Worker differentiation is evolving in the on-demand economy. This India report shows that more experienced/highly skilled work is rewarded with a substantially higher pay. At the same time, the exploitation of women, who make half as much as men in the same jobs, is running unchecked. Companies need to fix this or it will be corrected by regulation.
“Three-fourths of projects were part-time in nature and 60 per cent had a remote and work-from-anywhere component indicating that organisations are getting more comfortable in bringing them on-board freelancers for short duration, tight delivery projects,” the report said…. Gender pay gap is evident even in project work, with women consultants paid 45-50 per cent less than male counterparts at senior levels.
Source: ‘Gig economy values experience with up to 6-fold rise in fees’ – India.com
The House and Senate Tax bills are not good for on-demand workers, according to this analysis. Tax bills are not the place to work out the defintion of employment for an emerging economy.
“There is an important battle going on right now in labor and employment law over the appropriate classification of workers in the gig/platform/sharing economy,” write Boston College’s Shu-Yi Oei and Diane M. Ring for TaxProf Blog from Pepperdine University School of Law in the report.
Source: Gig workers lose ground with GOP tax bill | BenefitsPRO
Product installation is the New Hotness in on-demand. This type of service will likely be the first experience of gig work many households will try. Of course, if the holidays don’t produce positive results — and it may be too early for positive results, because it takes a while to work out fulfillment of services — this trend will go into Reverse fast.
The test, which started recently in Atlanta only, is a partnership with on-demand online services platform Handy. Shoppers who buy furniture or a TV at the stores participating in the limited pilot program can also pay for Handy’s services and book a professional to help.
Source: Walmart tests deal with Handy: Buy TV, someone will install – CBS News
Postmates goes international. A well-prepared launch, the company comes to market in Mexico City with 1,000 partners and couriers.
In the U.S. Postmates has 100,000 couriers completing over 2.5 million deliveries every month. By launching in Mexico City, Postmates will be directly competing with the likes of UberEATS and SinDelantal (owned by JUST EAT and iFood) in the areas of food delivery. With grocery delivery, which Postmates recently put more investment into in the U.S., Postmates will compete with startups like Cornershop and Mercadoni.
Source: Postmates launches in first international city | TechCrunch
They were valets when people parked cars, now $36.4 million in funding is directed to Stratim’s fleet management services. This is a muddled message, because it has not become clear yet that automakers will be auto managers on behalf of on-demand customers — at the high end of the market first. It makes sense that automakers will outsource some vehicle maintenance and service, but the dealerships will be contending for customer service revenue, too.
If auto dealers can transition to a service model, which they have had to out of necessity in many cases, they are better provisioned with real estate, service bays, and people than Stratim.
Through Stratim’s vendor marketplace, for example, Ford can request gas fill-ups for its Chariot shuttles. The next day, a fuel company will come to fill up the tanks and then send that information back into the system. With Stratim, Ford and other companies have a dashboard to better “understand how much money is spent on fueling, car washes, windshields and tire repairs,” Behr said.
Source: Valet startup Zirx relaunches as Stratim, a mobility service for GM’s Maven, Ford’s Chariot and others | TechCrunch
Today’s “stopgap” approach to work could be tomorrow’s standard work strategy. A transition is clearly underway when more than half of professionals in on-demand work indicate they chose the flexible work option.
The study, Flexible Working: a career and lifestyle pathway, found that 54% of independent workers had embraced flexible working by choice to meet their personal needs and goals. Meanwhile 36% regarded it as a stopgap between direct, permanent roles.
Source: World – More than half of professionals who join gig economy do so as a lifestyle and career choice
Another lens to apply to the on-demand market: Future of Retail.
Costco’s store-first strategy has led many analysts to refer to it as “Amazon-proof.” But there are dark clouds on the horizon. Many of its club members are also Amazon Prime members. Up until now, this hasn’t hurt the company, but that’s because Costco’s grocery offerings — the main driver of store trips — have been superior in price and, with an ever-growing assortment of organic and fair trade produce, at least equal in quality, too. But lower prices and special Prime deals — both online and at Whole Foods stores — could draw customers away from Costco. Improving online ordering and delivery of Whole Foods products, which many predict will happen, could also cut deeper into Costco’s sales.
Source: Costco outpaces Walmart, Jet and Amazon on grocery delivery ad clicks | Food Dive
As predicted, SoftBank is putting pressure on the price of existing shares it may purchase as a part of its $10 Billion transaction with Uber. The days of Uber’s stratospheric valuation are over. Despite settling its Benchmark-Kalanick conflict, Uber shareholders now face a realistic assessment of the value of existing shares.
In a statement to CNBC, Rajeev Misra, CEO of Softbank Investment Advisors and a Board Director of Softbank Group, said, “After a long and arduous process of several months it looks like Uber and its shareholders have agreed to commence with a tender process and engage with SoftBank. By no means is our investment decided. We are interested in Uber but the final deal will depend on the tender price and a minimum percentage shareholding for SoftBank”
Source: Softbank: Uber investment ‘by no means’ decided
Food delivery is food curation, a differentiation based on service rather than price competition. Amazon’s Fresh is struggling to win share, though it is very early to treat Amazon’s effort as fully deployed. Grocers and food growers have many paths to direct engagement with local customers available to them. What is certain: Going shopping will be less important than the experience in the home, where ingredients and customer intention (healthy eating, sustainable food sources, preparation assistance) make the difference when the buying decision is on the line.
Despite its dominance in online shopping, Amazon faces struggles to sell fresh foods online, with the AmazonFresh service accounting for less than 5% of sales from online-online grocers. Therefore, the report suggests that retailers shouldn’t try to “out-Amazon Amazon” but, rather, should focus on fresh food offerings.
Source: Amazon leads online grocery sales with 18% of food and beverage market | Retail | FDF World