In our new stay-at-home era, you may have heard different e-commerce catch phrases being thrown about. Two of the most popular words to describe such activities are “multichannel” and “omnichannel.”
Upon hearing these terms, many people think they are interchangeable. As both “multi-“ and “omni-“ refer to more than one item, the assumption of them being the same is logical.
While there are similarities between the two, it would be a mistake to call them identical.
What Is Multichannel?
Multichannel commerce, e-commerce or retail (all different words for the same thing) refers simply to a business plan that allows consumers to purchase your product via various platforms.
Let’s say you have created a new chew toy for dogs and you want to market this everywhere. You get it listed on Amazon and start selling there. Then you start promoting it on Facebook and begin running campaigns and ads to target platform users.
Your product then picks up steam and Petco contacts you and offers to sell your chew toy.
Now you are selling your product on multiple channels (multichannel) and offer it at Amazon, on Facebook, in Petco stores, online at Petco, etc.
You are promoting, marketing and selling your product on different platforms and in different ways to reach the most public. That’s multichannel.
How Omnichannel Takes Multichannel One Step Beyond
Omnichannel uses the multichannel concept and develops it further. This is best illustrated with another example.
While working to furnish your house, you decide to utilize the Black Friday deals and shop online for a TV.
A Facebook ad pops up promoting a TV from Best Buy.
You see that it’s the exact TV you want at a great price. You then go the website for Best Buy where it clearly illustrates the deal with exact prices and specifics and a generous amount of photos. A chat bubble pops up in the corner of the screen and the online support team chats with you and gives confirms the prices and offer for the TV.
While chatting with them, you find out that the TV is available and in stock in your local store. Customer support refers you to the store and their address.
The next day you go to the store and see the TV, decide you want it and get help to compete your purchase and soon the item is mounted in your living room.
The difference between the two approaches—multichannel and omnichannel—is that the first allows different methods of purchase for the same item and the other combines them to create a seamless transaction for the consumer.
Omnichannel can also be done entirely online. There may be no brick and mortar stores involved. You could have the sale start on the company’s website, continue on Facebook and then be completed on Amazon. How a company utilizes their various channels and combines them is what makes your style of omnichannel retail unique.
MindCloud Helps You Connect
Connections by MindCloud will assist you with any and all aspects of omnichannel e-commerce.
To compete and survive in the new online world, one must reach out to all corners of the market to find ways to cater to your customer’s lifestyle. This means making the sales experience simple and intuitive by ensuring all relay and distribution points of your company talk.
Contact us today and find out how we can help you do this.