Transitioning from product to service to fuel growthOpinion ·
When was the last time you purchased the physical recording of a movie or TV show? If you're struggling to answer the former question, we’ve made our point.
Customers are no longer interested in owning products, they want the job done as conveniently as possible and they don't care about ownership. This means their needs can often be met better by providing services rather than selling them physical products. Also, building services around products allow companies to meet customer demand way better and to better customize the entire customer journey.
One such change has been the focus shift from being product-centric to offering a wide range of services around products. Adopting a multi-focal business model is helping brands define their niche, magnetize new customer bases, and reach their business goals more efficiently.
Read on to see what benefits this transition can leverage for product-based businesses and their customers.
The transition from product to product-related services
The switch from selling just boxes to offering services that meet the needs of today’s consumer base didn’t take place overnight. Two main factors drive this transition:
- Changing consumer preferences
Today’s consumer base is well-informed and knows precisely what they want from brands. Retaining customers and building relationships requires brands to change what they sell and how they sell it.
Experience-based retail has been making waves for a while now as customers place increasing importance on the overall brand experience, not just the product they come home with. The noticeable shift away from the traditional business model is fueled by innovations in data management and e-commerce.
Digitalization has opened up multiple frontiers for brands and just physical store locations. Data analytics is helping companies navigate this change by helping them deliver higher customer satisfaction and harvest brand loyalty. Data is also helping companies identify and fill vacuums in the market based on past industry trends.
8 reasons why you should complement your product with services
Retaining your customer base in today’s highly competitive business climate is no small undertaking for any brand. But that’s only possible when brands constantly strive to improve how they sell and the products and services they offer.
Incorporating services into your business model can help fuel growth for your brand. Here are eight advantages you stand to gain when you start to offer relevant services along with your product line:
1. It promotes industry growth and innovation
One main reason companies should transition to a service or product and related services-based business model is innovation. Adding services to their current lists of physical products will make companies look outside for expert help to innovate. This will help them adapt to the new customer demand and technologies and stay competitive over time. By innovating, brands get fresh perspectives on traditional business practices that have become habitual.
Pooling ideas, resources, and expertise and collaborating on joint endeavors help promote entire industries. Ultimately, these benefits will return to your brand and establish you as a torchbearer in the industry.
2. Scalability is faster, cheaper, and easier
Scalability is more straightforward when you sell services. Manufacturing physical products involve a longer process, such as research, development, sourcing of supplies, assembly, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping. Each one of these steps can easily go wrong in many different ways. The scalability of physical products is complex, with multiple moving parts involved.
Selling services means you can train teams and hire them temporarily to fill in market gaps during peak season. You can also collaborate with other companies or outsource tasks when things are busier than usual without compromising on quality or turning away customers.
3. Selling services increases the performance of your products
Another key element that services leverage is heightened productivity and performance of your products. The services you offer can be designed to increase the benefit your consumer gets from your product.
For example, a brand that sells air fryers can collaborate with health experts or celebrity chefs. Together, they develop a set of recipe videos that can be easily prepared in their brand’s equipment. Customers pay a small monthly fee to access this video library. This additional service will increase the air fryer’s usability and save them a lot of trial and error as they learn to use their new gadget.
4. Improves the customer experience
Offering additional services in addition to the core product is an effective way to boost customer satisfaction. By assisting users in their journey with your products via services, you will reduce pain points and provide a delightful customer experience.
These services will come at a price that your customers will be happy to pay if your service truly addresses their pain points. Selling complementary services is a great way to enhance each customer's experience.
5. It increases your competitive advantage
One of the best ways to cement your position as an industry leader is by offering multiple high-end services and products. The Apple company, for example, is a market leader in their industry. They charge premium prices for their apps, products, and supplementary services.
Offering services and a range of products helps you give greater access to customer data. This data can then be processed into statistics such as upcoming market trends, scalability insights, and customer preferences. Applying these figures to your production processes further helps you improve your products.
6. It promotes customer loyalty
Selling products and services means your customers rely on your brand for multiple needs. This dependency makes switching brands that much harder for them. Brand patrons make larger purchases from and help promote your brand as well.
By showing your customers how paying for additional services can make your product highly efficient for them, you’ll increase the likelihood of making the product-to-service transition profitable for your brand.
7. It supplements your sales
Selling your expertise in the form of value-added services increases your profit margins. Services are meant to facilitate your customer. By providing a service not offered by your competitors, you give your customers the surety that supplementary services are available should they ever need them. __ This trust in your brand ultimately translates into higher profits because you get to sell more__. if consumers buy your products, the chances of them going to another business for related services are low.
8. It helps you get more out of your investment
You've invested heavily to become an expert in your niche and perfect your merchandise. Selling services increases the value and sales of your existing product lines. Think of selling services as repackaging your expertise and selling them via a different avenue.
You don’t need inventory management, logistical support, or warehouse renting to generate revenue by selling services. You get to focus resources on enhancing your products.
How to combine your product with multiple services
Adding services to your products requires different expertise than selling products alone. Transitioning from product to service will involve changing the dynamics of your business model. Managing your customer base will look entirely different when you run a service-based business or one that sells services and products. Here are some strategies to help you supplement your products with services:
Take a customer-informed approach
Selling products or services, or a mix of both, has one common denominator: your customer base. Adding a range of new services to your product line is an investment-heavy endeavor. To better your chances at success, ensure you utilize the best knowledge source any brand has at its disposal.
Your customers can help you identify gaps in the market that might not be apparent to your company. The first step of evolving into a service-based brand should be learning:
- What services do your consumers want?
- What are they willing to pay for it?
- How do they want these services delivered?
Basing business decisions on customer data gives you a huge advantage. It lets you laser-focus resources on the research, development, and marketing of attributes most valued by your specific consumer base.
Double down on the services your customer value
No company or brand can deliver on all fronts for all customers. Just like specialty product niches, it’s helpful for companies to classify the particular niche their offered service falls under.
Take Walmart, for example; their customers want low-priced everyday essentials. That’s precisely what they focus on by cutting out all frills and keeping prices as low as possible. On the other hand, Whole Foods offers organic, wholesome healthier options to attract a specific customer base. They spend more on ambiance and sourcing hard-to-find healthy products.
Both grocery stores are profitable because both deliver the service their specific customer is willing to pay for. Once you’ve identified product-associated services that your customers value, ensure they align with your brand's comparative strengths. Then it’s simply a matter of finding ways to fill the market gap by offering these value-added services.
Make the buying decision simpler for customers
Your products sell because of the features they offer. For consumers, comparing product features is easy. Take digital cameras, for example. Customers can easily compare characteristics offered by different brands, such as price, megapixels, and aperture.
Shopping for services is a little more complex. Elements such as level of friendliness during interactions, ease of use, and speed of service play a decisive role. The main selling points of the services aren’t as quantifiable as those of products.
Being clear on the service characteristics you are competing on is a great product-to-service transition strategy. Identifying, highlighting, and promoting the attributes of the service you offer, just like your products, is crucial because:
- It sets you apart from the competition.
- It helps keep your teams, such as management, and customer service marketing team, on the same page.
- It makes the choice easier for customers.
Base the customer experience around your main selling point
Striving to sell service excellence is a noble vision. The success of your service-based business model depends on how you plan to deliver this excellence. To successfully navigate the shift from selling products to services, it’s important to sell experiences, not just solutions.
Customers sign up for your service to resolve specific pain points or to gain additional benefits on the products they purchase. But the customer experience your service gives as a whole will keep them coming back. Your offered service should be designed with customer experience in mind. Imagine selling carpets, for example. You can highlight your strength of being a one-stop shop for all home carpeting needs by offering specific services.
A relevant service can send a team to fit the carpet to your customer’s home when they purchase new wall-to-wall carpeting. By offering the service along with the product, you save your customer the hassle of:
- Finding someone to rip old carpeting out.
- Renting machinery to prep the floors.
- Transporting the carpet and equipment to the location.
- Finding a handyman to fit the new carpet.
Guess which store will return to next time they need to update their interiors?
How Layerise can help you become a multi-focused brand
Changing how your brand has been doing business can seem overwhelming and risky. Innovation coupled with strategic planning can make this transition seamless and worthwhile. Expert help on board can improve your chances of making a smoother, more profitable transition.
Layerise is committed to helping brands better their service offerings by processing customer data into usable information. We help you better understand the customer base you design your product and service lines for and deliver more value.
The secret to selling products, services, or both is correctly identifying and predicting customer needs. Our predictive analytics are based specifically on your customer base and products. Want to check out what Layerise can do for your brand? Book a demo today, and let's get started!
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