Elias St. Elmo Lewis mapped out the route that potential customers take prior to purchasing a product. It’s referred to as the Purchase Funnel because it’s depicted as an inverted triangle funneling folks down to the moment they pull out their wallet. There are four steps in the process:
- Awareness – the customer is aware of the existence of a product or service
- Interest – actively expressing an interest in a product group
- Desire – aspiring to a particular brand or product
- Action – taking the next step towards purchasing the chosen product
Mr. St. Elmo Lewis came up with this idea in 1898, slightly before the invention of the internet.
Since then, things have changed a little and that’s the subject of About.com’s latest report which they call “The Purchase Loop.”