What are the differences between multichannel and omnichannel?
So, how else do the two differ? Let’s take a look at some other differences between multichannel and omnichannel below.
Channel-based vs. customer-based
A multichannel strategy allows customers to reach a brand through the maximum number of channels, using these channels to increase engagement. And under this approach, the more engagement, the better.
An omnichannel approach, meanwhile, is focused squarely on the customer. The approach favours strengthening customer relationships holistically, connecting its channels in a way that unifies, and truly personalises, each customer’s experience.
Multichannel has its sights set on sharing a brand’s message with customers. Ultimately, its end goal is to get customers to complete a call to action.
Omnichannel is the same, except a business will aim to put themselves in their customers’ shoes to better understand. With the help of data and insights, this helps to provide a more customised experience with a higher level of engagement.
Level of consistency
Without integration, a multichannel approach can sometimes be inconsistent and frustrating for customers looking to move across channels and internal departments. At this point, a customer may switch to a brand that does offer a more holistic alternative.
These holistic omnichannel approaches, on the other hand, can create a unified image and customer experience, which goes a long way towards building trust and familiarity among customers.
What are the advantages of multichannel ecommerce?
Because it maximises the channels it uses, multichannel ecommerce can increase your brand’s visibility across several customer touchpoints. This allows you to tailor and focus your strategy on specific channels, and reach more customers, creating greater accountability when it comes to performance.
By selling products in multiple places, an increase in sales should logically follow. Combined with physical stores, the greater brand amplification can translate into more visits to your brick-and-mortar options too.
Development of new target groups
When it spreads its reach as far as possible, a multichannel approach can identify and target new customers it might not have been capitalising on previously.
What are the disadvantages of multichannel ecommerce?
Since every channel is treated separately, a multichannel approach tends to reinforce whatever silo channels the business currently has. That means a brand’s Facebook strategy will be totally different from its web strategy.
Anyone moving across these channels will likely find the experience a disconnected one. For the consumer, the lack of familiarity – or understanding of their preferences – will feel as though your brand is reintroducing itself over and over again.
This also has the knock-on effect of reinforcing data silos. By confining certain customer information to certain data platforms such as a CRM system, it’s tougher for brands to look at their customers holistically.
Loss of stock control
Without multichannel inventory management software, selling on multiple platforms can become a real headache. Rather than managing orders and calculating your stock from one place, you’ll have to deal with tracking out-of-stock items and inventory across several different channels.