Temu Relaxing Ad Spend in the US Pushed a Different Shopping App to the Top

Ariel Ariel
Mar. 29

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Gone Public. Check out the full article for more insights.


For more than a year now, Chinese shopping app Temu held the #1 spot on the App Store's top charts. It was pushed down a few times, but never for too long.

Over the last couple of weeks, however, downloads in the US have decreased allowing rival SHEIN to gain momentum.

According to our estimates, Temu was averaging 165K downloads per day in January and February. Although the trend was sloping down, daily downloads were still clinging to that average for the most part.

At the same time, SHEIN averaged around 100K daily downloads and the trend was positive.

In case you're not familiar, Temu and SHEIN both sell goods shipped directly from China at a fraction of what they'd cost in the store. SHEIN is focused on clothes while Temu has everything.

In mid-March, Temu's downloads started dropping quickly and within a week, Temu's daily downloads dropped to just 72K - a 56% drop!

Although downloads have increased a bit since hitting rock bottom they're still pretty close to it.

At the same time, SHEIN's downloads continued to rise - slowly. This week SHEIN's downloads rose to 108K a small but important addition that pushed SHEIN into the #2 spot in the US charts.

I hope SHEIN enjoys this before it ends because I'm pretty sure it will soon.

We know that Temu relies heavily on Apple Search Ads to maintain its command of the App Store. Knowing that, I suspect Temu's decrease is an experiment in demand. Temu is trying to see how much momentum they've already built by turning off/down paid ads and seeing where the app will land in the top chart all on its own.

I give it another week before Temu reclaims its throne.

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Tagged: #shopping

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