Shopping portals such as Shein and Temu are very popular with consumers in Germany. How can their popularity be explained? A consumer survey by the Cologne retail research institute IFH provides answers to this. The awareness and use of Asian platforms has increased significantly year-on-year. According to a survey, 91 percent know them and 43 percent use them. The values ​​are therefore more than ten percentage points higher than a year ago. Shein even managed to more than double the order frequency compared to 2023. 22 percent shop there at least once a month. 

“More and more people are turning to Temu and Shein. This is mainly due to the low prices,” said IFH managing director Kai Hudetz to the dpa. He has another explanation: The online platforms offer products that often cannot be found elsewhere, such as home accessories. The success of Temu and Shein is therefore strongly price-driven. Two thirds are specifically looking for bargains there. One in two people say they buy products there that they cannot otherwise afford. “People in Germany are very focused on prices. Without inflation and uncertainty, Temu and Shein would not have grown so quickly in this country,” said Hudetz. 

However, according to the survey, there are significant concerns about shopping portals. 90 percent cite good quality as the most important purchasing criterion. However, 62 percent see a great risk that the items ordered from Temu and Shein are of inferior quality. Two thirds cannot imagine buying from this type of provider. 83 percent cite the poor quality of the products as the reason, 60 percent are afraid of counterfeit products. Up to 50 percent of Temu and Shein have the feeling that they are being manipulated. Only one in four people shop there without hesitation. 

Expert: It will be difficult to maintain the hype

Retail expert Hudetz therefore does not expect the platforms in Germany to continue to gain in importance and increase their reach. “The brakes on growth are strong. Trust in the portals is too low. That’s why it will be difficult to maintain the hype.” The position of established online retailers like Amazon is too strong. “There has to be another offer that makes people consider doing their shopping elsewhere.” 

According to the recently published online monitor by the IFH Cologne and the German Retail Association, the online boom is over, but shopping on the Internet is the first choice for many people. Amazon is still clearly ahead. The online giant had 310 million page visits in Germany in February 2024, well ahead of Otto (42.2 million), Temu (29.1) and Zalando (23.8). Shein was in 15th place with 3.4 million. At Temu, the number of visitors even fell compared to summer 2023.