- One in two people believe manufacturers should make longer lasting products to help the environment
- Growing environmental awareness may lead to reduced demand for new devices
- Companies have an opportunity to stand out by embracing sustainability
London, 9 March 2022: Today, almost three in five people consider themselves to be more environmentally conscious than they were 12 months ago. Furthermore, 38% of people believe that repairing an old gadget, or buying a second-hand rather than new device, helps the environment. This is according to new research by analyst firm CCS Insight, conducted in four countries throughout Western Europe and North America.
People now own more connected devices than ever before — on average, almost four devices per person. These include mobile phones, computers, smartwatches, smart TVs and smart home devices, to name a few. But many people now want to get the most from these devices over an extended period; of these, 45% would consider buying a second-hand or refurbished device, and 74% would like to repair devices at a reasonable cost.
“We note sustainability is not the top reason for this trend: cost remains the most common motive to select second-hand devices, and common sense often drives people to repair rather than replace broken devices,” says Marina Koytcheva, Vice President of Forecasting. “However, for two in five people helping the environment is cited as the reason why they would like to get a product repaired, or select a second-hand device.”
For this environmental interest to turn into purchasing, CCS Insight believes there needs to be wider choice and availability of refurbished or second-hand devices, as well as cost-effective paths to get devices repaired. As more governments encourage the reuse and repair of products, we expect more companies to embrace the opportunities associated with offering such services for consumer electronics.
“If this trend comes to fruition and people start to buy new devices less often, device makers will need to adjust their business models and strategies,” explains Koytcheva. “But they also have an opportunity to differentiate themselves in a crowded market, especially as consumers continue to exhibit a high degree of scepticism towards device-makers’ environmental efforts.”
According to CCS Insight’s research, 50% of people believe making longer lasting products is the most helpful thing manufacturers can do for the environment. Other initiatives, like removing the charger from the box or reducing packaging size, are seen as less impressive — even if they do contribute to a more sustainable future.
CCS Insight believes that companies committed to making a difference will need to manufacture products that last, have solid residual value, are easily repaired and are desirable in second-hand markets. This aligns to the growing number of people who are becoming more environmentally aware — particularly younger people, who are showing a more pronounced interest in buying used devices and repairing than older generations. CCS Insight expects that green considerations will play a growing role in future buyers’ choices, and will be a vital pillar of success for consumer electronics companies looking to stand out through a deeper commitment to the environment.
The chart below is taken from CCS Insight’s Connected Consumer Radar service, which surveys consumers in Germany, Spain, the UK and the US.
CCS Insight is hosting a live webinar at 14.00 and 18.00 BST on Wednesday, March 9 to discuss these trends. To attend, click here.
Notes to editors
This data is part of CCS Insight’s Connected Consumer Radar service. The data was collected between 4 and 19 January 2022, from a survey of 4,221 people. It was split broadly equally between Germany, Spain, the UK and the US, representative of the adult population of these countries by age, gender, household size and region. For more details of this service, click here.
About CCS Insight
CCS Insight is a global analyst company focussing on current and future trends in technology. It provides comprehensive services that are tailored to meet the needs of individual clients, helping them make sense of the connected world. Follow @CCSInsight on Twitter or learn more at www.ccsinsight.com.
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