Tik Tok to rival Amazon with Its Own Fulfilment Service

Supply Chain lmerecruitment | 17th Aug 2023

In a move that’s taken many by surprise, Tik Tok has launched “Fulfilled by Tik Tok” (FBT), a dedicated logistics programme that makes it easier than ever for merchants to leverage the app’s user base to sell goods directly on Tik Tok.

And when you really think about it, this is a shrewd move by the app. After all, social media marketing is a numbers game. The bigger the audience, the more potential customers you have.

In 2022, Tik Tok had an estimated 1.4 billion monthly active users. By the close of 2023, that figure is expected to swell to 1.8 billion users. That’s a whole lot of people ready, willing and able to buy products.

Fulfilled by Tik Tok (FBT) is now available in the UK. Tik Tok will pick, pack, and ship merchants’ products directly to the Tik Tok community. It has been designed to help streamline potentially time-consuming logistics restraints, creating a swift, straightforward solution that allows merchants to focus more on their product offerings and marketing.

But will it be a success?

The evolution of Tik Tok

Tik Tok has big plans for the future. It may have begun life as a video microblogging platform where users could post short-form videos of dance routines, funny skits, and their own opinions, but the platform is now engaged in the biggest content upheaval it has even undertaken.

Forget short-form video; Tik Tok has its eyes on becoming an all-consuming text-based social media app. One that entertains, informs, sells, and advertises. Think of what X (or Twitter) is intent on accomplishing or what Threads has ambitions to become.

One of the more notable changes to the platform will be brand new text-based posts, with users able to post up to 1,000 words, giving them a chance to not only flex their video skills but their written creativity too.

However, Fulfilled by Tik Tok is, arguably, the most startling and ambitious move taken by one of the world’s biggest social media platforms.

The Tik Tok Shop

Tik Tok Shop is a fully integrated eCommerce platform, allowing merchants and creators to sell products to the whole Tik Tok community, making purchases directly through a complete in-app experience.

There is no redirection to partnered shopping websites or apps, alongside the opportunity to discover, communicate with, and collaborate with thousands of creators through an affiliate programme directly accessible on the Tik Tok app. Better still, the all-in-one experience means that merchants can benefit from higher conversions and sales.

What does this mean? A more streamlined approach to selling, combined with creator communication. This has the potential to completely revolutionise eCommerce. And the more creators with TiK Tok shops, the greater the logistics infrastructure will need to be to support retail. This means more jobs.

How Tik Tok Works

Merchants who sign up to FBT will hand over control of their logistics operations, with their stock being stored at warehouses across the UK.

Merchants aren’t obliged to store all their SKUs at Tik Tok’s warehouses or use FBT to sell all their products. However, they have the option to streamline logistics operations by leveraging FBT to ship products that, let’s say, are sold exclusively on Tik Tok. Once an order is placed, warehouse operatives will pick, pack, and ship the product, all from Tik Tok’s dedicated warehouses.

To be eligible for FBT, merchants must be based in the UK and deliver to addresses in the UK. Packages must not exceed a weight of 30kg or a cubic volume of 31.5 cubic litres per shipment.

Tik Tok charges fees for warehousing, shipping, and other added-value services, such as labelling, pre-packing, and inserting leaflets. Anyone interested can check out the prices of services here.

A basic rundown of what Fulfilled by Tik Tok offers

Although the service is still very much in its infancy, TIK Tok’s services pretty much mirror what you’d expect when looking at comparable online retailers like Amazon.

These are:

  • Automated, same-day fulfilment for all orders made by 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday
  • Premium next-day delivery service
  • Improved customer service and ratings with dedicated customer service departments and instant messaging
  • Reduced delivery times using improved metrics

To support the rollout, Tik Tok has launched a dedicated portal, complete with a basic service explanation, the benefits of using FBT, how FBT can streamline logistics operations, and pricing.

How fulfilment by Tik Tok will affect logistics recruitment

With its pivot towards providing a full eCommerce service offering, Tik Tok has not only done the unexpected but potentially created a whole host of new recruitment opportunities.

In an era when it’s easy to feel deflated by inflation, a flatlined UK economy with minimal growth, and a cost-of-living crisis that seems perpetually in the news, FBT is yet another example of how the logistics sector is bucking the gloomy economic outlook.

Tik Tok has already partnered with 3PL fulfilment providers, creating a seamless service for merchants and a robust recruitment infrastructure. Its new eCommerce service will create a whole range of job opportunities, from warehouse operatives to administrators, supervisors, managers, and even forklift counterbalance operators.

Of course, widespread recruitment opportunities depend on the success of FBT. However, it’s safe to say that given Tik Tok’s vast active user base and opportunities for retailers, a major player in the sector will soon need a lot of manpower for its operations.

How to find a job at Fulfilled by Tik Tok

FBT was only launched on August 9, 2023. To say that the service is in its infancy would be an understatement. However, the initial beta testing and rollout of the Tik Tok shop have been wholly positive.

Expect creators and businesses to leverage Tik Tok to sell merchandise and products to followers and customers directly through the Tik Tok Shop; after all, it’s another revenue stream to take advantage of.

A quick look online, and you’ll discover that Tik Tok is already advertising for logistics roles, including an operations manager in London. Now, does this mean that Tik Tok will be doing all its logistics recruitment in-house? Highly, highly unlikely.

As the service grows, Tik Tok will need to leverage recruiters in the logistics sector to manage all their fulfilment orders. Do you think Amazon uses its own in-house recruitment to find warehouse operatives around the globe? This means that there will be more opportunities than ever before for people in the logistics and, potentially, shipping industries.

A bright future is ahead

The news that Tik Tok has launched its own fulfilment service may have come out of left field, but it’s a clear indication that the logistics sector is booming.

There’s no way that Tik Tok, an app available in more than 160 countries with over a billion users, would even entertain branching out into fulfilment if there wasn’t a significant financial incentive to do so. Think about it: Tik Tok’s value and influence mean that it has the resources to branch into any direction it wants, and it has chosen fulfilment.

Hey, with that kind of influence on consumers and popular culture, it could have set up its own movie studio! Yet it has decided to launch FBT.

This could very well change the face of online consumerism. And logistics will be a vital part of that change.




Straight from the Bird’s mouth