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Is XiaoHongShu For You? From the perspective of eCommerce & Branding



When speaking with brands who are wanting to market and sell their products to China, we often receive a large number of questions regarding the best eCommerce and social media platforms. Although there is a wide range of platforms businesses can use, but we will specifically be talking about XiaoHongShu.


Lets start off with the basics: What is XiaoHongShu?


XiaoHongShu (小红书) also known as “Little Red Book” is one of the largest and fastest growing social eCommerce apps in China. The platform is designed to help users discover and purchase products, give recommendations, and helpful tips. Users often use the APP when investigating new purchases and are looking for reviews from other customers. It was founded in 2013 and has just recently hit 150 million users (October 2018) and closed a $300M series D investment led by Alibaba.


XiaoHongShu describes itself as “a sharing platform for young people's lifestyles through deep-rooted UGC (user-created content) shopping sharing community”


Think of XiaoHongShu as a merge of Instagram and Pinterest. Just like both platforms, you can save posts you like, comment and message users, connect with brand pages etc. But with XiaoHongShu, you get the added bonus of in-APP purchasing.


How is XiaoHongShu different from other Chinese platforms?


XiaoHongShu operates quite differently from other Chinese eCommerce platforms, users come to Red book for trusted, quality content. Authenticity is the core of Xiaohongshu’s content. XiaoHongShu uses a partnership model with foreign brands, keeping their own inventory, to have smooth transitions in delivery. Also unlike other platforms, Xiaohongshu does not provide display ads services.


If you are thinking about setting up a shop on XiaoHongShu your brand should have a unique brand story, some aspect that differentiates your brand from others in the market. If you are a brand like this and want to potentially enter XiaoHongShu, start easy. This market place supports cross-border eCommerce, a phenomenon that has gained huge momentum over the recent years. Even if you don’t have a Chinese bank or company you will still be able to set up a shop.


How do I make my products sell?


Create word of mouth in a smart way and in a XiaoHongShu style, you need to get people talking about your brand. Having aesthetic images on your brand page that shows your brand or products using lively and engaging images is critical. For the content, we would advise brands to write something interesting, something instead of the standard content that many other brands will use as this will capture the attention of XiaoHongShu users. It is important not to forget that the majority of the users are #millennials, the post 90’s generation. 


It is essential to have someone who is able to do localisation in relation to the way the content is written and the image that will be posted.

What we can do to help?


To be able to sell on Xiaohongshu, you need to incorporate the aspect of “Daily life sharing” into the brand image and strategy which can only be done by someone who understands how the locals work in China.  


What we can do is to help set up a shop on Xiaohongshu, as you will need to communicate with the Chinese team. Additionally, we can manage the shop on a daily basis, on this app they usually have regular monthly promotions which we can help coordinate and manage. We also help with branding and marketing, the most important factors in setting up a shop on Xiaohongshu. We can help manage and create a brand fan page, KOL influences and create word of mouth for your brand. 


In short, Xiaohongshu is not just another one of those ordinary ecommerce businesses, it has managed to carve an image for itself and build up an extensive community. Social trade in China is evergrowing, it is important to understand the value of positioning your brands on such platforms in order to become successful in China.


To read more on Xiaohongshu and more on how we can help, click HERE.