Omnichannel means giving your customers the access to your products or services across multiple platforms such as social media, SMS, emails or physical stores, but in an integrated and unified manner. It means your processes are completely structured resultantly, offering a connected buying experience across all platforms – including providing a smooth shift from online to offline selling and vice versa.
Difference between Omnichannel and Multichannel
Now, people often mistake multichannel for omnichannel as both the terms seem similar. However, there is one similarity which is using more than one platform for marketing but what sets them apart is their functioning.
Multichannel approach uses various platforms but in seclusion to engage with their customers. Companies using this approach treat their channels as if they are separate entities, therefore the user experience is also very different across each channel.
For better explanation consider this scenario,
A customer visits X company’s website, likes some products and lists them down to check it in their physical store. But when he gets there, he cannot locate a single item as the store neither have them in stock nor they had any information about their online customers. The customer leaves disappointed.
Omnichannel is more of a customer-oriented approach which focuses on simplifying the entire purchase process for consumers. In order to offer a seamless and integrated customer experience across all channels, data from all channels is linked to the individual customer profile and communication starts with the customer and his preferences and actions.
A customer visits company Y’s website, like products and adds them to his wish-list. Now when he visits their store, he is delighted to find that a customer representative can locate all his chosen products in no time. All because the store had access to customer data that was linked from their website.
How Omnichannel marketing strategy help companies in personalizing customer experiences?
Better understanding of your customer
Data analytics today has become so advanced and companies having access to huge amounts of first-hand customer data can put that to use to understand their behaviour. What they are looking for on one channel or if they are disappointed with something, use this knowledge to implement favourable changes on other platforms. Thereby, creating a unique understanding with your customers.
Interact with your target audience via their preferred channel
In era of growing cut to throat competition, you can differentiate yourself by keeping an eye on your customer’s preferences. If a certain channel attracts your audience more than the other ones, put your focus on it.
Build your clientele in a more personalized way
With the use of right technology, you can make your offering more fast, flexible and adaptable as per your user’s expectation. This will make your customers more loyal to your brand and will build a healthy relationship.
Provide your customers with multiple choices
By offering your audience with multiple channels to follow, you facilitate your clients to take the most convenient path to you, creating a unique, satisfying customer experience.
Why Omnichannel approach is vital for Indian market?
With more than a billion mobile phone users, half a billion plus individuals online, and close to 300 million social media users (according to McKinsey), India ranks among the world’s largest and fastest-growing digitally-enabled consumer markets.
New age consumers give preference to convenience over price and experience over product. They expect high standards of personalization today. They want the brand experience exactly customized to their individual preferences across any number of channels which is why going omnichannel is just the right thing for Indian market.
This becomes even a necessity today as post covid, it would provide many companies a new ray of hope. Consumers will look for options where they can get maximum under one single roof.
Companies acing the omnichannel game
Domino’s – This company is doing an incredible job in managing their entire supply chain across more than 800 outlets. They operate through apps, website, by phone and in-store visits, delivering the same taste, same experience that too within 30 minutes all seamlessly.
Pepperfry – The online furniture retailer has launched its concept of ‘Studio Pepperfry’, where consultants can explain about the features, showcase design options and even customize products according to customer preferences. And when the deal is finalized, clients can easily place the order online and get their favourite furniture home delivered. As of date, 10-15% of Pepperfry’s sales come through such studios.
Zivame – India’s middle-class population can be little conservative in few items such as lingerie-wear as it was mostly sold in physical stores. As it is uncommon to talk about female undergarments openly, hence most of the ladies ended up buying wrong sizes for a very long time. This is where Zivame helped the new age consumers by selling these items online and it recently launched its flagship fitting to help women make educated choices in their purchases going forward. Customers can just walk in and enter their details on a tab. The professional fitters at the lounge then go on to help them discover their right size and also provide expert advice when it comes to the style and type of options available in the market.
Adidas – Adidas uses ‘endless-aisle technology’ in their flagship stores, which allows consumers to browse, explore and collect their products comfortably. Additionally, it also facilitates the retailer to sell products that are unavailable in stores and simultaneously serve orders received from the Adidas online store.