Special Issue "Consumer Wellbeing and Digitalization: Challenges and Opportunities"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Digital Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Umair Akram
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Marketing, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Interests: online consumer buying behavior; branding; social and mobile commerce; retailing; consumer well-being
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Pantea Foroudi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Business School, Middlesex University, London NW4 4BT, UK
Interests: consumer behavior; retailing; hospitality marketing; consumer perception; branding
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Jiayin Qi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Management, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics (SUIBE), Shanghai 201620, China
Interests: artificial intelligence; social media marketing; change management; online consumer behavior; CRM
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Internet has revamped the marketing world for businesses and consumers. Courtesy of social media, i.e., Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms, consumers have an opportunity to share, contribute, and access information with simple clicks. Empowered with information, consumers shape the market trends and invite unprecedented competition. Consequently, for a sustainable business, improvised marketing methods are inevitable.

Recently, corporates' aggressive marketing for a share sometimes flirts with the sensitive and grey areas of consumer sovereignty and wellbeing. Digitally intertwined global culture has invited confusion and complications at the psychological level, e.g., consumer response is agitated by national and international brands' assertive marketing campaigns. Technology (e.g., the internet and smart devices), a double-edged sword, has put consumers at risk, i.e., mental fitness, anxiety, aggression, and depression. Where technology is making everyday life easy, it is also leading to reduced sleep and exaggerated laziness. This scenario demands a scholarly discussion from the perspective of consumer wellbeing in this digital business world.

Possible research questions/topics for this special issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • To what extent does digitalization impact the core marketing theory?
  • What is the impact of digitalization on the life cycle of the buyer–seller relationships?
  • How have the buyer–seller network dynamics have evolved due to digitalization? 
  • What repercussions (i.e., anxiety, depression, aggression, and compulsive buying) do consumers face due to excess digitalization?
  • How is this digitalization shaping consumer ill/wellbeing?
  • How do business breaches invite new challenges, i.e., consumer alienation, and value the co-destruction posed by the consumers?
  • How does social media marketing influence consumer’s mental health?
  • Application of consumer behavior theories with digitalization;
  • Meta-analysis on consumer ill/well-being studies.

Dr. Pantea Foroudi
Dr. Umair Akram
Dr. Jiayin Qi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • social media
  • ethical marketing
  • consumer ill/well-being
  • consumer mental health
  • mobile commerce
  • online purchase intention
  • technology acceptance model
  • fear of missing out
  • stress
  • impulsive and compulsive buying
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • happiness

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
The Continued Use of Social Commerce Platforms and Psychological Anxiety—The Roles of Influencers, Informational Incentives and FoMO
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12254; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph182212254 - 22 Nov 2021
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Why does the continued use of social commerce platforms fail to promote consumer wellbeing? This study explores the roles of influencers, informational incentives and fear of missing out (FoMO) in the relationships between social commerce platform use and consumer mental health. Data were [...] Read more.
Why does the continued use of social commerce platforms fail to promote consumer wellbeing? This study explores the roles of influencers, informational incentives and fear of missing out (FoMO) in the relationships between social commerce platform use and consumer mental health. Data were obtained through questionnaires, as well as constructing a research model. Statistical analysis and path analysis of the structural equation model were performed by the software IBM SPSS and AMOS, and the following results were obtained. (1) Influencer expertise and interactivity, informational incentives and FoMO have a significant impact on consumers’ continued use of social commerce platforms. (2) Materialism has no significant effect on consumer social commerce platform use. (3) FoMO mediates the relationships between informational incentives and continued use of social commerce platforms. (4) Consumers’ continuous use of social commerce platforms has a strong relationship with mental health. (5) Continued use of social commerce platforms can lead to intense social engagement, as well as more severe outcomes such as psychological anxiety and compulsive buying. The findings of the paper have important implications for the development of social business theory and management practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Wellbeing and Digitalization: Challenges and Opportunities)
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Article
Financial Inclusion Paradigm Shift in the Postpandemic Period. Digital-Divide and Gender Gap
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10938; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph182010938 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 568
Abstract
Financial inclusion is strongly differentiated by age groups and countries and the pandemic has highlighted the increased gaps and inequalities but also the weaknesses of the system, in terms of flexibility, access and facilities of the customer-bank relationship and also from the perspective [...] Read more.
Financial inclusion is strongly differentiated by age groups and countries and the pandemic has highlighted the increased gaps and inequalities but also the weaknesses of the system, in terms of flexibility, access and facilities of the customer-bank relationship and also from the perspective of the financial education of young generations and vulnerable people, active in the labor market. Based on the available data provided by the Global Findex database, and some findings after more than one year of COVID-19 crisis we outlined the main aspects of financial digitization, by categories of people and countries. At the same time, we identified the challenges and problems during the pandemic that significantly adjusted the consumption pattern of citizens and increased the need for on-line access for financial transactions. Starting from the analysis of the inequality of access to financial instruments in the last years, from the informational asymmetry in financial education and the challenges of the pandemic period, we underlined the main coordinates of changing the model of sustainable financial inclusion—based on five pillars—access, education, support tools, CSR and resilience. The research results highlight the need for convergence in providing opportunities to consider financial inclusion as a public good and an active tool to increase consumers’ satisfaction and the quality of life of individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Wellbeing and Digitalization: Challenges and Opportunities)
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Article
Impact of Digitalization on Customers’ Well-Being in the Pandemic Period: Challenges and Opportunities for the Retail Industry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7533; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147533 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2144
Abstract
Order increases, supply chain disruptions, changing customer behavior, store closures, and more that have been caused by the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) will undoubtedly affect the online commerce forms of business. The coronavirus pandemic has a significant impact on digitalization and customer experience and [...] Read more.
Order increases, supply chain disruptions, changing customer behavior, store closures, and more that have been caused by the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) will undoubtedly affect the online commerce forms of business. The coronavirus pandemic has a significant impact on digitalization and customer experience and well-being in mobile commerce. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, online sales and the number of online shoppers using wireless internet-enabled devices have increased tremendously. The article develops, an experimental study that captures COVID-19 and digital commerce’s impact in terms of customers’ experience and well-being during the pandemic period. The study explores the synergy between technology evolution and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on customers’ behavior based on survey data collection and the technology acceptance model (TAM). The results reveal that, for millennials, digital commerce seems to be the typical way of shopping and paying in the pandemic period since the oldest generations adopted in a smaller proportion the use of mobile devices for shopping and payments. Besides, retailers are confronted with great challenges raised by millennials’ expectations. The result confirms four of the six hypotheses based on the technology acceptance model (TAM). As a result, it shows that the easiness of use, trust, mobility, and customer involvement influences the behavioral intention of the customer to use mobile commerce, and that usefulness and customization does not influence the behavioral intention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Wellbeing and Digitalization: Challenges and Opportunities)
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Article
Perceiving Social-Emotional Volatility and Triggered Causes of COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4591; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094591 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
Health support has been sought by the public from online social media after the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In addition to the physical symptoms caused by the virus, there are adverse impacts on psychological responses. Therefore, precisely capturing the public [...] Read more.
Health support has been sought by the public from online social media after the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In addition to the physical symptoms caused by the virus, there are adverse impacts on psychological responses. Therefore, precisely capturing the public emotions becomes crucial to providing adequate support. By constructing a domain-specific COVID-19 public health emergency discrete emotion lexicon, we utilized one million COVID-19 theme texts from the Chinese online social platform Weibo to analyze social-emotional volatility. Based on computed emotional valence, we proposed a public emotional perception model that achieves: (1) targeting of public emotion abrupt time points using an LSTM-based attention encoder-decoder (LAED) mechanism for emotional time-series, and (2) backtracking of specific triggered causes of abnormal volatility in a cognitive emotional arousal path. Experimental results prove that our model provides a solid research basis for enhancing social-emotional security outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Wellbeing and Digitalization: Challenges and Opportunities)
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Article
The Determinants of Panic Buying during COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3247; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063247 - 21 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3027
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an unmatched level of panic buying globally, a type of herd behavior whereby consumers buy an uncommonly huge amount of products because of a perception of scarcity. Drawing on the health belief model, perceived scarcity, and anticipated regret [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an unmatched level of panic buying globally, a type of herd behavior whereby consumers buy an uncommonly huge amount of products because of a perception of scarcity. Drawing on the health belief model, perceived scarcity, and anticipated regret theories, this paper formulated a theoretical model that linked the determinants of panic buying and analyzed their interrelationships. Subsequently, data were collated from 508 consumers through an online survey questionnaire in Singapore that was conducted during the early stage of the pandemic, before the onset of the circuit breaker in April 2020. Next, an analysis of the results was done through structural equation modeling. It showed that the effect of the health belief model dimensions (i.e., perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, outcome expectation, cues to action, and self-efficacy) on panic buying is partially mediated by the consumers’ perceived scarcity of products. Furthermore, the effect of perceived scarcity on panic buying is partially mediated by consumers’ anticipation of regret. This paper expands on the current theoretical understanding of panic buying behavior, giving insights into the possible measures and solutions that policymakers and relevant stakeholders can uptake to manage panic buying in future a pandemic or health crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Wellbeing and Digitalization: Challenges and Opportunities)
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