Special Issue "How Consumer Behavior Patterns Change in a Pandemic Condition"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).
The coronavirus pandemic is completely changing patterns of consumer behaviors across the world. This is already clear in the first outputs of surveys and analysis by scholars from social sciences that agree with the complexity of this health crisis for its magnitude and the number of its variables. The restoration of a consumer recovery is difficult to predict and unknown. The recent experiences of the 2009 global financial crisis and the September 11 terrorist attacks evoked the effects of the 1929 Great Depression and the possible exit strategies to adopt after an economic collapse, including the consumption containment. However, we do not know if they can be applied in this situation.
Looking at the consumers, as the infection spread from China to the bordering countries, and then to Europe soon after, a growing feeling of fear also spread. When people are afraid, they retreat into a “survival mode” of consumption. This fear, connected to anxiety for the loss of the sense of control, outlines an unknown condition for us. It is “less a one-time sharp shock to the system and more of a rolling source of anxiety”—a condition we have not experienced, since the last pandemics that killed millions of people happened many years ago. The panic has pushed consumers around the world in frenetic shopping for masks and hand sanitizer, in the hoarding of toilet paper rolls, as well as goods and services consumed at home and online, increasing as the contagion data increased. Consumer behavior is characterized by a renewed hierarchy of needs to be satisfied that, from a psychological perspective, is based on informational conformity: when people lack information and knowledge, they blindly conform their actions to the collective action, while they restore their habits as the panic gradually fades away. However, as people are resilient and are able to adapt to events over time, what could be their future experience of consumption? Could consumer behavior be permanently changed as a result of the pandemic? Might we discover that the new way suits us better? Or, might the economic implications of a dramatic economic recession favor strategies for getting people back to life as it was before, once the coronavirus is over?
This Special Issue focuses on original research and reviews regarding the consumption processes in a pandemic condition considering how social, cultural, and economic implications are intertwined among them. It could be interesting for the interpretation of the consumer behavior in an unknown scenario, in the emergence and in the post-emergence phases, enlightening persistence and changes compared to the natural transformations of the production–consumption system and the outline of a new sustainable model of production and consumption.
We invite you to contribute to a multidisciplinary social analysis of the transformations of the consumption patterns in the current global pandemic condition.
This Special Issue aims to identify the persistent and the new features of the consumption affected by feelings of fear, panic, uncertainty, and informational conformity. There seem to be radically changing patterns of consumer behavior across the world, and the dramatic economic predictions of a grave recession seem to become more likely as time goes on.
If the social sciences analyzed the implications of major economic and social crises such as the 1929 Great Depression or the 2009 global financial crisis, it is likely that only a fraction of the evidence from that research could help in the interpretation of this first phase of the global pandemic.
Thanks to the first outputs of research and surveys, this Special Issue on “How Consumer Behavior Patterns Change in a Pandemic Condition” aims at responding to the growing and urgent demand for publishing current thinking, research, and case studies on the matter.
This Special Issue focuses on papers that identify and analyze data, trends, and theoretical approaches to the transformations of consumption patterns, but also analytical tools, assessment models (for the production and consumption systems), case studies, and best practices analyses.
Contributors from different disciplines bring a broad perspective and wide-ranging approaches and discussions on how the pandemic is changing and will re-draft the consumption processes, and are welcomed here.
Prof. Mariella Nocenzi
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. Sustainability 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 1900 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.
- consumption behavior
- economic crisis
- sustainable production
- sustainable consumption