Transforming traditional business into online: The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on consumer behavior

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Shaip Bytyçi ORCID logo, Venet Shala ORCID logo, Besime Ziberi ORCID logo, Ervin Myftaraj

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COVID-19 pandemic well-known worldwide for its serious health consequences is having a profound effect on every sphere of life. Taking into consideration that COVID-19 is harming the labor market and economic activity in general, we also consider that this situation is affecting the personal consumption expenditures in case of Kosovo (Ziberi, Rexha, & Gashi, 2021). The main aim of this paper is to analyze how the customers’ behavior will shift the traditional business to an online one in case of Western Balkan countries with special emphasis on Kosovo, North Macedonia and Albania. The study considered the mixed methods using the questionnaire as a method for primary data collection in a random sample of citizens from countries in the analysis. The questionnaire was distributed online using social media in a sample of 1250 respondents. The paper uses the SPSS software for data analysis and hypotheses testing. The study comes to the conclusion that buying behavior is changing due to the imposed measures by governance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the confidence in online shopping has increased significantly which is a good base for further recommendations for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to start reworking selling strategies and to shift their activity from purely traditional to hybrid one — traditional and online — promoting so better the traditional business. Our findings also are in line with a study by Bytyçi (2020) who stated that the consumers in case of the Republic of Kosovo prefer online shopping for one main reason — time loss reduction.

Keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic, Customer Behavior, Traditional Business, Online Business

Authors’ individual contribution: Conceptualization — S.B., V.S., B.Z., and E.M.; Methodology — S.B., V.S., B.Z., and E.M.; Formal Analysis — S.B., V.S., B.Z., and E.M.; Writing — Original Draft — S.B., V.S., B.Z., and E.M.; Writing — Review & Editing - S.B., V.S., B.Z., and E.M.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

JEL Classification: D10, M20, M30

Received: 03.03.2021
Accepted: 28.05.2021
Published online: 01.06.2021

How to cite this paper: Bytyçi, S., Shala, V., Ziberi, B., & Myftaraj, E. (2021). Transforming traditional business into online: The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on consumer behavior [Special issue]. Journal of Governance & Regulation, 10(2), 300–308.