Digital marketing

Want to make the most of new social selling opportunities? Here’s 4 eCommerce trends you need to know

- July 13, 2022 5 MIN READ
Woman using phone to shop and sell online

Kaiying Chin has always had a head for business and eCommerce. Prior to stepping into her role with Meta ANZ as Team Lead, she worked in the venture capital space assisting businesses with sales, marketing, business development and operations, as well as running her own vegan bakery.

She joined editor Cec Busby on the Flying Solo podcast to share the latest tools, trends and learnings Meta offers to help small businesses fly.

Personal experience leads to unique business insights

“My passion has always been helping startups and small businesses discover growth,” Kaiying explains. “I ran my own vegan bakery for around two years, primarily using social selling as my channel to drive business value. I also learned just how much hard work and dedication it takes to run a small business.

“In my capacity at Meta, my team really believe small businesses are the heart of communities and growing economies. We’re dedicated to helping small businesses in the eCommerce space in Australia and New Zealand discover growth through utilising Meta’s products and services.”

Kaiying Chin, Team Lead for Meta ANZ’s Global Business Group

Kaiying Chin, Team Lead for Meta ANZ’s Global Business Group

“Facebook’s Dynamic Markets Report mentions that 82 per cent of Australian SMBs have used Meta products to start their business,” says Kaiying. “So the fundamental philosophy behind the way Meta designs our products and services is very much to drive direct business impact and value to small businesses.

“Meta’s recent Discovery Commerce Report also revealed that 71 per cent of online shoppers in Australia who discover new brands or products online, typically discover them using Meta’s platforms.

“Facebook and Instagram have always been about inspiration, discovery and meaningful connection. Our suite of eCommerce tools empowers businesses to be able to connect with potential customers precisely where they’re spending their time and attention.”

4 biggest trends in eCommerce and social selling in 2022

The world of eCommerce has seen a massive upswing in recent years, and Kaiying says that some key trends are standing out the most in online selling in 2022.

“I’m noticing so many exciting social selling and eCommerce trends,” she says. “Reducing the friction to allow your customers to meaningfully engage with you is really the essence of social selling.”

Here are the four top trends currently powering eCommerce and social selling:

1. Social messaging and ‘conversational commerce’

“Around 64 per cent of customers right now want to be able to contact you through a messaging channel, versus having to pick up the phone or search to figure out other ways to get to you. We term this ‘conversational commerce’,” Kaiying explains.

“Meta users can utilise our free messaging channels or live chat plugins so you can respond in a timely manner at all times. It means being able to set expectations to your customers with an out-of-office reply, or with an automated response answering frequently asked questions. These products allow customers to engage with you until you can personally respond.

“There is also the WhatsApp Business app. In Thailand, so many businesses run purely through our WhatsApp Business app, from discovery to browsing through their catalogue. The entire customer journey and path to purchase – even checkout and mobile payment options – is all entirely through messaging.

“You can find step-by-step instructions for enabling auto-replies, the live chat plugin or the WhatsApp Business app in our Small Business Learning hub.”

Listen to Kaiying Chin on the Flying Solo podcast:

2. Thumb-stopping content

“There’s a big shift towards very immersive and engaging creative content,” says Kaiying. “We use the term, ‘thumb-stopping’. Thumb-stopping content is short, snappy, engaging and authentic.

“Consumers’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter; people’s time and attention are on their mobile devices, but they’re also on the go a lot of the time. So how do you portray your brand through eCommerce channels in a very attention-grabbing and thumb-stopping manner, so that the content you’re sharing on social platforms stands out to them and engages them to take that conversation with you a little bit further?

“We always say the brand should appear in the first one to two seconds, because people’s attention spans are usually between five to seven seconds. So, in less than six seconds, I need to understand what the brand is, the name of the brand and the product or service you sell.

“A lot of people may also be consuming content on the go, with sound off. So try to design for sound off as well, so that your brand or your service can still be communicated.”

3. Short-form video

“Short-form video is also very big and is an extension of that engaging content,” says Kaiying. “Video is one of the fastest growing formats on our platforms. Video views account for about 50 per cent of the time people spend on Facebook, and Reels make up more than 20 per cent of the time people spend on Instagram.

“It doesn’t have to be highly curated content, either,” reminds Kaiying. “A lot of business owners I talk to find that this is a barrier because they go onto Instagram and see so many beautifully created graphics, and they just don’t have the time or funds to replicate something like that. But engaging content doesn’t have to be super curated; there is no right and wrong.

“Instead, think more about authenticity, personality and your brand’s tone of voice. The Reels that are super successful are authentic – it’s business owners taking short videos of behind-the-scenes stuff. This helps to communicate a brand’s tone and personality, and effectively connects them to their customer as well.”

4. Finding new customers and target audiences

Kaiying says many businesses are using Meta’s analytics tools to find new customers, particularly when looking to take their eCommerce business global.

“Facebook and Instagram have global reach, so there are effective ways to test various markets to see whether or not the product might have a market fit there. Business owners can leverage our platforms to test going overseas, or test different messaging such as Instagram Stories or creating polls to gauge consumer interest in new products.

“Facebook’s Pages Manager offers various analytics for business owners who are thinking about chasing another market. Sometimes the data will even tell you directionally where you should go – you might be building an organic following and getting organic website visitors from other countries already. Use some of that free data to make informed business decisions.

“Our Facebook for Business and Small Business Learning hub also offer insights and trends about other markets, consumer behaviours and purchasing patterns.”

Kaiying Chin on the Flying Solo podcast

Kaiying shares lots more tips, tricks and examples of businesses who are nailing their Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp offerings in this info-packed Flying Solo episode. Listen to the full ep now so you don’t miss a thing!

Listen to the latest episode of the Flying Solo podcast now:

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