Publication Date

Spring 2021

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Fatemeh Orooji (Director), Dr. Asghar Rezasoltani, and Dr. Kenneth Askins

Degree Program

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


Research literature throughout 2020 indicate consumer behavioral changes in response to the systemic effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, but these studies investigate transient adaptations in consumer behaviors during the early quarantine period of the pandemic. This study intends to investigate lasting or permanent changes in consumer market preference and purchase frequency between BAM and online retail due to the effects of the pandemic. The principal investigator designed a survey for participants to estimate purchase frequencies and market preferences for apparel, electronics, groceries, and general purchases before and after the pervasive effects of the pandemic (N = 1195; n = 61). The principal investigator utilizes descriptive statistics to characterize response distributions and differences/changes of rank/preference to evaluate statistically significant differences between markets and changes between temporal periods. The only product category that demonstrates a consensus preference for online retail before and after the effects of the pandemic is electronics; there was and remains a consensus preference for BAM to purchase apparel, groceries, and general purchases. However, changes of net differences between markets after the effects of the pandemic indicate a statistically significant minority of the sample have increased purchase frequency through online retail for all product categories and general purchases after the effects of the pandemic, suggesting a minority have developed adaptations to utilize a less preferred market (i.e., online retail) to supplement purchases through a preferred market (i.e., BAM) due to real/perceived product scarcity at BAM, compliance with health and safety mandates, and/or personal agency and self-preservation in avoidance of contagion, perceived danger, or inconveniences of altered business operations. The effects of the pandemic appear to have had insignificant influence on consumer behaviors, wherein there are no lasting or permanent changes in consumer market preference and estimated purchase frequency per market, rather only a minority have developed transient adaptations to utilize an alternate market to ensure the acquisition of products at a desired rate while the effects of the pandemic persist.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | E-Commerce | Engineering | Technology and Innovation