Can Sellers Shein Brighter?

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Written by Brook Schaaf

How the fast fashion giant’s foothold in the market poises itself well for affiliate

Yes, yes, it’s apparently pronounced “She-UN,” though, according to Jason “Retailgeek” Goldberg on the Jason and Scot Show, some say “shine.” Either way, you’re likely to be saying it more often, because the company continues to grow and grow. Goldberg noted that its global traffic surpassed that of earlier this year, though the latter is still ahead in the U.S.

Known for cheap fast fashion, Shein looks to be borrowing from bookseller Amazon’s playbook by expanding its categories and opening a marketplace. According to multiple outlets, Shein is wooing large Amazon sellers with various perks. This may present a new challenge for America’s leading online retailer on both the seller and consumer sides … and a global opportunity for affiliates.

In his book Amazon Unbound, Brad Stone noted that Amazon aggressively started to pursue Chinese sellers around 2015, in part because executives noticed shoppers preferred cheaper no-name goods. The effort was successful but created problems with sellers and customers. 

As Stone said in a 2021 interview: “And they — they pursued path in a very Amazon-like way, building … self-service systems and translation tools, aggregating inventory and lowering the cost of ship and then suddenly, the mark-up place tilts in favor of overseas seller and you have a lot of disgruntled sellers in the West and explosion selection, lower prices, and all kinds of chaos, counterfeits, fraud, exploding hoverboards, and perhaps a real depreciation in the quality of products that are sold on Amazon.”

So Amazon has since had to balance to keep its sellers and customers happy. Over time, Shein might be positioned to grab significant share or even usurp the lowest-price shopping market because the sellers and buyers have realistic expectations. This, in turn, might open up new content opportunities for affiliates around the world, assuming Shein can make a correspondingly attractive affiliate program.

… And assuming it isn’t hindered by negative sentiment or a new postal treaty. Shein has recently dealt with social media furor and a lawsuit associated with various criticisms, including infringement on intellectual property. Competitor Temu has sued and been countersued.

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