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Omnichannel Marketing vs. Multichannel Marketing: Definition, Uses, and Benefits

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Though many companies view omnichannel and multichannel marketing as the same, there are a few key differences to note, especially if your brand is in the process of reimagining the ways that you market to current and future customers. 

Today, we’ll explore some of the distinct differences between multichannel and omnichannel marketing; as well as go over which might work best for your business.   

What is Omnichannel Marketing? 

Omnichannel marketing refers to a marketing strategy that utilizes multiple channels through which to interact with and sell to customers. These channels could include in-person shopping and advertisements, online stores, dedicated apps, and even over-the-phone shopping and information options.

Many marketing strategies aim to reach potential customers using a variety of methods. However, the main focus with omnichannel marketing is to provide a high-quality, consistent experience that is seamless and integrated across all channels.

The consumers of today generally prioritize an omnichannel experience within their shopping habits. In fact, a Harvard Business Review study found that 73% of current consumers tend to work their way through multiple shopping channels before making a purchase.

Furthermore, data collected by Business2Community states that even 71% of in-person shoppers use other channels. This can include the brand’s website or app; which can collect important information like pricing, specs, and features about the product they’re considering purchasing.

Additionally, around 60% of millennials consuming products today expect a sense of consistency across a brand’s channels; shoppers are also less likely to go through with a purchase if a certain level of consistency is not met. 

Benefits and Drawbacks 

Omnichannel marketing is a strategy that tends to encourage a high rate of conversion from browsing shoppers to buyers. An omnichannel approach allows consumers to take their shopping experience at their own pace. They can switch back and forth between online and in-person until they have the information they need to feel comfortable making a purchase.

Additionally, an omnichannel strategy shows consumers that your brand cares about the little details; from providing all of the necessary information about a product in easy-to-read font across all devices to keeping a consistent brand identity on each platform.

The only real drawback to an omnichannel approach could be the level of design and attention to detail required to keep up a continuous brand image and customer experience across all channels. 

What is Multichannel Marketing? 

Multichannel marketing is a strategy that involves many of the same facets of omnichannel marketing; such as the inclusion of multiple channels with which your brand can interface with potential customers. 

However, within multichannel marketing, the different channels being used to reach consumers function independently of one another and operate according to their own strategies and goals.

Multichannel marketing is considered to be the next step up from single-channel marketing; which only involves the use of one platform with which to interact with customers. This includes things like radio advertisements or in-person billboards.

A study by Sailthru found that 75% of customers prefer a multichannel engagement strategy to a single-channel strategy. 73% of customers will use multiple channels to interact with a company when given the option. 

Differences Between Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing 

The primary difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing is whether a sense of intentional consistency exists across channels or not. 

Remember, omnichannel marketing prioritizes streamlining experiences across each platform that your brand uses to interact with clientele. On the other hand, multichannel marketing utilizes these same platforms without any intentional crossover.

One of the popular features of omnichannel marketing is the cart reminder. You may be familiar with these. Cart reminders are notifications that your customer receives when they’ve added something to their online cart but haven’t checked out yet. This outlines the essence of omnichannel marketing: A sense that your brand is aware of and able to track consumer activity across all channels while simultaneously using this information to drive sales.

Choosing Between Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing

An omnichannel marketing strategy works well for businesses that want to provide their customers a more personalized and complete experience. 

This tends to work best for brands that cater to consumer lifestyles; and ways in which people personalize themselves, including beauty, fashion, and accessories. However, an omnichannel approach can work to secure customer loyalty for all kinds of brands.

Whether you choose a multichannel or omnichannel approach for your brand’s marketing upgrade, you’re likely to see a significant increase in; sales, conversion, and brand loyalty from previous and new customers.

Omnichannel strategies that include three or more platforms for customers to use tend to see a retention rate of around 66%. On the other hand, single-channel strategies only see a retention rate of around 35%.

Additionally, omnichannel and multichannel marketing ensure that the customer experience does not start and end with browsing and purchase. Instead, it creates a lasting relationship that allows customers to; easily return or exchange purchases, receive discounts for future purchases, and stay informed of any sales or specials your brand runs in the future that might appeal to them.

One of the best strategies for customer retention is to maintain contact post-purchase. Typically, the best way to maintain this contact is to keep the customer updated on events, products, bundles, or sales that align with their past purchase history. 

The Future of Omnichannel and Multichannel 

Though multichannel marketing is considered a step above the single-channel approach, omnichannel marketing is the true wave of the future as all platforms become more connected and the customer experience becomes even more streamlined across all industries. Having trouble with your new marketing strategy? Working with a third-party logistics (3PL) company could be exactly what you need to optimize your brand’s marketing and reach a wider audience. Contact the team at PrintBindShip for a free quote on high-quality 3PL services for your business.

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