jeudi 13 mars 2014

Multichannel and Omnichannel: are they alike? yes and no!

The most used buzzwords in the digital industry these days are “multichannel” and “omnichannel”. Do they have the same meaning? Hum… yes and no. In fact, these two concepts are interrelated, they have the same importance; in short, they cannot live without each other.

Multichannel is the concept related to the “offering”, in other terms, everything that touches the marketing, the visibility (physical or online store), promotions, etc. This is the seller’s view.

Omnichannel is the concept related to the “sale”, in other terms, the accessibility, the inventory, the taking possession of the product (i.e. pick-up in store or delivery), etc. This is the buyer’s view or in other terms, the customer experience.

Through my interventions, I regularly meet with companies that rely on a single concept, multichannel, crossing fingers, hoping sales. Often they forget the concept of omnichannel. Is this because of lack of budget, a planning error, or they simply rely on wishful thinking?

Yet omnichannel – as written earlier – is as important as multichannel. The customer experience that will result, will determine the success of global sales and repeat business that will occur in the medium and long term.

How to develop a comprehensive multichannel and omnichannel winning strategy?

Types of industries, economic and social aspects, brand positioning, etc. are facets that are so vast and different that it is difficult to draw a specific guideline or to give a common and winning recipe for all businesses.

However, let’s put on the table a basic principle: (total) accessibility. Provide the buyer the maximum flexibility to enter into a relationship with you and buy your products. This embraces the buyer’s decision process, buying process, after-sales experience, and, as important, the promoting process of your brand, your products.

How to?

The first thing to do would be to assess the current situation, to evaluate your multichannel and omnichannel maturity. Only then you will be able to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and build an action plan based on those findings, hence, to build a winning strategy to reach your business goals.

On that note, I wish you good continuity in business! And do not hesitate to contact me to discuss about the transformation of your business model.

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