Polytab Analytics Blog

The 5-stage consumer shopping journey for Internet retailers

The traditional shopping funnel metaphor is no more. The old perspective was that a shopper could be pushed deeper into the funnel to the point of purchase where the potential decision points on the shopping choices would be narrowed down (as in a funnel) to the point where the sale was inevitable. This old model fails to capture the reality of multi-channel marketing. The physical world example of a shopper strolling the aisles of the local department store are a case in point. Even as she sees the floor display, she has access to competitor products through her mobile device and does her due diligence before firming up the purchase decision. The battle for consumer mindshare is thus incessant and does not ease up.

The Five Stage Shopping Journey – It’s a conversation not a funnel

The decision process is a circular journey with five key stages described in the infographic below and illustrated via a board game. The five stages are as below:

  1. Awareness
  2. Familiarity
  3. Conversation
  4. Shopping
  5. Loyalty (loop back)

The Shopping Journey - Info Graph - 12

How to measure marketing impact at each stage of the shopping journey

  • What influence does each channel have in moving shoppers towards the sale?
  • How does marketing influence differ from first-time purchasers from loyalty shoppers?
  • What is the combination of channels that move the shopper to the sale?
  • Are some campaigns or channels more effective at specific stages of the journey?
  • Are affiliate, coupon sites bringing incremental sales?

All of the above questions are CRUCIAL to managing marketing spend. Polytab revenue attribution solution provides guidance on what works, how well, and at which stage of the shopping journey. See a screengrab from the tool.


How much does attribution add to the bottom line?

Download this calculator to see the bump your revenues get by moving budget to opportunities discovered through Polytab.


attribution benefits calculator