Omnichannel vs Multichannel – Which Is Better & Why?

Omnichannel vs Multichannel
What’s Inside
  • What Is the Difference Between Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing?
  • What Is Omnichannel eCommerce? 
  • What Is Multichannel eCommerce?  
  • What Is Multichannel vs Omnichannel Example?
  • How Does Personalization Work in Omnichannel vs. Multichannel eCommerce? 
  • What Are the Factors to Choose Between Multichannel vs Omnichannel? 
  • How to Get Started with Omnichannel Marketing Using Experro DXP?
  • Conclusion
Key Takeaways
  • Omnichannel vs multichannel are two essential strategies for eCommerce businesses to increase customer engagement and revenue.
  • Omnichannel refers to creating a consistent customer experience across various digital channels.
  • Multichannel includes being present on multiple digital platforms to tap into a more extensive customer base.
  • The difference between multichannel and omnichannel lies in the level of integration between digital channels.
  • Omnichannel is customer-focused, whereas multichannel is channel-focused.
  • Experro digital experience platform helps businesses enable omnichannel and multichannel approaches with hyper-personalization.

Wondering why are we writing on omnichannel vs multichannel eCommerce? 

Actually ‘Omnichannel’ and ‘Multichannel’ are two different terms in the eCommerce industry. But they are misunderstood by many marketers. In fact, they are used interchangeably. 

Since they both involve multiple channels, it is considered the same thing. But, the difference between both is huge. Hence, we believe it's high time to break the myth! 

Understanding the difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing is crucial for marketers as it helps them create cohesive strategies for their business. 

Moreover, it is essential to understand that these two marketing strategies bring different outcomes to the business. 

Additionally, people who know this concept often debate which one is superior in achieving lucrative advantages! 

That is why, in this blog, we will deep dive into the key difference between omnichannel vs multichannel marketing with comprehensive examples. 

Furthermore, we will explore how personalization works in the omnichannel vs multichannel approach. 

Without further ado, let's jump into the table below to understand what is the difference between omnichannel vs multichannel: 

What Is the Difference Between Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing?

Omnichannel vs multichannel strategies both involve reaching customers through multiple touchpoints, but the level of integration in these channels differs.  

Basis of Difference
Omnichannel
Multichannel
Meaning
Provides a seamless and integrated customer experience across all marketing channels Utilizes multiple marketing channels that operate independently to reach customers 
FocusFocuses on creating a more unified customer experience Primarily focuses on using various channels to reach a broad audience 
Integration of channelsChannels are tightly integrated, allowing data and information to flow for a unified customer view Channels may operate independently, with limited data sharing or integration 
ConsistencyEnsures a consistent brand message and experience across all channels, resulting in a seamless transition for customers Brand consistency may vary across different channels, leading to potential inconsistencies in messaging and customer experience 
ComplexityIt requires more resources and sophisticated technology to manage and integrate multiple channels effectively Can be less resource intensive as it may involve managing each channel separately without the need for extensive integration 


Now that we have understood the key differences between what is omnichannel vs multichannel in detail, let’s go through the meaning of omnichannel eCommerce. 

What Is Omnichannel eCommerce? 

Omnichannel eCommerce Explained

Omnichannel eCommerce is a marketing strategy that creates a seamless shopping experience for customers across multiple touchpoints such as websites, social media, mobile apps, or brick-and-mortar stores.

In fact, brands with high omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% increase in annual revenue, whereas brands with poor omnichannel strategy only see a 3.5% increase in growth.  

The omnichannel strategy aims to enhance customer experience and provide frictionless journeys even when customers switch between different channels. 

Sounds confusing? Let us explain how it works.

How Does Omnichannel eCommerce Work?  

Have you ever jumped from a brand’s mobile app to its website while shopping and found the same products in your cart? 

This exactly describes what is omnichannel eCommerce and its experience. 

However, its impact extends far beyond the scenario given above. It ensures consistent information and personalized interactions, fostering a competitive edge in the market. 

The best thing about the omnichannel marketing approach is it includes both online and offline channels. 

When we say it includes these channels, we mean it integrates them to create cohesive customer experiences. Be it a social media channel, a website, a mobile app, or brick-and-mortar/physical store. 

Omnichannel integrates customer's shopping experiences across various digital touchpoints. It ensures that customer experiences are consistent even after switching from one channel to another. 

That means product information, pricing, and inventory must be uniform across different channels. 

Customers can add items to their cart on one channel and continue the transaction on another without losing the selected item. 

Benefit? This saves customers time and energy to find those items again and creates a seamless and satisfying shopping experience for them. 

The following are the core elements of omnichannel eCommerce: 

  • Seamless user journey 
  • Integrated shopping experience 
  • Consistent branding 
  • Centralized customer data 

Leading jewelry giant Diamonds Direct chooses Experro to create luxury omnichannel experiences. 

Read Case Study

What Is Multichannel eCommerce?  

Multichannel eCommerce Explained

Multichannel strategy refers to the marketing strategy where a brand focuses on being present on multiple digital channels.

However, the customer experience here is not interconnected. Customers cannot carry forward with the shopping journey when they switch to different digital channels. 

Did you know 95% of marketers say they know how important multichannel marketing is for targeting?  

Multichannel is more channel-focused on marketing efforts compared to omnichannel. On the other hand, omnichannel focuses on customers first. 

How Does Multichannel eCommerce Work?

As the name suggests, multichannel focuses on increasing their revenue sources through different digital channels/more than one channel. 

Customers may not get a seamless experience across all of these channels.

Did You Know! 
Every omnichannel marketing is multichannel, but every multichannel marketing is not omnichannel.

The key characteristic of multichannel eCommerce is that each channel operates independently, often with separate inventories, pricing structures, and promotional strategies. 

Multichannel aims to expand its reach to multiple platforms to tap into a larger customer base. This strategy is utilized by the business when they are in the initial stage and want to increase brand awareness. 

However, here the level of integration, personalized customer experiences, and seamless journey are lacking. 

The focus is only on the channels that operate independently of each other and not on the customer engagement or customer journey. 

Now, let’s dive into the examples to understand omnichannel vs multichannel in a better way. 

What Is Multichannel vs Omnichannel Example?

Following is the example of multichannel eCommerce:  

  • Multichannel eCommerce Example – Nike

Nike operates on multiple digital channels. Customers can purchase Nike products in Nike-owned retail stores and partner stores through the official Nike website or mobile app. 
  
This multichannel approach allows customers to shop through various channels, making Nike a multichannel eCommerce retailer. 
 
Leveraging various channels together enables businesses to create new and memorable customer experiences customers would never usually have received from one of them.

  • Omnichannel eCommerce example – Amazon

Let's understand Amazon's omnichannel marketing strategy.
  
Amazon is an example of a successful omnichannel strategy in eCommerce because it offers a seamless and integrated shopping experience across various channels. 
 
Customers can browse, purchase, and interact with Amazon through its website, mobile app, physical stores (like Amazon Go and Whole Foods), voice assistants (Alexa), and other devices. 
 
Amazon ensures a consistent experience by allowing customers to access their accounts, view order history, and use features like Prime membership benefits across all these channels. 

This integration enhances convenience and customer satisfaction, making it an omnichannel approach. 
 
Now that we have explored omnichannel vs multichannel examples, let’s see how personalization works in both these strategies. 

How Does Personalization Work in Omnichannel vs. Multichannel eCommerce? 

Did you know 78% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand that personalizes and helps in repeat purchases? 

Customers connect on a deeper level with personalized messages or recommendations.

Be it multichannel vs omnichannel marketing, personalization is an important aspect of every eCommerce business. 

When it comes to omnichannel marketing, personalization is more comprehensive. 

Let us explain how: 
Personalization in omnichannel marketing is tailoring marketing messages, content, product recommendations, and overall customer experiences to individual preferences and behaviors across multiple digital touchpoints. 

It involves leveraging data and technology to create a seamless, cohesive, and highly relevant experience for each customer as they interact with your brand through various channels. 

Let's understand personalization in omnichannel vs multichannel with an example.

  1. Personalization in Omnichannel Marketing Approach

Suppose you're exploring products on a company's website, you add items to the cart, only to abandon it. 

Later, as you peruse the brand's social media page, you come across personalized posts showcasing the exact products from your abandoned cart. 

These shoppable posts create a tailored and cohesive experience, prompting you to reconsider and make a purchase. 

2. Personalization in Multichannel Marketing Approach 

On the other hand, a multichannel approach does offer personalization, but it often lacks the seamless experience found in other strategies. 

The same personalized message cannot be consistently delivered across all digital channels, potentially leading to a fragmented and less effective customer engagement. 

What Are the Factors to Choose Between Multichannel vs Omnichannel? 

Factors To Choose Between Omnichannel vs Multichannel

There are important factors to consider when it comes to choosing between omnichannel vs multichannel in eCommerce. 

The following factors give a clear understanding of the right time to choose the right strategy. 

1. Business Goal

Multichannel strategy – This approach is ideal for businesses looking to expand their reach, increase brand awareness, and acquire larger customers. 

Multichannel strategies are often cost-effective and can help cast a wider net to attract potential customers across various platforms and channels. The primary goal is to establish a presence on multiple channels to capture a diverse audience. 

Omnichannel strategy – On the other hand, omnichannel strategies are more customer-focused, emphasizing the creation of seamless and frictionless customer journeys. 

The primary aim is to build trust, enhance customer experiences, and foster brand loyalty. Not only do the omnichannel strategies require more investment, but they also yield higher customer lifetime value and repeat business. 

2. Customer Expectations

Understand your target audience's preferences and expectations. An omnichannel strategy may be more appropriate if your customers expect a seamless, integrated experience across multiple channels. 

A multichannel approach might suffice if they are content with separate channel experiences. 

3. Resource Availability  

Assess your budget, technology infrastructure, and staffing capabilities. 

Omnichannel strategies typically require more investment in technology and data integration to ensure a cohesive experience, while multichannel strategy may be more cost-effective regarding resource allocation. 

How to Get Started with Omnichannel Marketing Using Experro DXP?

Experro is a leading digital experience platform that provides tools to enhance the overall customer experience. 

It allows businesses to create robust omnichannel marketing strategies that increase revenue. 

Also, it enables businesses to integrate multiple digital channels such as websites, social media pages, mobile apps, and more to create a comprehensive and seamless customer experience. 

Customers can choose to use any of these channels and enjoy a seamless shopping experience. 

Additionally, it has APIs for quick and secure omnichannel content distribution. Moreover, it offers a centralized content repository to manage all the data from different channels. 

Conclusion

Today, a customer wants a seamless journey across different digital touchpoints and platforms. 

They don't like to encounter friction while shopping for their favorite products. If things get tricky, there's a good chance they'll leave and check out another online store instead of spending their time dealing with issues. 

Between omnichannel vs. multichannel, it's not about choosing a superior solution but creating a seamless experience for customers. 

We would say omnichannel is a revolutionary approach in the eCommerce industry that helps businesses create a seamless customer experience by integrating different channels. 

Experro DXP provides features to enable omnichannel customer experience. 

If you also want to create an omnichannel experience for your customers, schedule a call with our team of experts today for a personalized demo. 

FAQs

What is the new word for omnichannel?

As omnichannel marketing focuses on creating a seamless customer experience across various devices, the new word for omnichannel is ‘Seamless Commerce’. 

Is Amazon multichannel or omnichannel eCommerce?

Amazon is a multichannel eCommerce since it integrates customer experience across various digital touchpoints such as websites, mobile apps, physical stores, voice assistants, etc. 

Which one is better - omnichannel marketing vs multichannel marketing?

There is no better or worse between multichannel marketing vs omnichannel marketing since it depends on the specific business objective.

  • When it comes to being customer-centric, omnichannel is better.
  • On the other hand, when your goal is to expand business reach through various digital channels, multichannel is a better option.
What is the difference between omnichannel and a multichannel retail strategy?

The main difference between multichannel vs omnichannel retailing lies in the level of integration.

  • The omnichannel retail strategy aims to provide a unified experience across all channels. This approach creates a seamless customer journey. 
  • In contrast, a multichannel retail strategy involves using multiple channels. However, these channels have different levels of interconnectedness.
What is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel customer support?

Omnichannel vs multichannel customer support differences are:

  • In omnichannel vs multichannel customer support, multichannel involves utilizing various support channels independently. Meanwhile, omnichannel ensures seamless integration for a unified customer support experience.
  • Omnichannel customer support aims to provide a unified and consistent service experience. In contrast, multichannel customer support may involve separate systems for each channel.
  • Omnichannel customer support approach extends support across all channels. Whereas, multichannel customer support provides fragmented customer service experience.
What is the difference between multichannel and cross-channel?

Multichannel involves using multiple channels independently. Cross-channel involves interactions across channels, allowing for a more connected customer experience. 

What is the difference between omnichannel and cross-channel?

Omnichannel ensures a seamless and integrated experience across all channels. Cross-channel involves interactions across various channels but may not necessarily provide a unified journey. 

Is omnichannel marketing more cost-effective than multichannel? Why or why not?

Omnichannel marketing can be more cost-effective in the long run. This enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty, resulting in higher retention rates. 

The initial investment in integration might be increased. However, the overall customer lifetime value is more significant. 

How do businesses measure the success of multichannel strategies?

Businesses measure the success of multichannel strategies by analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) such as customer acquisition, conversion rates, and sales figures. 

Additionally, customer feedback and satisfaction metrics are crucial in evaluating effectiveness. 

Are there industries where multichannel marketing is more effective than omnichannel?

In multichannel vs omnichannel, industries like fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) may find multichannel marketing effective due to adaptable strategies and reaching a wider audience.

However, omnichannel marketing tends to be more effective in sectors emphasizing customer experience and long-term relationships, such as service-oriented industries. 

Priya Zala
Priya Zala
Content Writer @ Experro

Through her writing, she has a lovely way of capturing users' pain points and delivering solution-oriented content. Her writing is sure to captivate readers and leave them with a lasting impression. When not crafting content, Priya enjoys getting lost in a good work of fiction, which soothes her soul.

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