- Fast fashion retailer Shein gained more monthly app downloads than Amazon and Shopify this year.
- The company is reportedly valued at $100 billion, more than Zara and H&M combined.
- Shein operates with an on demand model, which allows it to track customer trends in real time.
Chinese fast fashion company Shein is gaining on some of the biggest ecommerce players in the game.
Shein’s monthly app downloads outpaced those of Amazon Shopping and Shopify’s Shop app in February, March and April, according to a report from Bernstein.
Through April, Shein has gained 4% more app downloads than Amazon Shopping, while Shopify’s Shop app downloads have slowed. From January to April of this year, Shein had 13.8 million app downloads, compared to 9.2 million during the same period in 2021 — a 50% jump. Meanwhile, Amazon Shopping had 13.3 million and 13.2 million downloads during those periods respectively, an increase of just 0.75%.
Since it launched in 2012 under the name SheInside, the online retailer has skyrocketed to success. The company brought in $10 billion in sales in 2020, and by June 2021, it had claimed 28% of the US fast fashion market, according to research from data analytics firms Coresight Research and Earnest Research.
That success has caught the attention of investors.
Shein raised between $1 billion and $2 billion at a $100 billion valuation from private-equity firm General Atlantic, Tiger Global Management, and Sequoia Capital China, making it more profitable than fast fashion giants Zara and H&M combined, The Wall Street Journal reported in April. Prior to that, the company had an estimated $15 billion valuation after raising funding in August 2020, according to PitchBook data.
The company is the largest online-only fashion retailer, according to Euromonitor. And its ascendance is in large part due to its business model and an ecommerce explosion during the pandemic.
The company’s manufacturers scan all corners of the internet for new clothing trends, and once they spot a piece with viral potential, they produce it in small batches. Depending on how that piece sells, they either expedite its production or stop entirely, Their supply chain management software allows them to monitor customer search data and share it with manufactures in real time, Insider’s Mary Hanbury reported last year.
Shein has had a US presence since 2015, with offices in Los Angeles, and another in Washington, DC. In March, the company opened a distribution center in Whitestone, Indiana, which is projected to create 850 new jobs for the city’s residents, Journal & Courier, the daily newspaper of Lafayette, Indiana, reported.