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TikTok is reportedly planning to build warehouses in the United States to diversify its business model to incorporate live online shopping and other similar features to further monetize its large user base.

The social media platform’s push to e-commerce was first reported by Axios after their team found several job posts on LinkedIn that included warehousing and fulfillment center positions.

One of the job posts stated that TikTok is looking to build an “international e-commerce fulfillment system” that will support operations in both the US and other countries and that will have to deal with customs clearance, order fulfillment, and other similar tasks.

Some of the positions were reportedly available for Seattle-based individuals, hinting at the possibility that the company may be looking to establish its first warehouse in that particular city.

Is TikTok Seeking to Compete with Amazon?

This latest initiative would make TikTok a direct competitor of Amazon (AMZN) and it could be a threat to the e-commerce empire created by Jeff Bezos considering the large number of users who use the social media platform every day.

“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”, one of TikTok’s e-commerce-related job posts stated.

TikTok could reportedly partner with local vendors in the locations where its TikTok Shops are currently supported to deliver the products that users are looking for. The creation of its own fulfillment centers will further facilitate this initiative.

Also read: TikTok Parent ByteDanec is Losing Billions Each Year Despite Rapid Growth

In an e-mail statement sent to CNN, a TikTok spokesperson commented that the company was “focused on providing a valuable shopping experience in countries where TikTok Shop is currently offered across Southeast Asia and the UK, which includes providing merchants with a range of product features and delivery options”.

The social media app owned by ByteDance recently partnered with Shopify (SHOP) to give TikTok’s business accounts the possibility of incorporating product offerings and a shopping tab to their profile pages.

“By enabling new in-app shopping experiences and product discovery on TikTok for the first time, Shopify is powering the creator economy on one of the fastest-growing social and entertainment platforms in the world. We are excited to help this next generation of entrepreneurs connect with their audiences in more ways—and with TikTok as a visionary partner”, commented Harley Finkelstein, President of Shopify back in August when the partnership was announced.

TikTok Could Become the Leading Social Media Platform a Few Years From Now

According to the latest update from ByteDance, TikTok reached one billion monthly active users (MAUs) by September 2021. This is roughly a third of Facebook’s MAUs and around half the number of users that Instagram attracts every month.

However, the pace at which TikTok is expanding its user base could soon propel the social media platform to become the largest social media platform. From Q2 2021 to Q2 2022, TikTok has increased its number of users by 50% according to data from Business of Apps.

Also read: How to Create you First Shopify Store (Step-by-Step)

If this growth trajectory continues, the firm could have as many users as Facebook within the next two to three years. That said, consumer preferences and trend changes are the norm in the tech industry and there are no guarantees that the platform’s popularity will endure the many changes that society will probably go through during those years.

For now, TikTok appears to be focusing on finding new ways to monetize its large user base by introducing new solutions for businesses and content creators that have a strong presence within the platform.

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