Temu, Pinduoduo’s sister shopping app, tops the US App Store • TechCrunch
Temu, a shopping app operated by the parent company of Chinese e-commerce giant Pinduoduo, emerged from obscurity in recent months. After becoming the #1 shopping app on the US App Store back in september, the market took the crown for free iPhone apps in the US across all categories on November 12 and has held the top spot ever since. It was also the top free Android app in the US for two weeks.
To date, Temu has seen just over 5 million installs in the United States, according to app analytics firm Sensor Tower. The US is the app’s biggest market, accounting for 97% of its total of 5.2 million installs worldwide since its launch in late August, according to Sensor Tower.
The rapid rise of Temu, which is pronounced “tee-moo”, is perhaps no big surprise given the generous subsidies it gives users. It’s a bazaar with a wide range of products priced at Wish level. Temu can be so affordable thanks to the well-established supply chain that Pinduoduo has built over the past seven years in China, which tries to source from manufacturers and bring the goods directly to customers with lower intermediary costs. .
Indeed, the e-commerce firm writes on its website this “[As] a member of PDD Holdings, Temu works closely with its global network of suppliers and logistics partners to create and curate quality products that enable consumers to enjoy the conveniences and comforts of life.
Pinduoduo, founded by Colin Huang, an early employee of Google China, has managed to become a rival to Alibaba by offering cheap factory-to-consumer goods, but its other hook is gamification. Users are encouraged to play casual games in the app, such as its viral fruit-growing game, and are also encouraged to share deals with friends in exchange for free goods. The app even displays a little progress bar, adding a touch of excitement, to show how many more social shares are needed before you can redeem the gift.
Users can also join group deals with strangers to get deep discounts on high-end items such as expensive skincare products and iPhones, hence the app name Temu, which is roughly short for “team up, lower the price”. Temu can’t make a lot of money from its heavily subsidized products, so it remains to be seen if it can continue to lock users in when discounts start to dwindle.