Little Red Book : How Do Brands Succeed in China?

China has over 800 million internet users nowadays and it is one of the most digitalized societies in the world. This is offering tremendous development opportunities and Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu in mandarin) is taking part in this trend. Chinese consumers are more willing to purchase online because of the convenience and the greater range of available items on e-commerce platforms. Unlike the other hot e-commerce platforms (Tmall, JD in China), Little red book’s advantage doesn’t only remain in product selling.

This article will introduce how Little Red book is effective for businesses in China (or to target Chinese consumers).

The success story of Xiaohongshu (or little red book)

This Chinese start-up was created in 2013 by Charwlin MAO and it has been in a fast pace of development. The brand was established only 4 years and its valuation exceeds 1 billion today. The little red book became a veritable “unicorn company”.

What is this APP?

Xiaohongshu is an online community, also a cross-border e-commerce platform. It is mainly known to be a place for sharing where users can publish but also get useful tips.

We can find on Little red book different categories: fashion, food, wedding stuff, pet, and travel. The content is also diversified with product feedback, shopping tips, new trends, and promotional offers. Anyway, it is a place where Chinese consumers are spending a lot of time.

Over 70 million users after 3 years of operations

100,000 new content is added every day, with a total of 780 million product content on its platform. Even though it is also a cross-border e-commerce platform, it often lets people think of it mostly as a sharing platform.

The main users are women, consumers, with an average age of 18 to 35, with over 70% of post-90 users. Users are also bloggers.  They have their own profile page, can create posts, and be followed by other users. This creates a community of trust sharing the same ideas, opinions, bargains, and recommendations.

The app aims to foster this group cohesion by reinforcing this feeling of belonging to a community once registered on the app. To achieve that, Xiaohongshu uses the power of its database to generate customized content for users, according to their tastes and expectations.

A platform to send useful information

As the founder of Xiaohongshu, Miranda Qu (Qu Fang) said: “Little red book is an entrance for a new way of life” and thinks that doing only cross-border e-commerce or vertical e-business is riskier. She also noticed the huge consumers’ need for shopping information. That is why she is working to guarantee the frame of Xiaohongshu, which consist to be useful.

Chinese people are very connected to them. They have no problem sharing content on their social network even more if it is fun or if they think this information could be a benefit to someone else. A lot of companies promote their brand online and interact with their target consumers in that way, by providing content that could attract consumers’ interest.

What’s the strategy of Xiaohongshu?

In the beginning, the content of the Little red book was mainly related to outbound travel. The first post about United States tourism was written by Qu Fang herself. For a long time, the start-up had only one content writer, and no celebrities or influencers.

Advertising and e-commerce are the most common ways to gain traffic. However only e-commerce can improve a give a real user experience. According to the little red book’s founder, the division of labor is that “the E-commerce part is responsible for making money, while the content section is responsible for being lovely”.

Promotion via celebrities

Xiaohongshu collaborated with a very hot Chinese variety show “Idol producer” to promote its brand. This attracted time lot of discussions boosted its visibility and generated new users on its platform.

Xiaohongshu also searches to let celebrities use its platform as its collaboration with the famous Chinese actress Fan Bingbing was a real success. She has important fame in China and even over the world and has been called a global fashion icon due to her frequent appearances on the red carpet, at movie premieres, and at fashion shows. Almost all her sharings on Xiaohongshu made a buzz. We can find on Chinese e-commerce platforms products description like “Bingbing tongkuan” which means “the same product as Bingbing has used” and an explosion in those products’ demand, often sold out.

Kol and celebrities are playing an important role in marketing to China.

A focus on cosmetics and beauty products

We can find a lot of content on Xiaohongshu about make-up tips and cosmetics sharing. It has taken an important part of the start-up’s concern. The reason why beauty was used as an entry point, Yu-Fang thinks is a question of time. “Like Jingdong started from 3c, and then opened its platform for all the categories of product in 2013, Xiaohongshu was facing the rising trend of a skincare product.”

The app already formed partnerships with several foreign brands originating in the US, Japan, and Korea to market them on Chinese territory. For more information about e-commerce in China, click here.

Need help with Little Red Book Marketing in China?

GMA is an agency that specialized in digital marketing in China. Our team offers a complete range of services for e-commerce entrepreneurs from consulting to operations.

Little Red Book Case studies

We have developed several successful e-commerce projects because we know how to effectively promote your e-commerce business in China by using the latest digital tools, including Little red book.

Success in the nowadays Chinese market is linked to your visibility and reputation online.

To develop in China, you also have to follow trends and have a good knowledge of Chinese consumers’ habits. Want to get into the huge Chinese market?

Feel free to contact us for more information.

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1 comment

  • Hi,
    Do you know if littel red book is still block in China?
    How brands are reacting to that?

    I heard that it is hard to enter now?

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