HomeTechnologyHow is SHEIN Becoming the World's Biggest Retailer?

How is SHEIN Becoming the World’s Biggest Retailer?

It would be pretty surprising if someone in 2023 hadn’t heard of the online fashion retailer SHEIN. Even with its low 3.7 star score on TrustPilot, SHEIN manages to be one of the biggest retailers in the world, and with good reason. The retailer is simply putting the fast in fast fashion and targeting the right audience, but since its inception in 2015, how has it grown so fast? Here’s a look at why SHEIN is now a titan in the fashion industry and isn’t disappearing any time soon. An SEO Manchester expert examines.


Created by Chinese entrepreneur Chris Xu, back in 2008 he was an SEO expert who launched a wedding dress company with some of the high executives at SHEIN now. The brand was originally called SheInside and was rebranded in 2015 where it became a womenswear brand.

Being an SEO expert, Xu rebranded to SHEIN to make it easier to search for online.  

SHEIN targets the right demographic for its price range, while people above the age of 40 may never have heard of SHEIN, the core demographic of users on social media have, which is essential to SHEINs success.

Younger users have less disposable income but higher buying habits, which means they’re always looking for something more affordable. In 2022, SHEIN generated over 20 billion and while the younger demographic has less to spend on fashion, they also enjoy purchasing clothing more, statistically. Social media is the key to SHEINs success with 30 million followers on Instagram, this is combined with their insight and technology to create unstoppable fashion at the fastest pace. Digital marketing agency Manchester believes SHEIN uses technology to improve their social ads targeting.

Insight & Technology

SHEIN uses machine learning to help decide what styles to create in future. Using interaction with the website to engage with users on new styles, releasing them in batches and if successful, full launches. SHEIN also scours the internet for the latest trends before it creates new styles.

The business is also the fastest, fast fashion brand, with more than 2,000 designers helping to create products based on the insight from machine learning.

One problem SHEIN faces constantly is plagiarism. While the algorithm can help to create new trends, the designers also need to make sure that the products aren’t direct copies of competitor products.

Tax Loopholes

Although the brand began in China, it now operates in more than 150 countries with Northern America offering over 35% of SHEINs sales. In the UK, around 30,000 products are sold daily and with SHEINs low prices, and while it’s based in China, it doesn’t actually sell there. This means that SHEIN is exempt from Chinese VAT and consumer taxes leading to it  paying lower corporation taxes.

SHEIN also ships directly to customers, instead of using distribution centres like most retailers. Shipping directly and being of low value means that SHEIN doesn’t pay any import duties.

Overall it’s never recommended to support fast fashion brands but it’s very difficult to avoid the success of SHEIN. Customer shopping habits will always exist, but spending habits change a lot depending on the economy, but either way it is difficult to avoid shopping with SHEIN at their prices.




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