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Exploring panic buying behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic: a developing country perspective

Gurmeet Singh (School of Business and Management, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji)
Asheefa Shaheen Aiyub (School of Business and Management, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji)
Tuma Greig (School of Business and Management, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji)
Samantha Naidu (School of Business and Management, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji)
Aarti Sewak (Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)
Shavneet Sharma (School of Business and Management, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 23 June 2021

2131

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify factors that influence customers' panic buying behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 357 participants in Fiji, and structural equation modeling to analyze the collected data.

Findings

Results indicate that expected personal outcomes is positively associated with customers' attitudes while expected community-related outcomes negatively impact customers' attitudes. Factors such as attitude, subjective norms, scarcity, time pressure and perceived competition were found to positively influence customers' panic buying intention. Furthermore, scarcity and time pressure were confirmed to positively influence perceived competitiveness while perceived social detection risk negatively influences customer's panic buying intention.

Practical implications

The findings highlight the need for better measures to ensure that every customer has access to goods and services and is not deprived of such necessities in times of a crisis. These results will assist store managers and policymakers in introducing better management, social policies and resource utilization mechanisms to mitigate panic buying during the pandemic.

Originality/value

This study's findings contribute to the literature on customer's panic buying behavior during a global pandemic. Research in this area remain scarce, inconsistent and inconclusive. Novel insights are generated as this study is the first to combine the theory of planned behavior, privacy calculus theory and protection motivation theory. Applying these theories allows new relationships to be tested to better understand customer behavior during a global pandemic. With most studies on customer behavior during crises and disasters in developed countries, this study generates new insights by exploring customer behavior in a developing country.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Disclosure statement: No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author(s).

Citation

Singh, G., Aiyub, A.S., Greig, T., Naidu, S., Sewak, A. and Sharma, S. (2021), "Exploring panic buying behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic: a developing country perspective", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOEM-03-2021-0308

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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