay to be hands-on during the first phase of your business. You want to keep costs low as much as possible. You want to test what works and what does not. You want to stay in control of your business. However, as your business grows and more products come in, you start to realize how overwhelming running an Amazon selling business truly is.
The truth of the matter is that you can’t be a “jack of all trades.” You can’t be an entrepreneur and accountant or customer service rep at the same time. You are a businessman and hence should be focused on scaling your Amazon business. When you have come to this point, outsourcing support is worth considering. Here are some signs that you should start offloading.
You Have More Work Than Time
Having plenty of work is a blessing and a curse. But it won’t be of much help if you can’t get the work done and what may be coming your way. If you no longer have time for your family and yourself, it is a sign that you may need to outsource some of the work. Don’t drain yourself by working more hours to finish a job.
You Need To Grow But Can’t Do It Alone
As an Amazon seller, you need to focus on growing your business. How can you do it if you are the only one working in your business? Outsourcing support for Amazon sellers allows you to delegate some part of your current tasks so you can have more time on business growth and expansion.
You Can’t Add New Services Without Discontinuing Current Ones
The e-commerce sector is continuously evolving. Trends come and go. You need to keep yourself updated with new developments but you can’t move forward without giving up the current work. You want to try out a new service that would benefit your client but you don’t have time and personnel. What do you do? Discontinue current services, drop clients, or start outsourcing?
With Amazon seller support outsourcing, you don’t have to drop clients or discontinue current services. You can outsource tasks for the new service to a provider.
You’re Hired for Temporary or One-off Projects
Some clients like to work with a one-stop shop. This way, they won’t have to monitor multiple people and see if they are getting their work done. By considering outsourcing, you can accept a project because you have the people who have the skills to complete the project from start to finish.
Look for a provider or person who will fill-up what you lack. You will not only ensure that your client gets the end product but also have more time to work on the next task.
You Despise Certain Tasks
As an Amazon seller, you may have to do some tasks that you loathe very much. I mean who likes accounting tasks. These jobs are integral to your business but it can be done by someone who likes crunching the numbers. So save yourself some time and energy and hire someone to do the job for you.
Benefits of Outsourcing Seller Support
One thing you may be asking yourself when learning how to outsource Amazon seller support is “What’s in it for me?” Here we will take a look at the benefits of delegating some of your tasks to an outsourcing provider.
You can have more time on running your business
Daily Amazon tasks like updating PPC campaigns, answering customer concerns, and managing your entire inventory can eat up all of your time. It may drain your energy so that you might not have enough time to work on your growth strategy or brand positioning.
Outsourcing support for Amazon sellers will give you more time to focus on being ON your business instead of IN it. Aside from that, hiring someone else to do some of your tasks will allow you to free up your schedule so you can travel more, have some family time, enjoy your hobbies, etc.
You can offload tasks you don’t enjoy
There are some tasks that Amazon sellers dread doing. The good news is that there might be someone who would love doing those tasks for you. Whether it’s crunching numbers, running PPC campaigns, product listing, or writing copies, Amazon seller support outsourcing can be a good way of getting rid of tasks that either you don’t like or aren’t good at.
You can find people willing to work odd hours
Freelancers work in different time zones. They can work day, mid, or night shift which means you can have workers working around the clock ensuring that your tasks will be covered day and night. Hiring workers from different countries will be an advantage to your Amazon business in the long run.
Questions To Ask When Considering Outsourcing
As you try to understand how to outsource Amazon seller support, you will first need to gauge whether or not your business will benefit from outsourcing a particular task. Here are three questions to ask yourself before deciding to outsource your tasks.
Will it propel my business forward?
Businesses outsource in order to integrate services they couldn’t provide their own. For business owners, outsourcing can be the key to propelling their startups forward and more effective than doing it alone. For example, if you lack the technical expertise to build a product, you can outsource product development to a provider or company who has the expertise in it.
Will it boost team capability?
Outsourcing can also help enhance your teams skill set. Your marketing team might check 9 out of 10 industry expertise boxes but lacks knowledge in graphic design or video production. Regardless of the skill, outsourcing Amazon seller support can help your team excel.
Will it improve team efficiency?
Amazon seller support outsourcing is not just designed for managing tasks you don’t excel in. You can outsource your core competencies as well. By outsourcing tasks that fall under the expertise of your team, you can free up some time for your in-house team to boost their efficiency and productivity.
Tasks You Can Delegate To A Provider
Part of learning how to outsource Amazon seller support is determining the tasks you can delegate. The first thing to do is to identify the core areas of your business. Tasks related to these areas should not be outsourced. Otherwise, your clients may not be able to get something from you. Some of the common tasks you can delegate include the following:
Repetitive tasks. A good example of repetitive tasks is data entry. Although your in-house staff can do this for you, it would be a good idea to outsource this and delegate more useful tasks to your in-house team.
Specialized tasks. IT support is the perfect example for this. While IT support may be needed for your network, you don’t need to hire a full-time employee for this purpose. You can delegate such specialized tasks to a freelancer.
Expert tasks. Some tasks that require a high level of expertise can be easily outsourced. If you have a small business, you may not have the budget to employ a highly-skilled executive. However, you can outsource it to a contractor at a much lower cost.
You don’t have to wait for things to become overwhelming before you decide to consider outsourcing support for Amazon. Here are 10 tasks that you can outsource to a provider.
1. Product and Supplier Research
As an Amazon seller, you need to think of ways to stay competitive or be ahead of other sellers. For this to happen, you need to have great product offerings. You might think that you are the best person for the job because you are the seller after all. This is not always the case.
For your Amazon business to reach its maximum potential, you will always need to find more and better suppliers. Searching for products and finding supplier leads can be a tedious job. Instead of wasting your time on this task, outsource it to a provider.
2. Emailing Potential Suppliers
Sourcing for potential products and suppliers is just half the battle. Reaching out to each one of them can be time consuming. Sending out emails to these suppliers is something that a VA or freelancer can easily perform. Not all your communication will pan out and the provider can focus on the leads that will have the real potential.
3. Excel Work on Digital Products
Spreadsheet tools like Excel can be a useful and remarkable tool that not all business owners have truly mastered. They are great not only for computations but also for tracking. VAs or freelancers are Excel masters. They know how to create formulas, charts, and other tracking tools that can help you monitor the performance of your Amazon store.
4. Listing Products on Amazon
Another time-consuming task that you ought to outsource is product listing. Whether it’s creating a brand new listing or updating an old one, the experience of an Amazon VA can come in handy. Most providers have experience with Amazon uploads and are knowledgeable with marketplace guidelines. If you need to list your products in different languages, there are multi-lingual VAs who can work with translators to ensure that your international listings will be top-notched.
5. Optimizing Amazon Listings
In a competitive marketplace like Amazon, keeping your listings optimized is a must. . An experienced provider has knowledge of Amazon SEO best practices and will create listings that will bring you more customers and more sales.
6. Adjusting Prices and Inventory on Amazon
To stay competitive on Amazon, you need to be able to adjust your pricing. Likewise, you also need to be flexible with your inventory. This requires constant monitoring. An experienced VA will help you with repricing and has experience spotting and staying ahead of trends. This is important for you to be able to offer competitive pricing. The outsourced provider can also help prevent payment of long-term storage fees.
7. Fulfilling Orders and Sending Tracking
Constant monitoring is also vital to ensuring order fulfillment and customers being notified of delivery progress. While it can be an easy task, fulfillment can take up a lot of your time. Order management is crucial to keeping your customers happy. Outsourcing support for Amazon sellers involves hiring a VA that can keep your orders moving so you can focus on growing your business.
8. Customer Service
Customer service is crucial to the success of your Amazon store. It is another task that can keep you away from what you should be doing in the first place. Outsourcing to a provider will ensure that customer concerns are addressed immediately.
9. Handling Returns and Exchanges
Handling returns and exchanges are essential for good customer service. However, you can’t devote yourself to the this task. You will need the help of a provider who will give their full attention to the task. The person you will hire will ensure that your customers’ requests are handled politely and efficiently. Amazon seller support outsourcing will ensure that you give your customers the best experience.
10. Seller Performance Notification Communication
As an Amazon seller, you want to know how your store is performing against the competition. Hiring a VA will help ensure that your business is in a good position. Notifications should be addressed promptly. You wouldn’t want to miss anything that requires your utmost attention.
How To Outsource Tasks
As mentioned, running an Amazon storefront is not only daunting but also time consuming. Some of the tasks can be tedious especially when you do them on a daily basis. Learning how to outsource support for Amazon sellers can help ensure that your store stays afloat while you focus on the growth. Here are the steps on finding the right provider who will perform support tasks for your Amazon business.
Hire the Right Person
Start by identifying the tasks you need to outsource. With the list, you will be able to highlight exactly what the tasks you need to outsource. Will you look for someone who can do general tasks or someone that is more specialized? However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that one person can do everything. You may want to hire a few providers who are specialists in their respective fields rather than a freelancer who can do everything.
Decide on a Method of Communication
When outsourcing support for Amazon sellers, you should try to determine a clear plan for communicating with the provider. During the interview, discuss this with the candidate. Also, discuss time zones and their working hours. Ask them whether or not they are comfortable using platforms such as Skype, Trello, Asana, Google Drive, etc..
Be transparent with your chosen VA. Don’t expect them to be a mind reader or keep them guessing what they are supposed to do. Be specific with the tasks, relevant processes, and expected outcomes.
With Amazon seller support outsourcing, there will always be a learning curve during the onboarding process. Always provide them with constructive feedback. Inform the VA what you expect from them. If possible, work with them to get the right results.