Temu Is Leaning on Boomers to Storm the US

Boomers are ahead of younger generations in embracing from the Chinese e-commerce marketplace.

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Can you guess the second-fastest-growing website in America after ChatGPT? If so, you’re probably a Boomer. 

E-commerce platform Temu only landed in the US in September 2022, but it quickly established itself as a rival to fellow Chinese e-commerce giant Shein. Temu appears to be growing at a phenomenal rate, and analysis provided to Bloomberg by research firm Attain found that the engine behind that growth is loyal Baby Boomer shoppers. 

Boom Goes the Dynamite 

Web analytics firm SimilarWeb told Business Insider that Temu’s website was the second-fastest growing website in the US, beaten only by OpenAI. Sometimes our assumptions about who the typical internet user is can be completely topsy-turvy. On Tuesday, we noted the surprising news that Generation Z may actually prefer in-person shopping to ordering a ton of clothes and knick-knacks off the internet, now it turns out Boomers are a big part of Temu’s newfound success: 

  • Temu’s Boomer customers placed an average 5.6 orders from the site over the course of 2023, according to Attain. Shoppers in the next-oldest cohort, Generation X, placed 4.5, while zoomers (those born from the mid-’90s to early ‘10s) clocked in at 2.6 purchases.
  • Attain’s CEO Brian Mandelbaum put Temu’s popularity with Boomers down to its range of products — anyone who’s had Temu target them with ads will know the startlingly disparate (and startlingly cheap) items it has for sale.

Marketing Mayhem: Another explanation for Temu’s rapid growth could be the incredible firepower loaded into its marketing campaigns. Not only has Temu peppered social media with ads, it also snagged an ad spot at last year’s Super Bowl, and plans to do the same this year, per a Wall Street Journal report. E-commerce analyst Andrew Lipsman told Modern Retail he’d “never seen a strategy quite like this,” adding, “I’ve seen versions of it, but not seemingly at the scale, at this level of aggressiveness.” Shein might want to boost its own aggression levels.