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How to Fulfill Your TikTok Shop Orders in the US and How TikTok Fulfillment Works

In September 2023, Bytedance - TikTok launched TikTok Shop, its ecommerce storefront in the US, UK, and most Southeast Asian countries. 

As you might guess, it’s been a smash hit. As of January 2024 200,000 merchants and 100,000 affiliates operated in the ecosystem. Everyone is excited to be first movers in what could be the next Amazon or Shopify.

✍️ Note: For the rest of this article, we’ll use TikTok to refer to the company Bytedance. However, TikTok is an application owned by Bytedance and not a standalone enterprise. ✍️ 

But TikTok realizes becoming an ecommerce hub is more than adding new online shopping options on a web page. To make the TikTok Shop function, TikTok is rolling out standardized logistics and fulfillment procedures. The last thing it wants is its platform gaining a reputation for shoddy deliveries.

To that end, TikTok created a strict set of fulfillment standards for store owners and is rolling out an in-house fulfillment option. Fulfillment by TikTok (FBT) has already launched in the US and the UK and will likely spread to Southeast Asia soon.

At OTW Shipping, we’re an ecommerce warehouse experienced in TikTok Shop fulfillment. Check out our guide for best practices for TikTok fulfillment so you can keep your ecommerce shop compliant and on top of the trends.

🚚 Need warehousing for your US ecommerce business? Check out OTW Shipping.🚚

How to fulfill TikTok Shop orders

Before we begin, these are the most important rules to remember when fulfilling TikTok Shop orders:

  • You need to follow TikTok Shop’s fulfillment guidelines – TikTok is very open about the fulfillment quality it expects from its shops. For example, seller fault cancellations can never rise above 2.5%. Read its fulfillment guidelines thoroughly before you get started or else you may risk losing access to TikTok Shop.

  • Reputation is everything – Give the wrong customer a bad experience and they could turn the whole internet against your brand with one video.

  • Packaging is important – Unboxing videos are extremely popular on TikTok. Don’t skimp on quality packaging and presentation. Make sure your warehouse doesn’t either.

  • Optimize for speed (as long as it doesn’t decrease quality) – TikTok trends spread quickly. If you move slowly, you can miss out. If your product goes viral, it can mean millions of dollars for your business, provided you rise to meet demand.

How to fulfill TikTok orders yourself

If you’re like most people, you’ll likely fulfill orders yourself out of your house in the early stages of your TikTok ecommerce journey. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow to get that started:

Set Up Shipping

You can set up shipping for TikTok orders by enabling the Seller Shipping option in your settings. From there you can set up appropriate settings for your store and select a provider from TikTok’s list of approved US carrier and shipping partners. 

As of March, 2024 TikTok’s approved carrier partners and shipping companies include:

  • USPS

  • UPS 

  • FedEx 

  • DHL ECommerce

  • Amazon Logistics

  • AxleHire

  • Better Trucks

  • Deliver-it

  • GLS US

  • Lasership

  • Lone Star Overnight

  • Ontrac

  • Spee-Dee Delivery

  • TForce

  • Wizmo

Make sure to read TikTok’s guide to seller shipping for more details. Once your order is out, you can only revise shipping provider information once, and only within 72 hours of uploading a tracking number.

Prepare your orders

After reviewing your order details, you’ll need to pack items securely, print out shipping labels, and prepare any necessary documentation or instructions​. 

We’ve written a great blog with advice for packing and labeling materials for small businesses. The best packing material/ship method may vary from product to product, but make sure it's secure and protected in transit with the smallest size and lightest weight possible for the lowest shipping costs.

You may want to review the TikTok Shop Academy article for the UK which drops some handy details for packaging best practices (just remember not everything in it is for the US).

Ship your order

Ship your order using the carriers you’ve selected while adhering to the carrier’s guidelines for packaging and labeling. Don't forget to include a tracking number​! TikTok expects your tracking rate to stay at 95% or higher.

Some notes on delivery timelines from TikTok:

  • Express delivery: requires a first delivery attempt within 4 business days after the order was placed.

  • Standard delivery: requires a first delivery attempt within 7 business days after the order was placed.

  • Economy delivery: requires a first delivery attempt within 11 business days after the order was placed.

  • A package will be deemed "lost" if there have been no carrier scans for 10 calendar days or 7 business days.

On top of all of that, you must have a scan by the carrier indicating it was picked up within 2 business days of order placement. If it sounds like a lot to handle yourself - it's because it is!

How to fulfill TikTok orders using a 3PL

As you can see, TikTok Shop’s fulfillment guidelines are a bit of a hassle for a one-man operation. 

As you grow, you’ll likely need to bring in additional help through a third party logistics (3PL) provider. These businesses will help you stay within TikTok’s guidelines at scale and can handle random spikes in volume, should you go viral.

Fortunately, there are huge numbers of 3PL providers today and it’s very straightforward to use them.

Integrate your storefront

TikTok Shop is still new to the ecommerce game so software platforms are still building out integrations. Fortunately, TikTok Shop integrates easily with many other ecommerce applications. And fortunately for those using OTW Shipping for fulfillment, we are one of the first to have a direct TikTok integration!

While companies are building TikTok Shop integrations, using Shopify as your ecommerce storefront is probably your best bet if you're doing it yourself.

While OTW Shipping can directly integrate with TikTok, every 3PL integrates with Shopify and Shopify’s native app for TikTok Shop is simple to connect.

Get a warehouse

Now that you've grown, wrapping packages in your garage has become unsustainable. You could start renting your own space, but that comes with a lot of risk. If your order volumes suddenly drop, you could be stuck with a three year lease on a building you can’t afford to rent. To stay flexible in the world of unpredictable sales and viral scaling, we advise merchants to use a 3PL.

3PL warehouses store and manage your goods as your business grows before you have the volume for your own, full-sized warehouse.

A good 3PL warehouse can not only manage your fulfillment but will:

  • Give growth and fulfillment advice

  • Scale up or slow down operations with your business so you stay in compliance

  • Decrease shipping costs

  • Give you more time back to continue growing your business

Psst, we do all of the above at OTW Shipping.

How to fulfill TikTok Shop orders using Fulfillment by TikTok (FBT)

FBT isn’t an internal operation right now so don’t expect a truck with the TikTok logo to be dropping off your packages just yet. You’ll more or less be working with another 3PL business that takes care of fulfillment and warehousing at the same time.

To provide fulfillment, TikTok is striking deals with logistics providers including ShipBob, Newegg, and Pipak to store inventory and pick, pack, and ship online orders. Those companies will then drop the packages into private delivery networks for delivery.

How does Fulfillment by TikTok work?

As of March 2024, Fulfillment by TikTok (FBT) is officially available in the UK and is rolling out in the US. We’ll talk more about the US process in the section below as it’s murkier than the UK one.

To be eligible for FBT in the UK, merchants must be based in and delivering to the UK. Packages can’t exceed 30 kg (about 55 pounds) or a cubic volume of 31.5 cubic liters (1.1 cubic feet) per shipment.

How fulfilled by TikTok works:

  • Merchants sign up to FBT and hand over a volume of their stock 

  • Stock is stored at an affiliated warehouse. Merchants don't have to store all of their SKUs at the warehouse, or use FBT for all of their products; they can select particular items which they would like to store and ship through FBT.

  • The warehouse will pick, pack, and label the merchandise before it is shipped.

  • All orders are fulfilled same day, with automated fulfillment for all orders made by 7 PM Monday to Saturday.

How much does fulfillment by TikTok cost?

In the UK, FBT charges fees for warehousing, shipping, and other value-added services such as labeling, pre-packing, and inserting leaflets. You can find an updated list of their UK rates and value-added services in their seller center.

US rates aren’t transparent at the moment. Right now they are being fulfilled by a local fulfillment provider on a case-by-case basis.

Who provides warehousing and fulfillment for TikTok?

Right now TikTok works with Pipak Warehousing to manage all of its orders in the UK. Interestingly, there isn’t a ton of information about Pipak on the internet right now. Not even a LinkedIn page.

In the US, TikTok works with a fast-growing 3PL enterprise, ShipBob, to manage fulfillment. You’ll need to apply for the feature on ShipBob’s site. Expect pricing, rates, and limits to vary a bit from the ones mentioned above in the UK.

ShipBob fulfillment gets mixed reviews but may be useful for the right businesses. Make sure to check out reviews online before handing over your entire process. You can also handle fulfillment through a bespoke network.


Get reliable TikTok warehousing and fulfillment services in the US

If you are running an ecommerce business through TikTok, you need warehousing and fulfillment services you know you can rely on.

At OTW Shipping, our mission is to become your in-house fulfillment team. When you work with us you get:

  • Access to a Slack-like messaging channel where you have multiple contact points who know your operation intimately

  • 99.95% order accuracy rate

  • Same-day shipping for orders before 12pm

  • State-of-the-art order management software

Interested in your own personalized rates? Click the button below. Talk soon!


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