Temu is Most Popular New Shopping App After Launching Online Marketplace

Temu became the most popular Android shopping app just two weeks after launching its online marketplace for value shoppers in the US.

The e-commerce app was ranked No. 1 in the Google Play Store among shopping apps on Sept. 17, ahead of Amazon and Shein, according to SensorTower, the mobile data tracking firm.

The ranking could give an early indication of how well the value retailer is being perceived by American consumers. Temu launched its marketplace in the US in September 2022, with the goal of giving consumers more access to quality merchandise at low prices and freedom of choice.

The marketplace features 15 product categories, from fashion and beauty, to pet and office supplies. Thousands of items are added each day, the company said.

“A wide product catalog, with affordable prices, means more shoppers,” Jacob Cooke, CEO of WPIC, an e-commerce tech, and marketing firm, said on Twitter. “What I’m most excited to see is if PDD can develop an innovative way for US consumers to shop on Temu.”

Sourcing Network

As a newcomer to the US e-commerce industry, Temu may seek to differentiate itself from other e-commerce players and traditional retailers by leveraging on the network of suppliers and logistics partners built up by sister company Pinduoduo over the years.

Pinduoduo has created a close-knit community of more than 11 million global merchants over the years and handled 61 billion orders in 2021 alone. It is known for its emphasis on promoting value-for-money products that help to improve the living standards of consumers.

Back in 2018, Goldman Sachs called Pinduoduo the “fastest-growing internet company in the world” for its breakneck speed at amassing users.

Pinduduo’s strong network of suppliers and fulfillment partners has allowed Temu to secure products on the best terms for consumers despite being a new player. That could prove to be a deciding factor as the US retail industry heads into the all-important holiday season with households facing inflation at multi-year highs, rising interest rates, and companies warning of recession.

“We are fortunate to have access to deep expertise in product sourcing and execution through our sister company,” a Temu spokesperson said in a release. “This stands us in good stead to deliver an unparalleled shopping experience to our customers.”

Holiday Season

To celebrate its grand opening, Temu is offering sitewide discounts with no minimum spending and free shipping on all purchases. Among its first themed campaigns is the Halloween Special Countdown, featuring pumpkin lanterns, spooky costumes, and pet dresses, most of the items selling for under $10.

A recent study published by PYMNTS found that 70% of US consumers are cutting back on retail purchases to pay for rising costs of essentials such as groceries and gas. The purchasing power of the US consumer has declined by 12% over the last two years, and there is little room for much else after allocating for food, shelter, and fuel.

“[Consumers are] worried about inflation and worried about a recession,” Joel Bines, global co-head of the retail practice at AlixPartners said in a holiday shopping forecast report. “As a result, consumers will be holding out for deals this year, even as retailers themselves struggle with their own inflation and with massive inventories.”

It is against this backdrop that Temu launched its e-commerce service featuring hard-to-beat prices for everything from hair clips to dresses. It aims to democratize the shopping experiences globally, with the first launch in the US.“No matter the occasion, you can always count on Temu to have just the right things to brighten your life and help you live the way you want to live,” according to its website.

Temu will be banking on its advantage in sourcing from the widest pool of suppliers and manufacturers to keep prices low.

Consumer Behavior

By constantly improving the way merchants and manufacturers can understand consumer needs, Temu is able to help suppliers to refine their product mix and increase their readiness to pivot when market conditions demand it. Many of these suppliers are among the most efficient manufacturers of consumer products, having built up huge economies of scale by producing for millions of consumers.

Consumers like Drew Turner, an amateur weightlifter from Boulder City, NV are just happy to have more choices for their shopping.

He recently ordered a pair of $5.99 sneakers from Temu. By cutting costs, he can save up to enter more competitions.

“Expensive clothes don’t make me stronger! Besides, there’s no way people in my gym would be impressed by a brand across my tee,” he said. “I’m confident enough in myself to know that a logo doesn’t matter.”

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