If you’re wondering why we’re talking about Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book on a marketing blog… well, we’re not talking about THE Little Red Book, but the shopping and review social app for foreign products that’s blowing up in China and among the Chinese population across the globe.
Xiao Hong Shu (which literally translates to ‘little red book’) is China’s latest billion-dollar startup. Also known as RED, it is a review and shopping app that provides users with a platform to review foreign products, leave travel tips, etc. It also has an eCommerce platform for users to purchase products directly on the app. This app was launched in January 2014 and currently has 17 million registered users. 80% of the users are under 30 years old and 90% are females. The products that are the most popular on the app are cosmetics, beauty products, and nutrition supplements that are hard to find in China; the fashion and apparel categories are on an upward trend as well.
The app is an incubator for word-of-mouth marketing, with opinion leaders who are vocal about their experiences with foreign merchandise and experiences. The users who are reading reviews are savvy shoppers who want to get the best products from overseas.
Unlike western social channels such as Pinterest and Instagram, eCommerce is a central focus of the app where users can buy products directly from merchants. Furthermore, users do not need to worry about authenticity, which is a huge concern for the eCommerce industry in China. The app has strategic partnerships with many U.S., Japanese and Korean brands. All the products are sourced from Little Red Book’s dealers from across the globe and are warehoused in China’s eCommerce trade-free zones.
The market forecast for foreign products in China was to reach $1 trillion in 2016. Are you a foreign brand looking to innovative avenues for reaching Chinese consumers? Stay tuned for our next blog post on how you can utilize Little Red Book to market your products to Chinese shoppers.