What is omni channel? An introduction to omnichannel retail.
Technology has totally changed the way business is conducted today and this is seen in all sectors where new concepts are cropping up daily. E-commerce is one of such sectors where this evolution is seen on a very steady basis. The introduction of the concept of omnichannel retailing and multichannel retailing is a very good example in this regard. For those who are not aware or familiar with these concepts, omni channel and multichannel retailing are quite different as forms of strategies. Although many confuse them, the two concepts are not the same. That confusion stems from the fact that both models utilize numerous platforms to get clients and customers.
How is Omnichannel Different from Multi channel Retailing?
What is omni channel retailing and what is multichannel retailing? Currently, his is one of the most dominant questions in e-commerce. Regardless of the fact that both of them are about selling across various digital and physical channels, there is a key difference that highlights the slender borderline between them. And that difference is about how they join up across the above-mentioned channels to provide better customer experience. Now, it’s high time to comprehend the concepts of these slightly different strategies before going deeper into details.
What is Omnichannel Retail?
You may wonder what is omnichannel retail at all? It is the use of several platforms to conduct sales transactions with customers in such a way that the client gets a comprehensive experience. For example, it is possible for the client to make the purchase from home via the Internet using a smartphone, tablet, laptop computers or even through a physical visit to the store but whichever method is used, the experience for the customer must be flawless and without stress.
On the surface, it may look like omni channel retailing and multi channel retailing both have the purpose of reaching the clients by making use of different channels, platforms and methods, the fact is that the core aims and results are quite different for the two strategies.
Multi channel Retailing
To define simply, multi channel retailing is a strategy that enables businesses to reach out to several clients and customers via different platforms. These platforms can be online such as social media pages, websites, forums and offline platforms such as physical stores, hubs, advert campaigns, promo offer events, etc. It is the application of these platforms that constitute what is referred to as multichannel retailing.
After defining both concepts properly, the next thing to do is to point out the differences between omni channel and multi channel retailing systems.
Platform and Clients
In using multichannel retailing, the essence is to let the awareness reach as many clients as possible via the use of the greatest number of platforms and this is quite straightforward. In multichannel retail, the strict goal is to reach the highest number of customers, buyers, and other clients by making use of the largest number of platforms possible. This explains precisely why enterprises that depend on multi channel retailing utilize at least two platforms to reach out to their clients, with some of the most preferred choices being the social media platforms.
On the other hand, omnichannel retail goes deeper in using each platform in the interactions with clients. This is to make sure that while the customer is on the platform trying to make a transaction, the experience is going to be an amazing one. This is one of the most effective ways of also promoting the brand, business or enterprise.
Many enterprises already use omnichannel demand planning, which enables them to make the most out of inventory investment. Due to a well-chosen demand planning software they are able to find the most profitable products even with a fixed budget.
This is because it allows a bond to be created between the customers and the business itself. The more comfortable a customer is made to be on a platform used in retailing, the higher the chances of the client returning and remaining loyal to the business. Increase in the level of loyalty to the brand eventually translates to higher revenue from the sales made.
Studies have also shown that when done properly, the omnichannel techniques have a near 100% rise in the client retention rate. This is when the records are compared with businesses that do not have or make use of the omnichannel systems of retailing to push their products to the customer base.
Frequency and Interactions
In using omnichannel techniques, the priority is on making sure that the customer enjoys the experience so much that he or she come back to make more purchases. In other words, the essence of omnichannel technique in retailing is to increase the frequency of the sales and the return rates of the clients. This is not limited to a single platform but each and every single one of the platforms used by the customer. What that means is that if the customer makes a purchase via the email marketing campaign, the excellence reflected in the customer service should be the same when the same customer makes use of the same platform but via the social media page. There has to be a uniformity of excellence in customer satisfaction irrespective of the type of platform they make use of.
Once the enterprise maintains its record of ensuring steady excellence for all the customers and once this is done over time, the customer tends to develop a great sense of bonding with the business. Once a client is sure of always getting the best services, he or she will remain loyal to the business. This explains why enterprises that use omnichannel retail methods always focus on ensuring that all units of the business adhere to the standards of excellence and professionalism.
In omnichannel retailing, the end result is to eradicate all forms of errors from the inventory planning. Omnichannel retail systems incorporate the use of information to understand areas of the transactions and solve error problems for inventory planners to enable the organization to know where adjustments should be made. This is the main focus of omnichannel retailing campaigns work.
So as discussed earlier, even though many people mix up both omni channel and multi channel retail techniques, both have the same end result of getting across to the greatest number of customers via the use of different platforms.