Service Retail Offerings

Written by: Nithin Narayanan

A goods retailer, carrying merchandise such as perfume or apparel has tangible products to offer. The merchandise can be seen smelled, touched, heard and so on. On the other hand, a service retailer who for example repairs mobiles deals with tangible products but the service it provides is still intangible.

I'll take another example of an Airline. The Airline service provides rented seats on its plane; but the quality of services still depends on intangible factors such as perception of the customer, efficiency of operations. As one Airline President remarked "We have 50000 moments of truth out there every day."

Like the goods retailer, the service retailer must consider the quality of its offerings. Airlines have always used the so called No Frills and Extra Service in mostly all their communications. For instance students look for No Frills flights whereas businessmen look for timely departure, direct flights and tourists desire in-flight service. One thing which is crucial here is that the service firm must maintain the level of service and uniformity of operation.

For uniformity employee's appearance, skills, attitude and performance must be consistent. Service assortments also needed to be determined. Width and depth of the assortment are also significant. Width of the car repair would consist of cars, trucks, vans. The depth may consist of various models within any line for example -cars and also the frequency of services- daily, weekly or monthly.

The retailer who has both goods and services into the offering must follow a competitive strategy. For instance Laptops- they have International guarantee schemes of one or two year duration. As mentioned before, uniformity of service is crucial.

The idea behind all this is to keep the existing customer satisfied and loyal and to woo new customers. Also if a firm maintains a good service record, communication through 'Word of Mouth' Channel is also positive.