New York: Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.
Advances in information technology together with the forces of globalization have accelerated the growth of service industries. In 2003, the OECD reported that service industries now account for over 60% of both employment and the gross domestic product (GDP) of OECD member countries. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has forecast strong employment growth in the American service sector between 2004 and 2014. Although service industries are expanding, Gilmore and Pine argue that, the growing commoditisation of services offered has gradually transformed the competition for market share from focusing on the quality of services to the creation of memorable experiences. As a consequence, the competitive position of a firm now depends to a large extent on its ability to generate impressive experiences through innovative delivery channels.
In this article, we adopt Gilmore and Pine's view that the economic value of the experience economy lies in co-producing the staging experiences via customer participation and connection. Furthermore, we suggest that current technologies and the growth of the Internet have both enabled and strengthened the opportunities for experience-oriented offerings beyond limitations of time and place. In following sections, we first describe the current practice of experience economy in electronic commerce. Taking the iCare health care service as an example, we demonstrate how collaborative pricing over the Internet can further provide added-value to the production of experiences offered in the electronic marketplace.