Service sector: figures, trends & more

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A good 80 percent of all companies in Germany operate in the service sector. Find out more about the industry, current figures and trends here!

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Industry Sketch

A Service in the sense of economics is an economic good where, in contrast to goods, the focus is not on the material production or the material value of a final product, but on a service provided by a natural or legal person at a point of time or in a time frame to meet a need. The person or company providing the service is generally referred to as a service provider:in. This also includes unpaid services provided in households, for example. As Part of the gross domestic product, however, are reported only those services that can be valued using market prices

In the national accounts, the service sector includes the economic sectors of trade, hotels and restaurants and transport, financing, rental and business service providers as well as public and private service providers. 

Good 80 percent of all companies in Germany can be assigned to this sector. Three out of four people in work today are employed in the service economy. We have summarized further important figures for you below. 

Facts and figures

According to a Statista survey, were:

  • 45.3 million people employed in Germany in 2019, 

  • over 33 million of them as service providers, 

  • of which 5.7 million people worked in the trade/maintenance/automotive sector, 

  • followed by 5.6 million workers in health care and social services, 

  • and 2.9 million employees in the Public Administration/Defense/Social Security sector, 

  • bringing up the rear are 590,000 people in the arts/entertainment/recreation sector, 

  • and 213,000 in the real estate and housing sector, 

  • Training contracts were signed in 2019 in the service sector 147,502, 

  • The average gross annual earnings of full-time employees in the service sector are around 48,800 euros, 

  • the highest earnings are achieved in the provision of financial and insurance services, where the annual income is over 77,600 euros, 

  • a total of around 45 billion hours were worked in the service sector in 2019. 

Networking of industry and services

With such a high concentration of the various sectors in the service economy innovation is everything. Germany as an industrial location is no longer conceivable without services. The production of goods and the provision of services are becoming increasingly interlinked. 

When a modern industrial product leaves the production plant, for example, it was preceded by countless services that contributed to its creation - such as logistics, maintenance, software support and much more. After the sale, further services are added, "post-production services" if you will. These include marketing, financing, logistics and repair, for example. 

Not least also in the course of a Industry 4.0 it is essential for production companies to reinvent and rethink themselves. Because Services can also important door openers and companions for the industry be in foreign markets, for example in the construction of infrastructure in emerging countries. Increasingly, abstract and innovative solutions are created in the planning or consulting service sectors. It is only in a second step that concrete orders are placed with industry here. Service providers:inside sitting "at the source - they form the interface and thus bring industrial companies into the market. 

But it is not only in Industry 4.0 that we need to reposition ourselves. Service 4.0 is the keyword you have to deal with! And there is no such thing as Service 4.0 without digitization. 

Digitization in the service sector

In principle, the service sector is already more digitized than the manufacturing sector, but the Company size Influence on the degree of digitization Large companies use the new technologies to a much greater extent than SMEs. 

However, digitization is also advancing in indirect areas of the industry that are remote from production: This applies to business-related services as well as to trade, banking, insurance and logistics. It affects not only individual jobs in a variety of ways, but also the structure of the economy, the entire value chain and the organization of work. 

In the service industry in particular, aspects of digitization, such as Analytics based on Big Data or digital customer management platforms, play an important role. Moreover, physical services and digital offerings no longer stand separately from one another, but complement one another and are combined to form so-called "smart services. New business models, corporate concepts and strategies are the future of the service economy. And as is so often the case, this also applies to you: Take advantage of the opportunities that arise in the context of digital transformations to tailor your services even better to your customers. 

Trends 2021

We have prepared the three most important current trends for you. We would like to note that these are by no means all of the topics that need to be taken into account and that are moving the industry this year - however, all of the others can inevitably be categorized under the following megatrends. 

 #1 Expand digitization 

There is often not enough time to digitize and automate processes. In some cases, the industry still works with spreadsheet and isolated solutions. Lack of transparency is the result. Take advantage of digitization and fully exploit untapped growth potential. Get intelligent solutions for efficient data management, convenient online appointment booking, personalized support or simply the right email at the right time. For you, this means no manual effort, no gaps at the interfaces of different systems. Instead, CRM processes, professional services automation and reporting from a single source. 

The goal is to gain a holistic view of your customers. With the right tools, this mammoth task will soon become reality. With a customer relationship management (CRM) system like Salesforce and the right digitization partner, you'll soon have a 360-degree customer view from first contact to open invoices, key account management, optimized quoting and tracking, project management, invoicing and transmission, and a full financial overview with flexible reports and dashboards! Learn more here. 


#2 Big Data & AI 

Rapid advances in key digital transformation technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data analytics, often require executives to delve deeper thematically to understand the opportunities for their own service business model. 

What you need to know first is that all these technologies aim to understand your customers even better, predict their behavior and ultimately present them with exactly the offer they were looking for. 

For many service companies, directly applicable technologies in the field of artificial intelligence include chatbots, used for the most frequent interactions with internal and external customers or as intelligent internal organizational search aids across numerous systems. The analysis of large amounts of data usually focuses on a better understanding of customer behavior on the one hand, and on previously hardly visible determinants of service processes on the other. 


#3 Individualized offers 

A hyper-personalized approach to your customers through the data analyses just mentioned and with the help of those technologies will put you ahead in the long term. If we combine services with individualized offers, a megatrend emerges that will continue to be a topic of conversation long into the future. 

As soon as all needs are fundamentally satiated, people look at how they can stand out from the crowd. This is the hour of individual products and services: Offers that are perfectly tailored to customers. The appropriate application is especially important for your marketing team. Digital touchpoints follow the demand to send customers exactly the messages that trigger the desired action at the best possible time and in the appropriate channel. This can be the purchase of a product or the booking of a service. An optimized and personalized customer journey is the solution here.

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