Any business with at least two sales channels offers a multichannel customer experience. This is convenient, but omnichannel customer experience goes one step further.
A multichannel approach to CX treats every sales channel as an independent customer portal. An omnichannel approach to CX, on the other hand, seeks to integrate and streamline the different sales channels on offer. This has a lot of implications, as explained below.
Multichannel vs. Omnichannel Customer Experience
Multichannel CX is an easy thing to grasp, even going by the earlier definition. Practically any business with a physical store and a website or social media page offers a multichannel experience.
On the other hand, an omnichannel treats the multiple sales channels as one entity working in coordination. This means that a customer can check-in via one channel, purchase via another, and check out via yet another distinct channel – all without running into any hitches along the way.
The Superiority of an Omnichannel Approach
Besides the technical differences between these two approaches to CX, there are also differences in how businesses can benefit or lose from either approach. The omnichannel approach has the most to offer, as it comes several steps closer to offering the ultimate customer experience.
Customers view your business as one entity, regardless of whichever sales channel they use. To this end, they are disappointed when they come across barriers between multiple channels. One common example is when someone buys an item online but cannot return it physically at the retailer’s store. It creates mistrust and leaves the customer open to other options.
An omnichannel approach will also benefit the business in many ways. One of the most notable benefits involves nurturing your customers’ loyalty and trust in your brand. Additionally, streamlining operations streamlines data collection, and this data can be used to improve your operations and take advantage of new opportunities. However, the biggest benefit is the uptick in sales that come with a streamlined approach, as customers feel comfortable to shop via any channel at any given time.
Barriers to Omnichannel Experience
Adopting an omnichannel experience sounds easy to do with all the technological resources available. However, there exist barriers that have proven too big for many businesses. The biggest barrier at the moment is the huge cost of implementing omnichannel customer experience, as it involves modifying the business model and its operations on multiple levels.
An omnichannel approach to CX is the way of the future. It will make shopping more convenient and enjoyable for your customers. It will also grow your revenue streams. However, you should be prepared to make substantial investments into your digital systems — but it is all worth it, ultimately.
Factoreal provides an all-in-one omnichannel customer engagement platform that is easy to use, at an affordable price. To find out more, please contact us anytime.