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TikTok is taking on Amazon by launching fulfillment centers

TikTok is expanding into an unknown realm beyond their expertise – fulfillment centers. What will happen to Amazon?

Amazon warehouse representing TikTok fulfillment centers.

When I think of fulfillment centers, I think of Amazon, not Tiktok. However, it appears Tiktok is chasing after the retail giant by committing to opening its own string of US fulfillment centers.

If you have spent more than 30 seconds on TikTok, you would know that there are a ton of ads in it disguised as just random videos on your ‘for you’ page. It’s clever and only slightly less annoying than regular ads.

It leaves me to question what exactly will Tiktok be fulfilling? Depending on your TikTok algorithm, you could be seeing ads for pet toys, skincare, household products, and everything in between. Are they just going to pick certain items or will it be everything marketed on their platform? Also, they have to take into account that they do not have a marketplace as Amazon does.

Though I fully believe the venture to be warranted given they have been wanting to expand beyond the videos their platform is known for, the logistics of it all seem scattered. However, they may have things wrapped up in a neat little bow and have yet to reveal it.

Axios, a media-based app, has been posting job openings for their upcoming fulfillment centers. The positions are ranging from logistics managers to floor workers. It’ll be interesting to see how many people jump at the opportunity.

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TikTok is supposed to be coming out with its own shopping feature, but it has yet to be released or tested by the general public, so hiring this early on for multiple facilities seems a little like they are jumping the gun. I’m not saying no one will use it, as I’m sure a few people will. I just wonder if it’ll have enough of an audience to warrant all of the locations Tiktok is planning.

TikTok has also been known to pay its creators poorly. Creators will be on board as the shift to e-commerce will ensure they get more money in the long run. This may be the chance for the creators who are bringing in so much money to take a stand. This shift may not be a huge hit without them on board, so asking for decent pay in return for the crowds they bring in would not surprise me.

Overall, there is still a lot we don’t know about TikTok’s next move. All we can do is keep an eye out and see if the platform is going to rise to the occasion to rival Amazon or if this next venture will be making them take two steps back instead of one step forward.

A native New Englander who migrated to Austin on a whim, Stephanie Dominique is a freelance copywriter, novelist, and certificate enthusiast. When she's not getting howled at by two dachshunds or inhaling enough sugar to put a giant into shock, she is reading, cooking or writing about her passions.

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