Temu and Shein Rise in Germany but Can They Beat Amazon?

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Will established marketplaces like Amazon, Otto or Zalando be displaced by Temu and Shein? Data shows that these Asian companies are becoming more and more competitive for retailers in Germany. But trust issues may get in their way forward.

The “Trend Check Trade” from ECC KÖLN, conducted in collaboration with Salesforce, provides insightful analysis on current consumer behavior and the rise of marketplaces offering goods from Asia, such as Temu, Shein, Wish, and AliExpress. This tenth survey wave, conducted with approximately 500 consumers from Germany in April 2024, highlights significant trends in the retail landscape.

Growing Popularity of Asian Marketplaces

As the survey shows, almost all German consumers (91%) are now familiar with marketplaces featuring goods from Asia, with 43% of respondents using them. This is notably higher among 18- to 29-year-olds, where usage reaches 51%.

Consequently Temu’s purchase rate has tripled from the previous year (32% in 2024 vs. 11% in 2023), while Shein has also seen significant growth, more than doubling its order frequency (22% in 2024 vs. 10% in 2023).

What are the reasons behind this popularity? There’s certainly the influence of social media. Temu, in particular, has a strong presence, with 35% of respondents encountering its ads several times a week. The price is another strong factor, especially among younger consumers who are driven by the search for bargains.

Customer trust should be a goal for these platforms

According to the survey, trust remains a significant issue for these marketplaces. Many consumers doubt the authenticity of discounts (25%) and feel manipulated by marketing tactics (51%). There are also data security concerns. Only 16% of German consumers trust the security of their data on these platforms. Skepticism towards Temu and Shein runs deep. The survey shows that despite their recent growth, 66% of consumers are reluctant to shop on these platforms in the future, citing major quality issues (83%), safety concerns (57%), and sustainability concerns (47%). Moreover, 63% of respondents have higher expectations for the purchasing process on Amazon compared to Asian marketplaces.

The survey shows that Asian marketplaces like Temu and Shein attract young, budget-conscious shoppers with smart marketing and fun features. This pressures established providers like Amazon. However, Temu and Shein struggle with trust issues, while Amazon stays on top due to its reliability and strong consumer trust.

You can read more information about the survey here.