Temu’s Most Frequent Shoppers Are Much Older Than You Think

Online retailer Temu has been making waves with its bargain-like prices since its debut in September 2022. The China-based company sells everything from clothes to tools and even patio furniture. 

Given its popularity on social media platforms such as TikTok, most would assume younger generations, like GenZ, would be among Temu’s most frequent shoppers. But a recent story in Bloomberg, which used Attain data, revealed that Boomers are the company’s largest repeat customers. In fact, the group — aged 59 and older — led in usage with an average of 5.6 transactions in 2023, double that of Gen Z (2.6). 


“I love shopping”

Bloomberg reported that Dawn Damon, a 51-year-old parent of five from Spokane, Washington, heard about Temu from her 72-year-old mother, adding that she “got hooked quickly and placed about 31 orders, snatching up purses, luggage, winter hats, candles, wall art, towels and a soap dispenser.”

“I love shopping,” Damon told Bloomberg. “I haven’t always had a lot of money or time or energy to shop, but I can scroll on Temu and just look at things.”

A key differentiator of Temu, setting it apart from traditional online retailers, is its incorporation of gamification strategies, which engage customers by offering them opportunities to spin a wheel for discounts or incentivize them with greater savings for completing multiple purchases within a 10-minute window, for example. 

Older shoppers are typically less digitally savvy than younger generations and might be unaware of how the game-like shopping experience jacks up their spending, Emily Balcetis, an associate professor of psychology at New York University, told Bloomberg.

“E-Commerce is going through somewhat of a renaissance,” Attain CEO Brian Mandelbaum said in a follow-up interview on Bloomberg TV. “Our data suggests that digital is nuanced and every facet of the economy has a different market and a different niche. Advertisers need to rethink their engagement strategies if they want to capture more market share outside of the Gen Z economy.”

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