The amalgamation of terms eCommerce, marketplace, social media platforms & physical store has given birth to various buzzing terminologies. In this article, we are going to address two of them, i.e., Multichannel & Omnichannel.
These two terms are often confused to have a single meaning. But they don’t.
So, if you don’t end up reading this entire article, here’s the TL;DR:
A product-centric retail system where all the different channels are isolated from each other. Customers can interact or purchase natively from any channel since each channel exists as a separate purchase opportunity.
A customer-centric retail system where different channels are unified. Thus, the marketing strategies provided to the customers on one channel depends on the way the customer interacted with the other channel of that retail system.
Multichannel is a concept of giving your customers a choice to shop from their preferred channel. Isolation of these channels makes the marketing strategies unique for each one of them.
One retail system could have different channels like an offline store, online store, a marketplace, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Each channel is treated as a separate business. Moreover, the product inventories & order management for each one of these are generally siloed. Channels are optimized depending on their individual performance. Similarly, the marketing strategies differ on their own grounds.
The core of omnichannel retail is the customer. The customer experience is maintained within and between the channels. Presenting all the channels as one unified unit.
Since there are no boundaries between different channels, the marketing strategies to acquire a customer highly depend on how the customer reacted upon one channel. Thus, merging all the different channels & providing your customers with a unified service.
Let’s understand this with a scenario. A customer added an item to his cart on your online store but got double thoughts and abandoned the cart. He got an email regarding a 10% discount on the item added to his cart OR it might be like visit the nearest offline store to get a free trial.
Further, the customer will be seeing a series of ads regarding the same item with an offer on different social media platforms or channels like FB, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. This is to make the customer come back to make the purchase no matter on which linked channel. This is fairly how an omnichannel retail system works.
Thus, customer behavior dictates the marketing tactics to be used next to make the customer come back. Each customer interaction alters the experience & strategy between all the linked channels.
OMNICHANNEL OR MULTICHANNEL
Whilst multichannel is helping one to grow on different channels & increase online presence with a bigger-better audience. But the omnichannel retail system is taking this to another level by providing your customers with smooth user experience.
Thus, to make your customer journey better than what you are giving, omnichannel is a good approach for the same.
With the growth in technology, bridging the gap between different channels has become very easy. You can simply integrate your online store with different online sales channels like a mobile, Facebook, marketplace, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Moreover, POS has got your hands to integrate your online store with the physical one.
No doubt the omnichannel is growing and has no signs of slowing down. So, it’s time for you to get on this track & serve your customers with a seamless and convenient experience.
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