Procuring app Temu is utilizing TikTok’s technique to maintain its No. 1 spot on App Retailer •

Temu, a procuring app from Chinese language e-commerce large Pinduoduo, is having fairly the run because the No. 1 app on the U.S. app shops. The cellular procuring app hit the highest spot on the U.S. App Retailer in September and has continued to carry a highly-ranked place within the months that adopted, together with because the No. 1 free app on Google Play since December 29, 2022. Extra lately, Temu once more snagged the No. 1 place once more on the iOS App Retailer on January 3 and hasn’t dropped since — even outpacing competitor Shein’s each day installs within the U.S.

Providing low-cost factory-to-consumer items, Temu offers entry to a variety of merchandise, together with quick vogue, and pushes customers to share the app with mates in trade at no cost merchandise, which can account for a few of its progress. Nonetheless, the massive majority of its new installs come from Temu’s advertising spend, it appears.

When coated Temu’s rise in November, the app had then seen a bit greater than 5 million installs within the U.S., in keeping with information from app intelligence agency Sensor Tower, making the U.S. its largest market. Now, the agency says the app has seen 5 million U.S. installs this January alone, up 19% from 4.2 million within the prior 22 days from December 10 via December 31.

Based on Sensor Tower estimates, Temu has managed to attain a complete of 19 million lifetime installs throughout the U.S. App Retailer and Google Play, greater than 18 million of which got here from the U.S.

The expansion now sees Temu outpacing rival Shein by way of each day installs. In October, Temu was averaging round 43,000 each day installs within the U.S., the agency stated, whereas Shein averaged about 62,000. In November, Temu’s common each day installs grew to 185,000 whereas Shein’s climbed to 70,000 and final month, Temu averaged 187,000 installs whereas Shein noticed about 62,000.

The procuring app’s quick rise recollects how the video leisure platform TikTok grew to develop into probably the most downloaded app worldwide in 2021, after years of outsized progress. The video app topped 2 billion lifetime downloads by 2020, together with sister app Douyin in China, Sensor Tower stated. Mixed, the TikTok apps have now reached 4.1 billion installs.

Like Temu, a lot of TikTok’s early progress was pushed by advertising spend. The video app grew its footprint within the U.S. and overseas by closely leveraging Fb, Instagram, and Snapchat’s personal advert platforms to accumulate its clients. TikTok was famously stated to have spent $1 billion on adverts in 2018, even turning into Snap’s largest advertiser that 12 months, as an illustration.

By investing in person acquisition upfront, TikTok was capable of achieve a following which then improved its skill to personalize its For You feed with suggestions. Over time, this algorithm grew to become superb at recognizing what movies would entice probably the most curiosity due to this funding, turning TikTok into one of many most addictive apps by way of time spent. As of 2020, youngsters and teenagers started spending extra time watching TikTok than they did on YouTube. And earlier this month, Insider Intelligence information indicated all TikTok customers within the U.S. have been now spending a median of almost 1 hour per day on the app (55.8 minutes), in contrast with simply 47.5 minutes on YouTube, together with YouTube TV.

Whereas Temu is nowhere close to TikTok’s sky-high figures, it seems to be leveraging an identical progress technique. The corporate is closely investing in promoting to accumulate customers, which it makes use of to personalize the procuring expertise. Certainly one of Temu’s key options, the truth is, is its personal form of For You web page that encourages customers to browse trending objects “Chosen for You.” Along with gamification components, Temu additionally places heavy emphasis on recommending retailers and merchandise on its dwelling web page, which is knowledgeable by its person information.

However the app’s progress doesn’t appear to be pushed by social media. Whereas the Temu hashtag (#temu) on TikTok is nearing 250 million views, that’s probably not a outstanding quantity for an app as massive as TikTok the place one thing like #canine has 120.5 billion views. (Or, for a extra direct comparability, #shein has 48.3 billion views.) That means Temu’s rise isn’t essentially powered by viral movies amongst Gen Z customers or influencer advertising, however fairly extra conventional digital promoting.

Based on Meta’s advert library, as an illustration, Temu has run some 8,800 adverts throughout Meta’s numerous platforms simply this month. The adverts promote Temu’s gross sales and its extraordinarily discounted objects, like $5 necklaces, $4 shirts, and $13 sneakers, amongst different offers. These adverts seem like working to spice up Temu’s installs, permitting the app to keep up its No. 1 slot on the App Retailer’s “Prime Free” charts, that are closely influenced by the variety of downloads and obtain velocity, amongst different issues.

After all, having a excessive variety of downloads doesn’t essentially imply Temu’s app will preserve a excessive variety of month-to-month energetic customers. Nor does it imply these customers received’t churn out of the app after their preliminary curiosity has been abated. Nonetheless, Temu’s obtain progress noticed it rating because the No. 1 “Breakout” procuring app by downloads within the U.S. for 2022, in keeping with’s year-end “State of Cellular” report. ( calculates “Breakout” apps by way of year-over-year progress throughout iOS and Google Play.)

As a result of Temu’s progress is more moderen, the app didn’t earn a place on the Prime 10 apps in 2022 in both the U.S. or globally by way of downloads, client spend, or month-to-month energetic customers, on this report. As an alternative, most of these spots nonetheless went to social media apps, streamers, and relationship apps like Bumble and Tinder. The one retailer to discover a spot on these lists was Amazon, which was the No. 7 app worldwide by energetic customers and the No. 8 most downloaded within the U.S.

Temu’s advertising funding might not repay in addition to TikTok’s did, although, as different low cost procuring apps noticed comparable progress solely to later fail as customers discovered that, really, $2 shirts and denims have been offers that have been too good to be true. Want famously fumbled as customers grew pissed off with lengthy supply instances, pretend listings, lacking orders, poor customer support, and different issues customers count on from on-line retail within the age of Amazon.

Temu at present holds a 4.7-star ranking on the U.S. App Retailer, however these scores have develop into much less reliable over time as a result of ease with which firms can get away with pretend critiques. Dig into the critiques additional and also you’ll discover comparable complaints to Want, together with scammy listings, broken and delayed deliveries, incorrect orders and lack of customer support. With out addressing these points, Temu appears extra prone to go the way in which of Want, not TikTok, it doesn’t matter what it spends.


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