China’s e-commerce industry is expected to be worth around $ 175 billion by 2024. This is incredible news.

With over 300 million users on Xiaohongshu, or Little Red Book in English, it is one of the fastest growing advanced social commerce apps out there.

Little Red Book offers international brands significant opportunities to leverage their potential and build a strong presence in China. For this reason, global big hitters like Louise Vuitton and YSL are loudly asking to advertise on the platform. It’s an indispensable Chinese marketing channel for businesses in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Development of the little red book

Social media referrals have become the primary vehicle for Chinese consumers to discover new products and make purchasing decisions, with Little Red Book being a key medium for consumer sharing and searching.

In July 2019, the platform had over 300 million registered users between the ages of 18 and 35. They are affluent, love to travel and have an appetite for the latest goods, services and trends.

  • 90% of users are under 32 years old.

  • 80% are female, with a rapidly growing male audience.

  • Over 60% come from first and second tier cities.

Chinese consumers rely on peer groups and key opinion leaders (KOLs) for product ideas and insights. This is why ecommerce and Little Red Book have excelled over the past few years. The latter has spearheaded an innovative style in Chinese social media marketing – one that you can toss into your branding marketing toolbox.

Founded in 2013, Little Red Book originally filled an important void by enabling female shoppers to share their precious purchases and collect reviews for the first time. Now it’s a premium service for celebrities and consumers to communicate lifestyle and shopping experiences.

What is Little Red Book used for?

As the preferred app of Chinese consumers for product research, the focus is on luxury goods, beauty, fashion, travel and lifestyle. But men’s fashion, fitness, education, digital technology and home textiles are also rapidly growing categories today. Up-and-coming trends are featured prominently so that buyers can discover the latest products.

Little Red Book stands out in a special way from other e-commerce platforms. It leverages user-generated content, inspiration, and online community building to create detailed, real-time shopping information that users can absorb, learn and enjoy from.

Working closely with KOLs and prominent product endorsers, Little Red Book adds another dimension to an item’s appeal for buyers and ensures trust and confidence to invest. Popular with Chinese Generation Z and Millennials, it is a unique user community and e-commerce platform with multiple functions:

  • Live streaming and viewing

  • Video and photo posting

  • Creation of long articles

  • Hashtag and trending topics / product search

  • Browse / buy a brand’s website

  • Browse / buy Little Red Book partner products

  • Open a widget in the Little Red Book Store

With the introduction of live streaming in 2019, Little Red Book added another string to its bow. As a result, the explosion of vlogging exceeded all expectations and had a noticeable impact on the app, which increased the brand presence enormously.

What do brands get out of it?

According to the app, 300 billion posts are viewed daily, more than 70% of which is user-generated content. Chinese consumers use an average of eight digital touchpoints before committing to purchase.

One of the amazing things about Little Red Book is that international companies can access it and benefit from a direct connection with their audience. Additionally, Little Red Book enables brands to interact and sell with their target market with a filtering algorithm that tailors content to users’ tastes.

Advertising in feeds in the app is the most efficient way to reach consumers. The ideal content is easy to use, authentic, and has clear reasons for interaction. A variety of long formats and multimedia that cover a range of angles, depending on goals and industry themes, work best.

Little Red Book holds significant potential for international brands new to the Chinese market along with those who are expanding their existing business base and wanting valuable feedback on their products.

Why not join Little Red Book’s growth?

Little Red Book has seen unprecedented growth over the past five years, and live streaming is touted as the top trend in 2021. Whether it’s monitoring consumer sentiment, managing reputation, or maintaining the sales funnel, it’s an essential channel for marketers.

Whatever industry you are in, you cannot ignore this breakthrough platform. It’s an essential portal for consumer sharing and searching, and a must-have portal for your daily marketing mix.

Would you like to explore Little Red Book in more detail? Download our comprehensive and in-depth guide that highlights consumer travel and top 10 tips for successful and innovative marketing and selling on this digital marketplace.

Rocky Chi is a planning manager at Emerging Communications.