Repair Service is a central component of the circular economy. It is the process of bringing broken equipment back to full function. Equipment breaks down due to human error and natural wear and tear. Despite the importance of repair services, the number of repair service providers has declined over the past decades. In addition, the supply chain is overloaded, and repair delays have become common. The European Commission has published a study on product repair, which reveals that consumers are willing to pay between 19% and 30% of the purchase price for repairs.
Consumers’ attitudes toward repair are highly influenced by economic and social factors. This study investigates the impact of these drivers on consumers’ intentions to use a repair service. Research findings provide insights into how to better design and improve services. They can also help public authorities interested in promoting repair.
A number of studies have uncovered the impact of economic considerations on consumers’ repair intentions. However, the results have varied. Some studies found that consumers are more likely to repair their own devices, while others indicated that consumers are less willing to engage in repair activities. Whether the intention to use a repair service is mainly influenced by economic or social considerations is not yet clear.
Using qualitative research methods, this study investigates the motivations of consumers for repairing their own items. The sample of consumers included those who lived in Graz, Austria. Researchers also conducted an analysis of the impact of different types of social groups on the decision-making processes of consumers. Respondents were asked to categorize these groups according to their influence on the decision-making processes.
Among the most important influencing factors are age, family, and friends. Older consumers are more likely to use repair services. Additionally, women are more likely to do so. On the other hand, distant relatives have lesser impact on the repair intentions of consumers.
Another key factor is the repair network. Those who live in Graz are more likely to use a local repair network. Similarly, respondents who live outside Graz are less likely to do so. Interestingly, those who have access to a repair network are more trusting of the repair service provider.
Another important factor that influenced repair decisions is word-of-mouth communication. Experts can have a strong influence on repair behaviour. These experts are able to recommend other repair service providers to their clients. As a result, their recommendations may encourage more people to take advantage of repair services.
In addition to the impact of economic and social considerations, research can also examine the impact of environmental concern. This issue can be used to compare and contrast individuals’ perceived awareness of the negative effects of inaction on the environment.
Finally, this study has shown that a focus on environmental considerations is not enough to promote repair. Instead, a combination of measures is necessary to boost the repair business. Such measures could include financial support for repair cafes and repair facilities, as well as subsidies for repair services. Public authorities can also play a role in promoting repair, such as reducing barriers through government intervention.