In general, Muslims consider Islamic consumption to be a religious obligation. Previous research, however, suggests that various socio-psychological factors may influence Islamic consumption. Failure to comprehend the true motivations for purchasing Islamic products may lead to marketing myopia. This research investigates the less explored motivational factors of religious compensatory consumption, namely religious hypocrisy, religious social control and religious guilt.
This research relied on an online questionnaire. Purposive sampling yielded a total of 238 Muslim respondents. The authors employed PLS-SEM analysis with the ADANCO software to test the hypotheses.
The results reveal the following: (1) Higher religious hypocrisy leads to higher religious social control. (2) Higher religious hypocrisy leads to higher religious guilt. (3) Higher religious social control leads to higher religious guilt. (4) Higher religious hypocrisy leads to higher religious compensatory consumption. (5) Higher religious social control leads to higher religious compensatory consumption. (6) Religious social control partially mediates the relationship between religious hypocrisy and religious compensatory consumption. (7) Higher religious guilt leads to higher religious compensatory consumption. (8) Religious guilt partially mediates the relationship between religious hypocrisy and religious compensatory consumption.
First, religious compensatory consumption in this research is limited to Muslim consumers. Future research may investigate compensatory consumption in different contexts, such as Judaism and Christianity, which have some common religious tenets. Second, compensatory consumption is a complex concept. The authors’ religious compensatory consumption scale only incorporated a few aspects of compensatory consumption. Future studies may retest the authors’ measurement scale for reliability. Lastly, the samples were dominated by the younger generation of Muslims (e.g. generation Z). Future studies may investigate older Muslim generations.
First, this research illustrates how religiosity, guilt and social control may contribute to Islamic compensatory consumption. Islamic business practitioners and retailers targeting Muslim consumers can benefit from this research by knowing that Islamic consumption may be driven by socio-psychological factors, such as religious hypocrisy and guilt. As a result, businesses targeting Muslim consumers can develop marketing strategies that incorporate these religious elements while also addressing their socio-psychological issues in order to promote Islamic products. Second, Islamic business practitioners and retailers may consider the social environments in which Muslims are raised. The authors’ findings show that religious social control has direct and indirect effects on Muslims’ preferences for Islamic products as a form of compensatory strategy. Islamic business practitioners may design marketing programs that revolve around Muslim families and their Islamic values. It is in line with the previous studies that suggest the connections between religions, local cultures and buying behaviours (Ng et al., 2020; Batra et al., 2021). In some ways, Islamic products can be promoted to improve the well-being and cohesion of family members and Muslim society in general. In this research, the authors argue that businesses’ failures to understand the socio-psychological motives of Islamic consumption may lead to marketing myopia.
As previously stated, religion (i.e. Islam) may be a source of well-being and a stable relationship among Muslims. Nevertheless, it may also become a source of negative emotions, such as guilt, because of one’s inability to fulfil religious values, ideals or standards. According to the authors’ findings, Islamic products can be used to compensate for a perceived lack of religiosity. At the same time, these products may improve Muslims’ well-being. The creations of products and services that revolve around Islamic values are expected to improve Muslims’ economic conditions and strengthen their faith and love toward Islam in the globalized world. Moreover, Muslims, both as majority and minority groups, face increasing social pressures. On one hand there is the (in-group) pressure to uphold Islamic values and on the other hand there is the (out-group) pressure to preserve the local values and cultures. Indeed, living in the globalized world may require certain compromises. This research calls for various institutions and policymakers to work out solutions that enable all religious groups to work and live in harmony.
To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this research is the first to study religious compensatory consumption quantitatively. This research operationalized variables previously discussed using a qualitative approach, namely religious hypocrisy, social control, guilt and compensatory consumption. The authors designed and adapted their measurement scales to fit this context, paving the way for future research in this field. Second, this research provides new empirical evidence by examining the relationships among less explored variables. For instance, this research has proven that several aspects of religiosity (e.g. hypocrisy, social control and guilt) may influence compensatory consumption in the Islamic context. This research also reveals the mediation roles of religious social control and religious guilt that were less explored in the previous studies. To the best of their knowledge, previous studies had not addressed social control as a predictor of compensatory consumption. Therefore, the theoretical model presented in this research and the empirical findings extend the theory of compensatory consumption. Third, Muslims are underrepresented in the compensatory consumption research; therefore, this research fills the population gap. Finally, this research focuses on Islamic compensatory behaviour as the future direction of Islamic marketing. Previous Islamic marketing research had not addressed the sensitive motives of Islamic consumption, which have now been highlighted in this research.