Omnichannel VS Multichannel - 3 Differences

Omnichannel VS Multichannel - 3 Differences
7 min read
10 October 2022

The marketing landscape has changed over the years. We can thank the internet for opening up many ways to reach customers. Gone is the dependence on analog media.

Talk to those who have been in marketing for a long time, way before the internet. They will tell you that the modes of customer communication were quite a few. These included print and electronic media. You had to fight for space on television or radio stations. If not, newspapers, magazines, and banners were the other option.

But now, with digital marketing and many channels, the opportunities are plentiful. As of 2020, global digital marketing and advertising were at a staggering $350 billion. Industry projections are optimistic, putting the value at $786.2 billion by 2026.

To get ahead of the competition, companies must use the right strategies. This article will focus on Omnichannel vs. multichannel e-commerce. We will define each and the notable differences.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel E-Commerce: What Are They and How Are They Different?

Omnichannel and multichannel may very well sound like the same thing. But the exploration of both shows that they're not.

Multichannel Marketing

Multichannel marketing uses various standalone channels to sell, promote or share information. The options are websites, social media, email marketing, and mobile applications. Others are SMS advertising, analog advertising, and physical locations.

We use the word stand alone because there is no channel integration. Your street banner, for instance, may not share any similarities to your website. Yet they are both powerful mediums for reaching the target audiences.

Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is about targeting customers on various channels. Now, this is where you will realize the major difference between multichannel marketing. In omnichannel marketing, the media are not stand alone.

There is a seamless integration of channels. Customers have the same experience at every touch point. The conversation can start on social media. If there is a need to escalate the issue, the live agent can take over.

The integration ensures the customer does not need to share the problem afresh. The live agent will have all the necessary information to resolve the issues.

The company needs to invest in the right Omnichannel contact center software. It allows customer care agents to interact with customers on different channels. These include email, text messaging, voice calls, and video chat.

Exploring the Differences Between Omni and Multichannel Marketing

We can summarize the key differences as follows:-

  • Customer experience versus customer engagement
  • Customer-centric vs. channel-centric
  • Qualitative vs. quantitative

Let's explore the salient points a little bit more.

  1. Customer Experience vs. Engagement

The multichannel approach uses as many avenues as possible to reach customers. You have leeway with branding, voice, messaging, and more on each. Whatever works at particular touchpoints is what you use.

But, the lack of integration between the channels can frustrate customers. Every time they switch to a new platform, it could be like starting afresh. Lack of a unified voice or look can have the same impact.

Omnichannel marketing is all about the customer experience. Live agents at the channel contact center ensure the human connection. Live chat functionalities like AI chatbots provide 24/7 access to support. It is about making customers happy with a consistent experience on all the channels.

Looking at the two, it is easy to see that Omnichannel marketing is more long-term. A good customer experience is one of the best ways to generate brand loyalty.

  1. Customer vs. Channel Centric

Omnichannel marketing is all about the customer. Everything the business does is about ensuring and improving customer satisfaction.

Multichannel marketing focuses on providing as many touchpoints to the customer as possible. It is an excellent strategy for increasing brand awareness and visibility. But, the teams must go a step further to convert leads into sales.

Think about it like a branded company car. Many people will see the branding. But without further communication, it would be hard to turn them into leads.

You would not compare it to, say, experiential marketing. The customer engages with the sales teams and can even try the products.

  1. Quality vs. Quantity

Quality vs. quantity point ties in with all the above. Multichannel marketing is all about quantity. How many banners, print ads, online banners, social media followers, etc., did the team manage to put out or get?

The customer-centric omnichannel marketing is all about the customer experience. It's not about how many followers you get on social media sites. Rather, it is the type of feedback you get. Are customer's happy and sharing positive reviews? How effective is the omnichannel contact center in dealing with customers, etc.?

With omnichannel contact center software, the company can vary the type of service. As mentioned above, live chat or AI chatbots can handle basic queries. It can then escalate larger issues to the human agents at the channel contact center.

The customers' concerns will already be on the dashboard. So whoever takes over can apprise themselves of the situation and take over.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing: Is One Better Than the Other?

At this point, the question you may have is whether one strategy is better than the other. The answer is that combining the two will provide you with a robust marketing tool. The multichannel marketing approach is practical and takes you right where the customers are. The use of many channels means you can have a more visible presence. 

The Omnichannel approach gives customers a seamless experience at every touchpoint. It does not matter what channel they use; the brand voice and messaging are the same. 

Take the experience a level further with the right Omnichannel contact center software. It will allow you to sync existing and new channels, thus better handling of your customers. 

Final Thoughts

Multichannel and Omnichannel marketing can give you fantastic results. It helps to know what you want to achieve when deciding the best one to use. Multichannel marketing will work to reach and create brand awareness. 

If you want to create a loyal customer base, then Omnichannel marketing is what you need. But, in conclusion, we can say the best solution is to have a mix of both.

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Alex 9.6K
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