Types of Services & Classification of Services

GATS identified 155 activities as services and classified them into 11 categories. These 11 types of services are:

  1. Business services

  2. Communication

  3. Construction and engineering

  4. Distribution

  5. Education

  6. Environment

  7. Finance

  8. Tourism

  9. Health

  10. Recreation

  11. Transportation


1. There are 4 types of services on the basis of ownership and business objective

  1. Government for profit – Public sector – e.g. post office, police, water, electricity

  2. Government not for profit –g. charities, foundations, old age homes, societies related to women, literacy, welfare etc.

  3. Non-government for profit – Business sector – e.g. banks, hotels, airlines, travel agencies, insurance, legal, medical and consultancy.

  4. Professional services –g. security personnel, accountants, auditors, computer operators etc.

2. In relation to goods there can be 7 types of services – 

  1. Pure tangibles –g. renting goods where no service or intangibles are associated.

  2. Major tangible with minor intangibles – g. tangible good with accompanying services ( Refrigerator ,AC)

  3. Minor tangibles with major intangibles –g. major services accompanying a minor tangible good (Meals on Airlines)

  4. Pure services – Here the offer is only a service (telecom, health club)

  5. Rented goods – The service gives the right to possess and use a product

  6. Owned goods – It involves creation, repair or improvement of a product

  7. Non good services – Such a service has no product elements but is rather an experience


Services can be segmented into clusters that share certain market relevant characteristics.

1. On the basis of degree of involvement of customer

  1. People processing– The customer has to be present at the place of delivery in order to experience or consume the service

  2. Possession processing – The customer presence is not required but his physical possession or property needs to be deposited for service

  3. Mental stimulus processing– Customer’s mental attention is required in order to experience the service

  4. Information processing– In this case dates, knowledge, information are gathered and analyzed for the use of clients

2. On the basis of service tangibility

  1. Pure tangibles – Cell phone on rent – no service or intangibles are associated.

  2. Major tangible with minor intangibles – Tangible good with accompanying services

  3. Minor tangibles with major intangibles – Major services accompanying a minor good

  4. Pure services – Here the offer is only a service

3. On the basis of skills of service providers

  1. Professional (high skill) services – Require a high level of qualification and training e.g., doctors, lawyers, pilots etc.

  2. Nonprofessional (low skill) services – Does not require special skills e.g. Babysitting

4. On the basis of the business orientation of service provider

  1. Government sector

  2. Business sector

  3. Internal/Professional services

  4. Non-profit organization

5. On the basis of market segment on end user

  1. C2C or end consumer services– These services are purchased by individual customer for their own consumption e.g. medical, fitness, treatment

  2. B2B or business consumer services– These services are purchased by organizations e.g. company hiring another for market research

6. On the basis of degree of regulation

  1. Highly regulated – banking, insurance, hospitals

  2. Limited regulated – catering, fast food

  3. Non-regulated – computer, lawn care, painting

7. On the basis of degree of labor inventiveness

  1. Equipment based

  2. Automated – e.g., ATM vending machines

  3. Operated by unskilled labor- e.g. taxi, dry cleaning

  4. Operated by skilled operators- e.g. excavating, airline computing, time sharing

  5. People based

  6. Unskilled labor- e.g. lawn care, guards, cleaning service

  7. Skilled labor- e.g. appliance repair

  8. Professionals

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