The Digital Worker, Episode 1: Overview


For years and years, and since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, workers had only had one work scenario: Report to work at 9:00 AM, do the tasks assigned by your direct manager, and leave at 5:00 PM.

The advent of the Internet, and especially the recent proliferation of mobile data, have brought about another revolution, which we wouldn’t call the Information Revolution. That has taken its course since the invention of the first computer. It is handing over the keys to something new and disturbing. A combination of multimedia communication anytime, anywhere, social media, broadband network coverage, and devices that can handle unthinkable amounts of data in real-time, have made it possible for a new phenomenon to emerge: The Digital Worker.

The dynamics of ‘work’ have dramatically changed for a large sector of the workforce.

The ‘Digital Worker’ no longer needs to report to work at 9:00 AM and leave at 5:00 PM. He/she does not even need a traditional workspace: An office, a cubicale, or even a desk. All they need is a ‘machine’ and an Internet connection. Hence the new terminology: Anywhere, Anytime.

Teams can meet virtually. Projects may have members in Iceland, South Africa, India, Canada, or South Korea. And those are just examples to convey what ‘anywhere, anytime’ looks like.

How about products and services? Physical products that consumers request. How can that be achieved digitally?

A new e-Commerce model has emerged, which is called drop-shipping. The Digital Worker runs an online ‘store,’ which show products’ images, specs, videos, prices, and of course, digital cart and checkout facilities.

Customers place orders right at the digital store. In the background, suppliers receive those orders automatically, once placed, process and fulfill them on behalf of the Digital Worker, right to the customer’s doorstep. Read more about this model in a previous TWM post: How to Choose the Right Product.

To offer a service, Digital Workers must be highly innovative. Let’s take medicine as an extreme example, which has always required the physical co-presence of the patient and the heathcare provider.

Well, that is no longer a rigid requirement. Telemedicine has soften that need by allowing doctors and patients to communicate virtually, in realtime. Physicians can diagnose and prescribe remotely. On the farside of the spectrum, a surgeon would perform an operation via telemedicine, using virtual reality and robotics technologies. You can read more about telemedicine in a previous WTM article: Reaching Out to Patients: Telemedicine.

It is hard to comprehensively cover all aspects of The Digital Worker’s attributes, work environment, rewards and challenges, in one article.

In the next post, we will explore with you the last two aspecs mentioned above: Rewards and challenges.

Stay tuned.

TWM™

© Image Credit: Photo by Jesus Kiteque on Unsplash

How to Choose the Right Product


In e-Commerce, products are represented by images, multiple images that aim to show site visitors how the product looks and feels, how it serves the need it is intended for, and how it is superior to other, similar products on the market.

As you can see, this involves several skills, tools and decisions. The first and most important decision must answer the question: Will this product appeal to the visitors of my site, and does it serve their needs effectively? The next question concerns the price: Is the product priced competitively, while still making a profit?

If you’re like many new e-Commerce entrepreneurs who decided to open their own online stores on platforms such as BigCommerec™ and Shopify™, you might have considered drop-shipping as an alternative to traditional approaches.

The idea is innovative, yet simple. Instead of keeping inventory and worrying about shipping to your customers, a drop-shipping model takes care of that. The products on your online store come from suppliers from all over the world, who, once an order is placed, process the request then ship directly to your customers.

In addition to saving time, energy, space and money, drop-shipping makes adding new products or deleting old ones a fun exercise. All you have to do is brows through a supplier’s catalogue, pick the items you like, modify few things to make the product fit your overall theme and categories, then push the product to your store, and it becomes ready to view, and hopefully sell.

But how would you know that what you have chosen meets your requirements? To begin with: Do you know your requirements? Before seeking anything in life, we must ask three questions: What, why and how. Requirements answer the ‘what’ question. But in order to get to the right answers, we need to have a clear idea of what the business is about; what values it serves, and what objectives it aims to achieve.

One of the collections in my online store, storefour.ca is named Digital. For any product to fit into that collection it must operate digitally, or has a digital aspect to it. Here’s an example:

So knowing your requirements is the first step to selecting the right product. The second is knowing the supplier. The e-Commerce landscape is so crowded. Finding the right supplier takes doing your homework diligently: reviews, returns, age on business, location, complains. The list is long, but you will figure it out based on what you’re looking for.

Now you know what you want and where to get it. The third step is to find the right channel and process to communicate with the supplier and secure the product.

If we go back to the drop-shipping model, the e-Commerce platform you use plays a key role in helping its merchants find credible suppliers as part of its service. Shopify™, for example, recommends an app named Oberlo™, which connects you to a pool of previously verified suppliers, making your life a lot easier. Yet, to be on the safe side and save your business future hassles, keep doing your research even on recommended suppliers.

The point here is to use all resources available to select and show the best product on your store.

More details on this in our next post, stay tuned!

The Wealth Maker

©Article Image Credit: https://storefour.ca