The basic principle that underpins ubiquitisation is that it makes it much easier for customers to buy the product or use the service. Since customers are part of the service process, originally this was done by setting up operations in appropriate locations using specific site selection criteria. For instance, many pubs in the UK are on street corners thereby maximising passing pedestrian traffic. In this way chains of operations were set up. More recently this is been extended by taking the product or service to other settings where the customer is, often by establishing new and additional kinds of service point, such as carts, kiosks, or vending machines.
Hence there are three basic forms of ‘extended ubiquitisation’, which are based on technology, mobility and secondary locations.
- Technology – organisation install additional service points in fixed locations using technology such as ATMs and vending machines.
- Mobile ubiquitisation on the other hand moves or transports the service point to wherever it is needed. Examples of this are mobile ice cream vans and home delivery by supermarkets or pizza restaurants. In some cases, these additional service points are fully mobile, but in other cases placed in a fixed location for a specified period of time. Such facilities are often trailers that are towed to outdoor locations for special events, such as sports meetings, festivals, fetes and so on.
- Secondary locations can also be used to extend the market reach of the main outlet. Such locations can be kiosks or so-called micro-units offering a reduced product range.