Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Marketing

Subject Categories



Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business


Marketing and Advertising

Thesis Advisor

Reynaldo A. Bautista, Jr.

Defense Panel Chair

Dave Vincent A. Mangilet

Defense Panel Member

Rayan P. Dui
Carlo Miguel C. Saavedra


The Philippines, one of the countries that has been greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic during the peak of the spike in the number of patients, was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). In this trying time, it has been observed that panic buying and a large number of products were hoarded by consumers causing stock depletion in the market. This event can be classified as an exogenous scarcity. Moreover, one of the effects of the ECQ was the adoption of customers to digital transactions, and purchasing behavior of the consumers became their means of survival.

This study seeks to provide an understanding of the consumer behavior on exogenous scarcity during the Covid-19 pandemic utilizing the reactance theory and to help the online industry to address product scarcity in their marketing strategies to counter or capitalize on the adverse effects of product shortages.

The Metro Manila being synonymous with the Philippines and the Filipino people is the center of this study. The respondents are composed of two hundred sixty participants aged from twenty to thirty-five years old who purchased online during the pandemic. To quantify the acceptable number of respondents and measure the variables, the researcher used the N:q structural equation and the five points Likert scale.

The result of the analysis exposed that Perceived Scarcity was a significant predictor of Urgency to Buy (H1: β = 0.273; p-value = 0.0001sig), Urgency to Buy was a significant predictor of Panic Buying (H5a: β = 0.471; p-value = 0.0001sig), and In-store Hoarding was a significant predictor of Panic Buying (H5b: β = 0.133; p-value = 0.021sig). The remaining hypotheses did not meet the expected threshold value (H2, H3, H4a, and H4b). A graphical representation of the hypothesis model via SmartPLS was presented.

The findings of this study could provide insights on identifying the consumption patterns related to the perceived scarcity of products during a health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Such empirical data could help develop business strategies, especially in the retail sector. The study suggested that the current approach could be extended to other age groups and explore reactance theory with another industry aside from the food and fashion industries. It is also suggested to have comparative studies on the country's economic centers using the reduced model of this study.

Abstract Format



Consumer behavior—Philippines—Metro Manila; Compulsive shopping; COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020- —Influence

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