Shein: The TikTok of Ecommerce

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Shein (pronounced She In) is the fastest-growing ecommerce company in the world. It reportedly did almost $10 billion in revenue in 2020, and has grown over 100% for each of the past eight years. The company is based in China, yet spurns its local market in favor of selling abroad. Shein sells into nearly every other major market in the world, with the notable exception of India, where it was banned along with TikTok and 57 other Chinese apps last June.

When it is discussed, Shein is compared to fast-fashion or ultra-fast fashion brands like Zara, H&M, Fashion Nova, or ASOS, but it’s… faster. A recent feature by data analytics firm Apptopia concluded that, “Shein is so far ahead of its direct (fashion industry) competitors that it’s difficult to even compare them.” It’s essentially defining its own category, which Matthew has coined Real-Time Retail.