University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Do social media platforms develop consumer panic buying during the fear of Covid-19 pandemic

Naeem, Muhammad (2021) Do social media platforms develop consumer panic buying during the fear of Covid-19 pandemic. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 58. Article no. 102226. ISSN 0969-6989

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There is inadequate understanding of how social media can shape fear and consumer responses in the manner of consumer panic buying while Covid-19 is spreading across the world. Through taking a social constructionism position this research focused on what people think and feel at an individual and collective level on the role of social media to create panic behaviour. Data have been collected from thirty-four consumers who have minimum one active social media account. These participants are contacted through telephonic interview due to maintaining the social distancing. Findings reveal that uncertainties and insecurities proof, buying as persuasion, product unavailability proof, authorities' communication, global logic, and expert opinion are some of the causes on social media platforms that developed the situation of consumer panic buying during Covid-19 crises. Furthermore, the unprecedented level of real-time information on Covid-19 at users' fingertips can give them the tools they need to make smart decisions, but also make them more anxious about what is to come; experts say that may lead to panic buying or stockpiling of products. The study has tried to develop understanding about how social media generates social proof and offers a window into people's collective response to the coronavirus outbreak and shapes panic buying reaction. The study has provided a consumer panic buying theory based on the results of this study and on existing theories, such as global capitalism/information society risk society, social influence, and social proof. These theories help to understand how global logic is built due to the use of social media and how different social proofs are generated which developed the behaviour of consumer panic buying due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: social media, social influence, consumer panic buying theory, social constructionism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
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Depositing User: Karen Veitch
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2020 12:26
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2020 11:58

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