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How to kick-start your market research using the consumer services sector's key figures

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Global Consumer Services Industry Analysis

The global consumer services industry involves the provision of services to consumers, including education and training, household cleaning and child day care services. The industry overlaps with a range of other fields like engineering, online services and science-based sectors.

Online consumer services are increasingly popular as people opt to carry out many day-to-day activities via the internet to save time and research effectively. Such services include shopping, banking and bill-paying.

Obstacles to market growth faced by consumer services companies include multinational competition, with the inherent challenges posed by developing business activities in overseas markets. Consumers are also increasingly aware of value-for-money factors, which means companies are obliged to offer high-quality services and market more aggressively.

Key Market Segments

The global education and training services industry continues to record strong growth, with the private tutoring sector forecast to exceed $100 billion by 2017, reports Global Industry Analysts. Education-seekers are turning to the option of private tutoring due to deficiencies in the mainstream education system. The US private tutoring market is being driven by technological developments with regards to education and the state-launched scheme “No Child Left Behind”, which seeks to better assess, educate and help children reach testing standards. The need for supplementary education solutions is driven by an expanding student base, staff shortages and deterioration within the country’s education framework. A larger student body also means more intense competition for places in third level education, calling for stronger academic performance.

Apart from private tutoring, online tutoring is also filling the gaps left by the formal education system as children and parents alike become increasingly accustomed to using the internet for a wide range of services. Online tutoring, also known as e-tutoring, provides a convenient education solution for students who can simply log in at school or at home to access their chosen tutoring solution. India is a leader in online tutoring services outsourcing. The US represents a large market for India to outsource its online tutoring solutions.

Household cleaning solutions represent a popular consumer service. The US carpet and upholstery cleaning services market is worth $3.8 billion, reports MarketData Enterprises. The industry is comprised of over 40,000 outfits, small in scale for the most part. Though there are large franchise companies in operation, less than 25% of the total industry market share is held by 9 of the leading franchises.

Combined, the US commercial and residential cleaning services sector is expected to reach $67 billion in 2013, reports Freedonia. On the residential side, market growth will be driven by rising numbers of dual income homes, leaving consumers with higher disposable incomes but less time for household cleaning. It is estimated there will be around 680,000 cleaning service outfits in operation by 2013, employing more than 1.5 million people.

The US child day care services market (part of the global caring industry) is expected to reach close to $40 billion by 2015, reports Global Industry Analysts. Market expansion will be fuelled by demographics (variable that also fuels the funeral services market), rising employment rates and increasing numbers of dual income households.

The world pet care services industry is expected to reach around $88.8 billion by 2014, according to MarketLine, representing a 20% increase in five years. Cat care represents the leading segment, with over 35% of the overall market. Americas represent almost half the global pet care market in terms of value. Mars is a major operator in the pet care market, with more than a 19% share.

Freedonia predicts consumers will be shelling out $33 billion on pet health goods and services in the US by 2014. Market growth will be fuelled by an expanding pet-owner base and veterinary technology developments.

Market Outlook

The global consumer services market holds significant growth potential. As employment levels recover following economic instability, disposable incomes should rise in tandem with the plethora of services offered – from home cleaning and child day care to more elaborate services such as tutoring. Internet-savvy consumers are increasingly likely to opt for online solutions to save time concerning activities like banking and shopping.

Rising numbers of households are now dual income homes, leaving parents less time to carry out household chores or play a direct role in children’s education. They also have the financial means to avail of essential care, education and cleaning services, which will continue driving market growth within the consumer services industry.

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