15:00 - 16:40
Session: S32
[Perceptions and Performance] + Design
Improving consumer adoption of refurbished products by reducing contamination
Refurbished Products; Contamination; Wear-And-Tear; Consumer Adoption; Conjoint Experiment
Theresa Stephanie WALLNER, Ruth MUGGE, Lise MAGNIER

Refurbishment is an impactful strategy to extend product lifetimes. However, consumers believe that refurbished products are contaminated with traces of prior use. These traces can be of aesthetic (e.g., scratches) or functional nature (e.g., lower battery capacity). This research explores design strategies to improve consumer adoption of refurbished products by reducing contamination. In a choice-based conjoint-experiment, 785 participants were exposed to refurbished headphones varying in features related to contamination, warranty and price. Results showed that most consumers value no wear-and-tear, and if parts touching the skin(ear-cushions) are renewed during the refurbishment process; this is more important than the reduced price or warranty. Depending on the consumer group, other contamination-reducing strategies were of great influence: While some consumer groups highly valued that signs-of-prior-use are eliminated through an as-new appearance, others preferred refurbished products without functional wear-and-tear. Design strategies how to deal with contamination issues during multiple life cycles are discussed.