Profiling shoppers’ coping behaviours during a pandemic crisis: A regulatory focus perspective

Jason Sit*, Erica Ballantyne, Jonathan Gorst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Using the regulatory-focus theory (i.e. promotion- and prevention-focused concepts), the research investigates shoppers’ positive/negative coping behaviours and segmentation linked to COVID-19. Supported by an online survey with 213 shoppers conducted after the first national lockdown (March 2020), factor analysis identified a set of four shopping factors meaningful to profile shoppers’ coping behaviours and segmentation. Positive coping is represented by quality-, rice- and brand-focused shopping factors, whereas negative coping is represented by store-focused. The resultant three shopper segments are known as the mindful shopper (positive and negative coping), and the indulgent and the optimal shoppers (more positive coping). In terms of managerial implications, the set of four shopping factors are meaningful to operationalise shoppers’ positive and negative coping behaviours linked to a pandemic crisis. They correspond to
the core retail mix (i.e. product, price, and store) and thus can be easily translated into retail strategies. For example, if retailers learn that shoppers are more price-focused and some are more quality-focused with their coping behaviours, retailers can design and deliver customised offerings for these two shopper groups via a retailer reward programme offering free gifts and discount vouchers to its customers. The set of four shopping factors can also be used to discern the existence of homogenous shopper segments in a crisis context and identify unique targeting opportunities. For example, retailers could target the mindful shopper with a home-delivery subscription service, which would alleviate concerns associated with visiting unfamiliar stores whilst availing their desires for enjoying products that are high quality, different and offering value for money. Retailers could target the optimal shopper with a tier-reward programme that allows them to access different types or brands of products at different price points. The indulgent shopper is inclined to pay for high-quality products; therefore, they could be targeted with new product trials and pop-up.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2022
Event28th Recent Advances in Retailing & Consumer Science Conference - Grand Hotel Dino, Baveno, Italy
Duration: 23 Jul 202226 Jul 2022


Conference28th Recent Advances in Retailing & Consumer Science Conference
Abbreviated titleRARCSC
Internet address


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