Multichannel Vs. Omnichannel
Channel is a medium via which brands communicate their message. In terms of marketing, a channel could be anything a business uses to convey its message. It could be the brand’s website, its physical stores, or even the product’s packaging. In terms of customer contact, a channel could be anything from emails, live chat or video calling. This article discusses the differences between multichannel and omnichannel strategies and what they mean for marketers who are looking to reach more customers. But before we discuss that, let’s start with defining what is meant by multichannel and omnichannel.
What do Multichannel & Omnichannel mean?
Multichannel and Omnichannel are often used interchangeably. However, they both actually have different meanings. Multichannel marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on creating, distributing, and measuring content across multiple digital channels. This means that companies use multiple channels to spread the message about their brands. The channels are usually separate and do not interact with one another. On the other hand, omnichannel marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on creating, distributing, and measuring content across all channels. – digital, offline, and mobile. The omnichannel approach is about integrating channels with each other to create a seamless customer experience. Every channel is able to integrate and relate with one another, so the customer is able to switch effortlessly between channels.
Differences in Omnichannel Vs. Multichannel Strategy
1. Focal Point of Marketing Strategy
The first key difference between multichannel and omnichannel is that multichannel focuses on customer engagement, whereas omnichannel focuses on customer experience. So the main purpose of the multichannel approach is to cast the net as far as possible so that you can maximize the number of people who can come into contact with your brand.
As stated above, one of the key metrics of the multichannel approach is customer engagement. For example, on a social media channel from a multichannel perspective would increase followers, likes, comments and shares. On the other hand, omnichannel is about creating a consistent customer experience. The end goal of an omnichannel approach is not to increase the number of “eyeballs” the brand generates. It is instead about engaging with the people who are already interacting with your brand to ensure they get a seamless and consistent improved customer experience, regardless of what channel they are using.
2. Shopping Experience
Omnichannel is customer focused, whereas multichannel is channel focused. Let’s consider retail industry as an example. The omnichannel is designed to make the shopping experience as effortless and easy as possible. The customer is placed at the center of the strategy, and everything works out from there. The omnichannel shopping experience removes friction from moving across different touchpoints, making it easier for the customer to complete their journey. On the other hand, multichannel retail is all about increasing and maximizing the number of channels available to customers. It is about increasing the number of channels available to customers so that they can choose which channel they’d like to use to interact with or contact the brand.
3. Customer Contact Channels
In an omnichannel customer service strategy, the customer will be able to choose from whichever channel is available to them and know that the quality of the support they would receive would be the same across all channels. Customer contact channels are deliberately varied because the type of support a customer might need is dependent on the situation they are in. Some channels might be more appropriate than others. A multichannel strategy here will yet again refer to the number of channels available to the consumer. For example, a consumer might choose to call a customer services agent for a query. If they want to start a new conversation over email, then chances are that with a multichannel strategy, they will have to start from the beginning all over again. Whereas in an omnichannel approach, the customer can start their query on one channel, and if required, they can move the conversation across to another without the need to start over again. For example, if a customer strikes up a web chat conversation on their phone, they can easily escalate this call to a voice/video call at a click of a button.
Multichannel Vs. Omnichannel Examples
Amazon’s Innovative Omnichannel Strategy for Businesses
Amazon’s dominance in e-commerce has revolutionized the retail industry and created a new era of omnichannel retailing. The Amazon omnichannel strategy is designed to meet customer needs across channels. This strategy is focused on creating a seamless experience for customers by making products available across all channels – online, mobile, TV, and even in stores. Amazon has a culture that is focused on creating an omnichannel experience for customers with one account for all their products and services. They have also developed a customer loyalty program called Prime that provides members with free two-day shipping on eligible items plus access to streaming video, music, books, and more. Amazon has also introduced Amazon Go – a new kind of store that lets people walk out without ever having to wait in line or check out at the cash register.
Genesys Omnichannel Retail Solutions
Genesys Omnichannel Retail Solutions is a suite of solutions that helps retailers to deliver an omnichannel experience for their customers. It helps retailers to manage their complex operations in a manageable and scalable manner. Genesys is a cloud-based customer experience platform that provides omnichannel solutions to businesses. It helps businesses deliver personalized, relevant experiences and increase customer loyalty. It offers a variety of tools to help companies create a seamless experience for their customers across all channels in an omnichannel world. These tools include the Genesys Engage platform, which helps companies create personalized and interactive experiences for their customers. The Genesys Engage platform is designed to let companies use a single interface to manage the entire customer journey across channels and devices, so they can deliver personalized and interactive experiences for their customers across all channels in an omnichannel world.
Starbucks Multichannel Marketing Strategy
Starbucks is a global retailer, along with being the largest coffee chain worldwide. It has a multichannel strategy that includes social media, mobile apps, and websites. The company’s multichannel strategy has helped them to increase its revenue by over $19 billion from 2016 to 2017. Starbucks is able to provide customers with the experience that they want in multiple ways. But as more and more people are starting to use social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., Starbucks decided to create an app for these channels so that they can be able to provide customer support in real-time and drive more traffic to their stores. The app allows customers to select a store, enter their location and get notified when a barista is available for help. Once the customer gets hold of the barista, they can ask them anything from food recommendations to sip suggestions with ease.
The Bank of America
Bank of America has been at the forefront of digital transformation for many years. They have been using technology to create a seamless customer experience for their customers. This has been a key factor in their success. The bank has used a multichannel strategy to create this seamless experience for its customers, which includes:
- – Online chat
- – Mobile
- – Phone call
- – In-person
Multichannel Vs. Omnichannel- Which one is Best For your Company?
Omnichannel marketing is the most effective for large enterprises because it allows them to offer customers the best possible experience. The investment in adopting an omnichannel strategy is higher however, you get more benefits from it in the form of improved customer retention and brand loyalty. Multichannel strategy, on the other hand, is best for small businesses and start-ups because it helps them to grow faster by using different channels to reach new customers.
Somehow, there is still this misconception that online and offline shopping is at odds with one another. There are actually a lot of crossovers, and most consumers shop on multiple channels, both online and offline. Hence, it is important to consider all channels to create a better customer experience. Keep in mind that today’s consumers are overwhelmed with options, and the smallest amount of friction and derail their journey to purchase. Why not make things easier for them? Tekglide provides businesses with on-premise and cloud based technologies.
Get a consultation NOW about what strategy is ideal for your business and how we can help you with system integration.