To get ready for China’s biggest shopping spree – Double 11, Taobao launched a new feature called “Planting Grass Machine” 种草机 where users can browse product recommendation reviews that are posted by other users.
It is to help consumers make better consumer decisions because they were always bombarded with too many products during the festival. This feature can help them find what are the most suitable products for them.
The buzzword “Planting Grass” 种草 means longing for a product after being recommended by celebrities or friends. Instead of hard-selling goods to consumers, Taobao is integrating the idea of “planting grass” of wanting to buy something by promoting lifestyle content. Any keyword typed in the “Plant Grass Machine” will take the user to a page of relevant lifestyle-sharing content.
Take “coffee” as an example, you can find articles explaining different types of coffee beans, videos that give tips on how to make coconut latte or even celebrity livestreams on their daily coffee routines. On each specific content page, relevant products can also be easily accessed through links provided at the bottom of the screen. If a user forgets to save a product, they can always find it on their “recently viewed” page.
Interestingly, the interface of “Planting Grass Machine” looks similar to Xiaohongshu’s interface. Xiaohongshu is known as the most popular lifestyle sharing and product recommendations platform. Consumers usually go to Xiaohongshu to find product reviews and then go to e-commerce platforms to make a purchase. This move is to keep users staying in Taobao and helps them enjoy a one-stop shopping journey without switching to another platform.
At the time of writing, over 50 million people had tried out this new feature since it was first launched on 1 October.