The buying process is a travel network

Fernando Polo

14 October 2013

Not so long ago, I talked about the buying process in terms of a funnel, which sometimes responds to the AIDA acronym: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. However, the truth is that the advent of the Internet has transformed this funnel into something like a “pinball machine”. The journey is not a continuum – far from it. It goes through phases, encounters and inconsistencies, moments of truth. The buying process sucks. There are contact points (online and offline), known and unknown opinions, business information controlled by the company, and other completely uncontrolled information; purchase attempts, returns, recurrences, abandonments, and so on.

The purchase process is a travel network, and brands are struggling to keep the ball (or, as we insist on calling them: “consumers”) rolling. But chaos is unpredictable and it is difficult to keep the ball in the game, and to avoid letting it go through the hole before reaching that magical moment of purchase.

To better illustrate the pinball metaphor, we have created a video that shows a fictional journey made by Jamie Ruidobro, to acquire a pair of shoes at a made-up franchise called Happy Feet. And while in the process of gathering information, common habits like searching through online forums and asking for opinions on Twitter, are recognized and highlighted. Additionally, other avant-garde actions and methods are highlighted, which include a touch screen store where customers can compare prices and access online promotions – if you buy on Happy Feet, that is – and above all, channeling the showrooming effect.

This weekend, I had the opportunity to exhibit our vision of social shopping (Article in Spanish) and to present the aforementioned Social Commerce video at EBEDominicana (thanks Luis, Benito, José Luis, Yessely and Augusto).

I hope you like it.