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Red is the new little black book : How to master Xiaohongshu

“Little Red Book” may remind you of that little black book you have filled with the numbers and addresses of all your well-known acquaintances. Similarly, LRB (Xiaohongshu) is also all about connections, However, in this instance, it's a directory of a whole different kind, user based eCommerce at its sneakiest. Allow me to introduce the new red on the block, Xiaohongshu.

A genius combination of Instagram, Pinterest and Amazon. The fresh social app is highly addictive with its social approach to ecommerce, with over 30 million users scrolling daily through a never-ending carousel of goodies that are just waiting to be snapped up.

Its genius comes from the genuine feel of the content. It's made of ads masked as consumer opinions. Food, apparel and beauty goods are just some of the products you will find whilst window shopping on Xiaohongshu.

Xiaohongshu was founded in 2013 by Miranda Qu and Charlwin Mao with headquarters in Shanghai.

In less than 6 years’ time, they accumulated more than 100 million registered users, their reported market value has reached over USD$3 Billion.

They grew quietly as a review-sharing platform. Noticing the power of e-commerce, they pivoted and created one of China’s most popular social e-commerce sites. Xiaohongshu has seen tremendous growth in the last 2 years, reaching over 100 million users just this year, making it one of the most successful social e-commerce sites currently in operation.

Fun Fact : 88% of Xiaohongshu users are female.


Just like other social media platforms, they provide you with the ‘like’ and ‘comment’ function right under the post. If you want to know more about the product the user is sharing, all you need to do is simply make a comment down below the post and wait for the post author to reply.

‘Like’, ‘Collect’, ‘Comment’ function on Xiaohongshu

More than that, they allow you to ‘collect’ the post and to create and name your own ‘board’. This helps to better classify the posts into different categories and it saves lot of time to find the posts you "collected"

"Collections" page

Last but not least, they also have the ‘tag’ function which leads you directly to the page, this makes it easier for you to view all sorts of posts and reviews about this certain tag (brand names, places, restaurants etc., ) all in one place.

‘Tag’ function; ‘Chanel’ and ‘Black Star Pastry’s tag page


On Xiaohongshu you can follow an unlimited amount of KOLs and celebrities who share different insightful posts, reviews, and experiences. Xiaohongshu helps you connect with these KOLs and celebrities through the three sections on their home page, which are “follow”, “explore”, and “nearby”.

‘Follow’, ‘Explore’ and ‘Nearby’


This section shows all the latest posts uploaded by the users you follow and make sure you don't miss anything.


As what the name of this section says, it helps you explore similar posts written by other users based on the posts you like, this page is totally tailor-made for you. This is often the most important feature of social e-commerce platforms.


This section allows you to search where to go to find what you're looking for that is near you This section offers an immediate helping hand. Say you arrive at a restaurant only to be disappointed by the decor Xiaohongshu's 'nearby' feature allows you to find a new BETTER place, fast.

'Notes' about traveling in Taiwan

Posting a Note

Anyone who has an account on this platform can share their own review and write a note on this ‘Little Red Book’ (like the one below!).

To start first, select a few photos or videos from the album in your device, after that you can create or search the tag for your selected photos.

You can also choose the filter for your photos to further beautify it. Finally, you can write your own notes and publish it!

Online Shopping on Xiaohongshu

Xiaohongshu offers a ‘group-buying’ function, coupons and occasional flash sales for some of their products, which allows customers to save money on their shopping.

After adding the products into your own shopping cart and filling in your personal information, you are good to go. As for payment methods, Xiaohongshu offers both Alipay and Wechat payment for its users.

‘Alipay’ and ‘Wechat Payment’

Building Your Brand on Xiaohongshu

When it comes to social e-commerce sites, they are ultimately only as good as their users. The success of this ‘Little Red Book’ depends on a large amount of UGC (user-generated content) as well as support from the celebrities and KOLs in China. This makes the platform seem to be more reliable and helps to tighten the relationship between customers and products on the platform. This sense of trust imparted by the platform results in a greater intention to purchase from users on the platform. All of this comes together to make it one of the most successful social commerce platforms in China.

Yvonne Ching's Account

How Strong Is the Celebrity Effect?

Jelly Lin, who is a female Chinese actress and is known for her role in the 2016 film, The Mermaid, has exceed 9.86 million followers on Xiaohongshu as of January 2019.

She often shares different beauty and fashion tips, as well as product reviews on the platform, her most popular posts get over 50,000 likes on average.

The beauty products she recommends and promotes have always been sold out almost immediately after she shares her posts.

Owing to this, she has been called the new generation of “带货女王”, which means the ‘queen of celebrity endorsement’ in English.

The KOL economy has gotten so big that some famous KOLs can get remuneration as high as RMB$150,000 to RMB$200,000 per post!

Red Branding


‘Red Branding’, is a brand certification process provided by Xiaohongshu. There are few privileges for you if you get your brand certificated on the platform, including official authorization of your brand and data reports which allow you to have a more comprehensive analysis of your brand’s performance on the platform.

To get your brand authorized, the first thing you need to do is to apply for an account on Xiaohongshu. Then, you will need to submit some of the basic information about your company, such as your company’s name and brand description etc.

At the same time, you will also need to submit some documents, such as your company’s Logo, Authentication Letter, Business Registration (aka Certification of Incorporation) and Trademark Registration Certificate.

You’ll Get Addicted to It!

Aside from being one of China’s online shopping apps, Xiaohongshu is also a platform for different kinds of users and influencers to share their own tips and lifestyles, which can better strengthen the relationships between customers and products, resulting in increased trust and credibility.

This makes it a unique, authentic and powerful marketing strategy and communication channel for brands to better know what their audience really wants. Many are saying that social e-commerce sites are the future of e-commerce.

Thank you for reading

*Article sourced from Dragon Social, originally posted Feb 2019


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