With eCommerce growing in popularity, e-tailers need to manage their online presence more often than ever. However, not all retailers can afford to be on the laptop 5 or 6 hours a day, while taking care of the store and customers at the same time.
If you’re willing to offer great work experience, useful training and good references, than you should hire an eCommerce intern right now. Websites such as CareerJet, Monster, Internmatch, Indeed and LinkedIn can allow you to find an intern pretty quickly, for a minimal fee.
Your eCommerce intern can manage many tasks and free up copious amounts of your time, while learning a lot from your retail experience and knowledge. Here are just a sample of the eCommerce tasks you can delegate to your intern.
1) Website Maintenance
Updating products and stock is something that you really should do on a daily basis on your eCommerce website. It’s absolutely vital for your online customers to know exactly what products you have for sale and what products are out of stock, as that’s the main reasons shoppers use the internet.
Also, your website infrastructure requires daily maintenance, so that your site is prevented from crashing and displaying errors.
Your eCommerce intern can then learn how to run a successful website, and how having a website that runs smoothly and efficiently increases customer satisfaction and purchasing rate.
2) Content Development
When talking about “content”, there is no doubt this is the hey to retain existing customers and attract new prospects at the same time. A well reviewed and described product can dramatically increase your sales conversion, and prevent confusion in your customers.
Together with product descriptions, publishing blog post can keep your customers updated on products that recently released, are preparing to be released, and any sales or specials you are having. Blogs are also the number one strategy to show off your expertise and authority in your industry to your existing and potential customers.
What’s in it for the intern? Simple: there is no better work experience than learning how to present product information in a way that customers can easily receive (and convert).
3) Customer Service
Customer service is an absolute necessity when trading online. The online shopper needs to be supported at all times, first because they are not in a physical shop and second because you need to enhance trust and security.
Having an eCommerce intern allows you to answer customers questions quickly, which keeps them happy. Simple set up a live chat or a specific Twitter account that you and your intern can access and get notified in real time should a customer query come in.
The benefits for the intern are many, with the most important being learning how to interact with customers in a positive way. Training is strictly required in this case, as the intern needs to understand how to deal with unhappy customers or demanding shoppers.
4) Social Media Management
Successful eCommerce websites make the most out of social media, as this is the easiest way to spread the word about the brand. Posting content on various social media outlets and responding to customer comments, will definitely help keep your company in your customers’ radar.
Interns were born in the digital era, and they might know a thing or two that really works in social media. Let them do the posting and the chatting, as long as you both agree on content guidelines.
Social media can also help you develops your brand, and not using Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest would be a great shame. That’s why the intern is working with you: you and her are part of a brand development team, so that when people see your logo or hear your company name or slogan, they know exactly what it stands for.
This is – potentially – a great learning experience for your eCommerce intern, as Social Media for business is completely different from “personal” social media. Turning social interactions into sales and branding is the best work experience your intern can gain.
The main difference from bricks-and-mortar stores and online ones is represented by logistics. If your eCommerce website allows “back-orders”, than you need to be informed as soon as customers place an order for items that are not in stock.
Your intern can be your point of contact between your eCommerce software and your suppliers: the sooner your customer can find out the status of their order and receive the package, the better.
Otherwise, if the orders consist of products that are in stock, you need to make sure customers receive their orders in a timely manner. Once again, your intern can become the main communication channel between internal departments, customers, and couriers.
There is no doubt that in terms of logistics, the intern can really experience how to communicate with manufacturers and purchasers and how to create a healthy relationship between the two. Communication affects the flow of business, and if your intern is planning to apply for retail jobs or to start her own business, there is no better work experience than this.
6) Photography & Videography
When selling products online, photos and videos really make a huge difference. Online shoppers can’t see your products from all the angles, or feel the fabric, or weight the item with their hands. Photography and videography allow you to get closer to their typical buying experience.
When adding products to your eCommerce, therefore, it is absolutely vital for you to hire a photographer. A photo is worth a 100 words, and a professional photo can make you sell more. Unfortunately, photography need a lot of work and your intern can help you with product preparation, editing and uploading images – which otherwise you might not have the time for.
The intern can here gain a very rewarding e-business lesson: the importance of visual images for online consumers and how that affects sales conversion.
7) Market Research
Market research and industry reports are necessary to keep your company running smoothly. And, if you need to deal with offline customers, online orders, phone calls and emails, the time left for this vital task is probably zero.
Research is that task interns are great at. They are fantastic at researching information online, at a speed that you can’t even compare to. So, dedicate part of your training to explain to the intern how important research is, and where and what to look for.
Your retail business needs to know what’s happening in the outside world, or you risk to do a lot of bad planning choices. Here, the intern can learn so much and become a source of invaluable data, information, and opinions.
8) Media Outreach
You might have the need to approach the media all the time, as this is still one of the most effective ways of advertising for free. A mention in a newspaper or an online article can drive a lot of traffic to your eCommerce website – and if readers belong to your target audience, you can expect a lot of sales too.
Simple tasks such as putting together a simple press release, get in touch with journalists or magazines represent great work experience for an intern, as she will have to do that in her upcoming career too.