Driven by the pandemic, digital transformation, shortage of skilled workers and rising pressure on costs, the consumer economy is continuing to shift more and more tasks to the consumer. Tasks that were previously carried out by the retailer, the service provider or the fast-food outlet are now being assigned to the consumer. "Many service companies are transferring activities to their consumers in order to save money," explains Professor Martin Fassnacht, Chair of Strategy and Marketing at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. Companies are doing this to cut costs, as Professor Fassnacht is quoted in the FAZ article "Do it yourself, customer!". In addition, the current energy crisis and frequent staff shortages are driving their efforts.
From the purchasing process to the range of services, processes are being outsourced: the trend is for more and more tasks to be passed on to the customer. This applies to the retailing of food, sporting goods, or furniture, to traveling, and to dining out or going to the doctor. Consumers serve themselves when weighing and portioning goods, in the autonomous checkout zone, at automatic ordering and check-in terminals or a booking via app, as Professor Fassnacht explains in the FAZ.
Professor Fassnacht sees the digital outsourcing of processes and the increasing transfer of tasks to the consumer as a change that will continue in the long term. For companies, however, this involves the danger of consumers feeling forced into self-service, which they will not always appreciate or tolerate. It can compromise the valuable consumer relationship and thus, lead to an erosion of customer loyalty for the company or brand. If service performance and engagement are excessively reduced, there is potential for migration and, ultimately, customer loss.
To learn more, read the entire article in the FAZ online here.