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How Omnichannel and Multichannel Platforms Affect Customer Experience

By Marketing Tech Outlook | Friday, November 30, 2018

Technological advancements in the customer service sector will create a paradigm shift in the way customers and companies interact. Omnichannel is the buzzword for over five years and still, it is confused with Multichannel. Very few retailers are truly omnichannel and the rest have inclination towards it. 

Multichannel vs. Omnichannel

Omnichannel and Multichannel may sound alike because they both involve selling across multiple physical and digital channels. The key difference between these channels is how customer experience is bundled up across channels. Both these channels are generally siloed and barely interact with each other.

The online shopping experience is entirely different from the offline experience. A traditional multichannel retailer may have a website and a physical store which are completely different entities. Items purchased in online cannot be returned in-store. The crux of the entire idea is that online and offline channels are treated as separate businesses.

Today’s customers want the ability to interact with the brand across every touchpoint. Customers don’t want to see retail stores and websites as different companies or silos. They want to communicate with the brand online, on the smartphone, through social media, and in-store. However, the experience is separated from one another.

Consumers script their journeys across multiple channels and leave a trail or breadcrumbs and every one of them matters. Customers are the lifeblood of any business and forcing them to stick to a single channel or making them switch channels frequently causes friction and impacts customer’s experience. Omnichannel cashes in on this opportunity and joins these touchpoints together so that whatever journey the customer wants to take the experience is always smooth, consistent, and unified.

Technological Availability

Many vendors offer solutions for retailers seeking an omnichannel approach. Unfortunately, only a few solutions are available. A business must be technologically equipped to provide a seamless customer experience. Live chatbot integration and co-browsing help move enterprises towards an Omnichannel approach.

Technological hindrances, cost considerations, and lack of motivation make the multichannel platform a very attractive to an organization. Technological superiority is not required in the multichannel platform and it makes a better choice regarding ease. Multichannel solutions do not require streamlined integration without relying on a technical backend.

Cost vs. ROI

Cost is always a factor when dealing with a business environment. When money is involved the return on investment becomes a significant factor. If the ROI is on par with the cost, then the business initiative can be considered as successful. When it comes to Omnichannel and Multichannel, it is still unclear which one offers more ROI. Multichannel is less costly but Omnichannel is more efficient. In the future, when the Omnichannel approach gets affordable, the ROI will increase simultaneously.

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