The two terms are standard nowadays- omni-channel and multichannel in commerce or digital marketing. It might not be easy to distinguish between the two for someone who is not an expert. Every kind has its traits of advantages and disadvantages. To choose the right marketing strategy, you must know which is the best for you. Let us first understand what each means.
What is omni-channel?
Omni channel involves several channels for customer engagement. All the marketing channels are integrated to create a unified experience for all the customers across the board. With the help of omni-channel, the customer can seamlessly move between various channels while engaging with the brand. Irrespective of the website, the customer will see similar content in all its social media or digital handles. The experience is the same for all customers, regardless of the channel they choose.
Omni channel is a leading user engagement and nurturing approach by which a company gives customers access to their products, offers, services, and support services.
Benefits of omni-channel
As we said, every channel has its advantageous traits. Here are the omnichannel;
A company with an Omni-channel-based retail or service strategy in place will be able to reach customers where they are. Customers no longer need to find out about the company. It does not matter where the company is based; the products offered will reach them. This strategy makes a company more easily accessible to old and potential customers. The company is only a text or mail away.
It is easier to market the products of a company. Since the products are now available to a wide variety of people, this without a doubt will lead to the generation of more profit. It will help to increase the profit margin by a considerable percentage. Moreover, as per the research of Think by Google, the Omni-channels have helped brands gain80% in-store visits by the customers.
Boosted customer satisfaction
All the points mentioned above will lead to customer satisfaction. The customers of a company employing such an approach will be more likely to be satisfied and happy with how the company works. It will make the satisfied customers want to return and keep buying from the company.
Brand recognition is very vital for the survival of a company. Increased profits and better customer satisfaction will automatically ensure brand recognition for the company that invests in an omni-channel strategy.
Better attribution data
Adopting an omni-channel strategy will provide a better user experience and better data analytics for the company. By tracking engagements across various channels, a brand can get a better idea of the customer journey. They will be able to understand when and where customers prefer to engage and which campaigns have created more value. This will help them to focus on similar campaigns in the future. This collected data can be put into future campaigns to generate more customer interaction.
Examples of companies that have adopted omni-channel strategy
Several top brands are already utilizing omni-channel strategies. Here is the list of some such big-shot companies.
All of us have heard of the world-famous company, Starbucks. But one thing that everyone does not know is their customer base, and company reputation are solidified by using the omni-channel approach. They have an app through which they give their customers mobile rewards. Starbucks can integrate the mobile experience with the original in-store experience that the customers are accustomed to.
Users can reload their cards from their mobile and desktop computers. Then, by using the app, they are awarded points that they can use to buy a free coffee. This provides an enhanced customer experience. Moreover, it helps customers skip the morning rush they would generally find in a traditional store.
Walgreens created a custom mobile app that makes it easier for customers to refill their prescriptions, which they can pick up in-store at their own time. The app also showcases the store-specific inventory making it easier for customers making a trip to decide which location they should visit. All this enhances the customer experience, building the company's reputation and brand image.
This company is combining the experiences of a physical store with that of an online store. It uses Near field communication technology, which has helped create Touch walls in its store. This has led to further information on their shoes. Customers can easily add their favorite shoes to their shopping list. More, the company utilizes a product recommendation engine to create an immersive shopping experience.
All kinds of industries are utilizing an omni-channel strategy. It can be used in retail, healthcare, automotive, financial services, and many others. Let us now see what exactly multichannel strategy is and what its benefits are.
What is multichannel?
Multichannel marketing combines numerous channels for distribution and promotion into a single, cohesive plan to draw out potential customers. This strategy utilizes the distinctive advantages of a particular marketing channel to communicate the value of a product or service effectively. Email, websites, social media, display ads, and even a physical store are a few examples of a multichannel approach. Marketers can employ a variety of channels for product distribution so that consumers can buy through the method that suits them best.
Benefits of Multichannel
Now let's talk about the benefits of multi-channel for businesses.
A multichannel strategy is very beneficial for reaching a wide variety of people in no time. When marketers expand their marketing efforts to newer channels, they increase their reach to newer potential audiences. In addition, many customers interact on a limited number of channels, so by communicating through several channels, it becomes easier to reach more customers. This way, a company can find customers in channels they did not explore before.
A multichannel strategy increases engagement. It allows customers to engage with brands and helps ease communication barriers.
Easily reach customers through their preferred channel
A company can reach potential customers through the channel of its choice. Every person has a specific channel they prefer. If a company communicates with the person with the said channel, the customers will be more receptive and be willing to talk with the company.
Combined channels are more effective
When several channels like radio, social media, television, emails, and many others are employed, it automatically increases the number of people the company will be able to reach out to. In addition, when marketers create a strategy that ties together campaigns from multiple media channels, it creates an opportunity for impactful messages that is mindful of the journey of the potential customer.
Examples of companies that have adopted multi-channel strategy
Multichannel marketing can be as simple as putting a tracked URL in an email, promoting a specific hashtag on Instagram, or even having a website send push notifications to a mobile device. However, the most successful multichannel marketing campaigns are usually quite well thought out and use data to maximize the effectiveness of each channel.
Calvin Klein is a company that has incorporated a multi channel strategy. Calvin Klein has launched a unique collection partnering with several online and offline stores. This increases their customer base through various channels and helps draw in more customers.
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The sales growth for this company has been impacted by its adoption of a multichannel marketing strategy. They offer better-segmented experiences so that the data faithfully matches the purchase process. In this way, the company divides the type of potential clients to carry out personalized communication with each one of them in a unique way.
Differences between Omni-channel and Multichannel approaches
Now let's see head to head for both strategies.
Channel based vs. customer based
A multichannel aims to give customers as many ways as possible to interact with the brand. The idea is to employ channels to boost engagement. The more engagement generated, the better. An omni-channel strategy, on the other hand, is customer-focused. This indicates that it is centered on establishing stronger client relationships through a comprehensive strategy that integrates channels for a seamless and customized experience.
The multichannel strategy emphasizes communicating a brand's message to customers. The customer's completion of a call-to-action is the intended result. The omni-channel strategy aims to comprehend the customer and uses data to offer a tailored experience. Here, the main objectives are providing cohesion in interaction and a simple client experience.
Multichannel technique stake a channel-by-channel approach. As a result, there is a lack of integration. This leads to inconsistent user experience, thus causing frustration. Customers may be prone to choosing brands that provide a comprehensive omni-channel experience instead of those that do not since they cannot flip between platforms at will.
Customer expectations have shifted in recent years. Customers want to be able to interact with brands across multiple channels on the platform of their choice. While they may appear similar initially, omni-channel and multichannel marketing have distinct differences. Multichannel marketing works for businesses that want to expand their e-commerce reach, but omni-channel marketing allows companies to better their strategies. Today many businesses engage with customers across different channels. But, the level of service provided across multiple channels is often considered in consistent. These two strategies are the solution to the problem.