Sunday, 04 Dec 2022

Job listings hint at TikToks US plans to venture into e-commerce

Job listings hint at TikToks US plans to venture into e-commerce


Job listings hint at TikToks US plans to venture into e-commerce

TikTok appears to be deepening its foray into e-commerce with plans to operate its own US warehouses, the kind of packing and shipping facilities more associated with Amazon or Walmart than the social media platform best known for addictive short videos.

In the past two weeks, TikTok has posted several job listings on LinkedIn looking for candidates to help it develop and grow its "Fulfillment by TikTok Shop" in the US to accommodate sellers using the app. According to the listings, TikTok plans to provide warehousing, delivery and item return options to sellers.

A company spokesperson declined to comment on TikTok's e-commerce plans in the US.

But the job listings offer a window into a possible US e-commerce expansion. In some listings, TikTok says it is looking for a candidate who can manage a free return program, plan how to move inventory from one warehouse or business to another, and develop its fulfillment service in the US. In another listing, for a position in Seattle, the company refers to a global e-commerce team and a team member who will be responsible for building a global warehousing network, signaling its plans could be much larger.

"The e-commerce 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," the company wrote in the job listings. "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."

Axios first reported on the job postings.

Shopping on social media sites, known as social commerce, is a $37bn market in the US, led by Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, according to Insider Intelligence. Alphabet-owned YouTube also launched its own live-shopping feature, and partnered with Shopify to enable creators to connect their Shopify stores to their YouTube profiles. ByteDance, the Beijing-based company that owns TikTok, already runs a thriving social media marketplace on Douyin, its twin video app for the Chinese market. The TikTok spokesperson said the company was focused on "providing merchants with a range of product features and delivery options" in places it currently has e-commerce programs, such as south-east Asia and the United Kingdom.

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