The Collapse of the Purchase Funnel


In a volatile world rife with pressures on consumers, from health and the economy to challenges to rights and freedoms and an eroding sense of community, consumers are demanding more from brands.

The relationship between consumers and brands must evolve, as people feel more vulnerable, and their expectations of brands grow. The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: The Collapse of the Purchase Funnel tells us that consumers are looking for ongoing engagement after the point of purchase and their need for trust grows with feelings of vulnerability.


Featured Content

Gen Z on Gen Z: The Collapse of the Purchase Funnel

Giselle Huasipoma and Gabe Gomez, Edelman Gen Z Lab ambassadors, sit down to unpack findings from the Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: The Collapse of the Purchase Funnel. They discuss Gen Z asking more questions throughout their purchasing journeys, the future of online versus brick-and-mortar retail experiences, and why they don't want to be "ghosted" by brands.

2022 TIH

Personal and societal threats have led to a more discerning consumer


are more price conscious

are doing more research before they buy

are making fewer impulse purchases

say there are brands they will not buy because of the countries in which they are HQ'd

* Blue circle indicates a statistically significant change yoy

Gen Z is impacting the entire buying ecosystem


79% of Gen Z say it’s more important than ever to trust the brands they buy, more than any other generation surveyed

68% of consumers say Gen Z influences where and how they shop, with a staggering 12-point increase in one year on those age 59+


The purchase funnel no longer reflects the modern brand-consumer relationship


Purchase is just the beginning

of consumers say that they uncover things that attract them to a brand and drive loyalty after the first purchase.

1. Purchase is often the starting point

2. Ongoing engagement builds attraction

3. Brand action builds trust

4. Trust drives growth

Trusted brands are rewarded with purchase, loyalty and advocacy

are more likely to purchase new products when they trust the brand, even irrespective of price

are more likely to stay loyal to and advocate for a brand they trust

Building Brands in a Vulnerable World


Move beyond the funnel

Today’s consumers want an ongoing relationship with brands, and most consideration happens after the purchase. Build your brand and measurement strategy around the Trust Loop.



Work with Z, don’t underestimate them

Gen Z is changing the face of global commerce. They are pragmatic and highly influential. Even if they’re not your target, work with them to unlock consumer action at scale.


Make trust your growth engine

With trust, brand action fuels consumer action – buying, advocacy and loyalty. Through a reciprocal relationship that builds trust, you can unlock growth.


Featured Insights


Trust and Brands: The Collapse of the Purchase Funnel

Richard Edelman, CEO.

Edelman’s most recent Trust Barometer special report, The Collapse of the Purchase Funnel, finds that today’s buying behavior is too dynamic for a linear funnel and that purchase is no longer the end point but the start of an ongoing relationship with the consumer.



Three Mandates Marketers Must Adopt to Build Brand Trust in 2023

Jackie Cooper, Global Chief Brand Officer & Senior Advisor.

When we ask ourselves, what has really changed in the last year? The truth is that everything has. Consumers are feeling the pressure from every corner of our world - from the micro, everyday things like paying their bills to the macro, big picture things, like the smog outside their city windows..



Gen Z Harnesses Vulnerabilities, Asking Brands to Stand Up for All Consumers

Bianca Brown, Senior Account Executive and a U.K. Ambassador to Edelman’s Gen Z Lab, in conversation with Ellie Smith, Content Supervisor at the Edelman Trust Institute.

The Edelman Trust Institute sat down with Bianca Brown, Senior Account Executive and a U.K. Ambassador to Edelman’s Gen Z Lab, to discuss findings about Gen Z in the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: The Collapse of the Purchase Funnel.


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Fieldwork conducted: May 1 – May 12, 2023





± 1,000

Respondents / Country

What does this mean for your business? 

Please reach out to learn more about the Edelman Trust Barometer.