Content Marketing

Here’s How The Little Red Book or ‘XiaHongShu’ Gained Popularity Among Millennials

The little red book or Xiahongshu is a popular Chinese e-commerce platform that has gained traction from a hot target segment, the ‘millennials’

The little red book or XiaHongShu that, an app that started out as an information dispersion platform soon transformed into the most popular social e-commerce shopping app based In Shanghai.  The founder, Mr Mao Wenchao announced that the company received a funding of more than 300 million U.S dollars from multiple investors that include giants like Alibaba and Tencent.

How did this app come into play?

  • The app is also known as the pinterest equivalent of China or Chinese pinterest. According to China’s SAFE data, overseas shopping increased to US$165 billion in 2014. On June 11, 2015, Accenture released a report predicting that the global B2C e-commerce market will maintain an average annual growth rate of 15% in the next few years. The transaction volume will reach 994 billion US dollars, and the country is expected to become the world’s largest cross-border B2C consumer market.
  • However, due to information asymmetry, users were not fully aware of the shopping information when purchasing overseas products and did not know what to buy. Xiaohongshu used this as a cut-in, starting with the shopping sharing community and recommending products worth buying overseas.
  • In October 2013, the Little Red Book shopping strategy came into being. It started off as a basic shopping guide covering many popular tourist destinations in the United States, Japan, South Korea, etc., which were written by the founder of the company to find local shopping experts. There were both high-performance and distinctive brand and business introductions, as well as the business circles. With the arrival of Christmas 2013, the demand for overseas shopping increased and the small red book quickly gained momentum.
  • What XiaHongShu created was basically a forum of discussion amongst international shopping enthusiasts who were mainly women between the age group of 18 to 35 years. This platform gradually grew into a social media e-commerce platform with the credibility it earned, thereby dispersing information along with the products in demand

What was its unique marketing strategy?

MMM – Muscular Marketing Men

XiaHongshu deployed a team of muscular men to deliver the products to their customers. This information spread like wildfire among the women who purchased these products and their friends. This marketing move triggered the most basic but powerful marketing tactic i.e. Word Of Mouth Marketing.

A Reliable Community

When the founder of Xiaohongshu found that a simple guide-type product is still not enough for the relatively time-sensitive scene of shopping, Xiaohongshu transformed into a small red book shopping note. From the small red book shopping guide to the small red book shopping notes, it is the insiders that spread valuable shopping information overseas. For the outsiders of the community, these insiders are opinion leaders and experts, who spread more knowledge about overseas shopping.  Every user in the community distributes their own opinions, insights and expertise about products thereby encouraging value shopping.

A CEO Led Marketing Team

Xiaohongshu’s marketing team has completed a systematic marketing campaign with great execution and this is a rarity among start-ups. Most of their team members are a group of young entrepreneurs with great imagination and execution.


The ‘Little Red Book’ has been garnering attention from marketeers by the minutes because Its most popular products include cosmetics and beauty products that are hard to find in China. A Panasonic hair dryer on sale one day, surpassed the equivalent of a full month of sales on a traditional e-commerce platform. The site has strategic partnerships with many U.S., Japanese and Korean brands, including Japanese skincare company SK-II, designers Vivienne Westwood and Anna Sui, and nutrition company GNC. RED also has mini guidebooks for shopping in the U.S., France and other fashion meccas.




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