(New) little Red Book, the most popular App in China, just releases a new function live streaming linked to e-Commerce
Xiaohongshu, also called RED is a social network and e-commerce platform.
On Xiaohongshu, users can share their experiences in different fields such as travel, makeup, gastronomy, lifestyle, etc. In the publication, users can mark and recommend the products they have tried, some of the products can then be found and purchased directly on Xiaohongshu’s e-commerce platform.
I) Direct e-commerce streaming in China
Live e-commerce streaming has become popular in China, especially among consumers in 2nd tier and lower cities, as it allows for seamless and trustworthy e-commerce experience.
Now viewers can watch a live streaming KOL presenting a product and then buy the said product while watching the stream. Also, viewers can ask questions about the product directly, increasing their confidence and reducing the likelihood that the customer will be dissatisfied.
II) Xiaohonhshu joins the ranks
Leading Chinese social commerce app Xiaohongshu has begun testing a new live streaming feature, becoming the latest platform to join the trend. Many marketers expected this move, such as Xiaohongshu’s main investor, Alibaba.
1) First trial phases
The feature is still in the early stages of testing and only some accounts can broadcast. So far, it seems that RED is working with influencers. According to Chinese media Embrun and 36Kr, the first known stream on Xiaohongshu took place on 7 June. The broadcasters were the fashion and lifestyle account @ariaandbrandon run by mixed couple Aria and Brandon with more than 200,000 followers. Currently, there is no playback feature and the couple did not publicly share the results of the feed. Then, on June 11, the micro-influencer Wanzi, with about 100,000 followers, held a one-hour stream, which, according to the screenshot she shared on her account, got a total of 2,233 views and 10,900 likes.
2) For now
Although only some accounts can be streamed, anyone can view the feeds. Users can either discover the streams on the home page (an icon will appear in the top right corner of the image indicating that the account is currently streaming) or (if they follow the influencer) enter by clicking on the page avatar influencers.
III) Another example of a Live Streaming platform
Launched in 2016, Alibaba’s Taobao Live streaming platform has achieved impressive sales results for the Taobao and Tmall brands. More recently, Austin Li, the great Taobao streamer, worked with Israeli cosmetics brand Ahava and sold 14,000 mud masks in one minute.
IV) Risks to consider
While functionality has the potential to bring many benefits to the Xiaohongshu ecosystem, this is not a guaranteed victory. Not all influencers are effective live streamers and Xiaohongshu will have to work to cultivate and attract the right talent.
The second drawback is that KOLs are limited only to the promotion of products available for sale on RED. This will make it more difficult for influencers to drive sales as the number of products is limited. Currently, many Xiaohongshu users will search for products on the platform and then turn to other platforms, such as Tmall and Taobao, to complete the purchase.
While it’s still too early to judge the effectiveness of the feature, brands using the Xiaohongshu app have a good interest in keeping an eye on this new feature.
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