It used to be so simple: when a customer bought an item online, only their final click would be measured by marketers and that success would be solely attributed to the quality of the web design. However, the route the user took to get to the website is equally important.
Since the advent of search marketing and pay-per-click measurement a “winner takes all” mentality has dominated the marketing industry. The fact that a customer bought something from a website was only thought to be a consequence of brilliant web design. While it is true that web design is major contributing factor in conversion, to give no consideration to the complex path a user takes from idea to research and through to purchasing online, is short sighted.
For example a user may have seen a number of display ads while online, been sent an e-mail and clicked through on some generic keywords, before finally clicking through on a search engine to a brand website, appreciating the web design and making a purchase.
It is important that brands considering selling online, appreciate the various paths to customer conversion from the point of web design. Only when they are aware of the importance of integrating all their online activity, will they achieve success.