Insights 8 October 2019

The Differences between Omni-Channel and Multi-Channel Strategies

The Differences between Omni-channel and Multi-channel Strategies

With the steady increase in access points for the obtaining of products and services, modern businesses have started adopting the Multi-Channel strategy that comes equipped with various “Touch points”, so as to offer more options for accessing such services with simplicity and ease. The user experience may differ from place to place because of various strategies that may be applied at each different outlet of the Multi-Channel System. The Omni-Channel system, on the other hand, is all about providing a uniform set of services at every outlet to ensure that the user experience is always consistent; and also to provide “effortless” transition from one channel to another. Take, for example, Starbucks Coffee – they allow the customers to order their beverages in advance through a phone application so that they can come and pick them up at a time that suits them, by just showing a copy of the receipt on their phone. This mixture of online and offline processes allows them to have an uninterrupted user experience, owing to the unification of all aspects of the service into one channel of access.

Table of comparison between Multi-channel and Omni-channel strategies

➤ Provides more channels for accessing products
and services
➤ Seamless transition between channels to simulate a smooth access, and natural service experience. 
➤ Customers must choose a specific channel for accessing the services – whether it be the outlets, website, e-mails, mobile applications or LINE Branches.   ➤ Customers can access the products and services through any channel – whether it be outlets, website, e-mails, mobile applications or LINE Branches.   
➤ Each service has its own management structure.➤ All the services function under a single management system.
➤ All the different access points work separately from one another. ➤ The customer has the option of switching between access points.
➤ Each channel will provide a different user experience.➤ The customer enjoys a uniform set of experiences across every channel. 
➤ Each channel operates under a separate management structure.➤ All the channels function together under a single management structure. 
➤ There are limitations when it comes to the exchange of information between each channel. ➤ All the channels are connected and can share information amongst each other in Real-time. 

Why should businesses adopt the Omni-Channel strategy?

To become a leader in the world of stiff business competition, companies should start adopting the Omni-Channel approach so as to be able to meet the rising demands of the customers. This method allows the customers to effortlessly access the services they want, with each process along the way being congruent with one other. Once all the required practices are put in place, the business will enjoy an added number of users that will show Customer Loyalty, owing to the seamless experiences that they would have enjoyed during each process along the way. These combined positive experiences will then help to generate more goodwill for the company in the form of “Word of Mouth”. The business will also reduce their costs by being able to manage both online and offline systems at the same time. The collective information being shared between every functioning body will allow the business to tailor-make their services based on the prevalent user information; elevating the user experience to the highest degree of satisfaction – consequently pushing the company forward with an added competitive advantage.