The Customer Experience in the Product After-Use Phase : A case study of the IKEA second-hand store
Abstract: As customers become more and more aware of the threats and limits of the current economic system, joined with the pressure of environmental policies, companies are pressured to rethink their offerings, processes, and business models in order to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. This transition requires significant changes in habits and behaviors, but simultaneously it offers opportunities for innovation. In this regard, business model innovation plays an essential role in enabling this transition via circular business models that close the loop. For the successful development, implementation, and adoption of new business models, a depth understanding of customers' needs is fundamental. However, little is known about the customer perceptions, motivations, and willingness to participate in circular economy. To address this gap, the study explores the transition to circular economy from the customers' perspective by employing a qualitative single case study bounded to the furniture retail company, IKEA, specifically the IKEA Second-Hand pilot store in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Through in-person interviews, observations, and a questionnaire, data from customers donating their used furniture to the recycling mall ReTuna, people discarding furniture at the recycling station, and people selling and giving away their used furniture via the social media platform Facebook, was captured to explore the customer experience in the after-use phase of furniture. Findings of the study present opportunities for the case company to strengthen its product recovery strategies.
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