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Temu and other Asian goods providers stir debate

New Trend Check Retail takes a close look at marketplaces with goods from Asia. Temu, Shein and Co. are experiencing great growth and score points with price, product selection, and entertainment. Quality, trust, and credibility are not very convincing. Established providers such as Amazon enjoy a leap of faith.


In 2024, consumer behaviour will continue to be significantly influenced by price increases. When shopping, more and more consumers are shopping online in order to be able to compare prices better (44%). The younger target group of 18 to 29-year-olds, in particular, is more likely to be tempted to buy by quality information such as "bestseller" (72%) on products or gamification elements such as wheels of fortune or coupons (53%). Does this consumer behaviour play into the hands of sellers with goods from Asia such as Temu, Shein, Wish, and AliExpress? The new Trend Check Retail Vol. 10 of the ECC COLOGNE takes a close look at this in addition to current consumer behaviour. Conclusion: The awareness and use of these marketplaces have increased massively year-on-year.

Temu triples purchase rate
Almost all consumers (91%, 2023: 78%) are now familiar with marketplaces with goods from Asia, and 43% of respondents also use them, and among 18- to 29-year-olds, the figure is as high as one in two (51%). Temu and Shein are the main growth drivers: While Temu's purchase rate tripled year-on-year (32%, 2023: 11%), Shein was able to more than double its order frequency (22%, 2023: 10%). Consumers are increasingly becoming aware of marketplaces through social media (57%). Temu, in particular, is present here: More than a third of respondents (35%) perceive the provider's advertising via social media several times a week, but half of consumers are rather annoyed by this over-presence.

Credibility and trust?
Shopping at Temu and Co. is strongly price-driven: 65 percent (18 to 29-year-olds: 77 %) use the online providers to look for bargains. In addition to price, the large selection of products (72%, 18 to 29-year-olds: 77%) and their exclusivity (58%) are key selling points. In terms of credibility and trust, Temu scores rather poorly: Consumers doubt the discounts quoted (25%) and often feel manipulated (51%). Only 16 percent are convinced of the security of their data, and only just under a quarter (24%) shop at Temu and Shein without hesitation.

Future concerns
Will marketplaces with goods from Asia displace established suppliers? 'No,' says one in two consumers (54%, 2023: 64%). Established providers such as Amazon, Otto, or Zalando enjoy a leap of faith and are particularly convincing in direct comparisons in terms of data security, smooth delivery, and a simple product search. Overall, however, 63 percent of respondents have much higher expectations of the buying process on Amazon than of providers such as Shein, Temu, or Wish. Nevertheless, the latter increase market pressure and gain customer shares through gamification and entertainment. And yet, despite the strong growth rates, the majority of consumers (66%) do not want to buy from marketplaces with goods from Asia in the future. The main reasons for this are the major quality defects of the products (83%) as well as safety (57%) and sustainability concerns (47%).

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