New online superstore surpasses Amazon and Walmart to become most downloaded app in US
A screenshot from Temu’s commercial unveiled during the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 12, encouraging consumers to “shop like a billionaire.”
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 capitalize 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.
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.
PDD’s other two businesses — Pinduoduo International and Temu — are rapidly gaining attention in the United States.
Temu has been downloaded from Apple’s App Store more than 10 million times since August, according to data compiled by App Annie.
It is now the nation’s most popular shopping app, beating out heavyweights like Amazon, Walmart and Wish. It’s also among the top five lifestyle apps in the US, ahead of Nike and Zillow.
The company entered the market with aggressive offers — including $5 off for new users and free shipping on orders over $35. Its Super Bowl ad was intended to give it an even bigger push.
“Our Super Bowl ad was created to bring Temu into the spotlight and we are confident our users will recognize us as a leader in online shopping,” the spokesperson said.
The ad is part of Temu’s larger strategy to challenge Amazon and Walmart, which have dominated the US retail market for years.
It remains to be seen if Temu can succeed stateside, but with its Super Bowl ad and more than 10 million downloads in less than seven months, it is certainly off to a strong start.
And with prices that are too good to pass up, shoppers may find themselves thinking twice before spending a lot of money at Amazon, Walmart or any other traditional retailer.
After all, who wouldn’t want to shop like a billionaire?
Temu is helping everyday Americans do just that. Temu isn’t the only Chinese app making waves in the US — TikTok and WeChat have also become popular among American users. But Temu may be the first to make a splash on the world’s big-
gest stage. The company said its Super Bowl ad was intended to spread awareness of its online superstore and convince Americans that they don’t need to break the bank in order to buy quality products — from home goods to fashion to electronics.
In addition, Temu is also offering exclusive discounts for customers who create accounts and order on its platform — an attempt to further entice potential users.
Whether Temu will succeed in making a mark on the US market remains to be seen, but its foray into one of the biggest shopping events of the year signals a bold move on the part of PDD.
The Chinese e-commerce giant is hoping to break into an industry long dominated by American giants — and with its low prices and competitive offers, it’s certainly making a case for itself.
Time will tell if Temu can become the online shopping destination of choice for US consumers, but one thing is for sure — the competition for customers’ wallets just got a lot tougher.
It looks like Temu is ready to take on the world, and it’s up to American shoppers to decide if they’re ready too.