While omnichannel and multi-channel sound similar, it’s important to understand the key differences to ensure you’re implementing the right strategies for your brand. Multi-channel is more of an umbrella term to include any strategy that involves more than one channel. Omnichannel, on the other hand, goes a step further to include or account for every single channel – it’s all-encompassing. Let’s dive into a few key differences that this distinction creates.
First, omnichannel experiences are a bit more complex and nonlinear. They match the nonlinear nature of most modern customer journeys. Multi-channel strategies are more straightforward – they create an unswerving line between channels.
Next, while an omnichannel approach can act as an entire business model, multi-channel is more operational. Consequently, a multi-channel approach may lack back-end system integration – one channel can’t transfer information about audience engagement to another channel. For example, channels in omnichannel strategies can make live updates, such as sending an email reminder of items a customer showed interest in on their website, to enable more useful and relevant customer experience across these channels. A multi-channel approach doesn’t allow for this type of seamless experience.
As customers engage with a brand on different channels, an omnichannel strategy gets smarter. Multi-channel is static, but omnichannel is fluid. Similarly, omnichannel strategies tend to focus more on customers, while multi-channel often puts the brand at the centre.
Learn more about the differences between omnichannel and multi-channel.