XiaoHongShu (小红书), which literally translates as “Little Red Book” is a billion-dollar startup and one of the top and booming Chinese social media apps. It was registered in 2014 and within a short period of time Little Red Book China social media became extremely popular among Chinese females that rapidly created lots of the top trending topics on Weibo attracting over 22 million viewers and it had generated 24,000 comments.
Xiaohongshu literally mean Little Red Book but its name bears no relation to the famous book of Mao Zedong, it means works by letting its Hot-Popular (Red) girls post Popular (Red) pictures of their Hot (Red) products/Brands. That’s why its often referred to outside of China as Little Red Book China social media.
Nowadays this app has around 150 million active users. Little Red Book has already attracted the attention of both Chinese and foreign investors. It is predicted that the app will continue to grow rapidly.
The Chinese startup is on the way to raise at least usd200 million and get a valuation of USD2.5 billion. The influencers App based want to speed up their e-commerce expansion. Little Red Book is backed by Tencent, and competes in the E-Commerce battle against Giants like Alibaba, JD Sunning and Growing startup like Pinduoduo ( which has raised more than USD1 Billion for USD15 Billion valuation).
The Real Competitor for Little Red Book was Meilishuo (a copy of Pinterest, moved to women fashion E-commerce Site), or Mogujie (Same E-Commerce Business Model). The company was founded in 2009 by Xu Yiron, and started its focus by helping overseas travelers to draft a shopping list before they travel. But with the aggregation of more UGC contents, the Startup is moving into a female community for those who are passionate about fashion, cosmetics, and shopping and want to know more about these fields.
LITTLE RED BOOK IS A NEW INNOVATIVE CHINESE PLATFORM
Therefore, it is highly important to be acknowledged about this great app especially for companies in the health, beauty, fashion and luxury industries.
Basically, the Little Red Book app provides three main features for consumers such as trust, community, and convenience. In this sense, Little Red Book is a great platform that has lots of advantages for both consumers and suppliers. Most popular products on this being one of the popular shopping apps in China are cosmetics, beauty products, and nutrition supplements that are hard to find in China. Moreover, fashion, apparel, and tourism categories are also one of the top trends.
XiaoHongShu (小红书) quickly became a better and more reliable option, especially with warehouses in free-trade zones that could significantly cut down shipping costs.
WHAT MAKES LITTLE RED BOOK DIFFERENT FROM OTHER E-COMMERCE & SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS?
Little Red Book mainly targets Chinese women aged at 18 to 35-year-old and it has a great feature for Chinese millennials to discover and buy Cosmetics, Healthcare, Fashion & luxury International products. In fact, 90% are females and 80% of the users are under 30 years old.
UNIQUE COMBINATION OF E-COMMERCE & SOCIAL MEDIA FEATURES
XiaoHongShu (小红书) is also known as RED and highly used by Chinese beauties. Little Red Book reflects a great combination of similar tools of Tmall and Weibo platforms, which makes this app a generator for word-of-mouth marketing. The whole content is created by users which makes this app more transparent and it provides users to review foreign products, leave travel tips, share shopping tips and reviews on those purchased luxury products and swap their fashion ideas. Most of the users on this app are savvy shoppers who want to get the best products from overseas. Mainly users share reviews on various luxury foreign products from the DIOR handbag to lipstick from Chanel and many other various items such as beauty supplements and other related items.
WORD OF MOUTH
One of the great features of the app is social media features, users have the opportunity post photos of the product within reviews and tips and other users will read, comment, and save these posts to boards (somewhat similar to Pinterest and Instagram). The word of mouth on this platform plays a great role in purchasing decision making of users, especially when it comes to Key Opinion Leaders. Chinese consumers have become discerning and selective than ever, and traditional marketing tactics such as celebrity endorsements and TV advertisements are no longer enough to capture their attention. Most of purchasing in Cosmetics are influenced by Social Media in China.
SHARE, REVIEW & PURCHASE AT THE SAME PLATFORM
All in all, the app is a great and reliable option, since it has an E-Commerce platform for users to purchase products in the same app directly from the Official Brand online store on Little Red Book. Due to the fact that Chinese consumers are very selective when it comes to quality and authenticity of the Brand, in this sense users do not need to worry about authenticity. Little Red Boom has partnerships with many foreign brands from U.S., Korea, Japan, including Japanese skincare company SK-II and designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Anna Sui, and nutrition company GNC.
BRANDS ARE ALREADY LEVERAGING THE PLATFORM
When it comes to Chinese travelers Little Red Book is helping brands indirectly reach out them. Most of the important brands create omnichannel strategy opportunities in China’s digital travel retail spaces so they reach consumers by planning out their shopping route online for their next vacation abroad. In addition, XiaoHongShu (小红书) also provides mini guidebooks for shopping in the U.S., France and other fashion meccas.
A recent report by digital intelligence firm L2 also revealed that the number of mentions of luxury labels such as Hugo Boss and Max Mara by users has increased quickly on the platform. Over the past year, French luxury powerhouse Chanel was mentioned 2.24 million times, with Dior following after at 2.14 million mentions. Meanwhile, Hugo Boss recorded a 271 percent jump in mentions, with Bally and Max Mara both achieving growth of 133 percent.
For instance, A Panasonic hair dryer on sale for one day, for example, surpassed the equivalent of a full month of sales on a traditional e-commerce platform. And a three-day sale on RED for Japan’s Dr. Ci: Labo skin toner beat one year’s worth of offline sales of the product at counters in Hong Kong, according to the company.
INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS AND TIPS TO EXTEND YOUR BUSINESS TO CHINESE MARKET
If you are a foreign brand that is looking for innovative solutions to expand your business to Chinese market it is highly recommended to get engaged with Little Red Book app. Since this unique app grows rapidly at the same time as an e-commerce & social media platform and has ultimately a great success among Chinese millennials.
TARGETED VISIBILITY & REPUTATION
You need to engage in establishing a positive reputation as well as increasing the visibility of your brand, business or product/service through sites like Little Red Book China social media. This needs to be in front of the most applicable, target demographic for your business proposition. The key is to be focused and develop your status on the platforms & sources where your targets are most active.
KEY OPINION LEADERS & INFLUENCERS ARE POWERFUL
Key opinion leaders (KOLs) are established online figures that have gathered large followings around themselves. They are highly influential and can be recruited to represent a business or brand. Different KOLs allow you to tap into specific communities and demographics, providing quality targeted exposure.
The best approach for KOLs is to use a number simultaneously on different platforms to post about the brand, this has an ‘echo chamber’ effect and supports the legitimacy of the brand if numerous figures are posting.
Ensure posts and comments by KOLs are closely monitored, merely posting is not enough, you need to fuel conversation and respond to queries. KOLs do not act as a customer service representative, you a simply using their service to reach their community and influence them with via their reputation.
CONDUCT QUALITY MARKET RESEARCH
When entering a different business environment, it is important to research your competitors & rivals actions, what are they doing effectively and in what area’s do they lack? It also helps with finding your own positioning. Comparisons can be made to other international competition, local firms, success stories as well as examples of failure.
Conducting a market survey is a great way to understand your marketplace and how you can more effectively advertise your proposition.
YOU HAVE TO ACT FAST IN CHINA
Competition in this lucrative market is growing, acting fast and entering the market is key. The pace of change and implementation is typically far quicker than in the west. Making an impression, monopolizing your presence on the best Chinese keywords and especiallysales on the board is the only way to set up the necessary feedback loop for business improvement. In short, just do it!
FIND SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING EXPERTS
You might need to get a quality guide, which is vital in order to be able navigating Little Red Book China social media or any Chinese Social Media. It is not easy to be efficient in China, especially if you don’t speak Chinese or do not have Chinese Good Marketing Team. Little Red Book is a new Social Media channel and opened their E-Commerce last year only (2017). The Little Red Book competition is not that important now , but I predict that most of the beauty and Chinese Fashion Brands will invest soon in this Purchased Sharing App.
Hero photo by wu yi on Unsplash