What are services? They are defines as concerned with performing tasks in and around households, business firms and institutions. Services industries are those domestic establishments which are providing some kind of services to businesses, governments and other organizations.
FIRE, business and health services are the largest service industries. Business services include activities such as consulting, advertising, marketing and information processing. Categorizing service industries
With these service industry groups, companies can be further categorized into those that involve transaction broking and those than involve a ‘hands on’ service. For instance, one type of financial service involves stockbrokers who act as the middle person in a transaction between buyers and sellers. Online mortgage companies refer customers to mortgage companies that actually issue the mortgage. In contrast, legal, medical and accounting industries perform specific hands on activities for their customers. In order to provide their service, these professionals need to interact directly and personally with their client. In this the opportunities for ecommerce are somewhat different. Currently doctors and scientists cannot treat patients over the internet but internet can at least assist their services by providing consumers with information, knowledge and communication. Features of service industries
Knowledge and information intensity – With some exceptions such as providers of physical services such as cleaning, gardening and so on, and the most important feature of service industries is that they are knowledge and information intense. They process a great deal of information and employ people with the requisite skill and expertise. For example lawyers for legal services. However, financial services sector is not so knowledge intensive, but it requires much larger investments in information processing just to keep track of transactions and investments. In fact the financial services sector is the largest investor in information technology, with over 80% of their invested capital going to information technology equipment and services. For this reason, many ecommerce services are suited to ecommerce applications and strengths of the internet to collect, store and disseminate information and provide reliable and fast communication. Personalization and customization – Services differ in the amount of personalization and customization required in them to be delivered but still all types of services involve some amount of it. Services like legal, medical and accounting require extensive personalization – the adjustment of a service to the precise needs of a single individual or object. Others allow individual some personalization to choose from a restricted as in case of financial services. The ability of internet and ecommerce technology personalize and customize service or components of service is a major underlying the extremely rapid growth of ecommerce services. Further the amount of customization also depends on the ability of ecommerce or internet to do so.
Online Financial Services
The online financial services sector is a shinning example of an ecommerce success story. With the innovative, pure online firms have been instrumental in transforming the brokerage industry, the impacts of ecommerce have been somewhat less powerful in banking, insurance and real estate where customers are more likely to use the web for research, but conduct research for traditional suppliers. In addition, pure online financial firms are not yet profitable. The costs of marketing and technology have far exceeded the early estimates of experts. As in the retail marketplace, it is the multichannel financial firms who are showing the fastest growth and strongest prospects of long term revival. Online Banking and Brokerage
Online baking was pioneered in the US by NetBank and Wingspan in 1996 and 1997...