Where should I buy my sofa? : A qualitative study on Swedish digital natives in the omni-channel furniture retailing environment

University essay from Jönköping University/Internationella Handelshögskolan

Abstract: Abstract  Background: E-commerce and omni-channel retailing strategies have emerged with digitalization. Digital channels have affected many parts of the daily life for consumers and as a result the consumer’s decision-making processes have become more complex. Born natives are a generation of consumers that have grown up having access to digital technology and their behaviors form a unique phenomenon as consumers within the omni-channel environment. At the same time, continuous growth in the Swedish furniture industry has allowed for new retailing strategies to emerge. The sample of born natives born during the 1990’s provides a unique insight in how these consumers behave and interact in the Swedish omni-channel furniture retailing environment.  Research question: How does the omni-channel retailing environment affect decision-making Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore how digital native consumers who now comprise a larger consumer segment on the furniture market perceive the omni-channel environment in addition to how the digital omni-channel environment affects their decision- making process when it comes to furniture purchases in terms of perceived risks, purposes, and consumer benefits.  Methodology: This study is of qualitative nature which approaches the research problem and purpose with a relativistic philosophical stance. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to provide relevant data by individual consumers, and which have been analyzed with a hermeneutical approach. An inductive approach was adopted to explore the phenomenon.  Conclusion: Consumers perform multiple different actions and adopt different behaviors when operating in the furniture omni-channel retailing environment. Risk aversion, identity building, entertainment and channel selection are all aspects of furniture shopping that are impacted by digital natives operating in the omni-channel retailing environment. 

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