Why Hire an Amazon Virtual Assistant When Expanding Globally?

May 17, 2024



You already know the virtues an Amazon virtual assistant can bring to your business – but how about when expanding globally; can an experienced Amazon virtual assistant help you manage your global operations? Today, we talk about localization in global expansion, particularly with regards to an Amazon virtual assistant who knows and speaks other languages. When you’re expanding to other countries, do you need an Amazon VA per country to take your business to the next level? Is it essential to hire virtual assistants that speak different languages, or live in the countries you’re expanding to?

Without a doubt, expanding your Amazon business to other countries is a great way to diversify your income, and find customers that you may not have otherwise met had you stuck to Amazon US or UK. When your business grows, it gets vital to assign tasks to a virtual assistant, so you can free yourself up to handle more pressing concerns, like scaling upwards even more. So, it stands to reason that an Amazon virtual assistant can help manage your business in every country you grow to, right?

Let’s dive in to the necessity of localizing talent. While we’re on the topic, don’t forget that YLT Translations is your reliable go-to for localizing your product listings in many different countries. We’ve got the knowhow, skills and experience to help you expand your Amazon business, from targeted keyword research to listing optimization. Today, we take a different look at global expansion, through the localization of talent.

What is an Amazon Virtual Assistant?

What exactly is an Amazon Virtual Assistant?

An Amazon virtual assistant is a remote professional who assists in managing your Amazon FBA business. They take over time-consuming tasks, such as answering customer questions, inventory management, coordinating with Amazon Seller Central, product research, PPC, and more. There are several virtual assistant agencies that can match Amazon sellers with VAs that handle part of any business online, or you can find a virtual assistant on Upwork, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Who can become an Amazon Virtual Assistant?

Anyone with a stable internet connection, a reliable computer setup, and a conducive place to work can become a VA. Many VAs go through courses to earn certifications in Amazon advertising, inventory management, or customer service, to further enhance their credibility and employability. There are beginner-level VAs that can do rudimentary tasks, then there are Amazon virtual assistants who understand how to run a successful Amazon business, all the way from Amazon PPC management to inventory management, research, and optimization.

Where to hire a good Amazon Virtual Assistant for your business?

You’ll find Amazon virtual assistants from the Philippines, whose high level of English proficiency and considerable training in the Business Process Outsourcing industry have made Filipino VAs viable for many Amazon sellers. India also has a vast population of educated and skilled professionals, particularly in IT and administrative services. In fact, India’s emphasis on technical education has resulted in a pool of VAs proficient in tech-related tasks and eCommerce management. Eastern Europeans are also great virtual assistants; their cultural affinity with Western Europe and North America give them an edge, while the lower cost of living allows them to offer competitive rates. Countries like Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil are gaining popularity. The time zone proximity to the USA makes the LATAM region ripe for the picking; plus, these Amazon virtual assistants are bilingual, which is great for countries targeting Spanish-speaking markets. Last but not least, there are many virtual assistants from the US and Canada. Naturally, their proficiency at English and deep understanding of the Western market makes them ideal for high-quality customer service, content creation, and more.

How can an Amazon Virtual Assistant boost your Amazon expansion?

VAs do a bunch of tasks, but when you’re expanding globally, a good VA can make your life much, much easier.

Virtual assistants may do one or more of the below:

  1. Competitor Research in Different Markets
    • Understanding the competition in new regions
    • Analyzing market trends and customer preferences
  2. Product Sourcing and Market Analysis
    • Identifying potential products and suppliers
    • Conducting market feasibility studies
  3. Product Listing Optimization for Local Markets
    • Creating and optimizing product listings for better visibility
    • Ensuring compliance with local regulations and cultural nuances
  4. Inventory Tracking and Management
    • Monitoring stock levels across various markets
    • Coordinating with suppliers and logistics partners
  5. Customer Service Across Different Time Zones
    • Providing timely and effective customer support
    • Handling inquiries and resolving issues promptly
  6. Handling Refunds, Returns, and Open Cases Efficiently
    • Managing customer returns and refunds
    • Addressing open cases and disputes

The Benefit of Localizing Your Amazon Virtual Assistant Support

“In an ideal universe, sellers should hire one person per country,” Jana shares.

However, practically every single virtual assistant for Amazon already speaks English, so most brands don’t bother hiring multilingual VAs, or VAs in every country they expand to.

Think about localizing your talent in 2 aspects:

Flat file creation: “When you upload flat files, you’d want someone who speaks the language,” Jana points out. “You upload product descriptions, and you need to understand what you’re uploading.” When your virtual assistance is only in English, uploading flat files in foreign languages can definitely be done, but it’s less efficient.

Customer service: “It would be fantastic to hire an assistant who speaks that language,” Jana says. “It would be ideal, but nobody does that, it’s not cost effective. (Sellers) use Google Translate (to answer customer queries in other languages.” Now, we’ve talked before about the inefficiencies of using machine translations to communicate, so if you sincerely want to grow your business to other countries, and nurture your newfound customers, it’s probably a good idea to hire Amazon virtual assistant services in those countries – at the very least, to handle customer inquiries.

Jana also points out one of the biggest benefits of hiring an Amazon virtual assistant in every country: dealing with Amazon support. “Sometimes you can get through to an Amazon representative in another language,” she points out. “There’s less demand for other languages than for Amazon customer service in the US or the UK.” So, if you happen to be selling a product that needs considerable support from Amazon, it would serve you well to hire a VA in every country you sell in.

But how much does it cost to hire a VA? As we mentioned before, the cost depends on different things, from level of experience to geographical location. Also, many VAs charge per hour. If you’re looking for a full time assistant for your Amazon business – that would obviously cost way more than a part time Amazon FBA virtual assistant. Perhaps it makes sense to hire a full-time virtual assistant for Amazon FBA in one country, then part-timers in other locations to help you with flat files, customer service, and communicating with Amazon support.

The Benefits of Hiring a Multilingual Amazon Virtual Assistant for Your Amazon Business

To summarize the benefits of hiring multilingual VAs – or at least a part time Amazon assistant in every country you sell in:

  • Enhanced communication with local Amazon support
  • Improved customer service experience for non-English speaking customers
  • Efficient handling of localized tasks such as uploading flat files and product descriptions
  • Differentiation from competitors who only have English-speaking account managers

“I’ve only seen a few brands that have a German or Spanish speaking account manager,” Jana says. “This is how you should do it. They can talk to Amazon support in that language, understand the flat files they’re uploading, and communicate with customers in their native tongue.”

Yes, there’s definitely a cost implication associated with this, but if your Amazon store is already at the level of being able to justify a larger team, it’s definitely worth it. Imagine running an Amazon store in several different countries with a handful of VAs that understand the languages – it’ll free up your time to concentrate on growing the business, instead of spending time on flat file creation, answering customer questions, and dealing with Amazon customer support.

Common Challenges When You Hire Amazon Virtual Assistant Teams Across the Globe

The decision to hire a virtual assistant in all the countries you scale to may be an expensive one, but it’s worth it if you really plan to drive sales and nurture your customers. Furthermore, VAs in each country can help you navigate regulations, ensuring compliance with taxes, import/export requirements, and more, to avoid potential (costlier) legal issues. They can also handle the documentation for international shipping and customs.

That said, it’s not easy to hire a VA in countries whose language you don’t speak. Here are some tips to guide you:

  1. Use specialized platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, VAA Philippines, and more, to find skilled VAs
  2. Screen and test candidates to ensure they meet your requirements, and possess the skills and expertise you need
  3. Stay responsible for training and development so your VAs, wherever they may be, stay updated on market changes and new tools

Here are some more tips to help you manage your Amazon Virtual Assistants across the globe:

  • Identify the key tasks to delegate to a VA – often this is best done even before you post a job, because it will help you search for the best virtual assistant to fulfill your needs
  • Determine the necessary language skills based on target markets: ask yourself, is an Amazon virtual assistant in every country a necessity? Can you afford it? Are you ready to invest in localized manpower to scale upwards?
  • Look for localized platforms and resources for finding qualified VAs – virtual assistants are often found in Facebook groups specific to each country, where they trade stories, tips, courses and opportunities for learning, and even job offers
  • Set up effective communication and management practices. Use tools like Slack, Asana, Trello, and so forth to stay on top of communication with the team

Virtual assistants are highly skilled in many different aspects, but it’s imperative to stay on top management, in the most professional way. Don’t forget, you are the captain of the ship; the crew needs your guidance! Now, these VAs will have different cultural sensitivities, and it’s imperative for any business owner to understand, guide, and connect with your new VAs, wherever in the world they may be. The benefit of going to VA agencies is they’ll guide you through the process of hiring an Amazon VA, and some professional agencies will even brief you on cultural sensitivities, management best practices, and tips to nurture your VA. Now, that’s expert localization!

Conclusion: Hire an Amazon FBA Virtual Assistant and Scale More Effectively

As you can see, localization isn’t just limited to optimizing product descriptions and finding good keywords. Localization entails a whole world of cultural sensitivity, deep understanding of communications and culture, and fine-tuning your approach to adapt to different circumstances. Although localizing your manpower through hiring an Amazon virtual assistant for every country you scale to is an expensive endeavor, it’s a strategic decision that can save you quite a lot of money down the road. Amazon store owners will agree that a good VA is part and parcel to the success of any growing Amazon business.

When handled expertly and sensitively, VAs can be a great help to your business, wherever in the world you choose to grow to. So, think about hiring a virtual assistant – even a part-time one – in every country you scale to; it’s worth the cost!

Let’s wrap up with a quick word from Jana, addressed to the Amazon VAs out there: “There are a few people that have the skill of (Amazon account management in different languages). Brands will pay for that! Differentiate yourself from other account managers that only speak English.”

Now, given that Jana’s always had her finger on the pulse of trends, developments, and evolution in the Amazon community, perhaps this begs a question: will Amazon sellers eventually understand the power of a multilingual virtual assistant, and will a multilingual approach soon become a boon to a VA’s application?

Maybe that’s a topic for a future blog!

For now, though, don’t forget – YLT Translations is your best friend when planning to expand globally, so employ the best practices for expansion and get those product listings optimized with potent keyword research, excellent copywriting, and in-depth knowledge of Amazon. Reach out, and let’s tackle your localization together!