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Title: Contactless channel for shopping and delivery in the context of social distancing in response to COVID-19 pandemic
Authors: Wang, Xueqin
Wong, Yiik Diew
Qi, Guanqiu
Yuen, Kum Fai
Keywords: Engineering::Civil engineering
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Wang, X., Wong, Y. D., Qi, G. & Yuen, K. F. (2021). Contactless channel for shopping and delivery in the context of social distancing in response to COVID-19 pandemic. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 48, 101075-.
Journal: Electronic Commerce Research and Applications 
Abstract: Arising from the global COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing has become the new norm that shapes consumers’ shopping and consumption activities. In response, the contactless channel (i.e., shopping online, self-collecting and returning parcels via delivery lockers) is ideally positioned to fulfil consumers’ shopping/logistics needs while avoiding all unnecessary social interactions. Thus, this study examines the factors that motivate consumers’ migration to the contactless channel by viewing consumers’ channel choice as both health-related and shopping behaviours. Anchored on the synthesised insights of protection motivation theory and automation acceptance theory, the conceptual framework and a series of hypotheses are proposed. A survey instrument is used for data collection, and the data are analysed using structural equation modelling. Our findings reveal that perceived channel characteristics such as compatibility and trust directly contribute to the relative value of the contactless channel; these characteristics are also correlated where trust perception reinforces compatibility perception. The channel characteristics are further influenced by consumers’ perceived susceptibility of COVID-19; that is, susceptibility perception enhances channel compatibility but decreases consumers’ trust in the contactless channel. However, the impacts of susceptibility become insignificant with a low level of severity perception, confirming the stage-based conceptualisation of severity. Furthermore, the severity perception of COVID-19 is found to amplify the positive impacts of susceptibility perception but attenuate its negative impact. Our study promotes a deeper integration between the health and service literature and encourages more interdisciplinary studies in this nexus. Considering the practical context of social distancing, our findings suggest a struggle between compatibility perception and trust concern that shapes consumers’ behaviours.
ISSN: 1567-4223
DOI: 10.1016/j.elerap.2021.101075
Schools: School of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Rights: © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
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