Changes in consumer behavior in the BRICS countries during the COVID-19 pandemic:

The role of trust and anxiety

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In the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic created a new reality. Each country has implemented different measures to contain the pandemic, which has had many consequences for society and businesses. The purpose of this paper is to improve understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed consumer behavior in the BRICS countries and discuss the role of consumer trust and anxiety. A systematic literature review with a bibliometric analysis was carried out to identify research directions and reveal the role of trust and anxiety in consumer behavior. Differences in consumer responses to the COVID-19 pandemic challenges in Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa were identified based on an analysis of an international database of online surveys. An empirical study of Russian consumers was conducted in the spring of 2020. Cluster and factor analyses were applied to reveal different consumer strategies of coping with the crisis. The study revealed differences in consumer trust and the level of anxiety in the BRICS countries. In the empirical study of Russian consumers, anxiety was identified as one of the factors in changing consumer behavior in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

JEL classification: P36, D10, M31, M20.
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