The main principles of omnichannel eCommerce and how it differs from multichannel

The main principles of omnichannel eCommerce and how it differs from multichannel


Managing a consistent customer experience across several channels and touchpoints when dealing with eCommerce sales is becoming more demanding. Statistics show that customers spent $960.44 billion online at U.S. eCommerce stores in 2021 (with 11,5% growth compared to 2020). To get a piece of these expanding online sales, you must create a flawless omnichannel eCommerce experience.

You must thus prioritize the mobile experience, comprehend your customers' shopping preferences, build a strong brand position, and ensure a consistent user experience across all platforms. We will go through the fundamentals of those topics and provide you with some pointers for implementing your own omnichannel eCommerce strategy. But first, we will sort out the differences between omnichannel and multichannel commerce, as it is still can be unclear for some eCommerce stakeholders.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel

Before telling how to effectively implement an omnichannel marketing strategy, it is crucial to identify similarities and distinctions with another approach, multichannel.

omnichannel vs. multichannel

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Definition and importance of omnichannel eСommerce

The term "omnichannel eCommerce" describes the use of numerous sales channels (physical and digital stores) to give customers a consistent, seamless brand experience on any platform that is integrated with each other, at any time.

A few straightforward omnichannel marketing examples that may help to clarify:

  • while shopping in-store, a consumer receives a text message regarding a promotion;
  • retargeting a customer on Instagram with the item they left in their online shopping cart;
  • subscribers are notified in a promotional email to check their mailboxes for a real postcard with discount coupons.

Although the majority of businesses use numerous platforms and channels for sales, this does not constitute omnichannel. It is crucial to design a seamless flow of interactions. In case of a flaw in structuring, your experience would feel fragmented and antiquated.

The meaning of multichannel marketing

It is obvious to say that multichannel stands for “more than one channel”.

It is a term that is frequently used by marketing, and other seasoned professionals to describe a brand's interactions with prospects and consumers over a variety of channels.

Multichannel marketing is the use of multiple online and offline channels to reach out to clients and potential clients. These tools include:

  • physical store;
  • email;
  • TV;
  • chat;
  • print;
  • voice;
  • billboards;

These channels are not integrated with one another. For instance, the tone and substance of your Instagram advertisement may be totally dissimilar from what you publish on your website or in your emails. Additionally, a multichannel strategy is frequently performed using different technologies for each individual channel rather than a centralized customer interaction solution.

Differences between omnichannel and multichannel

Are omnichannel and multichannel the same thing then? No, omnichannel and multichannel cannot be interchangeable. The consumer experience as a whole is quite different, even though omnichannel involves utilizing various channels.

There are three significant indicators to bear in mind when contrasting omnichannel and multichannel strategies:

  • customer-oriented vs. channel-oriented;
  • persistence of communication;
  • individual shopping experience.

Shortly speaking, the multichannel approach centers a company when marketing, emphasizes processing each channel individually, and changes communication only based on a developed strategy. On the contrary, the omnichannel concentrates on consistency within channels puts customers at the center, and elaborates on marketing channels considering collected data.

comparing omnichannel and multichannel

Advantages of omnichannel for eCommerce stores

Omnichannel marketing, when done correctly, is a fantastic choice for companies of all kinds, especially developing and enterprise-level eCommerce companies.

Advantages of this approach range from a better user experience and increased retention to improved sales and stronger brand loyalty. Going omnichannel may require additional investments in terms of launching and upkeep, but an effective strategy can bring benefits that far outweigh these costs.

Integration with marketing analytics that presents more quality data

Businesses can acquire and combine customer data from several channels using omnichannel. ECommerce specialists can get a full strategic perspective of their audience members using:

  • website cookies;
  • shopping carts;
  • mailing lists;
  • point-of-sale systems;
  • social media.

As a result, collected records may be used to personalize interactions and guide the creation of marketing campaigns, which will enhance engagement and increase revenue.

Boost brand awareness and recognition

By delivering a seamless experience across numerous platforms, an omnichannel marketing strategy raises brand awareness. Customers see your brand consistently across channels, which leads to greater customer interactions and increased brand memory. Therefore, customers are more likely to buy from a company that has a broad online and offline presence.

brand awareness and recognition

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Enhance the customer satisfaction

As information is easily accessible on preferred channels, the omnichannel approach creates convenience and availability for customers to purchase. Additionally, nowadays shoppers frequently do online product research before buying any things.

Successful omnichannel marketing helps eCommerce businesses offer their customers information that is presented as native advertising. It does not interrupt purchasing process but suggests a more comfortable alternative.

Increasing return on investment

More conversions will inevitably result from creating relationships through consistent customer involvement and a seamless experience. Through enhanced advertising and content personalization, omnichannel strategy aids eCommerce companies in customer retention and attraction.

Efficient allocation of resources

Marketing analytics help eCommerce store owners profitably cooperate money and people, as well as drive practical advertising activities. Making decisions about what channels to invest capital online store owners utilize data by examining promotion platforms and looking at KPIs.

Practical suggestions for configuring an omnichannel eCommerce approach

It is helpful to have a flexible omnichannel eCommerce system because it is impossible to create a smooth purchase process instantly and it will constantly change. Have a look at some suggestions for sharpening your focus or revising your plan.

Create a powerful multichannel communication first

It would be simpler for you to design an efficient omnichannel eCommerce experience for your customers if you have strong multichannel communication as a basis. Before building an interconnected experience within various selling channels, these selling platforms should be adopted and integrated first.

You can organize your channels according to priority and pinpoint the phases of the client experience that define your brand. Uploading products or services on social media, and the item descriptions on your website are what best to start with.

It could be done via installing plugins that help eCommerce businesses transfer information from an eCommerce website to social media and famous marketplaces, like Facebook Shopping, Google Shopping, eBay, Amazon, etc. All of them could be integrated into any CRM system that helps to consolidate information for customer service and adjust content based on data.

To build a multichannel experience with a potential transition to omnichannel, these and many other integrations are available on the nopCommerce Marketplace.

Discover the ideal omnichannel eCommerce platform for your needs

Implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy requires equipping your sales and marketing teams with the appropriate tools. Invest in technologies that are highly integrated, and easy for sales and customer management. The systems you select must be flexible enough to accommodate consumer preferences and the specifics of their trip.

An eCommerce software is a center of an eCommerce omnichannel strategy that manages all channels from one place. Not all eCommerce platforms have such capabilities, so there is a need to research the question of what is the best omnichannel eCommerce platform.

The nopCommerce platform has an omnichannel functionality that includes multichannel sales assistance and management with the ability to synchronize data within channels. Moreover, nopCommerce has advanced warehouse and shipping management that can be interconnected with other platforms.

Moreover, with the developed Web API nopCommerce becomes headless. It creates an opportunity to seamlessly integrate other business information systems (PIM, CRM, ERP, etc.).

Therefore, if you have your eCommerce store on the nopCommerce platform, implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy is straightforward. It mostly consists of choosing the most suitable software for each communication channel.

Build a smooth omnichannel eCommerce experience with a solution partner.

The process of developing an omnichannel system is not rocket science, but it is hard work of selecting the right platforms and integrating them. For this purpose, many online store owners cooperate with solution partners that help to develop an omnichannel eCommerce experience.

Solution companies discuss online business owners’ abilities and needs first for building a precise plan of building an omnichannel eCommerce system. After negotiations with your partner, there is a phase of plugging in missing channels and necessary instruments, as well as synchronizing information flow into a unified omnichannel system.

Finally, solution professionals navigate merchants through the developed omnichannel system and provide technical support. When choosing the nopCommerce platform, you can contact our solution partners for launching a powerful omnichannel eCommerce system.

The case study about omnichannel eCommerce store on nopCommerce.

To prove that this strategy is effective, we would like to present the case of Herbalife by our solution partner ISDK. The merchant wanted to add online channels to their developed offline ones. Moreover, there was a request of creating centralized access from all channels, so customers could experience a seamless customer experience.

The result is a Herbalife customer receives a fully integrated buying experience. They can access an order basket from any device, and all orders — including those that were placed offline — are visible in the order history, which is centralized, as it was requested. Mobile assistants and chatbots enable quick product or information searches and offer technical support.

It is proven by increased KPIs:

  • over 3000 new users per quarter;
  • over 11000 orders in the first quarter.

Herbalife omnichannel case study

Recognize buyer’s shopping preferences

Making guesses about how people shop can turn into a waste of time and funds without any visible results. So it is recommended to devote time and money to sophisticated research to fully comprehend their actions. This examination should answer at least three main questions:

  • What customers want and expect from your product
  • What issues customers wish to solve
  • What channels they prefer to interact with

Furthermore, analyze data and analytics, complete social listening, and collect consumer feedback to gain knowledge, so store owners can decide what is best for them and buyers. To collect a consolidated data analysis, merchants may integrate Google Analytics or a more advanced analytical tool, Power BI. Some eCommerce platforms, like nopCommerce, have such integrations.

Power BI plugin

Sending an online survey is another straightforward technique to gain additional data about your clients. Email it to customers informing them that it is for customer experience sake. Additionally, you can organize focus groups and interview customers directly at the time they experience your omnichannel strategy. To increase engagement and response rates, share discounts or gift cards with respondents.

Keep your focus on mobile devices

The mobile experience must be given top priority in your omnichannel eCommerce strategy. The key justification for doing so is that in the US, mobile commerce is expected to reach $437 billion in 2022, which is roughly the same amount as traditional eCommerce. In addition to the sheer motivation for sales growth, mobile devices now dominate client activity.

The whole catalog of eCommerce product materials should be compatible with mobile purchasing. Check that your website content is compatible with tablets and mobile devices. If your eCommerce store is based on nopCommerce, you will get a built-in responsive design, as well as many mobile-optimized themes.

Additionally, if you create 360o photography, make sure it is ready for different devices because, according to WebRotate 360, this type of material, when it is done properly, can boost conversion by up to 40%.

If you still operate brick-and-mortar stores, for instance, your customers will use their mobile devices to research products online. They can look up the dimensions of your products, evaluate reviews, and compare prices from various vendors. You may identify how crucial it is by looking at the data below of what percentage of customers do so while shopping in-store.

use of mobile devices while shopping in-store

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Rethink the organizational structure of your company

Turning omnichannel necessitates excellent communication and teamwork between the sales, marketing, development, customer support, and warehouse teams. This entails making sure that your teams have the hardware and software required to support cross-departmental processes.

Wrapping Up

Although they first may seem identical, omnichannel and multichannel marketing have key differences. Omnichannel marketing enables firms to integrate and fine-tune their eCommerce reach while multichannel can be effective for enterprises only looking to increase the volume of potential customers.

Being visible across numerous platforms is simply not enough in the modern digital age. Instead, in order to meet and exceed client expectations, marketing teams must adopt an omnichannel strategy.

Businesses can provide clients with an integrated omnichannel experience, which has many advantages, like greater conversion rates, elevated long-term customer retention, and elevated brand awareness. The nopCommerce platform can assist you with effectively gaining these benefits.

Although going omnichannel will require additional effort and concentration on the part of your team to carry out your goal, the advantages outweigh all resources involved. Applying an omnichannel strategy to your online business is the best way to keep and expand your client base.

So make your first step towards your own effective omnichannel eCommerce system and experience by requesting a quote from the nopCommerce solution partners.

Create an omnichannel eCommerce system with nopCommerce professionals!

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