In today’s increasingly digital world, consumers are faced with many options regarding how they shop. Many choose to patronize e-commerce platforms, given the convenience these provide over physical stores. As such, in searching for the best online shopping experience there is, consumers are presented with many new aspects to take into account.
It is important for consumers to be aware whether an online marketplace has ethical business practices, prioritizes customers’ needs, considers its environmental impact, etc. A popular site like Shein, for example, is known for promoting fast-fashion, while an up-and-coming site like Temu is praised for offsetting its carbon emissions created by shipments. These are factors that greatly affect how a customer makes a purchase, given their values and their desired goods.
What are Shein and Temu?
Shein is one of the largest online fashion retailers in the world. Though it has been around since 2008 (and used to be branded as SheInside), the app gained fame in 2020 through many users posting about it on social media. While Shein primarily sells clothing at bargain prices, the platform also has other product categories listed, such as household items and pet supplies.
Temu, on the other hand, is a Boston, Massachusetts-based online retail marketplace offering wholesale prices on a wide assortment of consumer goods. It is a member of the multinational commerce group, PDD Holdings, and taps on the extensive sourcing and fulfillment capabilities built up by the Nasdaq-listed company.
Temu taps into the same network of sourcing and logistics providers as Pinduoduo, a pioneering social commerce platform. Both marketplaces are operated by PDD Holdings, a multinational commerce group listed on the Nasdaq.
What are the Differences Between Shein and Temu?
Shein and Temu are similar in that both are fast-growing platforms that cater to the demands of online shoppers. However, there are several key differences between the two companies in terms of how they operate.
Products and Product Sourcing
Shein is known for delivering on variety, especially with regard to fashion. The platform adds around 700-1000 product listings per day, many of which sport in-trend designs. That said, Shein does not disclose where its products come from, some of which have been found to have issues relating to quality control, IP infringement, and overall safety.
Temu has been praised for consistently selling first-rate items due to its strict standards for quality. The company also works with some of the world’s top manufacturers. The platform is big on transparency, helping users make informed purchasing decisions through detailed information about their merchants and products.
Temu works closely with its network of suppliers and manufacturers to create products tailored to the needs of consumers. Through its Next-Gen Manufacturing approach, Temu enables manufacturers with key market insights that they can use to respond to shifts in consumer demand.
Shein promises to ship orders within 5-8 business days. The processing time for orders takes another 1-3 business days. Shein provides general updates on the whereabouts of their packages while offering free standard shipping for orders that exceed $29 and free express shipping for orders that exceed $129.
Temu’s delivery window is around 7-15 days, though 80% of users receive their packages within 10 days or less. Temu likewise updates customers with the status of their packages daily. On the rare event that a customer receives their package late, Temu entitles them to a $5 credit as a token of appreciation for their patience and understanding.
Commitment to Social Responsibility
Shein has drawn criticism due to its endorsement of fast-fashion, a practice many deem as environmentally unsustainable. In response to this, however, the company has stated that it is now “committed to lowering emissions and reducing waste.”
Temu, meanwhile, aside from being committed to becoming carbon-neutral, ensures that its suppliers uphold the rights and dignity of their workers. Temu makes sure that their suppliers have ethical operations and emphasize workplace safety too.
Shein or Temu?
Overall, both platforms demonstrate unique strengths and exhibit much potential to keep improving. In the end, however, it is up to customers who have tried both Shein and Temu to decide which site offers better products and services in general.