The purchase journey: How people decide what to buy lies in the ‘messy middle’ - Deepstash

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The Messy Middle of the Purchasing Journey

The Messy Middle of the Purchasing Journey

Google researchers looked at how we buy things online. The model they came up starts with Exposure and ends with Purchase. In between it's a messy middle: a space of abundant information & unlimited choice that shoppers have learned to manage using a range of cognitive shortcuts. The space is made of:

  • Exploration
  • Evaluation

Consumers explore their options & consideration sets, then – either sequentially or simultaneously – they evaluate the options & narrow down their choices. 

After the purchase, the experience of the product can contribute back to exposure through review or social media posts. 

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6 biases that influence purchase decisions

6 biases that influence purchase decisions

As people explore and evaluate in the messy middle, cognitive biases shape their behavior. The most important:

  1. Category heuristics: Short descriptions of key product specifications can simplify purchase decisions
  2. Power of now: The longer you have to wait for a product, the weaker the value prop
  3. Social proof: Reviews from others can be very persuasive
  4. Scarcity bias: As the availability of a product decreases, the more desirable it becomes
  5. Authority bias: Being swayed by an expert or trusted source.
  6. Power of free: A free gift with a purchase, even if unrelated, can be a powerful motivator

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IDEAS CURATED BY

vladimir

Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.

CURATOR'S NOTE

How consumers buy things in the Internet age. A new behaviour model from Google researchers.

Vladimir Oane's ideas are part of this journey:

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