Consumers' Preferences and Willingness to Pay for Eco-friendly Furniture

Valeria Kadelski

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The aim of this research is to understand consumers’ preferences and willingness for an eco-friendly piece of furniture, specifically a chair. In order to determine these two aspects, the study focuses on comprehending consumers’ decision making-process and in particular on how consumers choose to buy a product among the different alternatives they are offered with. The research refers to the definition of customer value and utility to explain why it important to study products’ attributes to capture consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay. Furniture was taken as the object of this study, since the Danish furniture market is particularly valuable, with seating furniture counting for the most valuable product category. The focus on ecofriendly furniture is due to the increasing consumers’ concern about environmental issues. In recent years, the demand for eco-friendly products has rapidly grown, but understanding what drives consumers’ purchases of eco-friendly products is still complex. Therefore, it was important to study consumers’ decision-making process with regards to how they choose which products to buy. This research is a quantitative, deductive study. Hypotheses were made based on previous literature and subsequently tested with findings. Data was gathered by surveying a sample of bachelor and master students from CBS through an indirect survey method, Conjoint Analysis, which allowed the study of respondents’ preferred attributes and willingness to pay for these. Recycled materials and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) eco-label were taken as relevant eco-friendly attributes to be researched, whereas the Danish Design Award, Brand and Durability certification were included as non-eco-friendly attributes. In the analysis of results, it was found that consumers have a positive attitude towards FSC ecolabelled and recycled furniture and are willing to pay a higher price for it. However, this study has observed that non-eco-friendly attributes might still be more preferred by consumers. Finally, considerations on how the combination of attributes might influence consumers’ willingness to pay are discussed. Through these findings, this study contributes to integrate existing literature on consumers’ preferences for furniture and constitutes the starting point for further research on eco-friendly products. Furthermore, this research provides furniture companies with useful insights on attributes influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions for eco-friendly products.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages85
SupervisorsKai Hockerts