In the modern digital age, consumers connect with brands online, in-store, and through social media. eCommerce has skyrocketed in popularity because it allows consumers to shop for the items and brands they need from anywhere. Multichannel and omnichannel are two of the biggest buzzwords surrounding eCommerce, and understanding them can be confusing. While the concepts are similar, there are important differences between multichannel and omnichannel selling. Learn more about omnichannel vs multichannel selling and which strategy is best for your business.
Multichannel retail involves selling on many different channels. Consumers can engage with your brand and shop from many different sales channels. However, in multichannel selling, each channel is often viewed as a separate entity and purchase opportunity. For example, a company may have a brick and mortar location and a website. With multichannel selling, the store and website may have separate stock for the online store and retail location, returns or exchanges must be done directly with the channel they were purchased on. Multichannel offers customers different touchpoints so they can shop on the platform that best suits their preferences. However, issues may arise since the channels are often treated separately. Customers may find discrepancies between the channels and become frustrated with the lack of continuity.
Omnichannel selling is a natural progression from multichannel selling. The key difference between multichannel and omnichannel selling is that omnichannel selling focuses on creating a cohesive, seamless customer experience. With omnichannel selling, your brand is unified across all channels and touchpoints to ensure consistent information and optimal consumer experience.
Is Omnichannel or Multichannel Best for My Business?
Because it provides a smooth customer experience, omnichannel may seem like the best choice. However, it is not always that clear cut which approach is better when starting your business. Trying to convert a retail business to an omnichannel business is complicated and requires extensive resources. Without proper implementation, an omnichannel approach will be unsuccessful.
Consider your resources when determining the best strategy. Omnichannel selling requires more IT and financial resources. You will need adequate infrastructure and technology to effectively implement and execute an omnichannel selling strategy. Your company must also have a shared vision that is thoroughly adopted throughout your entire organization and be willing to focus on decisions that positively impact all channels and the consumer experience. If your business does not have enough resources to support omnichannel selling from the beginning, it may be best to start with a multichannel approach and then later connect the channels together for a more seamless experience.
Omnichannel is the Future of eCommerce
Omnichannel marketing focuses on the overall customer experience. Instead of being tied to specific channels, omnichannel selling transcends mediums to offer shoppers a way to get what they want when they want it. Omnichannel retailers are often companies with physical stores and online stores, and they typically are not startups. Even if omnichannel marketing is not a reality for your business at the moment, it is something to plan for in the future.
How to Move Toward Omnichannel Selling
With proper planning and dedication, it is possible to transition to multichannel selling. Integrating your sales channels is the first step to implementing omnichannel retail. You should also view your customers as a single entity regardless of the channel. With omnichannel selling, you can track customer behavior across multiple channels. This makes it easier to create effective, personalized shopping experiences for your customers. To increase revenue, you should also strategically price your items on each channel. Consider the cost of selling on the channel and which tier customers are likely to shop on which channels. On every single channel, your brand identity should be clear and consistent. Implement a clear brand strategy to ensure you consistently depict your brand’s voice, tone, and values on each channel.
How MobilityeCommerce Can Help
Technology plays a big role in both multichannel and omnichannel selling. To effectively move toward omnichannel retail, you will need to have an effective ERP that helps manage your business workflows. MobilityeCommerce is your one-stop eCommerce solution for integrating and automating your eCommerce business. We have unparalleled enterprise integrations and integrations with over 50 top marketplaces. With MobilityeCommerce, you can seamlessly manage your inventory, orders, fulfillment, and every other eCommerce business workflow. MobilityeCommerce is the only tool you will ever need to sell to customers around the globe. To learn more about how we can help your multichannel or omnichannel business, visit our website HERE.