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Latest Logistics Hopeful? TikTok

TikTok appears to be part of a growing wave of companies looking to exact greater control over their logistics operations in a move underscoring e-commerce‘s continued growth.

The short-form video platform looks to be hiring for positions to pad its global logistics team’s new Fulfillment by TikTok Shop service, which is billed as a “logistics solution” for sellers. The new offering was first reported by Axios.

“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 company said in a job posting. 

The full scope of the Fulfillment by TikTok Shop service and what will be owned and operated by the company remains to be seen. It would appear, based on job postings, the company is, at the least, interested in building out a warehouse network but would continue to rely on third-party logistics providers and transportation companies for certain services. 

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday on its logistics plans. 

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The open job requisitions suggest the company’s ambitions are to build out the rest of the ecosystem in online shopping. 

TikTok Shop already offer sellers a platform to sell products through videos, live formats and a product showcase tab. Offering fulfillment and last mile delivery would close the loop on the rest of the customer experience post-purchase. 

TikTok Shop rolled out to the U.K. last year, with the move reflecting the first expansion outside of Asia for the social media platform. TikTok is owned by Beijing-based Bytedance.  

The U.K. rollout, however, appears to have been a rocky one with the shopping feature missing on internal sales projections and lackluster interest from brands and influencers, according to a Financial Times report. 

The company struck a deal with Los Angeles-based TalkShopLive to bring video shopping to the U.S. in a format that’s expected to launch ahead of the holiday selling season, the Financial Times also reported.  

TalkShopLive lets brands sell through shoppable livestreams and counts Walmart among the larger companies to utilize its platform. The company’s most recent raise, amounting to $6 million, closed last July and brought its total raised to date to $10.5 million. 

While companies continue to innovate on the online shopping front with technology, such as livestreaming, the fulfillment and logistics part of the transaction has largely languished in the background. That’s changing with e-commerce’s growth and the more recent supply chain headwinds that have accelerated the need for solutions around faster shipping, visibility, reverse logistics and other aspects of fulfillment.

“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,” said a TikTok job posting for a Los Angeles logistics operations manager. “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.”