Example Of Essay On Differences Between Services And Physical Goods And The Implications Of The Differences In Marketing Services
The difference between goods and services has traditionally been centered on the distinction between physical or tangible material commodities or products on one hand and intangible products on the other. The fact that one is physical and the other is immaterial brings about great differences in the marketing strategies adopted for the two.
Firstly, the ownership of services cannot be transferred in a similar manner as that of physical goods. The ownership of a service remains with the provider, and all that the client enjoys is the satisfaction or the elimination of a certain need (Fryar). The fact that the customer does not carry with them a physical product makes it harder to market services. The service providers have to prove their ability to eliminate need and charge for the service. In order to remain relevant, the service providers have to eliminate needs while retaining the trust and a certain degree of monopoly and reliance from the client (Vedulla 2005). When the service provider has to increase the prices, they need to prove to clients the need for additional charges and match that with additional or improved services. The fact that these services are hard to quantify and are not transferable makes it hard for service providers to market themselves.
Secondly, it is impossible to measure a service unlike physical goods, which can be weighed, or measured in some other way. One cannot measure the efforts that go into shaving a client's head and as such, there are marketing logistics that a barber needs to make to prove the worth of their services. Should the barber decide to increase prices, they cannot do so quantifiably. The justification for additional charges on the clients has to be contingent on issues like high electricity bills, rent, labor among others for which clients may not be in positions to verify. As such, the service provider has to rely heavily on external factors to prove the superiority of services and thereby communicate the value of his/her services (Brown).
In addition, a service provider relies on trust that clients build on him/her. The service provider has to sell confidence and their ability to perform services as required. Vedulla (2005) notes that instead of receiving physical good, which can be weighed and examined in numerous ways, when selling a service, the customer receives promised results, and this makes it hard to market services.
The involvement of the customer is another fundamental difference between goods and services. In services, the involvement of customers is much more than in physical goods. For instance, hairdressing requires a client to be physically present at a salon while purchasing a physical good such as a hair weave does not require the client and the seller to meet physically. When there is higher client involvement, the service provider has to get all facts and figures right in order to please clients and market the services properly (Gadrey 2000). Business people dealing in physical goods can afford some level of laxity and exaggerations since they may not necessarily be dealing directly with the consumers of their products.
The assurance of quality in services is different from that of physical goods. Most physical goods such as clothes and cars are produced in mass using machines or skilled people and as such, quality can be maintained (Fryar). However, the intangibility of services and the fact that they involve a lot of manual labor means that quality varies. In as much as service providers strive to offer uniform levels of quality, there are always noticeable differences unlike those noticeable with physical goods.
The other fundamental difference between goods and services is that with services there is no time gap. Services are produced and consumed simultaneously while goods can be produced and stored to be used when required (Gadrey 2000). This aspect means that service providers have to prepare to produce and market their services simultaneously. In as much as the service providers advertise their services, the mostly conduct their marketing to clients while serving them. The client and the service provider can converse with the clients expressing their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the services offered on the spot. Service providers have to prepare to appeal to clients by proving the value of the service, the price justification, the quality assurance, and the sustainability of the service in order to gain loyalty among customers.
The deliverability of goods and services also varies. When a businessperson is dealing with physical goods, he can give his customers a definite delivery time in case they order goods online or the customers can walk into a physical store and walk out with a given good within a specific time (Brown). Since services can only be created after they have been ordered, therein lays the challenge of deliverability. The service provider has to convince the customer that s/he can deliver high-quality results within a given period. Many service providers have to rely on testimonials and referees to back up their claims on deliverability and quality.
Unlike physical goods, which have instant appeal and can be bought on impulse, the fact that services are intangible makes it hard for service providers to appeal to impulse buyers or even those with a remote need (Brown). In order to prompt an impulse or a remote purchase of a service, the service provider has to place extra effort and prove to a potential customer that they need the services on offer.
The intangibility of services complicates their marketing since service providers have to convince customers more, rely on referees and testimonials among other difficulties. As such, it becomes difficult to prove to clients the value for time, and this issue calls for exceptional marketing skills in order to sustain the profitability of the business.
Gadrey, J 2000. The characterization of goods and services: an alternative approach. Review of Income and Wealth. Series 46, Number 3, September 2000.
Brown, L. (n.d.). Convenience in Services Marketing. Journal of Services Marketing,53-59.
Fryar, C. (n.d.). What's Different About Services Marketing? Journal of Services Marketing, 53- 58.
Vedulla, V. 2005. Marketing services. Mumbai [India: Jaico.