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


Temu, a purchasing 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 cell purchasing app hit the highest spot on the U.S. App Retailer in September and has continued to carry a extremely ranked place within the months that adopted, together with because the No. 1 free app on Google Play since December 29, 2022. Extra not too long ago, Temu as soon as once more snagged the No. 1 place on the iOS App Retailer on January 3 and hasn’t dropped since.

Providing low cost factory-to-consumer items, Temu supplies entry to a variety of merchandise, together with quick style, and pushes customers to share the app with pals in alternate without cost merchandise, which can account for a few of its progress. Nevertheless, numerous its new installs come from Temu’s advertising spend, it appears.

When TechCrunch covered Temu’s rise in November, the app had then seen somewhat greater than 5 million installs within the U.S., in line 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 by December 31.

In response to Sensor Tower estimates, Temu has managed to realize a complete of 19 million lifetime installs throughout the 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 when it comes to day by day installs. In October, Temu was averaging round 43,000 day by day installs within the U.S., the agency stated, whereas Shein averaged about 62,000. In November, Temu’s common day by 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 purchasing app’s quick rise remembers how the video leisure platform TikTok grew to grow to be 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 amass its prospects. TikTok was famously stated to have spent $1 billion on ads in 2018, even changing into Snap’s greatest advertiser that yr, as an illustration.

By investing in consumer acquisition upfront, TikTok was in a position to acquire a following, which then improved its capacity to personalize its For You feed with suggestions. Over time, this algorithm grew to become superb at recognizing what movies would entice essentially the most curiosity due to this funding, turning TikTok into one of many most addictive apps when it comes to time spent. As of 2020, youngsters and teenagers started spending more time watching TikTok than they did on YouTube. And earlier this month, Insider Intelligence data indicated all TikTok customers within the U.S. had 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 amass customers, whose information it makes use of to personalize the purchasing expertise. One in every of Temu’s key options, the truth is, is its personal kind of For You web page that encourages customers to browse trending gadgets. The web page is subtitled “Chosen for You.” Along with gamification components, Temu additionally places heavy emphasis on recommending outlets and merchandise on its homepage, which is knowledgeable by consumer information and utilization.

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 not likely a exceptional quantity for an app as large as TikTok the place one thing like #canines has 120.5 billion views. (Or, for a extra direct comparability, #shein has 48.3 billion views.) That implies Temu’s rise isn’t essentially powered by viral movies amongst Gen Z customers or influencer advertising, however quite extra conventional digital promoting.

In response to Meta’s ad library, as an illustration, Temu has run some 8,900 adverts throughout Meta’s numerous platforms simply this month. The adverts promote Temu’s gross sales and its extraordinarily discounted gadgets, like $5 necklaces, $4 shirts, and $13 sneakers, amongst different offers. These adverts look like working to spice up Temu’s installs, permitting the app to take care of its No. 1 slot on the App Retailer’s “High Free” charts, that are largely powered 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 keep a excessive variety of month-to-month lively 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” purchasing app by downloads within the U.S. for 2022, in line with data.ai’s year-end “State of Mobile” report. (Information.ai calculates “Breakout” apps when it comes to 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 High 10 apps in 2022 in both the U.S. or globally when it comes to downloads, client spend, or month-to-month lively customers on this report. As an alternative, most of these spots nonetheless went to social media apps, streamers, and courting 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 lively 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 purchasing apps noticed related progress solely to later fail as shoppers discovered that, truly, $2 shirts and denims had been offers that had been too good to be true. Wish famously fumbled as shoppers grew annoyed with lengthy supply occasions, faux listings, lacking orders, poor customer support, and different issues shoppers anticipate from on-line retail within the age of Amazon.

Temu at this time holds a 4.7-star ranking on the U.S. App Retailer, however these scores have grow to be much less reliable over time because of the ease with which corporations can get away with faux evaluations. Dig into the evaluations additional and also you’ll discover related 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 best way of Want, not TikTok, it doesn’t matter what it spends.



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