After establishing itself as a competitor to social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, TikTok is now setting its sights on e-commerce behemoth Amazon, new job postings suggest.
In one posting for an operation research engineer, listed duties include "building a global logistic and warehousing network." In another posting looking for a logistics solution manager, the description notes that the role would be responsible for the "planning and solution design of fulfillment centres."
"We are looking for passionate and talented people to join our global fulfillment centre team, together we can build an e-commerce ecosystem that is innovative, secure and intuitive for our users," the posting reads.
The roles are based in Seattle, where Amazon's headquarters is located. A spokesperson for TikTok did not return FOX Business' request for comment.
TIKTOK PARENT BYTEDANCE SEES LOSSES SWELL IN PUSH FOR GROWTH
The Chinese-owned short-form video platform, which surpassed 1 billion monthly active users globally in September 2021, currently operates a TikTok Shop that is available for sellers in the U.K. and Southeast Asia.
In August 2021, TikTok began piloting an in-app shopping feature in the U.S. and U.K. in partnership with Shopify. At the time, Shopify said that the pilot would also expand to Canada.
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During the second quarter, Amazon reported net sales of $121.2 billion, up 7% compared with $113.1 billion in the same quarter a year ago. However, the company posted a net loss of $2 billion, or 20 cents per diluted share, compared with net income of $7.8 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, a year ago
In the second quarter of 2022, e-commerce sales totaled $257.3 billion on an adjusted basis, up 2.7% from the prior quarter and 6.8% from the same quarter last year, according to the Census Bureau. E-commerce sales accounted for 14.5% of overall retail sales for the quarter.
Amazon announced Thursday that it plans to hire 150,000 employees throughout the U.S. for full-time, seasonal and part-time jobs starting at $19 an hour for most roles and up to $22 for select shifts.
Here’s how potential employees can put themselves in the running for a position.
First off, people who apply for these jobs at Amazon won’t need to provide a resume. Instead, they will fill out an online job application that asks for some information as well as shift preferences. This process takes about 15 minutes.
Prospective employees can begin by creating an account with their email address and a six-number pin. They’ll be asked to verify their account through email or on their mobile phone.
Next, candidates will click “apply” on the job posting they are interested in. Once they read through the description page, they can click to start the application.
“Jobs in Amazon’s operations network include stowing, picking, packing, shipping, and delivering customer orders, and the jobs are available in hundreds of cities and towns across the U.S.,” said Amazon. “These roles can often lead to a long-term career.”
After memorizing through questions and ensuring they provided all required information, applicants can submit. If they get a job offer, the candidates can then select their shift and preferred location and click “select this job” before proceeding to “accept this offer.”
Applicants have the option to go back and review the previous page of available shifts, but they can't save a job listing. Amazon does not recommend waiting, as positions could fill up.
Candidates will also complete a “Virtual Job Preview” and then move on to an in-person 20-minute “Office Hours” appointment. For this appointment, candidates should bring proof of identity and employment eligibility. They will not be paid to attend the appointment.
“Be sure to bring the proper I-9 identification,” said the company. A background check is also required.
During a pre-hire appointment, candidates will have their photo taken for their badge and complete a drug test, if applicable. They’ll also fill out some final paperwork.
If hired, new employees will receive an email with schedule details.
“When you arrive to your first day at Amazon, you will dive deeper into the details of your work and learn important safety rules,” said the company. Amazon recommends wearing proper attire on the job. This includes close-toed shoes, no jackets or hoodies with drawstrings, no long necklaces, no hoop earrings, and have long hair pinned up or in a ponytail.
“A diverse range of positions are available to applicants from all backgrounds and experience levels,” said Amazon of the 150,000 positions it is looking to fill as we head into the holiday season.
Amazon employees can also get benefits such as healthcare, parental leave, employee discounts, and more.
“Whether someone is looking for some extra money for a few months or a long-term career, the holidays are a great time for people to join Amazon, and many of our seasonal employees return year-after-year or transition into full-time roles,” said John Felton, Amazon’s senior vice president of Worldwide Operations.
In latest months, three of the nation’s largest retailers have stirred up a frenzy on Wall Street with a string of high-profile healthcare deals.
Amazon bought primary-care company One Medical in early August for $3.9 billion. That was a month before CVS spent $8 billion to acquire Signify Health and its network of 10,000 clinicians who make home visits (both virtually and IRL). A day later, Walmart inked a 10-year agreement with the world’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group.
But these big deals have come with heavy skepticism. Critics point to past failures as proof that these companies cannot accomplish in healthcare what they’ve done so successfully in retail.
“Is four times a charm for Walmart (Health)?” snarked a headline in the Journal Of Urgent Care Management after Walmart’s “three previous failures to penetrate any significant share of even its own stores with a retail clinic model.” Others in the industry have taken hard jabs at Amazon’s recent efforts in medicine, citing the fact that Haven (a nonprofit healthcare venture) and Amazon Care (a telehealth offering) both folded within three years.
The skepticism is understandable, but these negative analyses ignore the credentials of the companies in question. After all, you don’t become the largest pharmacy company (CVS), largest online retailer (Amazon), largest health insurer (UHG) or largest company, period, (Walmart) by chance or luck.
I’ve spent most my career in the business and medical arenas, occupying both spaces. Though I have no insider information about these three retailers, I believe they’re all on similar, strategic paths in their quest for total healthcare domination.
There are two ways to look at CVS’ $8 billion purchase of Signify. One is to assume CVS just placed an overly expensive bet on the “return of the house call” (per The New York Times). Another way is to see Signify as one part of a long-term strategy.
To CVS, the Signify purchase isn’t a wager on home health. It’s a missing piece—an investment in becoming a dominant player across the entire $4.1 trillion healthcare industry. In that context, $8 billion is a small price to pay.
Unlike most new entrants in healthcare (primarily middlemen who offer point solutions for the industry’s existing problems), corporate giants like CVS, Amazon and Walmart aren’t entering the healthcare market for short-term profit. They want it all.
To dominate all of healthcare, they can’t be reliant on (or held hostage by) any of the legacy players. Instead, they want their own pharmacies, health insurance plans, clinics and physicians. So, how are they doing so far?
Pharmacy: check. Already, CVS claims 10,000 pharmacy locations. Walmart has 5,100 of its own. Amazon, meanwhile, has parleyed its 2018 acquisition of PillPack into its own pharmacy offering in all 50 states.
As for insurance, Walmart now has a partnership with UnitedHealth. CVS acquired Aetna in 2017. Using the physician networks of these insurers, the two retailers can now provide medical care and attract new patients.
Amazon, however, is just getting into the game. That’s why its acquisition of One Medical—with its 800,000 subscribers and 188 clinics across 25 metro areas—is an important step. Here are three reasons this move makes good short- and long-term sense.
Once these companies have assembled the care-delivery, insurance and pharmacy pieces, I believe they’ll pivot toward making medical care more effective and efficient. Why? Because that’s where the money will be.
They recognize that healthcare is headed toward a fiscal cliff. U.S. businesses and government payers can’t keep funding ever-higher insurance costs. So, instead of looking for ways to raise already high prices, the retail giants will generate healthcare profits by eliminating inefficiencies. There’s plenty of opportunity to do so. Researchers estimate 25-30% of U.S. healthcare spending is wasted.
But to understand this middle-game strategy, you first need to understand how healthcare is paid for today.
The most common reimbursement model in the United States is called “fee for service,” whereby doctors receive a payment for every test and treatment—even when these services add no value. This pay-for-volume approach incentivizes physicians and hospitals to over-test and overt-treat and, as a result, drive up costs. This explains why healthcare inflation has risen nearly twice as fast as general inflation for decades.
The alternative to fee for service is capitation, a prepaid approach to medical care.
In simplest terms, capitation involves paying clinicians (in a medical group or health system) a fixed, annual, up-front sum to provide all the care their patients need. With capitation, physicians are prepaid based on the age and known diseases of their patients. And because doctors receive a fixed annual amount, they do best financially when they address medical problems before they become severe.
Unlike fee-for-service, capitation creates incentives to avoid medical errors and prevent illness (heart attacks, strokes, cancer) while making the process of care delivery more efficient and effective.
Right now, the best opportunity for these retail giants to take advantage of capitation is through Medicare Advantage (MA). This program—a private-sector alternative to traditional Medicare—is fully capitated and growing rapidly (on pace to receive $665 billion in federal spending by decade’s end).
In 2023, the largest private insurers will be rolling out MA plans in more than 200 new counties. But they’re not the only ones who see an opportunity. All three mega retailers have made acquisitions that deliver them an on-ramp to Medicare Advantage.
Amazon’s entry comes via One Medical’s subsidiary, Iora Health, a primary care organization designed for patients 65 and older. For CVS, it’s Caravan Health, a Signify subsidiary that’s already a major player in Medicare Advantage. Meanwhile, UHG brings Walmart 10 million MA subscribers and 53,000 directly employed physicians.
These large corporations recognize that making Medicare Advantage even 15% more efficient and effective would generate $100 billion for the taking. And they know that with 10,000 Baby Boomers turning age 65 each day, MA will continue to be a high-growth market in the future.
In the long run, these corporate giants know that the winner will be whichever company achieves the greatest economies of scale. That’s the path to market dominance in every high-profit industry: more customers, more revenue, more resources, lower cost, more profit, lower cost, more members, more revenue. Healthcare will be no exception.
To win in the long game, CVS, Amazon and Walmart/United can’t be niche players in a narrow part of the healthcare ecosystem. Having mastered capitation through Medicare Advantage, they’ll look to expand, offering capitated products to self-funded businesses, their employees and, ultimately, everyone.
Once the companies have their own insurance products, pharmacies and physician networks, they’ll go for the jugular.
They’ll select and hire their own medical specialists. They’ll progressively internalize specialty care. And when they have to contract out for specific services, their massive size will allow them to purchase care (hospital or outpatient) at far lower costs.
For large retailers, the latest acquisitions and partnerships aren’t ends in themselves. They’re opening moves in a long game that will play out over a decade or longer. Though many bumps and barriers could derail their progress, it would be foolish to bet that none of these behemoths will succeed, especially given what they’ve accomplished in retail.
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