The influence of media on impulsive buying in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic


Purpose – With the appearance of COVID-19, epidemiological measures were implemented which significantly changed the customer behaviour. Media became an important source of information. The fear phenomena in the lockdown era compelled consumers to buy impulsively. Therefore, this paper determines the changes in consumer behaviour in the era of the pandemic and the influence of media on consumer’s impulsive buying during lockdown.

Research methodology – The research was carried out with a questionnaire (N = 298). The descriptive, multivariate, and correlation analysis, and the t-test were used to process primary data to confirm changes in consumer behaviour.

Findings – The research results show that impulsive buying does exist during a lockdown and is influenced by media. Such indicators give a clear direction for creating marketing campaigns in future crises.

Research limitations – The research sample was random so, to prove hypothesis H2, the database of the intensity of buying in lockdown needed to be filtered out so only impulsive buyers could be selected (n = 89).

Practical implications – The findings could help in the creation of future marketing campaigns in crises.

Originality / Value – This research gives a new look at consumer behaviour in crises, the intensity of fear influence, and the influence of media on consumer behaviour.

Keyword : consumer behaviour, impulsive buying, media, COVID-19 pandemic

How to Cite
Blažević Bognar, Z., & Pleša Puljić, N. (2022). The influence of media on impulsive buying in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. Business, Management and Economics Engineering, 20(1), 41–58.
Published in Issue
Apr 12, 2022
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Addo, P. C., Jiaming, F., Kulbo, N. B., & Liangqiang, L. (2020). COVID-19: Fear appeal favoring purchase behavior towards personal protective equipment. The Service Industries Journal, 40(7–8), 471–490.

Ban, K. (2018). Influence of external factors on impulsive buying. Faculty of Economics, University of Split, Split.

Barbić, D., & Lučić, A. (2018). Financial literacy and responsible spending in everyday life. Narodne novine.

Bergel, M., & Brock, C. (2019). Visitors’ loyalty and price perceptions: The role of customer engagement. Service Industries Journal, 39(7–8), 575–589.

Blažević Bognar, Z., Pleša Puljić, N., & Kadežabek, D. (2019). Impact of influencer marketing on consumer behaviour. In G. Dukic, J. Clifford, & D. Atkinson (Eds.), 42nd International Scientific Conference on Economic and Social Development (pp. 301–309). London.

Blažević Bognar, Z., Pleša Puljić, N., & Lacko, T. (2017). The impact of the psychological price on consumer’s behavior. In D. Cingula, M. Przygoda, & K. Detelj (Eds.), 23rd International Scientific Conference on Economic and Social Development (pp. 589–597). Madrid, Spain.

Chan, T. K. H., Cheung, C. M. K., & Lee, Z. W. Y. (2017). The state of online impulse-buying research: A literature analysis. Information and Management, 54(2), 221–239.

Čičić, M., Husić, M., & Kukić, S. (2009). Ponašanje potrošača [Consumer behavior]. Faculty of Economics, University of Mostar, SUTON d.o.o.

Crabbe, M. (2020, March 9). Research your way out of a crisis: Covid-19’s effect on consumer behaviour. Mintel Blog.

Farooq, A., Laato, S., & Akam, I. (2020). Impact of online information on self-isolation intention during the COVID-19 pandemic: Crosssectional study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(5), e19128.

Forbes, S. L. (2017). Post-disaster consumption: analysis from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 27, 28–42.

Hua, J., & Shaw, R. (2020). Corona virus (COVID-19) “Infodemic” and emerging issues through a data Lens: The case of China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, 2309.

Husnain, M., Qureshi, I., Fatima, T., & Akhtar, W. (2016). The impact of electronic word-of-mouth on online impulse buying behavior: The moderating role of big 5 personality traits. Journal of Accounting & Marketing, 5(4), 190–209.

Hwang, M. Y., Hong, J, C., Tai, K, H., Chen, J, T., & Gouldthorp, T. (2019). The relationship between the online social anxiety, perceived information overload and fatigue, and job engagement of civil servant LINE users. Government Information Quarterly, 101423.

INSEAD. (2020). The Psychology behind coronavirus panic buying. Retrieved March 29, 2020, from

Iriani, S. S., Nuswantara, D. A., & Kartika, A. D. (2021). The impact of government regulations on consumers behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic: A case study in Indonesia. The Jorunal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business, 8(4), 939–948.

Islam, D. T., Pitafi, D. H., Wang, D. Y., Aryaa, D. V., Mubarik, D. S., Akhater, D. N., & Xiaobei, D. L. (2021). Panic buying in the COVID-19 pandemic: A multi-country examination. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services.

Iyer, G. R., Blut, M., Xiao, S. H., & Grewal, D. (2020). Impulse buying: a meta-analytic review. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 48(3), 384–404.

Jurčić, D. (2017). Theoretical settings about media – definitions, functions, influence. Mostariensia: Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 21(1), 127–136.

Kalaitzandonakes, N., Marks, L. A., & Vickner, S. S. (2004). Media coverage of biotech foods and influence on consumer choice. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 86(5), 1238–1246.

Kardes, F., Cronley, M., & Cline, T. (2014). Consumer Behavior. Cengage Learning.

Kaur, R., & Sharma, B. (2020). Impulsive buying behavior for essential goods: Covid-19. Journal of Critical Reviews, 7(8), 3126–3135.

Kesić, T. (2006). Consumer behavior. Opinio, Zagreb.

Kim, B. (2020). Effects of social grooming on incivility in COVID-19. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 23(8), 519–525.

Kim, S. W., & Su, K. P. (2020). Using psychoneuroimmunity against COVID-19. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 87, 4–5.

Kotler, P., Keller, K. L., & Martinović, M. (2014). Marketing management. MATE d.o.o.

Li, S., Wang, Y., Xue, J., Zhao, N., & Zhu, T. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 epidemic declaration on psychological consequences: A study on active Weibo users. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, 2032.

Liu, P., He, J., & Li, A. (2019). Upward social comparison on social network sites and impulse buying: A moderated mediation model Curr Psychol of negative affect and rumination. Computers in Human Behavior, 96, 133–140.

Loxton, M., Truskett, R., Scarf, B., Sindone, L., Baldry, G., & Zhao, Y. (2020). Consumer behaviour during crises: Preliminary research on how coronavirus has manifested consumer panic buying, herd mentality, changing discretionary spending and the role of the media in influencing behaviour. Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 13(8), 166.

Malhotra, D. (2010). The desire to win: The effects of competitive arousal on motivation and behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 111, 139–146.

Martin-Neuninger, R., & Ruby, M. B. (2020). What does food retail research tell us about the implications of Coronavirus (COVID-19) for grocery purchasing habits? Frontiers in Psychology, 11.

Mathes, B., Oglesby, M., Short, N., Portero, A., Raines, A., & Schmidt, N. (2017). An examination of the role of intolerance of distress and uncertainty in hoarding symptoms. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 72, 121–129.

Matohanca, M. (2018). The use of psychological prices in marketing. Juraj Dobrila University of Pula.

Mihić, M., & Kursan, I. (2010). Influence of demographic and individual factors on impulsive buying. Market, 22(1), 7–28.

Moors, A., Ellsworth, P. C., Scherer, K. R., & Frijda, N. H. (2013). Appraisal theories of emotion: State of the art nad future development. Emotion Review, 2, 119–124.

Nielsen. (2020). Covid-19 article.

Oberst, U., Wegmann, E., Stodt, B., Brand, M., & Chamarro, A. (2017). Negative consequences from heavy social networking in adolescents: The mediating role of Fear of missing out. Journal of Adolescence, 55, 51–60.

Parsad, C. (2020). Comparing between product-specific and general impulse buying tendency: Does shoppers’ personality influence their impulse buying tendency? Asian Academy of Management Journal, 24(2), 41–61.

Przybylski, A. K., Murayama, K., De Haan, C. R., & Gladwell, V. (2013). Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of Fear of missing out. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), 1841–1848.

Rajan, D., Koch, K., Rohrer, K., Bajnoczki, C., Socha, A., Voss, M., Nicod, M., Ridde, V., & Koonin, J. (2020). Governance of the Covid-19 response: A call for more inclusive and transparent decision-making. BMJ Global Health, 5, 002655.

Ribić, D., & Pleša Puljić, N. (2020). Basics of entrepreneurship. Školska knjiga, Zagreb.

Rook, D., & Hoch, S. (1985). Consuming impulses. Advances in Consumer Research, 12, 23–27.

Schiffman, L. G., & Kanuk, L. L. (2004). Consumer behavior (8 ed.). Prentice Hall.

Sneath, J. Z., Lacey, R., & Kennett-Hensel, P. A. (2009). Coping with a natural disaster: Losses, emotions, and impulsive and compulsive buying. Marketing Letters, 20, 45–60.

Soče Kraljević, S., Galić, S., & Vidačak, Z. (2016). Exploring the impact of demographic factors on impulsive buying. Proceedings of the Faculty of Economics, University of Mostar, 22, 26–48.

Solomon, M. R. (2017). Consumer behavior: Buying, having, and being (global ed.). Pearson Higher Ed.

Suryaningsih, I. B. (2020). Hedonic shopping mediation on impulse buying determinants. Journal of Management and Business, 19(1), 1–13.

Turkalj, D. (2021). The effects of the pandemic crisis on the use of the media and the assessment of its importance in everyday life. CroDiM: International Journal of Marketing Science, 4(1), 121–130.

Wang, C., Pan, R., Wan, X., Tan, Y., Xu, L., Ho, C. S., & Ho, R. C. (2020). Immediate psychological responses and associated factors during the initial stage of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic among the general population in China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, 1729.

Wiranata, A. T., & Hananto, A. (2020). Do website quality, fashion consciousness, and sales promotion increase impulse buying behavior of e-commerce buyers? Indonesian Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, 6(1), 74.

Witte, K., & Allen, M. (2000). A meta-analysis of fear appeals: Implications for effective public health campaigns. Health Education & Behavior: the official publication of the Society for Public Health Education. 27, 591–615.

Wu, I. L., Chen, K. W., & Chiu, M. L. (2016). Defining key drivers of online impulse purchasing: A perspective of both impulse shoppers and system users. International Journal of Information Management, 36(3), 110–115.

Wu, Y., Xin, L., Li, D., Yu, J., & Guo, J. (2020). How does scarcity promotion lead to impulse purchase in the online market? A field experiment. Information and Management, 58(1), 103283.

Xiao, H., Zhang, Z., & Zhang, L. (2020). A diary study of impulsive buying during the COVID-19 pandemic. Current Psychology.

Yi, S. (2012). Shame-proneness as a risk factor of compulsive buying. Journal of Consume Policy, 35(3), 393–410.

Yuen, K. F., Wang, X., Ma, F., & Li, K. X. (2020). The psychological causes of panic buying following a health crisis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(10), 3513.

Zafar, A. U., Qiu, J., Li, Y., Wang, J., & Shahzad, M. (2019). The impact of social media celebrities’ posts and contextual interactions on impulse buying in social commerce. Computers in Human Behavior, 115.

Zhang, M., Qin, F., Wang, G. A., & Luo, C. (2019). The impact of live video streaming on online purchase intention. Service Industries Journal, 40(9–10), 656–681.

Živković, M. (2020). Quantitative study of the impact of coronavirus on impulsive buying. Faculty of Economics in Zagreb.