Millions continue to flock to the company for bargain prices despite allegations of poor labor practices
Dulles, VA, 11th October – With Amazon’s second Prime Day of the year underway, new research combining app engagement data and consumer sentiment survey results shows the company is now competing with Chinese challenger brand Temu for sustained dominance in the US online retail space.

Real-life mobile usage data from GWS Magnify reveals that Temu’s growth has been so significant in 2023 that it is surpassing legacy brands like eBay, Walmart, and Target, with only Amazon standing in its way:

  • Temu’s app engagement continues to skyrocket as GWS Magnify estimates 82.4 million shoppers used the Temu app in September. One year ago in September 2022, Temu had just 4.6 million monthly active users
  • eBay and Target have been left behind by Temu. eBay, which boasted just over 40 million shoppers using their app in September of last year, has seen that number fall to a little over 37 million by September 2023. Target has held steady at around the 25 million monthly active users across the year, a figure that is now significantly smaller than Temu’s share
  • Amazon continues to lead that pack in terms of the number of shoppers using their app on a monthly basis, averaging 142 million in September 2023. A drop off from the 149 million monthly users Amazon had in September 2022
  • Another Chinese challenger brand Shein has also seen impressive growth in 2023. The company saw the number of shoppers using their app monthly rise, from 15.4 million in September 2022 to 29.5 million today

Temu’s rate of growth has been so impressive that GWS Magnify predicts the company will overtake Walmart with more active users  and become the second largest online retailer in the US in terms of consumer engagement. In particular, Walmart’s monthly active users were at 85.5 million in September 2023, slightly ahead of Temu. However, Temu’s impressive and sustained month on month growth means that the company should move past Walmart in terms of online users imminently.

Temu’s growth is even more noticeable when you consider how much time shoppers spend on the app every day.  When looking at GWS Magnify app engagement data, the average amount of time all consumers spend on the app daily (i.e., average daily minutes) stood at 448 million in late September 2023. That has grown from just 8 million in the same time period last year and is only surpassed by Amazon at 534 million minutes.

Temu also currently leads the way across all the major US online retailers in terms of the amount of time each individual user spends on its app per day. Temu users averaged 22 minutes a day on its mobile app in September 2023. Temu’s nearest rival in terms of the amount of time each individual user is spending on the app per day was fellow Chinese eCommerce company Shein, at 12 minutes. Amazon was a little further behind with users spending an average of 11 minutes per day on the Amazon app in September.

Consumers putting price first

GWS also conducted a US-based survey to understand customer sentiment, motivation, and spend when shopping online. And the results clearly demonstrate that Temu’s prioritization of low prices is hitting home with shoppers. When asked how shopping at Temu made them feel, the low prices offered by the company stood out for the majority (65%). What’s more, many consumers seemed willing to compromise on other features of the shopping experience with Temu in return for low prices. Just less than one in three (30%) said they were happy with the speed of deliveries offered by Temu, compared to over half (52%) of Amazon shoppers. Likewise, less than a fifth (19%) said they were happy with the refund process, compared to a third (32%) at Amazon.

Further to this, consumers seemed unaware or unbothered by the allegations of import violations and human rights abuses. Two out of three Temu shoppers (65%) were not aware of the allegations. And for those that were aware, less than one in ten Temu shoppers (9%) said they were concerned with potential human rights violations by the company. Also notable, over half (54%) of the Temu shoppers who were aware of the allegations said they continued to shop with the company because of the low prices.

Temu’s low pricing model as a means to growth is also evident in the average amount spent by Temu shoppers per transaction.  On the last Amazon Prime Day held in July 2023, one in five consumers (19%) said they spent over $100 dollars. Whereas, just 8% of shoppers are spending the same amount with Temu with each transaction. On the other hand, 40% of Temu shoppers spend $20 or less per transaction vs. 20% for Amazon.

Dr Paul Carter, CEO and co-founder of GWS Magnify commented: “The launch of a second Prime Day shows just how aware Amazon is that consumers are currently prioritizing lower prices above all. The challenging economic climate has allowed new low-cost brands to emerge and displace older US rivals. Temu’s strategy of offering bargain deals, with quickfire offers available over its mobile app, has led to an engagement boom with company now cementing itself as a clear force in US retail. Amazon, an online shopping brand that traditionally prides itself on putting the customer first, is still leading the pack, but with millions of shoppers happy to compromise on delivery times or look past controversies, Amazon should be wary of Temu’s rise.”

Notes to editors 

Survey and app engagement data were generated using Magnify, GWS’s mobile intelligence data platform. Magnify is comprised of key insights collected nationwide from consumers participating in our market research program. These are real-life consumers who use their phones and tablet devices as normal throughout the day, so that the mobile analytics data GWS gathers provides the most accurate picture of the nation’s mobile connectivity experience. GWS collects consumer this data anonymously from Android smartphones 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whenever and wherever the consumers use their devices. Data is anonymously collected and reported in aggregate for market research purposes only. All information collected is weighted to a user’s demographic representation of the U.S. adult population. In addition to collecting app engagement data, GWS is able to survey participating consumers to understand sentiment and perception. The survey referenced in this release was conducted between July 25 and August 1, 2023 and included 2,027 respondents. App engagement data referenced in the release was collected between September 2022 and September 2023.

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