Services are the intangibles consumers buy to meet a specific goals. People and business generally like services. Services in most cases end up to be have a much better price-value equation than products. There’s no value depreciation and upgradation is as easy as anything can be. Services when done right makes the consumer feel good.
These benefits of services has led to a whole slew of things being sold as services. SAAS (Software-as-a-Service) and IAAS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) are two great examples of evolution of selling products as a services in the technology industry to make it easier for the consumers to consume as compared to buying products. The concept of selling services as much as the consumer needs and when they need it is not new. It dates back to consumers buying electricity rather than generating it using a grid in their backyard. It’s convenient and cost effective.
A big benefit of selling services is that it is much easier to get broad scale adoption than selling products. The reason being it is easier to provide trial service to consumers than giving products on trial basis. Mobile phone operators give customers a month free of data connection on their smart phones. Getting that service free for a month made people realize they can do so much on the go that otherwise needed a bigger computing device.
Selling services has its own challenges. You are selling intangibles. The consumer buying it is not buying a product, they are buying something else. What they are buying is the comfort, the expertise, the ease of use and the option to get rid of it when they don’t need it anymore without much guilt of buying it in the first place.