Omnichannel and multichannel sales strategies are just two fancy terms coined by marketers and sales experts. It’s easy to believe that, isn’t it?
It’s actually the opposite of that. These two terms hold great meaning and promise to open your floodgates to potential cash flow if you make the best use of them. But, you already know that, and you’re here to get answers to your questions which are:
- What exactly do the two terms mean?
- How are they different from each other?
- Which one would be the best for me?
- Wait, do I have to choose between the two? Or could a combination do it for my organization?
- All I want to do is boost my sales. Tell me how to use these sales strategies to do it.
Easy, easy! Catch a breath. Every question will be answered (that’s what a Wingman said!) because this blog talks about just that and more.
First things first, let’s understand what omni- and multi-channel strategies are. Knowledge is power and all that; you get the drill!
What is an omnichannel sales strategy?
An omnichannel strategy provides a cohesive brand experience. That means the strategy does not focus all the attention on a particular vertical of the sales process. Instead, it is concerned with all the areas of your brand, including sales, marketing, logistics, and operations.
An effective omnichannel strategy connects all sales and marketing channels to provide an integrated shopping experience. This is achieved by integrating user experiences across multiple touchpoints. In simple words, an omnichannel strategy integrates all the channels through which a buyer connects with your brand.
For example, you sell analytics software. You have resources and product libraries on your website, on your social media channels, and in pop-up locations, and you also provide loyalty programs online that assist buyers throughout their customer journey.
In the above examples, you are connecting multiple touchpoints, including in-store, web, and mobile apps. These channels have worked together to create a voice for your brand.
So whichever channels the buyer interacts with or decides to move across channels, they will get a consistent brand experience. And it also simplifies the life of your sales reps, who are using all your business channels to communicate with your buyers. With an omnichannel sales strategy, sales reps have all the information they need on all platforms and can use it whenever their prospect is reaching out to them - regardless of the platform they are currently using.
What is a multichannel sales strategy?
Multichannel sales enable selling your product on more than one sales channel. It is an approach that takes the help of many channels to communicate with the customer. The channels can range from simple SMS messages, email, and mortar stores to adverts, social media, mobile devices and apps, shopping carts, online stores, and more.
The multichannel sales strategy is flexible because it gives the buyer a choice between channels. The multichannel strategy targets several channels so the buyer can engage with the channel of their preference. The customer experience and engagement change according to the channel selected.
The multichannel approach revolves around the product. That means the product is at the centre, and the prospects can choose any channel to reach the centre. Each channel in a multichannel sales strategy provides a distinct and independent method to make a purchase. And each channel comes with its own benefits and challenges.
Multiple channels leave greater room for switching between channels. If selling using a particular channel isn’t working out for your business, then you can switch channels to target the audience.
The different types of sales channels used multichannel approach can be broadly categorised as follows:
1. Web applications and websites
2. E-commerce marketplaces (e.g. Amazon)
3. M-commerce marketplaces (e.g. Wish)
4. Social media platforms (e.g. Facebook)
5. Comparison websites (e.g. Google)
6. Physical stores (e.g. local retailers)
A multichannel sales strategy provides different channels, which increases your exposure to potential buyers. This, in turn, increases your sales opportunities. The benefit of selling on multiple sales channels gives you an edge in the market even if you are a small business.
You will be able to tap the buyers who are loyal to a sales channel as well as hoppers who shop across channels.
Key differences between omnichannel strategy and channel strategy
Let’s say you have to reach from point A to point B - point A being the initial touchpoints with the customers and point B being the final destination - where the deals are closed. Now, there are multiple channels to go from A to B - you can choose to go by the roadways, the waters, or the airways.
Scenario 1: You have four defined roadmaps and a sales team to go on a selling spree via four of them. You get some of them cars, for the others, you get speedboats, and for the rest, you get airplane tickets.
Scenario 2: You have batmobiles. Your sales reps navigate their way across the roads, waters, and airways. The batmobile turns into a speedboat on the waters, a race car on the road, and a jet in the air.
Clearly, scenario 1 is a multi-channel sales strategy, and scenario 2 is an omni-channel. Let’s dig a little deeper to understand the specific differences between the two channel sales strategies.
The multichannel approach aims at increasing exposure to potential customers. It tries to spread the brand message to the widest audience and increase customer engagement. So the multichannel spreads across all the available channels, social media and email being the most utilised channels.
On the other hand, the omnichannel strategy works with a different channel but focuses on a holistic customer experience when they move across channels or communicate with the brand.
Multichannel gives a choice to the buyers to choose the communication options. But these channels are distinct and provide separate experiences. However, in an omnichannel strategy, there are different sales channels that are interconnected so a buyer can move seamlessly across channels. Multichannel lacks consistency and might not be able to provide a seamless experience.
The omnichannel strategy ensures their customer receive the same personalized experience no matter what channel they choose to engage with. Multi-channel can cause confusion among customers because of the separate method of operation in different channels.
The multichannel approach is responsible for brand awareness and makes the user do the hard work, while the omnichannel strategy walks the extra mile to provide a personalized experience.
The lack of personalization in multichannel strategy can leave the buyer frustrated. If the buyer returns to you from a different channel, they have to start their journey all over again.
MultiChannel vs OmniChannel Strategy
Omnichannel uses customer data to learn about the buyers’ pain points. It requires additional effort to deliver a better customer experience but the result increases the likelihood of customer retention and customer loyalty.
The omnichannel approach aims to provide a seamless customer journey from brand awareness to customer loyalty. The consistent brand message across each channel gives a sense of familiarity and establishes trust in the brand.
In contrast to the omnichannel approach, the multichannel strategy has the ability to compete, especially in the case of small business owners. It heightens the chances of a call to action by tapping across multiple sales channels.
How does an omnichannel sales strategy boost sales?
Improves operational efficiency
An omnichannel strategy relies on customer data to provide a better user experience. To understand customer behavior, goals, and challenges, you have to collect the customer data once and use it across different channels.
Providing a holistic brand experience to the buyer is the fundamental principle of the omnichannel approach. So, they leverage this principle to keep the core operations the same across channels. This saves their time in creating and implementing new strategies for each sales channel.
Increases customer lifetime value
The key difference between omnichannel experience and multichannel experience is that the omnichannel strategy puts the buyer first. It enables you to provide a better user experience and maintain a loyal customer base.
The efforts made in this strategy establish trust between the two businesses. This increases the customer retention rate as the buyer wants to stick with the business that takes care of their needs and provides a personalized experience. The longer the customer states the more will be the overall customer lifetime value.
Reaching new buyers
The omnichannel strategy benefits businesses by helping them to reach new customer segments, which is a key to growth. As the omnichannel approach focus on creating a brand image, it is relatively easier to attract new buyers.
Venturing into new products
Again, the brand image created by omnichannel marketing strategy helps the business to distribute new products because they have earned the trust of their buyers.
Omnichannel strategies have been successful in attracting business. It provides the flexibility of medium and ease of doing business. Consequently, an omnichannel strategy can drive up sales and profitability. Personalized digital experiences, curbside pickup, and contactless checkout contributed to increased sales and turnover.
Improve inventory management
The omnichannel approach combines several different channels. This helps businesses track and replenish inventories. An integrated supply chain and inventory visibility ease management and prevents inventories from going out of stock without the knowledge of the manager.
Just like everything else, sales, too, is better with a Wingman!
How would you successfully onboard a data-driven sales strategy if you don’t have the right data with you? Fret not! Your wingman is here to help. Wingman, in this case, is your sales intelligence platform that helps you with just the sales metrics and insights you need to boost your sales. Integrate your CRM and business channels with Wingman to make it your ops center to execute your sales strategy. It also helps you build better customer relationships and helps you optimize your sales strategy to provide a better customer experience. Up your sales game with Wingman, book a demo now.