Serving the North American market but owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Pinduoduo, new e-commerce platform Temu launched just over a month ago. Since then it has expanded its merchandise range to more than 100 categories of goods on its website and app, including fashion, jewelry, health, and home supplies. A huge supply chain, very low prices, and a fresh approach to wooing global shoppers has led Temu downloads to continuously climb in the App Store.
According to Apple’s App Store data, Temu ranked fifth in the shopping section of downloads in the US on October 15, then climbed up to second place on October 17, finally ranking first on October 18. As of October 19, Temu ranked third receiving 370 reviews with 3.8 stars, just falling behind Amazon Shopping and Chinese fast fashion label Shein, which received an average rating of 4.9 and 4.7 stars, respectively.
Temu was also downloaded more than 100,000 times (the max number of downloads that will show) on Google Play by September 17 and received 746 reviews with an average rating of 4.7 stars. Moreover, there are some Temu merchants already taking more than 1,000 orders on a single day.
During the grand opening sale, customers received attractive sitewide discounts with no minimum purchase and free shipping. With Halloween coming, a Halloween Countdown Special is also part of Temu’s promotions. Currently, customers can pay as little as $2.39 for a Halloween pumpkin lightor just over $10 for a nine-piece princess suit for girls, including a dress and jewelry. Because of the direct connection with the 11 million merchants and suppliers worldwide shared by Pinduoduo, Temu can provide global customers with numerous goods at very affordable prices. Even its slogan is “Team Up, Price Down.”
Still in its infancy, Temu needs to focus on optimizing and improving its user experiences given that it has lower ratings compared to bigger competitors. Parallels may even be drawn to San Francisco-founded e-commerce platform Wish; although strikingly popular since its 2010 launch with 300 million customers in over 120 countries, it has also become an internet meme in the west for cheap, China-sourced, and sometimes poor quality products that look nothing like what was advertised.
Temu will hope to avoid such a comparison. However, the surge in downloads and transactions for this new Chinese e-commerce platform is remarkable, even shocking. It seems somewhat of a miracle that Temu rose from 136th place to the top three in just over a month, becoming one of the most competitive rivals to Shein, another Chinese e-commerce site that relies on low prices and a lightning quick supply chain. Only time will tell if Temu will sustain its early growth and rise to be a true challenger for the likes of Shein, Wish, and even Amazon. What’s clear is that the global e-commerce market is becoming more diversified and multipolar.
Additional reporting by Jing Zhang