Already for the past few years, online stores have had the opportunity to make sales through multiple channels. New sales channels have created an opportunity for additional sales in the customer's preferred channels, but at the same time challenged companies in unifying the customer experience and managing data. So how does omnichannel differ from multichannel and what does it mean?
Omnichannel means a business strategy that offers customers a seamless experience across all channels and touchpoints. Omnichannel's goal is to offer customers the opportunity to interact with the company on the channel they want, whether it's in a store, online, social media or even by phone. Omnichannel's goal is to provide customers with a consistent experience regardless of which channel they use. This means that customer-specific information is synchronized across all channels to maintain a consistent experience.
Omnichannel and multichannel are both strategies that companies use to interact with their customers through different channels. The main difference between these two is that the omnichannel approach focuses on providing the customer with a seamless and unified experience across all channels. A multichannel approach does not necessarily include integration between channels. Each channel is treated as a separate unit, in which case the customer may need to start the shopping experience from the beginning when changing channels, in which case their experience is not necessarily uniform between all channels compared to omnichannel.
Omnichannel customer touchpoints
By combining different channels, companies have the opportunity to create experiential and continuous personal customer experiences of the customer's relationship with your company. There are numerous common omnichannel channels:
- Online stores: The company's online store is often at the center of sales and visibility, in which case it is the key to sales.
- Physical stores: After the pandemic, traditional brick-and-mortar stores have become an important sales channel and an increaser of brand reliability. You can read more about brick-and-mortar sales on our blog.
- Social Media: Many businesses use social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to connect with customers and promote their products. Tiktok is also a strong social media channel now and in the future.
- E-mail: E-mail marketing is an effective way to personally reach customers and advertise products suitable for them. A particularly valuable way to communicate with customers with whom your company has already built some kind of bond.
- Online Marketplaces: Online marketplaces such as Zalando and Amazon can be a useful channel for reaching a large audience of potential customers.
- Phone and Live Chat: Phone and live chat support can be a useful way for customers to get help or make purchases.
Omnichannel in Shopify
With Shopify, companies can sell their products online, in stores, and in other channels, such as social media. A significant advantage of Shopify's omnichannel sales is that it enables companies to manage and coordinate their sales in all channels through one platform. This facilitates the monitoring and analysis of companies' sales results, customer relationship management and real-time inventory management.
Why use Shopify for omnichannel sales?
- Unified customer experience: By offering a unified and seamless experience across all channels, companies can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Integrated sales channels: Updated product-specific information and availability are updated between channels in real time.
- Channel-specific management: Choose the products you want for each product in one place. Adapt your sales strategy to your customers' needs and preferences.
- Improved data collection and analysis: By combining sales data from all channels on one platform, companies can gain a more comprehensive view of their products and customers, which helps make data-driven decisions.
- Reduced costs: By unifying their sales processes and using one platform to manage multiple channels, companies can save time and reduce costs.
- Increased reach: With omnichannel sales, companies can sell their products through a wider range of channels and potentially reach a larger audience.
The future of omnichannel
Omnichannel sales will be an important part of store growth. As technology develops and purchasing behavior changes, it is increasingly important that companies are able to offer their customers faster and more seamless experiences.
Customers want more and more personal service from companies. Only the product's features are not enough to make a purchase decision, companies are also expected to provide other added value based on the customer's purchasing behavior. The trend for 2023 is the increasing use of data to personalize the customer experience. By analyzing customer data and behavior, companies are able to adapt their interactions to individual customers and offer more targeted and relevant experiences.
In general, the future of omnichannel is expected to be characterized by emphasis on personalization, practicality and a seamless customer experience across all channels and platforms used by new generations.