online shopping

An in-depth look at the successful in-app practices of a major shopping app

Explore Temu's rapid rise in app stores and its unique approach to e-commerce. Learn how Temu's holistic app marketing strategy contribute to its success.

A year ago, Temu was nowhere. It started in September 2022 and shot up the app store charts, mainly because of a ton of ads on social media and two expensive Super Bowl commercials with the odd slogan, "Shop like a billionaire.

Today, it’s one of the most rapidly trending apps on the app stores worldwide. Let’s take a look into its success, and see if there’s any to inspire from.

What is Temu?

Temu, Pinduoduo's shopping app, is dominating the U.S. app stores and trends incredibly fast worldwide. The app sells cheap goods directly from factories, including trendy clothes.


Temu's strategy is meant to grab your attention and keep you hooked. The deals and games are bold—either catching your eye or turning off a doubtful shopper. This loud intro is your first hint of what Temu's about: a wild array of super-cheap stuff. 

Temu's not like Amazon, which sells a lot of stuff itself. Sellers like it because Temu does all the heavy lifting in marketing their products, but otherwise, it’s purely a third-party marketplace. Plus, getting started on Temu is easier than on Amazon, which has tougher rules for sellers. But working with Temu can be brutal for sellers, with price cuts so deep they sometimes don't make any profit. All of that is possible thanks to the direct supply of goods.

Why is Temu so popular?

As reported by TechCrunch, Temu leads the top free iPhone apps chart for 2023. Temu is now outdoing Shein in daily U.S. installs, too. Temu's quick rise is similar to TikTok's.

Temu's been throwing cash at ads, with over 3,000 keywords in their Apple Search Ad campaign. This heavy-duty marketing might be why they're getting so many downloads, not just because people love the app. At the same time, users are spending 20 minutes on average, which is way more than Amazon's 12. 

Unlike the usual climb up the ranks through good reviews and real user love, Temu's just paying to play. It's getting them a heap of downloads, but it doesn't mean they're winning users' hearts for the long haul. 

Temu's growth strategy mirrors TikTok's but isn't hitting the same huge numbers. The company is pouring money into ads to get users, using their data to tailor the shopping experience. A big thing on Temu is its "For You" page, showing trending items labeled "Selected for You." The app also pushes recommended shops and products on its homepage, all based on what users do and like.

Temu got attention early on for its shopping-as-a-game setup. There's stuff like spin-the-wheel and "lucky draw" contests, plus mini-games like fishing and farming. Some people say they've won thousands in rewards playing these games, but it's not clear if these boost sales.

Temu’s approach to ASO

Temu's doing great all around, especially in the Google Play Store, but there's room to grow. It's #1 in Shopping, but they can still improve.


Temu: Shop Like a Billionaire.

Temu's title is solid.

Google Play lets us use 30 characters, Temu's at 29, which is good. The search scores for the title's keywords are decent as well. You can see, however, how Temu is betting on its slogan in favor of going with a keyword-rich title, like Temu: Online Shopping, which would perform better.


Google allows 80 characters; Temu uses 33. Having product categories in the subtitle helps, but they've got to be relevant enough to show up in the right search results. For Temu, searches for “fashion” and “decor” mostly bring up other apps. Temu isn't ranking well for popular fashion terms, and it's even missing in searches for “home decor”. Perhaps that’s why these category keywords are not there just now.

Shop on Temu for exclusive offers.

The keywords here have high scores, and they could improve their ranking with more relevant keywords. Besides that, there’s plenty more space to use.

Long description

633 characters out of 4000. The app description is another place to boost visibility or conversions. But Temu isn’t using much of the 4000-character limit on the App Store or Play Store.

Shop on Temu for exclusive offers. Free delivery everywhere! No matter what you're looking for, Temu has you covered, including fashion, home decor, handmade crafts, beauty & cosmetics, clothing, shoes, and more. Download Temu today and enjoy incredible deals daily. 

WIDE SELECTION Discover thousands of new products and shops. 

CONVENIENCE Fast and secure checkout. 

Free shipping & returns within 90 days. *Other conditions may apply 

Visit or follow us on: 





This means Temu should be adding more keywords in the Play Store description, which isn't as necessary on the App Store unless you're doing Apple Search Ads.


Stellar 4.64 at 2,184,332 reviews in Google Play. The average review rating, however, is 4.3. It seems Temu’s team is actively replying to user reviews, especially featured reviews.



Screenshots need to be visually appealing and Temu's doing this right, like other top apps. They're showing promos for the season, using phones to display app content, strong copy, and consistent background styles.


Shein and AliExpress are also using this approach. Copying what works for similar successful apps can give you ideas for your app. Consider using custom product pages (CPPs) to personalize the app for different sets of people on the App Store. This is a mildly interesting fact: Temu, Etsy, and Alibaba’s logos have virtually the same background color. Shopping is all about that particular shade of red (which you drive your bank account balance into).


In terms of ASO, Temu doesn’t seem too bothered with the precise optimization of its assets in any of the stores. Instead, you see Temu’s ads virtually everywhere. The app pushes forward cash incentives during sign-up and gamifies the entire shopping experience.

You can also see that Temu is actively responding to user reviews, especially those that matter a lot. While they could scale up and be able to respond to every single one, that is not a part of their strategy just yet. However, that helps Temu to maintain its fantastic star ratings.

The allure of cheap goods delivered straight from the factories and often at no shipping cost is the main driving factor behind its success. If you learn about the app and give it a go, you are welcomed with a roulette wheel that may as well gift you with $200 in coupons, or more—if you’re lucky.

If you are looking to scale up your e-commerce app, pay heed to one big thing that sets Temu apart from everyone else: it has begun its journey with billions in funding. If they can afford to neglect their ASO and drive aggressive marketing campaigns, it doesn’t mean that applies to everyone. Respond to reviews, rank for relevant keywords, and monitor your competition—AppFollow could be instrumental in achieving all that.


Whether Temu makes it or breaks it depends on several things: dodging the errors Wish made, how long its parent company PDD will fund its losses if it gets too caught up in quick growth, and how far it'll go to please customers. 

The app stores’ success of Temu will rely on the continued optimization of its pages alongside careful ad placements and general marketing.

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Yaroslav Rudnitsky is the Senior Professional Services Manager at AppFollow. During his career, he’s been working with top app publishers, helping them improve their visibility in stores, increase conversion to install, and win against competitors.


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