Omni-Channel is the unified commerce experience across a single brand. It takes into account all different channels of marketing and sales with a focus on the online experience. People no longer shop solely from stores. Instead, they go online to identify a product to meet their needs, read reviews, compare prices, and ultimately determine whether or not they would like to make a purchase. Furthermore, people who do shop at physical stores often turn to a mobile application or browser to find discounts, recommendations, and shipping options.
The purpose of Omni Channel is to enhance customer experience. When Omni Channel is active, customers develop a relationship with the brand and are more likely to purchase from the same company or retailer in the future.
Essential Components of Omni Channel
- Social Selling
Social selling includes the sales of products, goods, or services across all channels of social media including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. Likewise, social selling also includes engagement with consumers across the aforementioned social media channels.
- eCommerce Stores
eCommerce stores refer to a brand’s website shopping experience including, but not limited to, the processes of selecting an item or service, checkout, shipping, and customer service.
- Digital Marketplaces
Separate from eCommerce stores, digital marketplaces are online shopping portals that sell multiple brands and products under a larger umbrella. Amazon and eBay are some of the most popular digital markets today.
- Mobile Applications
Mobile applications enhance a customer’s experience by providing opportunities for interaction with a brand. Most mobile apps are built to offer discounts, reward points, and customer service as well as shopping.
Omni Channel Strategy
Businesses that desire to implement Omni Channel require four areas of strategy. These areas include platforms, processes, staff, and implementation.
All omni channel retailing requires multiple platforms. Different platforms include a brand’s website, ecommerce platform, social media, mobile application, and customer support. Each platform plays a unique role in a brand’s omni channel. Each platform must also work in tandem with all other platforms to carry out a successful omni channel strategy.
Processes in terms of omni channel refer to the plans in place to implement the tools and resources necessary to create a positive retail customer experience. Successful omni channel includes tested processes across each component of the experience.
Staff refers to the necessary people in place to carry out processes. A brand with an active omni channel connects staff across processes and platforms to ensure there is continuity within their customer experience.
Implementation is the practice of putting platforms, processes, and staff in place and testing the outcomes over the multiple components of omni channel. It also requires refinement of all platforms, processes, and staff to be successful.
The ability to create omni channel retailing has a positive impact on the success of a business by enhancing the customer experience of a brand.