What’s the difference between the terms ‘multi-channel’ and ‘omni-channel’?
The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are actually complementary concepts that modern companies must familiarize themselves with in order to attract contemporary consumers to their brands, all with an eye to the future. The term ‘multi-channel’ applies to sales strategies, which should be deployed on a number of different channels, as well as on traditional and online platforms. ‘Omni-channel’ refers to business processes, which should be adapted in order to allow for engaging, integrated and smooth sales experiences. A multi-channel strategy integrated with omni-channel processes is the perfect solution for managing current and future retail businesses, all while improving the services offered to consumers.
What are the first steps to move from a traditional Retail approach to a modern one?
Given that the practical goal is to integrate traditional offline sales points with online channels in order to offer a unique and quality customer experience, the first step is to assess the company’s sales network, as well as the touch points between the brand and the customer.
Companies then need to equip themselves with the necessary skills in order to improve and better organize physical, digital, managed and spontaneous touch points. Some examples of omni-channel processes include in-store pick-up, online estimates of available stock in store, demand, inventory and distribution planning support systems, ERP systems and those for tracking products, customer care and dedicated apps, RFID/QR codes and augmented reality for accessing digital content in store.
The aim is to be equipped with flexible and scalable software platforms, tailored to the business sector in question and adaptable to multiple technologies in order to allow in store and out-of-store devices to interact, such as technology used by companies to manage stock with mobile applications designed to generate engagement and experience.
Usable technology deployed on sales channels and brand-relevant content are the two most important strategic business investments when it comes to competitively tackling future challenges.
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