A new online shopping platform linked to one of China’s top retailers has quickly become the most downloaded app in the United States, surpassing Amazon and Walmart. Now it’s looking to capitalise from an appearance on America’s biggest stage.
Temu, a Boston-based online retailer that shares the same owner as Chinese social commerce giant Pinduoduo, made its Super Bowl debut on Sunday, CNN reports.
Temu, which runs an online superstore for virtually everything — from home goods to apparel to electronics — unveiled a commercial during the game that encouraged consumers to “shop like a billionaire.”
The pitch? You don’t have to be one.
“Through the largest stage possible, we want to share with our consumers that they can shop with a sense of freedom because of the price we offer,” a Temu spokesperson told CNN in a statement.
The 30-second spot shows the company’s proposition to users: Feel like you’re splurging by buying lots of stuff cheaply. A woman’s swimsuit on Temu costs just $6.50, while a pair of wireless earphones is priced at $8.50. An eyebrow trimmer costs 90 cents.
These surprisingly low prices — by Western standards, at least — have drawn comparisons to Shein, the Chinese fast fashion upstart that also offers a wide selection of inexpensive clothing and home goods, and has made significant inroads into markets including the United States.
Shein is considered one of Temu’s competitors, along with US-based discount retailer Wish and Alibaba’s AliExpress, according to Coresight Research.
Climbing the charts
Temu, pronounced “tee-moo,” was launched last year by PDD, its US-listed parent company formerly known as Pinduoduo. The company officially changed its name just this month.
PDD’s subsidiary Pinduoduo is one of China’s most popular e-commerce platforms with approximately 900 million users. It made its name with a group-buying business model, allowing people to save money by enlisting friends to buy the same item in bulk.
On its website, Temu says it uses its parent company’s “vast and deep network …
On its website, Temu says it uses its parent company’s “vast and deep network … built over the years to offer a wide range of affordable quality products.”
The SheIn application and website arranged on a smartphone and a tablet in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, May 21, 2021. As with so many online phenomena, Gen Z and young millennial shoppers have propelled Shein’s rise, in thrall to the company’s never-ending, always-changing catalog of clothes at prices that stretch even the most meager allowance.
Since its rollout in September, the application has been downloaded 24 million times, racking up more than 11 million monthly active users, according to Sensor Tower.