عنوان مقاله [English]
Aim and Introduction: The Covid-19 pandemic has caused significant changes in various aspects of people's lives around the world. The outbreak of Covid-19 is a reminder that epidemics, like other disasters and events that happen rarely, have happened in the past and will happen in the future. Even if we cannot prevent the creation of dangerous viruses, we must be prepared to reduce their effects on society. The Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the entire world, has caused changes around the world and in many areas of life. These changes have affected consumer behavior and continue to affect them. Although past societies have been affected by several epidemics and pandemic, it is difficult to estimate their long-term economic, behavioral, or social impacts. These aspects have not been studied in the past. There are few studies to show what the consequences of major historical pandemics over the past few years have been in the area of consumer behavior. In addition, scientists suggest that new Pandemic continue to pose a risk in the future. Therefore, understanding the life of consumer behavior in the face of this pervasive disease and even beyond, is of great importance for marketers as well as business planners and policy makers. These changes have also affected consumer behavior. The purpose of this study is to explain consumer behavioral responses during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on food consumption.
Methodology: In order to answer the main question of the research, an in-depth interview and the design of the interview protocol have been used according to the literature review. By using the purposeful sampling method, 40 interviews were conducted with consumers in Tehran and analyzed with MAXQDA software. In this research, Cohen's kappa index was used to measure the reliability of interview coding.
Based on the data analysis, consumers respond to the existing crisis in three stages, reacting, coping and adapting during the outbreak of COVID 19. In order to analyze the data, at first, after the interviews were transcribed, the interviews were read several times. In the next step, coding started.
Findings: After data analysis and open, axial and selective coding, 23 codes were obtained, which were classified into three categories: reaction(postponing purchases; reducing consumption; replacing with other items; online shopping; telephone shopping; increasing purchases; decreasing purchases; increasing sensitivity to the shopping environment; increasing Compliance with health protocols; visiting physical stores less often; visiting small stores near where you live and visiting virtual stores more), coping (doing things by yourself and trying new products or brands)and adapting(healthy diet and increasing consumption of dairy products and healthy foods; increasing the consumption of organic products and vegetables; changing lifestyles; awareness of health and hygiene; reducing the consumption of prepared and frozen foods; using disinfectants and being more sensitive about hand hygiene; online shopping; cooking at home ; sensitivity to the shopping environment), and finally, the results of the analysis were presented in the conceptual model.
Discussion and Conclusion: Combining and integrating the researches, a comprehensive model has been presented in relation to consumer behavioral responses during the outbreak of Covid-19. The obtained results were presented in the form of a conceptual model. The results showed that at the beginning of the outbreak of the pandemic of Covid-19, people reacted to the outbreak in the form of things such as went to physical stores less, postponing purchases, shopping online and by phone, so that they are less exposed to infection. Also, after some time, by doing things by themselves, such as cooking, they have coping with Covid-19, and finally, things like a healthy diet, sensitivity to the shopping environment, lifestyle changes, and online shopping are among the things that are still in the long term. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about changes in consumer behavior. The results of this research showed that during the period of Covid-19, consumers used to buy from supermarkets and stores near their places of residence and stated that they would visit them after the end of the period, i.e. in the post-Covid-19 period. Therefore, small and local retailers can use this opportunity to offer products and services. The pandemic provided the opportunity to shop online and over the phone, and consumers preferred home delivery to be less exposed to the virus, so retailers, stores and even small supermarkets should take note. There is also the possibility of subsequent epidemics, therefore, marketers and stores, large and small retailers must acquire the necessary preparation in terms of infrastructure to face it in order to reduce its effects. Businesses must design new models to meet the changing or evolving needs of consumers in the post-Covid-19 era.