Buy now or regret later: social media-induced panic buying of medical supplies during COVID-19

Huma Parveen, Ahmed Ajina, Najat Habbas, Mamdouh Abdulaziz Saleh Al-Faryan, Amgad Habbas

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    A huge body of research analyzed panic buying during the pandemic; however, there is a dearth of studies scrutinizing social media triggering panic buying of drugs and medical supplies. This study assesses the impact of social media on panic buying of drugs and medical supplies during COVID-19. An online survey was conducted in the Delhi-NCR region (India) using a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire. The data were collected from the respondents (N = 250) who were youngsters considering their pivotal role in the battle against COVID-19. Regression analysis in SPSS was used to process the data. The results manifested a strong impact of social media on buying behavior during COVID-19. Perceived scarcity (p = .000), perceived quality (p = .000), perceived cost (p = .000) of medical supplies, and fear-of-missing-out (p = .000) were found to strongly influence panic buying. Further, perceived scarcity was found to have a significant impact on FOMO (p = .0400). At the same time, perceived cost also had a substantial effect on perceived quality (p = .0100). The results indicated that perceived scarcity did not affect perceived quality (p = .0600). People indulged in hoarding during COVID-19 to remove their fear of missing out. The perception of scarcity of medicines, the quality degradation that may happen later, or the likelihood that costs may increase in the future contributed fairly to people stockpiling. Perceived scarcity also induced fear of missing out, while perception about the quality was dependent on perceived cost.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)197-206
    Number of pages10
    JournalInnovative Marketing
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2022


    • social media
    • medical supplies
    • panic buying
    • scarcity
    • FOMO
    • COVID-19


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