Shein is, by some measures, the largest online only fashion company, which may be a surprise to those who have never heard of the app.
Originally a portal to buy wedding dresses, Shein branched out into general womenswear in the early 2010s and to all types of fashion by the mid-2010s, although the vast majority of its customers are still women.
It is now the leader of a new generation of fast fashion that puts Zara and H&M to shame, producing thousands of new items to match the current trends every week. On an average day, Shein adds 2,000 new items to its store.
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Shein has also captured the social media age better than any other fashion company, using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok intuitively to promote their products and partnering with hundreds of influencers on well thought-out promotional campaigns.
Like a lot of Chinese-based apps, Shein is full of promotions and offers to entice the customer to spend and return to spend more. It’s almost mandatory to receive at least three promotions on your first time using the app.
With such a large online footprint, it is somewhat surprising that the corporate side of the company is so secretive. Not much is known about the founder, Chris Xu, other than he was an SEO specialist and graduated from Qingdao University.
Shein partners with hundreds of clothing manufacturers in Guangzhou, China to make its items at such a fast rate. It has its own ordering and processing system, which manufacturers have to use to work with Shein, which ensures almost all of the items meet the company’s standard.
Unlike a lot of Chinese-based manufacturers, Shein is only focused on the international market, and does not sell in China.
At the start, Shein managed to draw in manufacturers simply by paying on time. In the early 2010s, there was a high rate of late or no payments in the Chinese manufacturing industry, and Shein gained a reputation for being very punctual in their payments.
In the past five years, Shein has seen its valuation skyrocket, as it broke into the US and European market. It went from a $5 billion valuation in 2019 to $47 billion in 2021, and is expected to IPO in 2022.
We have collected data and statistics on Shein. Read on below to find out more.
Shein Key Statistics
- Shein generated $15.7 billion in 2021, a 60 percent increase on the $9.8 billion it made in 2020
- It has an estimated 43.7 million active shoppers, 7.5 million are based in the US
- Shein was downloaded 157 million times in 2021, making it the second most downloaded shopping app of that year
- It was recently valued at $47 billion ahead of a 2022 IPO
|Launch date||March 2008|
|People||Chris Xu (founder, CEO), Quist Huang (director, employee experience)|
Most of Shein’s growth has come in the past two years. Revenue increased 398 percent from 2019 to 2021.
Shein annual revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)
Shein’s early growth came primarily from India and Saudi Arabia, but in the past two years the Brazil, Mexico and the U.S. have been its largest markets.
Shein annual users 2017 to 2021 (mm)
Shein US users
The US is Shein’s second largest market by total usage (behind Brazil) and its largest by revenue.
Shein annual users in the United States 2017 to 2021 (mm)
Source: Airnow via Daxue Consulting
Shein was the third most downloaded shopping app in 2021, behind Shopee and Meesho.
Shein annual downloads 2018 to 2021 (mm)
Shein’s value has increased by 840% in two years, as it has become a dominant player in the fast fashion industry.
Shein valuation 2019 to 2021 ($bn)
How many items are added to Shein everyday?
Shein added on average 2,000 SKUs (stock keeping unit) every day in 2021
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