Boomers and Gen X Are the Most Devoted Customers on This Popular Shopping App — And They Might Be Getting Played Because of Their Age Chinese e-commerce platform Temu, which launched in the U.S. in 2022, remains a hit despite consumer complaints.

By Amanda Breen

Key Takeaways

  • The user-friendly nature of Temu's interface and its appealing product mix attract older customers.
  • Gamification strategies utilized by Temu may be particularly enticing to Boomers and Gen X.
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The Chinese e-commerce platform Temu, which launched in the U.S. in September 2022, appears to have some staying power — and not just with digital native Gen Z and Millennial shoppers.

In its inaugural year of U.S. operations, Generation X and Baby Boomers were Temu's biggest splurgers — and they kept coming back for more, according to data from Chicago research firm Attain reported by Bloomberg.

Related: How to Tap into the U.S. Social Commerce Market Through Millennials and Gen Z

Owned by PDD Holdings Inc., Temu's aggressive marketing strategies on platforms like Facebook and even the Super Bowl — where it encouraged consumers to "Shop Like a Billionaire" — boosted app downloads and solidified its place among other Chinese market entrants like Shein and TikTok Shop, all of which offer cost-effective alternatives to Amazon, per the outlet.

Boomers aged 59 and up were the app's most devout fans: They placed about six orders per year, double the amount of 18 to 26-year-old Gen Z shoppers, according to the report.

"Temu has a diverse product mix that appeals to more mature shoppers who appreciate the variety and the discounts," Attain Chief Executive Officer Brian Mandelbaum told Bloomberg.

Soon after its U.S. launch, Temu began to gain a reputation for "undelivered packages, mysterious charges, incorrect orders, and unresponsive customer service," TIME reported.

Temu currently has more than 1,600 complaints lodged with the Better Business Bureau and a BBB customer rating of less than three stars.

Related: Asian Millennials Will Lead Global Consumer Market, Report says

Emily Balcetis, an associate professor of psychology at New York University, told Bloomberg that "gamification elements" within the app — spinning a roulette wheel to win discounts and free products — can contribute "perceived value" to the purchase.

Older consumers might be more susceptible, she added, as they might not be as aware as "younger, digital natives" of how such marketing tools influence their behavior.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a features writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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