Consumer properties of goods and services: the concept and classification
How is the formation of consumer properties? We will understand more in this issue. The object of activity in the field of merchandising, commerce and marketing are various goods, and in addition, services. Their main consumer properties are an important aspect of the study, as well as the improvement of production. The issue of assessing the quality of goods is closely interrelated with the definition of a list of their consumer properties and characteristics as well.
What is a product?
This product is a complex multidimensional phenomenon. In general terms, under it understand a certain product that is produced in the course of human activity. It is intended for subsequent sale or exchange. The appearance of goods refers to the oldest form of communication between people who exchanged the surplus of certain products for others.We can assume that the product is the source of civilization, since the exchange begins to improve production in order to improve its quality and productivity. Marketing is complemented by an understanding of the product in the form of its ability to satisfy various needs. The main feature is the presence of certain signs. Any characteristic of consumer properties of the product leads to the evaluation of its qualities.
What should be understood as a service?
The service is considered an intangible good produced by one person in order to meet the needs of others. There is much in common between such categories as goods and services. True, there are significant differences. For example, a service is intangible, impermanent, inseparable from the subject of its provision. In addition, the main difference between these concepts consists in the materiality of the goods and the immateriality of the service. Such differences significantly complicate the assessment of the quality of the services provided. Consumer characteristics of products can be assessed by any objective physical criteria. As for the service, there are often considerable difficulties in determining its characteristics and qualities.
Classification of consumer properties
Given the huge variety of products, it is not possible to create any single consistent, and in addition, a comprehensive classification. There are several reasons for distinguishing varieties and product groups. First of all, the type of goods is determined by trademarks, and in this case food and non-food products are distinguished. The first are divided into some varieties. As an example, you can bring flour, bakery, dairy, meat products and the like. Non-food type is divided into economic, clothing, footwear, jewelry products and so on. In addition, there are types of goods according to the seasonality of their use. Thus, there are seasonal or off-season products.
What else is included in the classification of consumer properties?
Depending on markets, there are industrial products or consumer goods. The first are intended for their use in production, and the second are made to meet the demand of the consumer audience. Industrial goods include varieties in the form of, for example, raw materials, components, production and auxiliary materials, semi-finished products, real estate and capital assets, as well as services.Consumer goods accepted to classify, taking into account the behavior of buyers when they are purchased. Traditionally, there are varieties of consumer goods along with long-term products. In addition, this includes products of careful choice, status production and products of passive demand.
Consider other properties of the consumer market.
Features of the services, and in addition, their significant differences from each other contribute to the fact that it seems impossible to create their reasonable classification. Traditionally, they are divided into spheres in which they rotate. For example, the following categories are distinguished: medical, passenger, sports, educational, informational, and banking. In addition, the service may be security, veterinary or legal. Service can be provided in the field of catering. And also services for beauty, repair, maintenance of cleanliness and the like.
Products and services and their characteristics
Significant differences in these categories lead to the fact that when evaluating their consumer properties, as well as the description, certain characteristics are used. Goods, as a rule, are assessed by quantitative or qualitative properties.In the theory of merchandising, the quality classification of products occurs according to the following criteria:
- Characteristic in terms of assortment. Products belong to certain categories in accordance with their intended purpose, and in addition, functional features. For example, the group called “butter” will include various products in the form of vegetable, cream or melted products.
- Characteristic in terms of cost. The price of a product is formed from a number of components and serves as the main criterion for its evaluation by buyers or entrepreneurs. Such a parameter makes it possible to relate a product to a specific value group, for example, to an economic segment, a premium segment or a luxury. The quantitative parameters of the product include the size-mass characteristic, for example, length or volume, as well as strength along with packaging.
Among other things, there are characteristics of the product in the form of a brand, image, fame and a set of criteria for evaluating the product by customers. It also takes into account the reliability of the goods, along with their durability, efficiency and so on.As part of considering the types of consumer properties of services, it should be noted unique characteristics, which include the following categories:
- Intangibility. This criterion of the service will not be able to be felt, it will be possible to subsequently see only the results. At the same time, non-materiality does not give an opportunity to establish ownership rights to the service. Thus, a person can buy the result, but not his source.
- Nonconservation A service cannot be accumulated or reserved for the future, but its result can satisfy needs for a very long time even when it is no longer available. There are other consumer properties of the service.
- Inconsistent quality. Authority, along with the qualifications of the service provider, is not a guarantee of good services. In addition, the assessment of the quality of the service may differ from both parties to the contract. For example, a hairstyle may seem high-quality master, but do not like the client.
- Inseparability from the consumer and the one who provides the service. The provision of services and their use often coincide in time and can not occur simultaneously without the participation of both parties to the agreement. For example, a stylist cannot provide a service to a missing client.
How to determine consumer properties?
In the field of merchandising, the concept of such properties is interrelated with the definition of quality, and in addition, the reliability of a product. By this definition, they understand the objective feature of the product, which manifests itself in the process of consumption, which allows the buyer to satisfy various needs. In a broader sense, consumer property is equated with utility, for which the client is willing to pay money. It is worth noting that the properties of the product can be easily assessed and spelled out in the corresponding nomenclature. But to characterize a service is much more difficult, therefore, it is extremely difficult to develop criteria for its usefulness. This function is performed by various standards, which are defined by government agencies, and in addition, industry departments.
A special approach to defining the concept of consumer properties of goods and services exists in marketing. Thus, consumer properties are understood as a criterion by which consumers of goods evaluate their quality. The criterion can be objective and subjective, as well as emotional.Perceived properties of services are based on the needs of customers, on their personal stereotypes and preferences. Also, perception can be based on the experience of receiving the service, on internal or external communications.
Below is a detailed discussion of consumer properties of goods
Properties are evaluated by customers according to the following parameters:
- Product category. Buyers, wanting to satisfy their needs, in the first stage are determined with a general category of products. For example, a person needs a computer to work. In this case, the buyer will choose between a stationary device, a tablet, and a laptop. The type of goods plays a decisive role in relation to the direction of further search for the necessary information. In addition, the choice of brand is related to this parameter. So, buying, for example, salt, the consumer does not think about its manufacturer. But when buying a computer, this issue becomes much more significant and more relevant.
- In the evaluation of consumer properties, cost plays an important role. Price is an important parameter associated not only with the buyer's resources, but also with its status and guarantee of good quality.
- Functional parameters.The consumer always considers the product in relation to their needs. In this case, it is important to him how fully this product will be able to satisfy this or that need. The more complex the consumer complex, the longer the service of the goods, and the higher the cost, the wider the list of functional parameters.
- The pleasure from the purchased purchase is also valuable property of the goods. As a rule, the buyer does not even realize that he wants not only to buy a thing, but to extract emotional satisfaction directly from the process itself. The pleasure of shopping and the result is a very important criterion. So, buying shoes in a beautiful and fashionable salon, women experience emotional satisfaction not only from the service and the environment, but also from the fact that they will be pleased to inform others about the place in which they purchased them. But the purchase of the same shoes on the market is often absolutely no pleasure, in addition to a bargain price, probably will not bring.
- Quality. This criterion is difficult. Its consumers appreciate the complex. This assessment takes place along with the previous parameters with a focus on objective indicators adopted in merchandising.
We considered the properties of goods, but there are also services.
Services and their properties
In determining the consumer properties of services from the point of view of choice by the buyer, it should be said that in this situation the same criteria are largely used as in the evaluation of goods. It is about prestige, and about price, and about category, and about pleasure. True, the specific characteristics of services make you think about special properties. These include, for example, the image of the person who provides the service; past experience is also important, along with the possible consequences of obtaining high-quality or low-quality service. So, in merchandising there are the following consumer properties of the services provided:
- Reliability. Services are assessed by the stability of the result obtained, which is stable in relation to external circumstances and interferences as well.
- Functionalism. Services must fully meet the needs of customers, it is desirable that this happens in relation to their overall complex. What else is included in the concept of consumer properties?
- Reputation of the company that provides the service. The organization’s professional training is relevant to this parameter, along with the availability of the necessary high-quality equipment and compliance with sanitary standards and safety requirements.
Characteristics of consumer properties is not limited to this.
When identifying types of properties of goods, as well as services, researchers are repelled by such factors as:
- Ergonomic. Goods, as well as services, should be comfortable, but also pleasant to use. Packaging along with the equipment must take into account the physical parameters of consumers. Also, buyers should experience psychological comfort in the use of the product, as well as when receiving services.
- Functional. Products must fully meet the needs of customers. The most common needs are social and physiological types. Products must be biologically valuable. In addition, they should be characterized by socially significant functions that are evaluated through the appearance, along with the qualification of appointment and the ability to comprehensively meet all kinds of needs.
- Aesthetic. Products provided must satisfy the need of people for beauty.
- Reliability. It is extremely important for consumers that products retain their functional purpose along with the ability to satisfy needs for a long time.Reliability in quality of product characteristics includes indicators of durability, safety, maintainability and reliability.
These are the main features of consumer properties.
What should be understood by the quality of goods and services?
It is necessary to evaluate properties in order to determine the quality as well as the relevance of the cost. Merchandising tends to identify the optimal set of data properties. This concept is interpreted differently by experts and buyers. For the former, the quality of goods consists in quantitative indicators of consumer properties that satisfy needs and are objective parameters. For the latter, quality is a subjective, and sometimes even a philosophical category. Quality is often judged by consumers through expectations and perceptions. So, the quality criteria are the following product characteristics:
- Appearance. For goods are important packaging features. For the service, the type of personnel plays a role along with the place of its direct provision.
- Characteristics of functionality.
- The degree of reliability and durability.
In merchandising, product quality indicators are classified by purpose, reliability, aesthetics, ergonomics and safety. For assessing the quality of service, there are additional indicators related to the amount of equipment for the provision of services, the characteristics of the service processes, the compliance with technological standards, the duration and reliability of service results and to inform customers about the features of order execution.
Given that the quality of the goods is an objective indicator, it must be measured. Traditionally, quality assessment is given on the basis of consumer properties of products. There are several techniques for determining this indicator:
- Expert. As part of this approach to the assessment process attract specially trained people who have the skills of auditing, and in addition, possess special knowledge.
- Consumer. For this reception, conduct various surveys of consumers. They are also monitored for their behavior and are interviewed.
- Organoleptic.In this case, evaluate the objective characteristics of the goods, for example, smell and appearance.
- Physico-chemical analysis. This method is used to assess the quality of not all products, most often it is used to study food products.
Quality assurance is an important part of the work of the enterprise, as a rule, the criteria for its assessment are prescribed in special documentation. We considered the totality of consumer properties of goods and services.