Establishing A Presence on Xiaohongshu, China’s Popular Fashion Platform

With e-retailers struggling to win over young Chinese consumers, it seems that Xiaohongshu is standing out. Looking into Xiaohongshu’s business model, it’s evident that it’s a great platform for foreign beauty brands that are targeting young Chinese women.

Xiaohongshu is a social media and e-commerce platform and it’s growing fast. Founded in 2013 as a community for users to find recommendations about foreign fashion and cosmetics, it has garnered more than 70 million subscribers and developed its own cross-border site called Fulishe, China’s cross-border e-commerce platform.


A Promising Future For Fashion

Demographics: Mao Wenchao, Xiaohongshu’s co-founder and CEO, revealed in 2015 that

  • 70 to 80 percent of the site’s users are female
  • More than 50 percent of Xiaohongshu’s users are students and office ladies
  • Age – 18-35
  • Living in first and second-tier cities

Girls are big purchasers of cosmetics and fashion. Xiaohongshu’s conversion rate is as high as eight percent, as compared to only 2.6 percent on Tmall, the biggest e-commerce platform for official Chinese brands. Also, every customer on Xiaohongshu makes three orders per month on average.


How Can Your Brand Establish A Presence On This Site?

Xiaohongshu has two sections: the user community and the e-commerce platform.

In the e-commerce section, qualified brands and retailers can submit an application through the official website.

As Xiaohongshu perceives itself as a first-party distributor, brands only need to sell their products to Xiaohongshu without any worry about the delivery and customer service. All that is handled by the platform.

The high engagement in its user community is what sets Xiaohongshu apart from other e-commerce platforms.


UGC And Micro-influencers

Xiaohongshu is a platform for girls and women to discuss fashion and beauty the same way they would with their friends offline (Peer Influence), making influencers on Xiaohongshu much more powerful than on other social media and e-commerce platforms.

Every single user who’s willing to share their real and comprehensive experiences can become a micro-influencer. On the platform, a lot of established influencers and celebrities share their personal favorites with their fans and their posts generally have high engagement (more than 1,000 likes and 10,000 saves).

Brands that want to try influencer marketing on Xiaohongshu need a translator or Chinese team to help them communicate with an influencer on the site with a decent following and one that fits the brand’s voice, tastes and target group.


In Conclusion

Xiaohongshu is a perfect choice for new overseas brands that want to test out the Chinese fashion market, particularly if they are targeting young Chinese women. Social listening is a major part of the community because the notes and comments are users’ feedback according to their first-hand experience. It becomes easy to understand the actual needs of the young Chinese female community and see whether your products can succeed in China.

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