Intangibility refers to the lack of palpable or tactile property making it difficult to assess service quality. According to Zeithaml et al. (1985, p. 33), “Because services are performances, rather than objects, they cannot be seen, felt, tasted, or touched in the same manner in which goods can be sensed.” As a result, intangibility has historically been seen as the most important distinction between services and products in the literature on services marketing. Other key characteristics of services include perishability, inseparability and variability (or heterogeneity).

However, in practice service production and consumption often involve both intangible and tangible elements. Examples of intangible service attributes include service responsiveness and reliability, while tangible service attributes include the servicescape, décor, and furnishings.

Drawing on construal level theory, Ding and Keh (2017) investigated when and why intangible versus tangible attributes would be more influential in service evaluation. They showed that, under a high construal level, consumers rely more on intangible attributes in their service evaluation and choice formation; whereas under a low construal level, consumers rely more on tangible attributes in their service evaluation and choice. Furthermore, the effect of construal level on service evaluation can be explained by imagery vividness, and these effects are moderated by the type of service (e.g., experience vs. credence services).

Source: Wikipedia

(A) Abstract fundamental problems