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What is omnichannel and how can it help your company

A concept that is becoming more and more common when we talk about the growth of any business in today’s world is that of omnicanalidad. Even so, you may not be familiar with the term, although in your daily life you have already experienced it in a practical way.

We live in a world saturated with information and more and more and with so much offer and options the user has become more demanding. The companies that understood that to sell more or to achieve more business they had to focus their strategy on the user and not on the brand, were the first to use the omnichannel strategy.

But to understand what we are talking about, it is best to start at the beginning, understanding what is omnichannel, And even if you are not in love with history, we will summarize a little how it all started.

What is and how did Omnichannel come about?

The concept known as Omnichannel (from the English Omnichannel) is based on connecting all the channels that are part of your business, both online and offline, so that they are easily accessible to the user as if it were only one. The objective is ensure an integrated experience and effective for the client.

With omnichannel there is no difference between the digital world and the physical world.

In fact, you’ve probably already experienced it. Here’s a practical example: you go to a store and she tries on clothes, you like it, but you still want to look a little more. When you get home, you make up your mind, but instead of going back to the store, you enter their website and make the purchase online. Days later you receive it at home, or if you prefer, you can pick it up at the store next to work.

Who wins with omnichannel, the customer or the company?

Although the great objective of omnichannel is consumer satisfaction, this is only achieved when the company manages to carry out its transaction, that is, both win.

How do we go from single channel to multi-channel and get to omnichannel?

You may not remember, but surely your parents or grandparents do. Before, there was only one sales channel, and for a long time the single-channel model worked.

The bakery where they went to buy bread, the neighborhood shoe store, the market … They were physical spaces where you could buy and receive the product in person.

Over time, the single channel became obsolete and no longer met the market demand, which was asking for more. The brands wanted to grow but what mattered was themselves, making themselves known in many ways but without worrying too much about what the customer wanted. It can be said that it was the “it was spam”In search of all means of dissemination. This is where the multichannel model began.

How does multichannel work?

Omnichannel shown with a woman buying from her mobile in front of a store

The definition of the word is based on “multi = many” and channels, that is multiple channels to get closer to the customer. Up to this point it is not bad, but the problem is that with multichannel each channel works differently, independent of the other, without a common strategy.

Here the brand is what matters and you can find an offer in the insert of a magazine, another in the newspaper of your city and then receive emails with different information.

When businesses, previously single-channel, wanted to expand to multi-channel, they did not think of a common strategy that privileged the customer; They focused on making the brand known, using both online advertising (social networks, email marketing, web pages with advertising banners, etc.) and traditional offline advertising (magazine, newspapers, inserts, leaflets, etc.).

The multi-channel idea values ​​that the more information offered through different channels, the better. The problem is that this sometimes hurts the end user / client who demands more facilities when defining one or another product.

Multichannel can lead to customer frustration

When the various channels of a brand work autonomously, with their own solutions without talking to each other, they can generate frustration in customers, who are constantly faced with incompatible information on each channel. This directly affects your relationship with the brand.

For example, there is almost a generalized phobia towards the telephone operators of any company, they are specialists in calling you without permission to offer you a promotion that is only valid by phone. They can’t email it to you and you won’t see it on the web either.

This type of strategy is clearly based on multichannel, that is, the company is the same, but each channel can work differently, offering the user a different path to follow. Many times the company does not unify the objectives of the channels, each one seeks different objectives and works with different teams.

Why should you adopt an omnichannel strategy?

A study of 46,000 buyers, published in Harvard Business Review shows that omnichannel commerce not only works but is the most used by customers. Based on the results, they found that only 7% were online-only shoppers and 20% were store-only shoppers. The remaining majority, or 73%, used multiple channels during their shopping trip. We call them omnichannel clients.

As we already told you before, in the multichannel strategy the user experience can be very different, more or less satisfactory depending on the channel you decide to use. With the consolidation of the internet, the search for companies where these channels were increasingly adapted to the wishes of the buyer and worked together was encouraged.

Omnichannel is teamwork. It is to use all the channels that exist in multichannel (after all, the concept of making yourself known in different formats is valid) but with a common goal marked for all concerned and that it should be measured that way.

With the amount of digital information that bombards us every day, we need clear filters to align our decision and satisfaction.

What do we want when buying something?

That there is no difference between the digital world and the physical world. That you can start your search online, and that if you go to the physical store you will find the same product with the valid discount that they sent you by email. Or that the opposite situation is also possible: you can start at the store, look at what you like and finalize the purchase online.

When there is this overlap of the physical world with the digital world so seamlessly, it means that the transaction is based on the concept of omnichannel.

How to apply omnichannel in your company?

Omnichannel displayed as icons centered on a shopping cart

For omnichannel to be present in the reality of your company, thus allowing real growth, you must involve three areas with a single common objective: buyer experience.

These areas are: product, marketing and sales. All are of essential importance for the growth of the business and if we get not only that they work together, but that all of them are involved in making the customer have a good experience through any of the channels that they enter, we are on the right path for growth. What are we looking for.

Deep down, both customers and consumers, we all want the same thing: to be cared for and valued as responsible for the success of the business. This “customer service” is currently directly related to omnichannel.

Now that you know how each one works, which experience brings more benefits: multichannel or omnichannel?

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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