Why Little Red Book is a Great eCommerce Tool in China 2020?

Little Red Book is a young Shanghainese app that rose in these last years to become one of the key e-commerce app in China. It mainly targets shopping lovers and focuses on beauty products, clothing and more! Thanks to their well-targeted communication and a successful strategy, the app made a name for itself in China and is even beginning to expand its influence abroad. It is reaching the point that it becomes difficult to rise with eCommerce in China without including Little Red Book in your strateg if you sell cosmetics or fashion items. We tell you more about this platform, that offers amazing tools to market your products in China and make your brand known on the Chinese territory!

The success of Little Red Book in numbers

The start-up started in 2014 on the hats of wheels.

  • XiaoHongShu (小红书) – its official name, and RED of its shortened name – had 200 million users in 2019 (compare to 100 million in 2018!)  and this number won’t stop growing in 2020!
  • On 11.11 2019, the app became the number one search engine for cross-border eCommerce in China
  • According to the app, there are 300 billion posts viewed every day on RED with more than 70% of them being user-generated content (UGC)

Little Red Book, how does it work?

The principle of Little Red Book? The application targets young modern dynamic working women between 18 and 35 years old. Just as its connected clientele, almost exclusively female and mostly urban,  Little Red Book is a platform that is aware of new trends and allows buyers to discover new products, share their customer reviews of these products and exchange ideas and tips.

The app offers features such as an eCommerce store, live streaming, shopping notes, short videos (douYin and Kuaishou alike) and can become fairly addictive.

What types of products does Xiaohongshu focus on the most? Foreign cosmetic/beauty and fasjion products/ brands. The app is mainly UGC (users generated content) and its core content are Shopping note and reviews from users. The app has become a go to for customers when doing research about a products. Great help for Chinese buyers who find it difficult to navigate between the fake brands and the attributes of each country. It sells particularly well the skincare and beauty products (including dietary supplements) difficult to find in China or even not yet exported.

As I just mentionned, Fashion and cosmetics are king on the app, as well as luxury goodies, lifestyle and travel. The platform therefore relies on the tremendous mutual help and of the buyers among them, always ready to give their little advice. This emulation worked and created a whole community of active users.

Read as well: Top Social Media in China to Promote your Fashion Brand

Why is the application going beyond other e-commerce platforms?

First, the application is no longer only used by Chinese women in China : the Chinese diaspora scattered around the world starts using Little Red Book!

Mixing a product advice and rating forum with an e-commerce platform – to go directly to online shopping once the ideal product has been spotted – facilitates the buying process. The result is without doubt : the sale of a product is concluded more quickly on Little Red Book than on the other equivalent platforms!

Little Red Book ensures its effectiveness by creating international partnerships with leading brands of beauty products or ready-to-wear. Japanese, Korean and American brands are at the top of these partnerships, not far from France, in line with the confidence of Chinese consumers. Beauty products from Japan, Korea and France are indeed the ones with the best reputation in China and receive the most consideration; as for American products, the American Dream does not leave the Chinese insensitive and the ready-to-wear from US is a role model.

Finally, the application plays on trust between users. Knowing that trust is the most important thing for Chinese people when it comes to business, it is easy to understand why Little Red Book is working so well:  the application plays on trust between users.

The KOL, the main marketing asset of Little Red Book

The main reason why Little Red Book works so well is precisely the trust of users between its users: the key opinion leaders – mostly fashion addicts – make all the success of the platform. Remunerated in commission by brands or the platform itself for their good publicity, these users post daily pictures of them testing new products by commenting or advising on their use.

little red book 2020 KOLS

They have gradually gained the confidence of other Internet users who follow with interest their new publications. The larger their audience (which counts in the number of likes, comments, and shares of each new publication), the more their influence is great and their lesser post becomes crucial for the reputation of a brand.

Other marketing assets of the RED app

  • Official brand account You can create your official account to share attractive marketing content to a receptive and large audience. A brand account should give the brand’s spirit and give information to customers who are always looking for reliable brands and products.
  • Store: After the creation of a brand account, it is possible to open an online store within the app. It is very efficient to sell through this channel since users usually directly buy products in this type of store.
  • Ads: As with any platform, the use of display ads is a good lever to reach your more easily your target. Pop-up ad (appearing when you open the app) or feed ad (appearing in the users’ feed)? The choice is up to you.
  • Algorithm: Also as on many commercial platforms, Little Red Book uses an algorithm to adapt the content that will be shown to its users depending on their tastes and center of interest. As effective as it is relevant!
  • Short Videos & Live streaming: Users can scroll through thousands of short videos on every topics possible and can just as easily join live live-streaming. The videos are categorized by popular and “nearby” (read more about the success of short videos in China)

Little red Book and the Live Streaming Industry

Little Red Book is about to launch its new feature of live streaming just as the big Chinese players Alibaba, WeChat and Douyin. With the explosion of vlogs views and the number of videos posted on the platform, using this feature will increase brand’s sales even more. KOLs feel positive about it because live streaming is expected to have a big impact on the community and the brands’ strategies establishments.The tests that took place in 2019 showed good results and met the everybody’s expectations.

Include Little Red Book in my e-commerce strategy

Impossible to ignore Little Red Book now, your products must absolutely be among the selections of the platform. Some tips to reach an optimal result:

  • Use KOL to spread a positive image of your products and put them on stage. So users will feel more confident to invest in your brand.
  • Translating your packaging into Mandarin Chinese is a must-have to facilitate your implementation.
  • Good management of your e-reputation is essential from the moment when users will comment on your products. You have to boost the positive comments and react immediately in case of complaints to avoid tarnishing the image of your products. Knowing that the web is fierce, the scope of a bad comment is ten times greater than the one of a positive comment.

Why our Agency can help you with RED

We are a specialized digital marketing agency about the Chinese market. Our knowledge of the consumption habits of Chinese buyers – and especially in the world of luxury – is intended to advise foreign companies on their establishment in China.

Together, we will put in place the best communication to Chinese customers and we will develop your Little Red Book strategy. We can help you manage your e-reputation. Thanks to us, e-commerce in China is at your fingertips!

Learn more about the Agency and about our Chinese Social Media / Kols Solutions for fashion and luxury brands in China.

Would you like to talk to our experts? Contact us

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  1. I advise you to really understand the environment of Little Red Book, the rest is obvious
    brands would benefit from reviews by the right influencers, everything is based on influencers and your Store and Brand Zone .

  2. RED this Fashion App is Transforming Social Mobile Commerce in China
    What we see is that mobile commerce and social media in a unique retail strategy that is set to make waves in the Chinese fashion market. The REDapp works directly with brands, they authorised distributors but it is the social component of the strategy that has piqued the interest of industry influencers .

    1. Because it is where the new generation of Luxury Consumers is searching information, feedback and buy niche products.

  3. I advertise on Red. I have a few videos running on it as i write this.
    Yes, it has an upscale clientele, of mostly 20 something girls, many upper-income, pretty, and usually skinny and very fashion and look-conscious.

    Your article is pretty much bang-on to describing Red’s users.

    I am a professional online English teacher.

  4. Hello,

    LRB seems to be the place for fashion brands too. Any news if it is still blocked?
    I heard that they ask a Deposit now?
    How much it is ?

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