What does Omni-Channel Commerce Stand for?

There are already many definitions for omni-channel on the Internet (e.g.  Wikipedia ). Therefore, more of a derivation on this topic at this point. To put it simply: “Omni” comes from Latin and means “everything” or “everyone”. In a commercial context, “omni-channel” therefore refers to the marketing of products and services via “all” sales and communication channels. So nothing new?

Isn’t that “Multi-Channel”?

Modern companies already communicate on many channels, both online and offline. Many companies already use several or even “all” conceivable sales channels. This expansion to multi-channel marketing and sales is a matter of course for most companies nowadays – if only to avoid leaving competition to the customer without a fight. However, the extensive additional expenditure for communication, sales and logistics is often not offset by the expected additional sales. The battlefields around customers have simply become more diverse … and it is not uncommon for a company’s various sales channels to compete more jealously and tougher than one another against the competition. Sounds familiar?

So What Distinguishes Omni-Channel from Multi-Channel?

Omni-channel marketing is a cross-channel approach in which all information and purchase decision-making channels of the customers are considered as a whole. Specifically, this means that the advantages of digital and classic communication and sales channels are linked so seamlessly that the customer is guided from the first search for information to the conclusion of the purchase. Regardless of WHEN and above all WHERE he takes the individual steps in the buying process. The prospect (“lead”) is recognized and addressed equally through all contact points with the company, while the knowledge about his interests and his behavior grows.

So How can You Imagine Omni-Channel in Concrete Terms?

To illustrate this, some activities that have already been carried out in the field of omni-channel retailing and omni-channel marketing are   listed. Extensive implementation of omni-channel is an important undertaking.

  • Conflicts of goals must be overcome
  • Different information channels and purchase decision processes must be understood
  • All information about customers’ behavior and wishes must be recorded and processed individually
  • Processes for a customer’s hand-over from channel to channel must be defined
  • Technical requirements for cross-channel offers, deals and logistics must be created

Many companies therefore (rightly) choose the tempting “step-by-step” variant – be it with the most effective sales steps or the loudest required steps … or simply the technically easiest to implement. However, before starting EVERY implementation, there should first be a full intellectual analysis of the desired final state. Otherwise, too hastily and mostly unsuccessful partial implementations create great technical and financial hurdles for further essential steps towards a complete and effective omni-channel strategy.

Is an Omni-Channel Strategy Really Necessary?

Of course, this depends on companies, industries and customer needs. But as a 2011 study by the consumer initiative eV and ebay showed:

  • 90% of offline buyers check before buying the Internet, now also becoming more common on-site mobile
  • 80% of online buyers inform themselves about the “touch & feel” of their desired objects before buying in shops

How much do the sales opportunities for your own products increase if the customer is accompanied from the first search for information, through the selection processes and search for offers to the purchase decision and logistical processing? And how much will these chances decrease if only the competitor succeeds in offering the customer this buying experience? Especially with omni-channel concepts such as “click & mortar”, companies with stationary business premises AND digital marketing activities in particular offer unique opportunities compared to pure online trading.

As early as 2oo9, a detailed IDC Retail Insights study substantiated  the need to integrate the shopping experience across all channels and to make it customer-oriented.

We Find Reason Enough to Deal Professionally with the Topic of Omni-Channel.

For this reason, we collect various relevant articles on this topic on this page. Maybe there is something interesting for you too. We look forward to your feedback, exciting contributions and suggestions!