How to Sell to Chinese Consumers on XiaoHongShu?

May 14, 2024

How to Sell to Chinese Consumers on XiaoHongShu?

Understanding Chinese Consumer Behavior on XiaoHongShu


Xiaohongshu stands out as a popular platform among Chinese consumers seeking product recommendations, shopping guides, lifestyle inspiration, and more.


It serves as an attractive option for businesses looking to enhance their content marketing strategies in China and offers insights into Chinese consumer behavior.


The majority of Xiaohongshu users are women, with over 70% falling within the 18 to 35 age bracket, and almost 30% under 24 years old.


These Gen Z and Millennial users in China are deeply engaged with the platform, using it extensively for product research before making purchases, or checking out attractions.


They enjoy sharing their shopping experiences and rely heavily on peer reviews and recommendations from fellow users to make informed buying decisions.


Consumer behavior in general, is shifting towards active information-seeking rather than passive acceptance.


User-generated content on Xiaohongshu acts as a subtle form of advertising that influences purchasing decisions.


The platform's unique blend of e-commerce and word-of-mouth marketing creates a distinct shopping experience tailored to the needs and preferences of Chinese consumers.


Tips on Selling to Chinese Consumers on XiaoHongShu

Make Good Use of Tags

By far the single best thing to do is to gain visibility, and there’s no better way to do that than to make good use of tags.


More specifically, Xiaohongshu's tags and classification functions.


Choose tags closely related to the content of your notes to increase the probability of your content being searched and discovered.

Utilize Key Tools to Maximize XiaoHongShu Marketing

Aside from that, the official platform also offers different kinds of promotional platforms and features that enable businesses of different sizes and budgets can deliver advertisements with the most effective channel and solution.


These tools are:

Dandelion (Pugongying 蒲公英) 
Dandelion is an official platform that provides content creation cooperation services for brands, agencies, and high-quality bloggers.


Brands can recruit influencers/bloggers/KOLs through Dandelion to collaborate and create content according to brand requirements. Blogger cooperation modes include customized collaboration, recruitment collaboration, and co-creation collaboration.


This is the cooperation service platform suitable for brand corporate accounts. Brands can leverage the KOLs/KOCs’ impact to accelerate interest conversion and increase brand, campaign, service, or product awareness. 

French Fries (Shutiao 薯条投放)
Shutiao is a self-service promotional product for brand merchants and individual creators on XiaoHongShu. It allows users to set promotion plans based on their promotional goals (e.g., note views, follower counts, product visits, etc.).


It is especially suitable for Influencers, individual creators, and small and medium-sized merchants.


French Fries (Shutiao) promotions can boost note views, likes, saves, follower counts, product visits, and other interactive metrics, helping increase an account’s popularity and follower accumulation.


Focus Platform (Juguang 聚光平台)
Focus Platform provides an integrated commercial marketing solution for Little Red Book or XiaoHonShu’s advertising clients.


It’s a one-stop advertising platform that covers multiple ad formats and scenarios, providing deep optimization capabilities and comprehensive data reporting dimensions.


Enterprise clients with advertising experience and who require more advertising needs would be the best audience to utilize this platform.


Focus Platform offers various advertising plans and methods suitable for promoting enterprise products and services, including ad placements on the discovery page, search page, product page, and more.

Localize and Not Just Translate Content for Users

Localization and cultural sensitivity are essential when expanding into new markets, especially in countries with unique customs like China.


While many international brands opt to directly translate their content from official platforms for consistency, this can sometimes overlook the need for a localized tone. 


Simply translating content isn't enough; understanding Chinese cultural values is incredibly important to building trust with Chinese consumers. 


Prioritizing localization means not just translating but also respecting local norms and values.


This approach ensures that content resonates with the user base, capturing the interest of young urban audiences. Using localized terms (for example, yyds (永遠的神), 種草/拔草, 絕絕子, 秒殺) helps engage users effectively.


Adapting messaging, tone, and visuals to align with local expectations can bridge language gaps and attract attention to Xiaohongshu.


Incorporating elements like traditional Chinese holidays or culturally relevant symbols in visuals can also deeply connect with Chinese users.


Raffles and Contests are Great for Brands

“Community Management” is very important for brands to develop trust among their fans.


Brands and influencers on XiaoHongShu usually put immense effort into creating a “community” atmosphere, with some going further to meeting their followers in person.


Raffles and contests are a great way to incentivize engagement with your content and increase your reach on the platform.


Pick a prize that’s both relevant and attractive to your customer base in China, or perhaps Chinese speakers in other countries.


As of the writing of this article, a big trend among global brands, such as Huawei, L’Oreal, Toyota, Origins, and Clarins, is holding product samples or gift giveaway contests on XiaoHongShu.


XiaoHongShu offers user-friendly features that can drive users to join raffles and assist brands in holding a contest with ease. 


As a brand marketer, there are 2 main formats that you can select when launching a raffle or contest, which are:


1. Live Streaming Raffle

Live streaming giveaways are currently the most common form of raffles and giveaways on Xiaohongshu.


Since live streaming is still in its early stages (as of now), there are relatively few restrictions on live streaming giveaways compared to giveaways in notes (which we’ll go through later), making them easier to operate with more methods available. 

Currently, there are four main forms of giveaways:

.Follow the Brand/Host (關注品牌/主播):

To participate, simply follow the host account before the draw until it ends. Users who are already following are automatically considered eligible.

.Share Live Streaming (分享直播) 

Participants can join the giveaway by successfully sharing the current live stream before the draw.

.Code Typing (輸入口令)

To participate, comment on the specified terms or sentence in the live stream before the draw. The terms must be entered exactly as provided.

.Order Completion (完成下單) 

Only viewers who have purchased items in the current live stream before the draw can participate in the raffle. During the draw, if the number of eligible participants is too low or due to other reasons, there may be no winners. This feature is typically used in product promotion live streams.

.No Condition 

All viewers in the live stream can participate in the draw at the time of the draw.



For live streaming giveaways, we recommend first posting a live stream preview note including details such as the live stream time, theme, and raffle benefits, and releasing it at least 24 hours in advance for optimal results.


2. Raffle via Note

The Raffle Note feature is an interactive component exclusive to XiaoHongShu professional accounts.


Brands can initiate lucky draw activities using the Raffle Component and users can engage with brands.


To create a Raffle Notes, the account must be a professional one, including corporate, individual, or personal identities, and must have at least 1,000 followers.


A XiaoHongShu enterprise professional account can publish up to 3 Raffle Notes per month, while an individual professional account can only publish 1 Raffle Note per month.


It’s recommended to hold a maximum of one lucky draw per month, as most participants are passive users. The number of winners per draw is officially limited to 1,000 (meanwhile we suggest it to be between 1-5 winners).


What’s more, it is also common to have the contest rule that when someone is chosen to receive a prize they must post about the product, tag the brand, and use the contest hashtag otherwise they are not eligible to participate in future giveaways.


It can ensure the objective of the raffle and contest can be achieved and brands can leverage the activity to gain attention and create their own community by sending out products or rewards.


Integrate With The Other Platforms for Sales Success

As a popular Chinese social commerce platform that integrates social media and e-commerce functionalities, Xiaohongshu serves not only as a space for users to share and discover products but also enables direct purchases within the app.


XiaoHongShu features shopping capabilities that allow users to buy recommended products directly through embedded links.


In 2022, JD Worldwide announced its debut on XiaoHongShu. Currently, JD Worldwide has established an official account and store on the platform, with the initial lineup of 20 overseas brands including SUQQU, BIODERMA, CPB, Charlotte Tilbury, The Ordinary, and others already available online.


Users can easily locate "京东国际" (JD Worldwide) on XiaoHongShu to access the official store, where orders are fulfilled directly from JD's warehouse.


The partnership between XiaoHongShu and JD streamlines the entire purchasing process for brands on the platform.


This transition encourages users from merely "saving desired items" to "making immediate purchases" within the platform, thereby reducing the order processing time and decision-making duration, assisting brands in achieving a complete conversion process.

Optimize SEO for XiaoHongShu’s Algorithm

Currently, a growing portion of users are utilizing Xiaohongshu as a search tool. Research indicates that 90% of Xiaohongshu users habitually seek product reviews before finalizing purchase choices.

As an algorithm-centric platform, Xiaohongshu's content performance is significantly impacted by search volume and user engagement.


To thrive on XiaoHongShu's search engine, it’s important to optimize your content in accordance with the platform's algorithm.


Fundamentally, there 5 main SEO strategies that enable brands to raise search engine ranking effectively, which are:

.Identify Target Keywords
To enhance XiaoHongShu SEO and improve search rankings, identify popular search terms related to your brand and products that are natural, relevant, and have high search volumes through keyword research.

.Keyword Integration
After identifying keywords, incorporate them into your note titles, content, and tags without keyword stuffing to maintain a natural content flow for user and platform approval.

.Content is King
XiaoHongShu is a decentralized platform, quality content dictates distribution and search rankings. Authentic, resonant content is favored by Xiaohongshu users over impersonal ads.

.Cultivate a High-Interaction Environment
Interaction data, notably comments, influences search rankings. Notes garnering comments tend to rank higher, especially those with more comments than likes. Brands should prompt user engagement by encouraging comments, questions, and discussions. Being actively engaged yields better results. Promptly responding to user comments is crucial.

.Utilize Tags and Topics Effectively
Tags and topics can boost search rankings, the very same ones in the first point. By using relevant tags, your notes will appear in related search results and topic pages. Select tags that match your content, engage in trending topics, and participate in discussions to boost exposure.

Prioritize Visuals as a Way to Optimize the Reach of Products

As a visually-driven social platform, the significance of top-notch visuals cannot be emphasized enough on XiaoHongShu.


Users on Xiaohongshu have a strong inclination towards visual content. An attention-grabbing cover image coupled with a catchy headline is a tried-and-true formula for clicks on the platform.


Users gravitate towards visually appealing content, typically favoring well-composed, high-resolution images and videos.


We always recommend consistently utilizing high-quality visuals in your posts to showcase your products as they capture attention, professionalism, and trust.


In addition, the art of visual storytelling is paramount to XiaoHongShu. When conducting marketing campaigns on this platform, brands must prioritize using high-quality imagery and video content that not only showcases their products or services but also tells a story that aligns with the audience's way of life and principles.


To create content that harmonizes with XiaoHongShu's unique visual style, it's essential to integrate striking and engaging visuals, use an inviting and relatable tone, and show behind-the-scenes or user-generated content that builds a genuine sense of belonging.


Why Is XiaoHongShu a Good Platform to Sell to Chinese Consumers?

XiaoHongShu Has a Great User-Demographic 

XiaoHongShu's user base predominantly consists of Chinese millennials and Gen Z, including a substantial female demographic.


These tech-savvy customers exhibit significant spending power, particularly in popular categories like beauty, fashion, skincare, and lifestyle products.


Their focus on authenticity, quality, and peer recommendations aligns well with the platform's content dynamics, making it an ideal marketplace for brands seeking to tap into these consumer behaviors.

XiaoHongShu Excels in Certain Niches

The platform's success is notably driven by its strong presence in key categories such as beauty, skincare, fashion, and lifestyle products.


Beauty and skincare items thrive due to users' reliance on product reviews and recommendations, while fashionable apparel and accessories resonate with XiaoHongShu's aesthetic-focused audience.


Brands that cater to these popular categories can leverage XiaoHongShu's engagement levels to effectively showcase their products and connect with the platform's customer base.

XiaoHongShu’s Audience is at the Mid to Bottom of the Sales Funnel

Users on Xiaohongshu actively seek out product reviews, which are often viewed as authentic and trustworthy when shared by fellow users.


This authenticity makes capturing mid-funnel users on Xiaohongshu particularly effective.


By using data-driven insights and understanding user engagement patterns, brands can design targeted campaigns or offers that cater to specific segments.


Personalized and compelling content tailored to individual interests not only subtly guides users toward making a purchase but also fosters lasting bonds with the brand.


This highlights Xiaohongshu as a powerful platform for brands to sell to diverse consumer groups.

XiaoHongShu is a Trendspotting Hotspot

With over 300 million monthly active users, XiaoHongShu acts as a trend hub and valuable resource for recognizing and adjusting to emerging consumer trends promptly.

Influencers, user-generated content, and community discussions allow brands to remain informed about prevalent hashtags, viral posts, and trending subjects.

By using these insights, businesses can quickly adjust their strategies to match evolving consumer preferences, whether by embracing sustainability, changing their selling practices, endorsing wellness practices, or incorporating innovative solutions.

This shows that XiaoHongShu is great as an ideal platform for brands seeking to maintain relevance and connect with Chinese consumers through timely and trend-aware marketing strategies.

How PRIZM Group Can Help Your Brand Succeed in China

With a solid track record of over 10 years in the China marketing field, our team, anchored in Guangzhou and Hong Kong, is your go-to partner.


We're well-versed in crafting seamless strategies for platforms like Xiaohongshu, making sure your brand stands out and sales are generated.


But that's not all – we're also experts at WeChat & Weibo Marketing, creating Mini-Programs, and savvy media buying, all of which give us an edge in understanding the Chinese market's dynamics and digital landscape.

Explore our specialized services tailored for Xiaohongshu and engage Chinese consumers effectively by checking out PRIZM’s XiaoHongShu services to learn more!