Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book)

How Xiaohongshu Succeeds in Chinese Cross-Border eCommerce?

Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book in Chinese), the world’s largest lifestyle platform that integrates community and content with ecommerce. It is not only a social media platform where users can share content and talk about their buying experience, but has become a cross-border ecommerce platform for overseas products.

At the beginning, Xiaohongshu was just an overseas shopping list app, which recommended travelers with good local products. However, combined with its function of UGC (user generated contents), Xiaohongshu quickly grew up as a community for those who are interested in fashion and shopping and want to buy overseas products no matter travelling internationally or not. By the end of 2017, over 75 million users spend a total of over 100 million yuan (AUD$20 million) per month on the app for shopping, and its average monthly active users exceed 15.4 million, ranking as one of the top cross border ecommerce platforms in China.

market share of main ecommerce players in China

Said with no exaggeration, Xiaohongshu has changed Chinese people’s, especially young generation’s online shopping habits. In the past, Chinese people make the shopping decision based on online searching results, advertising and friends’ recommendations. However, people nowadays prefer to go to Xiaohongshu to get the reviews and others’ buying experience of the products first. Based on the trust of the community, users will directly buy products on Xiaohongshu, which largely saves them time and energy on looking for the products on other platforms.

Xiaohongshu E-commerce Social Media

What makes Xiaohongshu succeed?

Accurate Audience Positioning:
According to 2017 Tmall Global Annual Consumers Research, from 2015 to 2017, more than 30% of consumers experienced an upgrade in consumption, 21% of consumers upgraded from low level to mid level, 10% of consumers upgraded from mid level to high level. Women represent more than 70% of consumers; Post 90s and post 95s represent more than 50%; Tier 1 and 2 cities represent more than 60%.

Xiaohongshu targets 18-to-35-year-old Chinese urban female, which is precisely the main force of this consumption upgrade. The accurate audience positioning has helped Xiaohongshu stand out in this upgrade.

Unique User Generated Content:
Said by Charwlin Mao, the CEO of Xiaohongshu, “When I was studying abroad, I witnessed the madness of my compatriots’ overseas shopping. However, many people don’t completely understand what they are buying, and they don’t know where it is better to buy it as well as how to get a refund. So at the earliest, we wanted to create a shopping APP to serve the group of people who would travel abroad and have overseas shopping requirements.”

In fact, besides Baidu SEO, Baidu Tieba is also a popular marketing channel. It was established in December 2003 and owned by Baidu. Nowadays, Baidu Tieba has one billion registered users and among them, over 300 million users are monthly active. Baidu Tieba is initially a BBS(bulletin board system) or online community where users can search or create a forum in the search bar.