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Chinese marketplaces are gaining popularity in the US

70% of Americans have shopped at Temu, Shein, or other Chinese marketplaces in the past year, 1 in 5 shope there at least once a week

CHARLESTON, SC. — June 11, 2024  The ecommerce marketing company Omnisend surveyed 1,000 US citizens and found that Chinese marketplaces are gaining popularity in the US. Temu (known to 74% of the American population) and Shein (52%) are the most popular in the category.

 Around 70% of Americans have shopped in Chinese marketplaces in the past year, and 46% shopped in more than one marketplace. 57% of Americans who shop online have bought something from Temu, 43% from Shein, 33% from TikTok Shop, and 20% from AliExpress.

 The most popular items to buy are adult clothes from Shein (51%), household items from Temu (37%), accessories and beauty products from TikTok Shop (31%), and shoes from AliExpress (26%).

 Not even two years have passed since Temu was launched in the US and, according to our survey, it is now the fourth most used ecommerce marketplace in the country. This level of awareness approaches what other more established platforms, such as Amazon, have been building for decades. The Temu phenomenon has also brought other Chinese marketplaces to light, creating serious competition to local brands because of their cheap pricing,” says Greg Zakowicz, senior ecommerce expert at Omnisend.

 “In fact, around 16% of Americans say that they see Temu as the main competitor for Amazon. While nine in ten US respondents state they don’t trust Temu, it seems that this doesn’t stop them from shopping on the Chinese-owned platform.”

 Temu vs Amazon. What do consumers like and dislike?

 When asked to evaluate their experience at Amazon, Americans rate it an average of 8.4 out of 10. They say they appreciate Amazon’s good pricing (68%), fast delivery (58%), and wide assortment (53%).

 Interestingly, those Americans who dislike Amazon say that it’s too expensive (21%), has a lack of local goods (20%), and contains a lot of advertising (18%).

 When asked about Temu, Americans rate it lower — 7 out of 10. The things that annoy Temu’s customers are long delivery times (31%), poor quality (27%), and large amounts of advertising (18%).

 What annoys some consumers seems to be good for others. 40% of respondents said that they like Temu because of the quality of its products, 58% mentioned low prices, and 32% found the delivery fast enough.

 “The impression of the consumer differs from person to person. What may seem like a long delivery time for one person, may be totally reasonable for another. Our survey showed that around 23% of respondents are willing to wait more than a week for their package, and one in ten would even be willing to wait more than two weeks,” says Greg Zakowicz. “However, for some people (22% of US respondents), even three days is too long.”

 The survey showed that many consumers choose Amazon when they want to buy clothes,  electronics, and household items. Temu is a much less popular option for electronics, but it is also popular for buying clothes and household items.

 Ladies shop at Chinese marketplaces more

 Of all the American women surveyed, 62% say they have shopped at Temu, 50% at Shein, 28% at AliExpress, and 34% at TikTok Shop. That is a lot in comparison to men, of whom 52% shopped at Temu, only 35% shopped at Shein, 31% (a bit more than women) shopped at AliExpress, and 32% at TikTok Shop.

 Men and women also differ in how they rate and trust different marketplaces. Nine percent of women trust Temu more than Amazon compared to 8% of men, and overall, women rate Chinese marketplaces more favorably than men.

  Women Men
Temu 7.3 6.6
Shein 7.5 6.5
AliExpress 7 6.6
TikTok Shop 7.5 6.8

 

What can American businesses do to compete with Chinese marketplaces?

 “Our survey showed that consumers still see Amazon’s prices as reasonable, even though Temu prices are much lower. This means they understand they have to pay a bit more for better quality or service. However, competing with Chinese marketplaces can be much more complicated for smaller brands with their own ecommerce shops,” says Greg Zakowicz, senior ecommerce expert at Omnisend.

 Because SMBs don’t have big teams and budgets to compete with Chinese ecommerce platforms, Zakowicz recommends smaller businesses use marketing tools designed specifically for ecommerce needs. Omnichannel marketing platforms can help businesses manage all of their marketing actions (emails, SMS, push notifications, reviews, and more) in one place. This helps smaller businesses save both time and money. 

 Methodology

The survey was commissioned by Omnisend and conducted by Cint in April 2024. A total of 4,000 respondents were surveyed across 4 countries. Quotas were placed on age, gender, and place of residence to achieve a nationally representative sample among users. The margin of error is +/-3 percent. More: https://www.omnisend.com/temu-vs-amazon/

 About Omnisend

Omnisend is an email & SMS marketing platform with a suite of features made specifically to help ecommerce stores grow their online businesses faster. One-click integration with major ecommerce platforms, pre-made automation & email templates, and award-winning 24/7/365 live customer support make it easy for brands of any size to sell more—all without the exaggerated cost.