Resource Efficient Business Models: Consumer research

Start date:
March 2013
May 2013

This research explored evidence of consumer interest if retailers were to offer new services for acquiring, repairing or trading-in electrical products. The research focused on four business models as alternatives to new purchase:

  • Repair: getting a product repaired by a major retail organisation that can deliver a transparent, reliable, high-quality service, for a fixed price.
  • Renting: renting a product to use from a major retail organisation, either for long-term or occasional use.
  • Second-hand: purchasing a second-hand product from a major retail organisation that can deliver a simple, reliable, high-quality supply.
  • Trade-in: trading in an old product to a major retail organisation in exchange for cash, money-off next purchase, store/club points, a donation to charity or vouchers.

The research had three main elements: a desk review of previous research; six qualitative focus groups; and a national online survey of 1,815 consumers in Great Britain. Additional booster samples were used in Wales and Scotland and these results are available in separate reports. Consumer interest in the business models was explored with respect to household appliances, consumer electronics and DIY/Gardening products.

The report (available from the WRAP website) presents overall findings, as well as consumer preferences by each product type. Key findings include:

  • Consumers currently have a strong preference for buying new, and only a minority of consumers currently buy products second-hand or rent them (although rental is more common for DIY and gardening products than for appliances and consumer electronics).
  • Despite this, there appears to be a strong appetite for repair and rental services, trade-in and purchasing second-hand when delivered by trusted, major retailers. On average almost two thirds of consumers said they would be likely to use the services if they were delivered by DIY retailers, specialist electrical retailers and manufacturers.
  • Consumers want longer standard warranties for electrical products, and between 49% - 62% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for them, depending on the product.

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