A decade ago, it was enough for businesses to sell their products and services over one channel and succeed. Nowadays, when the customer becomes more demanding, providing a great customer experience is a must. According to Salesforce data, 80% of customers consider quality experience as important as goods and services.
Omnichannel commerce strategy helps businesses to stand out from their competitors and win more customers. Omnichannel strategy unites several distribution channels to provide a seamless customer experience from any touchpoint.
In this article, we explain omnichannel commerce, its key strengths, and how to develop an omnichannel ecommerce strategy for your business.
What is Omnichannel Retail in Ecommerce?
Omnichannel marketing is a cross-channel strategy that allows businesses to provide consistent and personalized customer experience. Omnichannel retail unites multiple channels (social media, ecommerce, brick-and-mortar, email marketing, etc.) in an interconnected system to provide a smooth buyer experience regardless of a customer touchpoint or stage of the buyer’s journey. Example of customer experience with omnichannel ecommerce:
This is how omnichannel ecommerce works. The omnichannel strategy allows brands to deliver relevant content for each customer thus personalizing the customer experience and helping them make deliberate purchases.
Difference Between Omnichannel and Multichannel Ecommerce
Omni- and multichannel strategies use multiple distribution channels to sell goods and services. However, omnichannel marketing focuses on customers, while multichannel marketing focuses on products and services. Consider the examples below.
|Omnichannel strategy||Multichannel strategy|
|The brand saves data about customer purchases and preferences on the website to an integrated data management system so that customers can finish the purchase through the mobile app anytime. |
Goal: provide a high-quality customer experience
Channels used: 2
Channels get access to customers’ data to provide a seamless buyer’s journey.
|The brand communicates with the customer via website and OOH (out-of-home) advertising. |
Goal: spread the word about the brand.
Channels used: 2.
Channels aren’t connected. The customer can’t seamlessly continue the buyer’s journey.
Due to channel interoperability and the use of digital tools, omnichannel distribution is a prominent approach to better brand awareness and loyalty. Omnichannel strategy not only improves the customer experience but also allows businesses to better manage inventory and optimize stock. The table below outlines key differences between omnichannel and multichannel ecommerce.
|Brand strategy||Unified and consistent||May be inconsistent|
|Personalized experience||Available across channels||Available within one channel|
|Buyer’s journey||Cohesive across channels||Streamlined within one channel|
Best Omnichannel Ecommerce Platforms and Software
Ecommerce platforms play a significant role in omnichannel marketing. These platforms allow businesses to collect essential customer data, empower marketing strategies with analytics, automate inventory syncs, and more. Let’s discuss some of the most popular omnichannel ecommerce solutions.
Magento (now Adobe Commerce) is an ecommerce retailing platform for creating ecommerce websites. Magento is an open-source technology tailored to ecommerce needs. It offers multiple features and plug-ins for creating an excellent online shopping experience (catalogs, shopping carts, payments, etc). Moreover, Magento is open for third-party integrations for businesses to implement omni channel strategy. Here are a few examples of features available with Magento ecommerce:
- sales across multiple channels (website, mobile, social media, Google ads, marketplaces),
- brick-and-mortar support,
- discounts and customer reward programs,
- inventory management,
- supply management and purchase monitoring.
- omnichannel order fulfillment,
- various sales reports.
Creating a Magento ecommerce website may require hiring a developer, however, the platform offers a website builder to set up a simple ecommerce site for non-coders. If you’re looking for professional developers to build an omnichannel ecommerce website, contact us, and our IT experts provide you with details on how to develop an ecommerce website.
Shopify is a software as a service ecommerce platform that allows merchants to sell goods via online stores. Shopify has a user-friendly design and supports all the features the omnichannel commerce platform needs. You can set up everything from product sourcing to payment processing and shipping. Moreover, marketing and report tools are available in each Shopify plan.
Implementing an omnichannel strategy with Shopify is easy. Key features to boost customer experience include but aren’t limited to:
- centralized product management system,
- accessibility across multiple devices,
- social media integrations,
- email marketing,
- offline retail support.
In addition, Shopify has dozens of apps to improve the retailing platform. If you require a specific feature, you can add it without a hassle.
BigCommerce is a commerce SaaS solution for building and managing an ecommerce store. BigCommerce has all the features needed to build a successful ecommerce business from scratch. The platform is highly customizable and easy to scale. It can handle all omnichannel needs of your business. Here’s a list of the BigCommerce features that support omnichannel strategy:
- channel management,
- order management,
- customer management,
- inventory management.
WooCommerce is an ecommerce plug-in for WordPress. WooCommerce allows merchants to create a great customer experience based on WordPress – a website builder, the most popular and customizable tool for creating websites. As WordPress offers many other plug-ins you can integrate them to leverage omnichannel strategy. For example, Omnichannel for WooCommerce plug-in offers the following features:
- Google, Walmart, Amazon, and eBay channels,
- inventory and orders synchronization,
- WooCommerce store currencies,
- channel management, etc.
How to Build an Omnichannel Ecommerce Strategy
Now that you know what omnichannel ecommerce is, let’s see how to develop an efficient omnichannel strategy.
Key steps to creating an omnichannel marketing strategy for ecommerce business include:
- Know your customers. Take time to define your target audience, their needs, and their wishes. It’ll help you to choose suitable channels and provide a personalized experience for each segment of your target audience.
- Choose distribution channels. Pay attention to where your customers spend more time to define your sales channels.
- Define channel goals. Some channels may represent the stages of the buyer’s journey and be mainly focused on interaction or awareness, etc.
- Map customer journeys. Analyze your customer’s behavior and outline how your customers will interact with your brand across all channels.
- Connect channels. Provide channel interoperability by connecting one channel with another.
Omnichannel ecommerce brings businesses valuable outcomes. With an omnichannel strategy, you can improve customer experience and accelerate their loyalty, get more control of sales and traffic, and leverage data collection for a seamless management experience.
If you want to know more about creating an online retailing platform that supports omnichannel strategy, book a call with our expert and get a professional consultation.
Omnichannel commerce can satisfy demanding customers with a seamless customer experience across multiple platforms, engage more customers and improve the overall management of the ecommerce platform. If you consider starting an ecommerce business, omnichannel marketing is a discipline to pay attention to. All you need is proper digital tools to bring your ideas to life.