Little Red Book is a social media and e-commerce platform. It is also known as Xiaohongshu or RED (Chinese: 小红书).
With no real equivalent in the western world, the best way to describe it is as social selling platform (or social shopping if you’re in the shoes of the end-user). It combines the community values of social media with the practicality of e-commerce into a user-friendly platform for Chinese consumers. Initially built for users to review foreign products, the app has since introduced the ability to purchase products directly from merchants.
Starting out as a place where users share reviews of products bought abroad, with a strong focus on female audience and healthcare / cosmetic products, the platform has evolved to cover additional sectors such as baby products, bags, jewelry, clothing, furniture, food, sport brands… and recently pet products.
Reasons for success and what it means for international brands
Among all of the recently emerging e-commerce apps, the key reason for Little Red Book’s success is the ability its users to share their experiences and reviews the products they use. Unlike other social media platforms such as wechat, weibo or douyin/tiktok, the interactions generated with other users are genuine, with a large focus on the quality of the international products.
It does not only provides the consumers with extensive reviews to help determine which purchase is suited for them, but also gives the users a community to share experiences of shopping worldwide. This means that being visible on Little Red Book is a fantastic way to get your brand in front of Chinese consumers, no matter if you already have a sales network in China or not.
With Chinese consumers increasingly relying on their peers to make purchase decisions, a word-of-mouth marketing incubator such as Little Red Book is an interesting approach for foreign brands.
In the next articles, we’ll cover in details how brands already present in China or willing to enter the chinese pet industry could maximize the visibility through the use of social tools like Little Red Book.