Pitfalls When Selling Services Online

We can’t imagine our life without online shopping and it seems that everything we need can be bought online. E-commerce is widely used for selling different services. But very often merchants don’t take into account that the services are not physical products and require special approaches to their promotion. Let’s take a closer look at the peculiarities of e-commerce marketing services.

People frequently perceive the service as a normal state of things and don’t even think about it when they buy it. The service sector is really huge and it has a strong influence on our life.

Services can serve as added values to physical products such as delivery, after-sales and guarantee services, assembly operations, 24/7 customer support, etc. That is what customers usually expect from online stores. The situation with such industries as education, medicine, tourism, hotel service, banking service, insurance, transport, and others, is a bit different. Such companies also have their websites which operate like online stores. A user can go to the site and make an order. But what do people buy exactly? The main difference from the physical product is that the service is intangible, so physically people buy nothing. This feature is very important and it defines the other service aspects.

Service Quality Can Be Estimated Only When Service Is Completed

In other words, when you sell a service, you are selling a promise of the final result. To understand this better, put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Everything is easier with any physical product. It can be touched, tested before buying, which becomes impossible when it comes to service. A client will be able to evaluate the training program quality only at the end of the learning process. The medical service quality may be evaluated only after completing treatment. Thus, the decision making process for buying service is more complex compared to that for purchasing physical products.

How it can be put into practice

Give all possible high service quality evidences. Provide certificates confirming compliance with the essential requirements; customer reviews; service process videos and photos. Your website’s design and functionality should support the high service quality image.

Service Quality Is Inseparable from the Producer

Service requires the producer and the consumer meeting each other. A hairdresser won’t be able to make a hairstyle till the customer comes to their beauty shop. A dentist will not be able to treat the teeth till the customer comes to them. A flight service can’t be provided till the passenger comes to the airport. It should be noted that information technologies make a lot of changes in the service sector and give many opportunities for its development. E-learning allows providing services distantly. E-banking allows clients to use bank’s services whenever they want without visiting bank’s office. E-service is quite common for us and greatly affects the quality of life.

E-service concept identifies the use of information and communication technologies in providing services. But it is really hard to give an exact e-service definition because all the products and services are very closely associated with each other. The main point is that there are services that can be provided online, but not in all industries.

How it can be put into practice

The service company has to be easily accessible with comfortable business hours. It is important to use all possible ways to provide e-service.

Service Quality Depends on the Producer

Clients prefer to have the best specialists providing the service. It is obvious that treatment quality depends on the doctor. Design quality depends on designer’s skills and experience. Moreover, it is necessary to understand that many services require special equipment and conditions to deliver them. The clearest example is medicine service. Choosing a medical company clients pay significant attention to technical facilities.

How it can be put into practice

It is essential to publish detailed information about the professionals who provide services on the company’s website. Certificates, work experience, real customer reviews about a particular specialist – clients might be interested in such details. The company description is also very important and can include work experience, technical conditions, and plans for development, etc. It is also effective to allow testing service before purchase. Free first lesson, trial period, a free consultation or examination, all such services may help the customer to make a choice.

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