Goods Versus Services: The Differences

There is a lot of difference between goods and services, and it can be seen through the difference between their various significant features. Goods refer to tangible items that can be touched and demonstrated; they are fascinating and can be traded or exchanged. Thus, goods are material, can be taken away, and can be stored, for example, food, books, furniture, household appliances, industrial objects, etc.

Conversely, services refer to intangible experiences such as hotel and hospitality, legal and medical advice, banking and insurance, health and fitness, transport and communication, etc. It is important to note here that these services cannot be stored anywhere, and additional personnel is required to offer such services. These services render the feeling of happiness, relaxation, fulfillment, aid, etc.

Point of
Difference
Goods/Products Services
Perishability The goods can be stored for a long time and most of these are non-perishable. It is not possible to store these services. They occur only when availed.
Inseparability As the goods are firstly manufactured, then
supplied, sold, and used; their identity is distinct from the producer.
It is difficult to separate these services from the provider. A lot of variation can be seen in these services in terms of quality, delivery time, results, etc.
Inconsistency The inconsistency in the quality of the goods comes on part of the manufacturer. It is the manufacturer, who can ensure consistency of the quality; for any sort of divergence from the standard form, the manufacturer is to be blamed. There is a lot of variation in the services. The variation in quality comes on the basis of the service provider, time, and place of delivery.
Tangibility The purchasing of goods is acquiring a material item. For example, buying a music system, or a mobile phone. Purchasing a service is acquiring an intangible experience. For example, beauty services by a saloon.
Reliable The quality of goods is more important than the dependence or reliability of the dealer. Reliability and dependence play significant roles in services.
Time-intensiveness Time has to be spent only on manufacturing goods. Once the goods are produced, they can be marketed repeatedly without spending more time. Services are time-
consuming activities. It is not possible to provide services without investing time.
Delivery Time When the goods are ordered through phone, website, or email, the delivery time has to be decided as per the preference of the customer. On buying the goods from a retail store, the customers can purchase the goods, and can walk out with the desired items. The time of delivery of the services should be as per the will of the customer; though the delivery time may vary. The major difficulty standing in front of the marketing executives is to convince the customers that the quality services would be delivered within the specified time period.
Desires and Requirements Several times goods are purchased in a range of impulse. For example, a fascinating dress can allure ladies to buy it irrespective of whether they need it or not. It is not possible to purchase the services in an impulsive manner. Prior planning and thoughtful analysis occur before purchasing the services. For example, a house cleaning service provider can do marketing of the services by offering options like, ‘delivery time as per your convenience’.
Associations The marketing of the goods is less dependent on establishing a relationship with the customers. The trading of services comes out of establishing a relationship with the clients.
Exchange It is possible to exchange the purchased goods. It is not possible to exchange services.
Elements Marketing of goods need 4 P’s of the marketing mix, those are Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. Marketing a service requires 3 more P’s to the conventional “4 P’s”: Physical evidence, People, and Process.

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