TikTok’s latest venture appears to be e-commerce fulfillment

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Dive Brief:

  • Entering a competitive arena with companies like Amazon, social media app TikTok is hiring for jobs at global fulfillment centers, according to several job postings over the past two weeks.
  • In one job posting that has since been updated, the list of responsibilities stated the employee would “build the new fulfillment service from scratch.” The job postings additionally state that the global fulfillment team will be creating an e-commerce system that is secure, innovative and intuitive.
  • The job openings are in locations such as Los Angeles and Seattle, and range from business development roles to logistics solutions managers.

Dive Insight:

The social media app famous for its short-form videos appears to be taking a significant step into the e-commerce world by moving beyond brand awareness and potentially assisting brands with fulfillment.

A company spokesperson declined to provide further context on the fulfillment center plans, but said “we’re focused on providing a valuable shopping experience in countries where TikTok Shop is currently offered across Southeast Asia and the U.K., which includes providing merchants with a range of product features and delivery options,” in emailed comments to Retail Dive.

Plenty of retail brands have been running to TikTok to catch the attention of its audience, which will reach about 750 million monthly users in 2022 according to Insider Intelligence. David’s Bridal released shoppable content on the app in June, with the company saying the campaign reached 16 million viewers as of late July. Pacsun reached a milestone of 2 million followers on the app in August.

TikTok has been adding to its social commerce features and plans during the past two years. The company in July launched a six-week educational small business program, which aimed to assist businesses in increasing sales through the platform. In August of last year, TikTok also partnered with Shopify to create the TikTok Shopping feature, enabling Shopify merchants with TikTok For Business accounts to add a shopping tab to their profiles.

The news comes as an uncertain holiday season approaches. A study from Gartner shows that not all consumers will look to social media for gift inspiration this year, with only 2% of the 306 respondents saying they will use TikTok for that purpose.

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