Consumer acceptance and value in use-oriented product-service systems: Lessons from Swedish consumer goods companies

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Abstract

In order to make our production and consumption systems more sustainable, there is a need to further explore and support novel business models with higher sustainability potential. Use-oriented product-service systems (u-PSS) are considered a promising alternative to traditional ownership-based business models, as they may result in lower environmental impacts. The presence of u-PSS in consumer goods markets, however, is still small. This is due in part to the nature of the products and lack of consumer acceptance of u-PSS. Lately, however, companies in Sweden have begun offering u-PSS for consumer goods, thereby challenging earlier findings. Understanding about how companies encourage consumers to select u-PSS over ownership-based options is still lacking. We investigate this question by conducting interviews with and analysing websites and publicly available company reports of seven Swedish companies from three consumer goods sectors: clothing, eyewear and furniture. We found that, while consumer barriers to u-PSS found in previous studies—uncertainty and trust, economics and costs and desire to own—persist, tailoring elements of u-PSS business models to different markets, sectors and consumer segments can help address these barriers and ensure u-PSS resonate with consumers. The study also applies the concept of consumer perceived value to show how emphasising different dimensions of value—financial, functional, emotional and social—provided by u-PSS may help increase their acceptance and adoption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8079
Number of pages19
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economics

Keywords

  • Consumer acceptance
  • Consumer goods
  • Consumer perceived value
  • Sweden
  • Use-oriented product-service systems

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