Social media upstart TikTok appears to have set its sights on the likes of Amazon and Facebook, with evidence emerging of plans to become a serious player in the e-commerce space.
The hottest social network of the moment evidently has plans to further monetise its viral short video sharing service.
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has posted series of job listings on LinkedIn for people to help set up and run a “Fulfillment By TikTok Shop” over in the US. One listing speaks of “providing warehousing, delivery, and customer service returns” in order to “provide buyers a satisfying shopping experience and ensure fast and sustainable growth of TikTok Shop”.
While these 12 initial job listings are all US based, the plainly stated intention here is for TikTok to set up an “international e-commerce fulfillment system”. All of which sounds decidedly like an attempt to intrude on Facebook parent company Meta’s space in the ‘social commerce space’ by setting up a decidedly Amazon-esque retail operation.
Indeed, one of the US cities TikTok is focusing on here is Seattle, where it can benefit from a deep Amazon-shaped pool of e-commerce talent. As Axios reports, though, there doesn’t appear to be any mention of establishing its own transportation set-up as yet, unlike Amazon.
Officially, TikTok will only confirm that it’s supporting “a selection of merchants which offer a range of product options as well as delivery options” in areas such as the UK and Southeast Asia, where it’s already operating some form of retail program.
The company set up an initial QVC-style UK operation around this time last year, but reportedly ran into some trouble. According to the Financial Times, there were major culture clash issues between UK workers and TikTok’s Chinese owners, resulting in a mass staff walk-out.