Your entry point to China eCommerce – Xiaohongshu (RED)
When speaking with brands which plan 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, we would like to specifically focus on XiaoHongShu.
Let’s 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 hit 100 million users in mid-2018 and closed a $300M series D investment led by Alibaba and Tencent.
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.
Why XiaoHonShu is a good entry point for European brands?
XiaoHongShu operates quite differently from other Chinese eCommerce platforms. Instead of a pure e-commerce marketplace, it is rather a social e-commerce platform. Users come to RED for trusted, quality content. Given the feature that it is a content driven social e-commerce marketplace, it is an ideal place for new brands to create word of mouth and build its brand presence in the highly competitive China online market.
The demographics of RED users is specifically young and mostly from the super first tier and first-tier cities in China. The entry barrier of the platform is lower in terms of requirements on new brands, platform deposit, operation and marketing fee. It also supports cross-border model, meaning even if you don’t have a Chinese bank or company you will still be able to set up a shop.
Is Xiaohongshu for you?
While Xiaohongshu may be becoming increasingly popular, it is possible that it will not be suitable for every brand. If you are thinking about setting up a shop on Xiaohongshu, we recommend that your brand should have a unique brand story, some aspect that differentiates your brand from others in the market. Also having a certain amount of popularity in your home country would be favouring.
During our workshop session, we’ll be covering the basics to XiaoHongShu in further detail explaining how to use and sell on the platform, how to reach customers effectively and how to manage cross-border logistics/payments.
Look forward to seeing you there!
About the Author
Elaine Wong is the Co-Founder& CEO of Double V.Consulting- the agency specialized in the management of XiaoHongShu’s users.