With the advent of digital, social, and mobile media, the consumer buying process has become more complex than simply identifying a need, exploring options, and making a purchase, according to new research conducted by Latitude and About.com.
Even so, buying decisions appear to happening more quickly than before, the study found.
Below, additional findings from the study titled "The Purchase Loop," by Latitude Research and About.com.
Winding Purchase Path
Most consumers move along a complex, nonlinear pathway to their final purchase:
- 87% of those surveyed say shopping is "more happening" than identifying a need, exploring options, and purchasing.
- 83% say their path to purchase may involve a greater number of "stops," but it takes less time than it used to overall.
- 73% say their path to purchase is more complex and less direct than before.
Also, shopping today is a more personal and emotional experience:
- 79% of consumers say their relationship with brands is much more personal than ever before.
- 68% say shopping today is "less about the brands/products themselves and more about me (e.g., what I'm feeling or needing)."
Purchase Funnel Tells Only Part of the Story
The concept of the purchase funnel first appeared in the late nineteenth century as a linear customer journey toward the purchase of a product or service.