Custom writing services market is a sector of the e-commerce industry. Custom writing services are fee-based.
The precise size of custom writing services market is unknown, though some rough estimate could be made. The number of competitors in the market approaches nearly 200. It is also known that around 30 percent of organizations in the industry have annual turnover amounting to $120,000 approximately, whereas other 70 percent have almost twice as low annual turnover. essay writing service reddit Total market size is estimated at $10,800,000 annually. The size of the market in relation to the economy is yet unknown.
Segmentation is the process of allocation of particular homogeneous sub-markets within a heterogeneous market. A market is a multitude of sub-markets that have similar motivations.
In the case with the market concerned, segmentation is interpreted as follows. Companies that operate within the market could be divided in accordance to specialization differences into such categories: (a) generally-oriented companies; (b) particularly-oriented companies. Generally-oriented companies are those that produce custom-written papers on a wide variety of topics. As a rule, such organizations hire writers representing different specialties or simply those able to perform on appropriate level in one or several fields. Companies ascribed to another organizational category usually operate within a narrower framework. In the market there are companies that offer custom-written papers exclusively on math, physics, sociology, the African-Americans, William Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, etc.
Other products and services offered by the industry representatives include proofreading and editing services, and pre-written papers.
It is noteworthy that there are companies in the market that offer both custom-written and pre-written papers. This, however, may have nothing to do with violation of ethics, but what about privacy of those students who previously ordered a custom-written paper, which might have been later re-sold to another student?
Growth rates of the market are varying over the time. Thus, in 2000 there were nearly 25-30 companies offering custom-written/pre-written essays, term papers, cases studies, and other types of research papers. Over the 5-year period the number of companies in the market grew up to nearly two hundreds.
The leap in growth rates of the market is noticed to take place in 2003-2004 when sudden change in pricing occurred. The number of companies in the market increased almost 30 percent and now estimates around 80 companies. This leap was probably caused by the tendency towards ecommerce solutions being new to hoards of entrepreneurs in a number of developing countries like India, Ukraine, Poland and other countries. Companies headquartered in these countries began offering similar services but with lower fees as compared to those located in the U.S., Canada, or Australia. More on pricing policies see in Pricing.
Today, market’s growth speed is rather low as the market is full-fledged due to a variety of services offered by market participants.
Geographical distribution of services
It is worth mentioning that the researched market is a subdivision of ecommerce industry. This gives ground to conclude that either products or services produced by industry’s parties are of intangible character rather than of tangible. This especially concerns custom writing services market, which offers its customers intangible products delivered to them mostly via email.
It should be clear that no matter where a company holds its general/backup office, it operates worldwide.
The only principle that regulates geographical distribution of custom-written papers is linguistic attachment. Among major countries using the service are: the United States of America, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and some European and Asian countries.
Seasonal character of the market
Another aspect of the market is its seasonality. Seasonal character of the examined market is sharply defined. As services offered by the market participants are oriented at student needs throughout the academic year only, the season of active sales almost coincides with the academic year. The first half of September – usually passive – is compensated with several weeks in June.
Such seasonality of the market explains its instability of prices. It was noticed that prices for services increase throughout the year with peaks in December – January and April – May; and drop dramatically during the summer season.
Customers of online services such as custom writing services are usually students of high schools, colleges, and Universities, of 16 to 25 years old. As pricing in the market is relatively low, target group of the market covers the so-called middle class and higher. A research shows that in 2005 from 14 percent to 23 percent of students (considering seasonality correction) have in due time applied to custom writing services (IAS, 2005). In other words, one-seventh to one-fourth of students has bought at least one paper during 2004-2005 academic years. The same research provides data that gives ground to conclude about the growth of the market. It is declared that in 2003 peak rate of students who applied to the service at least once was 25 percent, whereas in 2005 it is estimated to reach 36 percent (IAS, 2005).
Customer loyalty is obviously a behavior demonstrated by frequent or systematic purchases of a company’s product or service. Customer loyalty could be achieved through customer-friendly pricing policies, various discount programs, incentive plans etc. Customer loyalty is also an aspect of a company’s customer retention or loyalty programs.
Customer retention programs are usually complex systems that include two or more elements listed above. As regards the market of custom writing services, the following was noticed in the course of the research held by the author: (a) more than 80 percent of the market uses basic techniques in acquiring customer loyalty such as permanently variable prices that depend on demand for the product or service throughout the year, bonus plans (such as bonus key that allows up to 4 percent reduction), and other techniques; and (b) nearly 10 percent of companies within the market use complex customer loyalty programs such as flexible discounts (sometimes up to 30 percent!) in a combination with weekly feedback bonuses, personal selection of a writer, order status check, 24/7 customer care, and other modes of customer attraction.