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Many businesses are confused about the differences between an omnichannel and a multichannel approach. Here’s a look at both and why one is better.
New technologies are constantly emerging and evolving, giving marketers a lot more opportunities to engage with and connect with consumers, and consumers a lot more ways to find and buy the products and services they need. But these expanded marketing channels are also increasing the complexity of getting a marketing message out to a company’s customers. Although it’s accepted that a company has to make use of multiple marketing channels to reach consumers that are increasingly using smartphones and other mobile devices, as well as PCs, to do their browsing and shopping online, many businesses are confused about the different options available and how to use them effectively, and thus don’t use them effectively.
The terms omnichannel and multichannel have been around for a long time, yet many marketers don’t understand what they mean. While there are similarities between the two strategies, there are significant differences, too, ones that can have a big impact on the success or failure of a company’s marketing outreach. Here’s a quick look at the meaning of both terms, and argument as to why an omnichannel approach is better, and how leveraging the right technologies can help a business to succeed.
Both marketing approaches use more than one channel to sell products and services, using both physical and digital tools, but the experience for the customer is different. Most businesses use a multichannel approach, but the channels aren’t connected. For example, a company might have a brick and mortar store and an online store, but each might have a different inventory, and a customer can do things at the physical store that they can’t do online, and vice versa. A customer can’t easily switch between the two because transactions are separated.
An omnichannel approach allows for seamless customer experience. They can initiate a transaction or communication online and then continue it on another channel or at a physical location. It puts the consumer first, making it easier for them to shop and buy, thus making for a better marketing strategy.
An omnichannel marketing approach is more effective than a multichannel one in several ways. Here are some of the benefits of a better customer service experience through omnichannel.
The omnichannel approach is the better approach for marketing, customer service, and communications. A company should assess its specific needs and requirements and then choose the right vendor to provide the technology and tools to implement their particular omnichannel solution.