The Omnichannel vs Multichannel Debate

When it comes to customer experience, there are lots of areas that businesses can explore if they want to make improvements. When the topic of omnichannel vs multichannel comes up, there can be quite a bit of debate about what each approach entails and which one is superior.

Those who are focused on semantics will stick to the facts: “multi” signifies “many” while “omni” refers to “all”. Therefore, it stands to reason that ordering online and returning products in stores are omnichannel features rather than multichannel ones.

Others believe that these designations fail to get to the heart of the matter and ignore the idea that omnichannel also refers to the customer centricity that seems to be driving digital transformations of late.

Putting the Customer in Control

In the past, multichannel was generally used to mean that it was the customers who were choosing their preferred main method of engagement in terms of physical stores versus internet. Each of these channels were managed separately and in isolation at many businesses, with their own budgets, teams, processes, and goals.

Now, however, customers typically navigate multiple digital touchpoints over a single purchase and deciding how and where everything happens. For example, they might search the internet on their phone on the train home from work for an item they need and add prospective purchases to their basket. Once home, they may carry out further research on their laptop or even head to stores to see the items they’re considering in person. Once there, they may search for coupons or compare prices using their phone before ultimately buying the item.

Therefore, omnichannel is a strategy that places the customer front and center, giving them a seamless experience that allows them to call the shots. When supported by the right digital performance platforms, this can be a great way to develop customer loyalty.

This blog post was based off of an article from Multi-Channel Merchant. View the original here.

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