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Multichannel Vs. Omnichannel Retail

Boaz Gam

Boaz Gam


5 min
The Difference Between Omnichannel and Multichannel Retailing
Omnichannel Vs. Multichannel Customer Experience Comparison

Every retail business aims to build consumer loyalty and ensure an excellent shopping experience. To succeed at this, it is important to track the customer journey and have a competent strategy that covers every point of interaction with the shoppers.

Nowadays, there are plenty of approaches for companies to choose from, with multichannel and omnichannel retailing among the most widely used ones. Read ahead for a detailed overview and comparison of these two strategies, alongside tips on which one to integrate into your company.

The Difference Between Omnichannel and Multichannel Retailing

Even though both omni- and multichannel solutions deal with multiple offline and online sales outlets, they implement different approaches. Let’s start the comparison by taking a look at their definitions:

Multichannel Retail

Multichannel retail is a marketing and sales approach where a company uses multiple separate channels to attract consumers and communicate with them. For example, a traditional retailer may have a physical store and a website with little interaction between each other.

The main advantages of multichannel retail are as follows:

  • Wide audience outreach. The more channels are involved in the promotion of your product, the more people it is likely to reach.
  • Tech simplicity. The multichannel approach provides you with the ability to communicate independently through different channels without the need to use complex software.

The main disadvantages of this strategy are:

  • Varying pricing. The product pricing often differs from one channel to another, resulting in consumers flocking to one sales outlet with the lowest price. This ultimately leads to a smaller net profit margin.
  • Complex logistics. Managing product information across multiple non-connected sales channels might be a challenge. Besides, the merchant often needs separate warehouses for their offline and online stores.
  • Lower processing speed. The lack of synchronization between channels may lead to longer waiting times for the customers, which is not a positive factor for client satisfaction.

Omnichannel Strategy

Omnichannel retail, on the other hand, is a strategy that implies various channels integrated into one seamless system. The omnichannel technology enables the clients to interact with the merchant via any of the synchronized channels that are convenient for them. For more detailed information, check our comprehensive guide on omnichannel retail.

The major advantages of the omnichannel strategy are:

  • Seamless interaction system. The entire history of communication with the client alongside product data and availability, regardless of the channel, is synchronized and easily accessible.
  • Higher client retention rate. The omnichannel approach contributes to an excellent consumer experience, which has a positive influence on the clients’ desire to return for more purchases.
  • Valuable data collection. This strategy also allows you to effectively collect customer data and analyze consumer behavior.

The biggest downside of omnichannel integration is considered to be the need to implement special software and update the organizational structure. However, with all-in-one solutions, such as the one from Payneteasy, this is no longer a reason to worry - read ahead for more details.

Omnichannel Vs. Multichannel Customer Experience Comparison

The customer journeys are a major difference between multichannel and omnichannel approaches. Here is an example of a client’s experience with multichannel retail:

  1. The client orders a product on the website, but the item fails to arrive on time.
  2. The customer contacts the company’s offline store by calling to clarify the shipping issues.
  3. The sales assistant lets the client know that they have no information regarding the order, and the user must contact the website's customer support via email.
  4. The client writes an email to the customer support team.
  5. The next day, the agent responds with tracking information and solves the customer’s query.

As you can see, the physical store and the website in the example are not interconnected, which causes confusion and delays in the issue’s resolution. Now, let’s take a look at what a typical customer journey looks like with an omnichannel strategy:

  1. The client receives a promotional email and proceeds to the website.
  2. Then, the customer starts choosing a product and contacts the store via a chatbot for extra information.
  3. After making up their mind to purchase the item, the person places an order online and selects the option of same-day pick up at a physical store.
  4. The consumer calls the store to confirm the order is ready to be received.
  5. Finally, the client visits the land-based shop and collects the product.

Here, the process of switching between sales channels was seamless and convenient for the user. Now that the difference between omnichannel and multichannel is clear, you can decide which approach suits your retail business better.

Payneteasy Omnichannel Solution - Utmost Convenience for Businesses and Clients

The omnichannel approach is clearly a more advanced system, making it one of the leading retail strategies today. With it, you can introduce a unified service standard, provide your clients with an individual approach, and increase customer loyalty.

So, why wait? With the help of a smart omnichannel solution, your company will thrive and increase its revenues significantly. Luckily, Payneteasy is here to help you with updating your retail business approach.

Since 2006, Payneteasy has been successfully providing clients worldwide with payment solutions of varying complexity. When it comes to our omnichannel solution, you will be receiving a service with extra-fast integration and branded payment pages on the following purchase channels:

  • Websites. Manage multiple payment options for your clients’ convenience via a single interface.
  • Mobile apps. Our SDK library integrates the payment acceptance feature.
  • ChatBots in any social media channels.
  • mPOS and POS terminals at your offline sales outlets.
  • Phones using MOTO transactions.
  • One-touch payments via Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.

The optimization of your business’s payment operations is our goal. Send us a request now, and we will get back to you with a custom solution within the shortest time frame!

Commentaries 4

Brendon R

Wow you got me intrigued with your omnichannel marketing concept, lol. So, I'd like to know which tools you will apply to make my small company work in such a perfect sync.
Respectfully, Brendon R.

Boaz Gam

Hi, Brendon and thank you for your interest!
As I've mentioned in the article, we offer a repertoire of tools that make you entire enterprise work in unison.
They include various payment options, POS/mPOS terminals, quick payment acceptance, automated customer service with the help of chatbots, and more.
As a result, you can relieve the workload of you personnel (especially if it's small in numbers), synchronize data valuable for the clients, such as prices, number of items in stock, delivery dates, etc. And of course make the payment process fast, simple, and secure.
As you can see, omnichannel retail delivers quite a smooth customer experience. In turn, this can guarantee a greater customer retention.

Nicholas Fischer

Ho, Boaz! I read your article, but don’t quite get it: how are omni and multi approaches different? Isn’t it all the same thing?
Nicholas Fischer

Boaz Gam

Hi Nicholas, thank you for showing interest!
You’re right — this multichannel vs. omnichannel dichotomy does sound confusing. But the difference is actually simple to understand.
Multichannel retail allows you to advertise and sell your stuff online and offline. Plus, you can easily stay in touch with your customers, update them on important news, etc.
Omnichannel retail does the exact same thing. But it also allows you to coordinate your efforts smoothly across all of your channels.
Thanks to omnichannel approach, you can accept payments right in your store or online. Locally of globally. In dollars or in Indian rupees, Brazilian reals, or Malaysian ringgits.
With its your marketing strategies can be truly universal. And in turn, it will lead to a better customer experience!

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