TikTok Planning On Opening Warehouses In U.S.

More than a dozen recent LinkedIn Jobs postings suggest social media platform TikTok is getting into the warehouse and logistics business.

According to the listings, which were first notified by Axios, the Chinese-owned company is reportedly looking into building “global fulfillment centers” and seeking employees for locations in both Seattle and Los Angeles.

“The ecommerce industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years and has become a hotly contested space amongst leading Internet companies, and its future growth cannot be underestimated,” TikTok said in a job posting. “With millions of loyal users globally, we believe TikTok is an ideal platform to deliver a brand new and better e-commerce experience to our users.”

According to the postings, the short-form video-sharing platform is seeking to provide warehousing, delivery, and return services for merchants. They will also include customs clearing and supply chain systems.

These hirings appear to indicate the company is in the process of developing ecommerce as a new way to generate money, joining its already impressive advertising revenue, which is expected to keep growing at an exponential rate.

TikTok Committed To Ecommerce, Live Shopping

In August 2021, TikTok developed a partnership with Shopify that allowed merchants to connect their Shopify storefronts with the social media platform. This was intended to help retailers promote their brands and sell their products by using with organic discovery and shopping tabs.

The platform has also ventured into live shopping, a phenomenon incredibly popular in China and other Asian countries, but slower to catch on in the rest of the world.

Reports over the summer claimed TikTok was abandoning its live shopping plans for the U.S. and Europe after it struggled to gain a foothold, but more recent reports indicate the live shopping initiative is back on.

On October 1, the Financial Times reported the social media company is headed for a partnership with TalkShopLive to launch its live shopping platform.

Details have reportedly not been finalized, and no contracts have been signed, but this would allow TikTok to outsource its live shopping operations. This partnership could allow TikTok to leverage TalkShopLive’s technology to provide content creators with the ability to host live shopping sessions while broadcasting their own streams.

Though joining the ecommerce market has been slow-moving in North America, the social media platform already has a successful blueprint that has been proven in Southeast Asia and other regions.

TikTok Warehouses Could Challenge Amazon

With more than 1 billion active monthly users, TikTok is a powerful online player. By creating its own ecommerce supply chain system, it could pose a serious threat to Amazon’s hegemony, which has long dominated online shopping.

“By providing warehousing, delivery, and customer service returns, our mission is to help sellers improve their operational capability and efficiency, provide buyers a satisfying shopping experience and ensure fast and sustainable growth of TikTok Shop,” the social media company wrote in a job listing.

Featured image: Shutterstock/Koshiro K