May 14, 2022
The omni-channel experience is marketing, selling, and serving customers on all channels to create an integrated and cohesive customer experience no matter how or where a customer reaches out. The experience should be the same for customers regardless of the platform or method they choose to use when they engage with your business.
Omni-Channel vs. Multi-Channel
In multi-channel marketing efforts, the customer has access to a variety of communication options that aren’t necessarily connected. However, during an omni-channel experience, there are not only multiple channels, but the channels are connected so the customer can move between them seamlessly.
The difference between omni-channel and multi-channel experiences comes down to two distinctions:
- All omni-channel experiences will use multiple channels, but not all multi-channel experiences are omni-channel. You can have amazing mobile marketing, engaging social media campaigns, and a well-designed website. But if they don't work together, they don’t create an omni-channel experience for customers.
- Omni-channel experiences account for all devices and platforms. Whereas a multi-channel strategy might include two or three channels, an omni-channel experience includes all channels, platforms, and devices.
The multi-channel experience is what most businesses invest in today. They have a website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter. They use each of these platforms to engage and connect with customers. However, in most cases, the customer still lacks a seamless experience and consistent messaging across each of these channels.
An omni-channel experience accounts for each platform and device a customer will use to interact with the company — and also creates an equally efficient and positive experience across all platforms.
Creating an omni-channel experience is especially important in retail. Whether you have an omni-channel retail strategy in place or not determines how much you will sell.
An omni-channel retail experience will include brick-and-mortar stores, app-based options, and online platforms. For instance, a clothing brand might sell its products on its website, app, Instagram's “Shopping” tab, and Amazon, as well as brick-and-mortar stores.
What does all this really mean?
It's so important that small business owners take the time to invest into multi- or omni-channel marketing. The social media-driven world that we live in now is so unbelievably loud and if we want our businesses to be found and heard, we need to be remarkable or we'll be ignored.