America loves Temu

WASHINGTONPOST

POSITIVE
“I think it’s a fad,” said Sucharita Kodali, a retail and e-commerce principal analyst with the research firm Forrester.
Just be careful not to stake too much of your money or your livelihood on a hot shopping app that might not last.
Like many spots for buying online, you don’t have much information about the product sellers on Temu.
AdvertisementThen Wish became the hot bargain-basement shopping app.
Wish, like Temu, for a while blitzed Facebook and Google with ads pitching oddball products such as meat socks.
Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of the e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse, says beyond Temu’s marketing savvy, it has advantages that Wish didn’t.
AdvertisementThat puts the onus on you to try to avoid buying products that are poorly made.
Most of this advice applies to all online shopping.
But do be careful with or avoid buying products on Temu that go into your body or on your skin.
Temu also said people should research ingredients and consult reviews before buying products.

Ads for Temu have likely bombarded your eyes if you are a sentient being in the United States. According to data provided to research firm eMarketer by Comscore, the shopping app, a wild virtual flea market of Willy Wonka’s fever dreams, is catching up to eBay as the third most popular shopping website in the US, behind Amazon and Walmart.

One of the main purchasers of advertisements on Google and Facebook apps, Temu gained popularity in part because of this. During the previous two Super Bowl games, Temu also purchased expensive TV commercials, including several this year that featured an earworm jingle.

Whether a company can win your heart through advertising and whether America’s affection for Temu will endure are the two main questions surrounding Temu.

In a nutshell, yes and maybe no.

Sucharita Kodali, a principal analyst for retail and e-commerce at Forrester Research, stated, “I think it’s a fad.”.

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When it comes to shopping, we have a tendency to get carried away with novelty stores like Zara, Poshmark, or Wish, or a dress that suddenly becomes extremely popular. However, many of our transient shopping fads are fleeting.

If you fall in love with Temu and it ends up being a has-been, there probably won’t be much harm. Simply exercise caution to avoid risking too much of your savings or your job on a fad that may not endure.

And if you want to shop safely on Temu, read on for some tips. Similar to many online shopping sites, Temu offers little information about the product sellers. This increases the possibility that your purchases will let you down or hurt you.

What’s the deal with fashion trends in shopping?

Cooling off e-commerce crushes are a recurring phenomenon.

Early in the 2010s, we became enamored with websites like Groupon that offered transient discounts. Most of those websites have vanished. We were enamored with the monthly shipments of boxed goods like razors, pet supplies, and clothes. Also, the mania subsided.

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Then Wish emerged as the popular app for finding deals and discounts.

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Temu and Wish are quite alike. Both sell a selection of frequently inexpensive and haphazard items straight from suppliers, the majority of whom are in China.

Although Temu is owned by PDD, a Chinese company, it is based in Boston. Pinduoduo, a well-known e-commerce app in China, is also run by the company. ).

Similar to Temu, Wish bombarded Facebook and Google for a while with advertisements promoting bizarre goods like meat socks. Your results with the strategy were mixed up. Wish has become irrelevant.

As per the estimates provided by market research firm Sensor Tower, Temu spent more money on online advertising in the United States in 2023 than all but three other major corporations: PepsiCo, Amazon, and consumer goods giant Procter and Gamble.

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Temu might succeed with his marketing campaign. TikTok was also for a while one of the largest online advertisers. Additionally, TikTok is still well-liked.

Temu’s popularity has grown despite its extensive advertising.

In addition, the app sells every imaginable item, such as artificial eyelashes and garden gnomes. It uses limited-time sales to create a sense of urgency in its casino-style marketing. Temu wants you to tell your friends about a successful deal you find.

Beyond its clever marketing, Temu has benefits that Wish didn’t have, according to Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of the e-commerce research company Marketplace Pulse.

Temu, according to him, can take advantage of PDD’s experience managing numerous Chinese vendors and making sure orders are delivered promptly to your door.

Temu stated, “Fads come and go, but the desire for value does not.”. According to the company, its experience will “bring a new level of efficiency and cost savings.”. “.

How to shop securely on Temu.

Quality control is more difficult now that so many online retailers, such as Amazon, Walmart, Temu, Shein, and TikTok Shop, are selling you products that are directly from factories or vendors you don’t know anything about. This is in contrast to the limited selection found in physical stores.

Publicity.

It then becomes your responsibility to try to avoid purchasing items that are poorly made.

Check out the tips provided by my colleague Heather Kelly to steer clear of online scams and other unfavorable consequences. The majority of these tips are applicable to all internet purchases.

Check to see whether the same item or seller is available on Amazon, Etsy, or Shopify before making a purchase on Temu. If someone is complaining about being duped or taken advantage of, you want to know about it. Not every product that Temu sells will be available elsewhere.

Last year, one of my readers mentioned to me that she always carried a ruler with her when she went shopping in Temu. She stated that although product dimensions might be included in Temu’s online listings, product sizes can be deceiving in photos.

You can prevent yourself from purchasing a dog bed that ends up being thimble-sized if you take a peek at those.

Promotion.

It’s not a huge deal if the inexpensive ceiling fan duster you purchased on Temu turns out to be junk. However, exercise caution when purchasing items on Temu that come into contact with your skin or internal organs.

Items like vitamins, skin cream, and fake eyelashes could harm you if you don’t know much about the sellers’ credibility.

According to Temu, their veterinary products undergo extra quality control. Temu added that before purchasing products, consumers should look up ingredients and product reviews.

Additionally, for your own safety, avoid purchasing items from Temu if they are toys or kid-oriented goods, if they require recharging, or if they are protective gear like a motorcycle helmet.

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