Amazon Loses Downloads Lead in the US to Chinese Competition

Ariel Ariel
2 minute read 5/19/23

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Shopping Showdown?. Check out the full article for more insights.


Amazon has been the most downloaded shopping app in the US for a very long time. It managed to beat local competitors like Walmart, and even international competition from apps like Wish.

But it looks like Amazon has finally met its match. Well, matches.

Amazon's downloads have been pretty stable in the US for quite some time and went up fairly recently.

Going aaaall the way back to 2020, Amazon's shopping app was averaging around 550K downloads per week in the US, according to our estimates. The summer of 2022 was strong, pushing Amazon's downloads to more than double with a range between 800K and 1.2M weekly downloads.

And that spike didn't slow down until February of this year, after which downloads really started sloping down. Amazon ended last week with just 342K downloads from the US. Way below its 2020 average and way way below its 2022 average.

Why?

Because there are other shopping alternatives, and those alternatives have been getting more downloads consistently for quite some time now.

SHEIN, a clothing retailer that sells "fast fashion" shipped from China, has been chasing Amazon's tail since it launched. Key word being "chasing". SHEIN averaged a little over half of Amazon's downloads back in 2020.

They got close a few times but not enough to really take the lead. In January of 2023, that changed and SHEIN's downloads are now about double those of Amazon in the US. SHEIN saw 617K downloads from the App Store + Google Play in the US last week, according to our estimates.

Need download and revenue estimates for your competitors? Click here.

And SHEIN isn't even Amazon's biggest threat right now.

Temu, a China-based retailer that sells a variety of goods, from clothes to furniture, at very low prices, took the App Store and Google Play by storm when it launched late last year.

And by "storm" I mean with weekly downloads in the US crossing a million every week since launch. Every. Week.

That's at least 3 times what Amazon sees and more than double what SHEIN sees on a good day.

The holiday shopping season was big for Temu. It averaged 2M new downloads every week between November and December, according to our estimates. Downloads dropped since, which makes sense overall, but are still astronomically high in comparison.

Temu saw 1.3M new downloads last week in the US.

This is a big problem for Amazon which may mean the next Prime Day will be a little more exciting than the last few.

And yes, Temu is one of the biggest spends on Apple Search Ads which helps it get those downloads. You'd know that if you're subscribed to the newsletter. If you aren't, now's a great time to subscribe.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

Tagged: #shopping #china

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