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What You Need to Know about Omnichannel Ecommerce

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What You Need to Know

  • Omnichannel commerce focuses on providing shoppers with an immersive, seamless customer journey across multiple channels.
  • Most modern consumers leverage multiple channels in their purchasing process, and many expect to receive a personalized experience.
  • The omnichannel model connects all the channels of an eCommerce business, whereas the multichannel model is confined to the limits of each of its channels.
  • Omnichannel commerce provides a better customer experience, gains cohesive customer data, boosts customer traffic and sales, and increases customer loyalty.
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Whether you’ve started selling online with a tool like Shopify or on a website like Amazon or eBay, you’ve probably heard the eCommerce buzzword omnichannel before. As digital technology continues to develop, more and more online retailers have begun to invest in omnichannel operations. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become an even more popular strategy. Consider Zara’s parent company Inditex, for instance. In 2020, they planned to close 1,200 physical stores within two years because of the repercussions of the pandemic. They aimed to shift their focus to digital sales, and to allow online sales to account for 25% of the overall turnover. This example illustrates how diversifying through omnichannel marketing will be the key to eCommerce success in the post-pandemic era. 

If you’re an eCommerce merchant, read on: In this article, Shypyard will share more about exactly what omnichannel commerce is, what its advantages are, and how it differs from multichannel commerce.

What is Omnichannel Commerce?

What You Need to Know about Omnichannel Ecommerce

Omnichannel commerce focuses on providing shoppers with an immersive, seamless customer journey across multiple channels, such as the business’s website, social media accounts, app, physical store, via email, and more. It means offering the same messages and data on each channel to create a continuous, frictionless customer experience. As a simple example: A customer could purchase a product online and return it at a physical store location, with their digital account automatically updating accordingly.

Omnichannel commerce is a highly interconnected way of doing business. As such, it’s important to choose your channels wisely—according to your customer lifecycle and behaviors—and to have a clear purpose for each channel. Then, the objective is to connect all of these key channels in a way that allows you to guide customers through various touchpoints.

Why is Omnichannel Commerce Important?

What You Need to Know about Omnichannel Ecommerce

Many traditional retailers have now shifted to omnichannel to remain competitive with the ever-increasing number of online sellers. Having multiple digital channels while maintaining a brick-and-mortar store can provide a competitive edge for these merchants.

As for eCommerce-only sellers, managing and connecting multiple channels is still crucial. One study discovered that 73% of consumers leverage multiple channels in their shopping journey. In addition, many consumers today expect an online store to understand their preferences based on past interactions with the brand, no matter which touchpoint(s) they used. Omnichannel commerce is the only way to satisfy these expectations and provide an exemplary shopping experience for the modern consumer.

What is the Difference Between Omnichannel & Multichannel?

What You Need to Know about Omnichannel Ecommerce

Think of multichannel commerce as the first step towards omnichannel commerce. It’s the concept of eCommerce merchants selling their products on multiple channels, of course. But unlike with omnichannel commerce, these channels operate more or less independently from each other. The message and content on each one may differ somewhat to match the specific customer behaviors or needs there. Multichannel eCommerce allows customers to engage with a business on the platform they prefer, but it also limits both parties to interacting within the confines of that one channel.

The omnichannel model, on the other hand, connects all the channels of an eCommerce business. It’s more consumer-centric, because the prospective customer’s actions drive the experience. The channels are all connected, and the consumer can pick up right where they left off with the brand on any channel.

What are the Benefits of Omnichannel Ecommerce?

What You Need to Know about Omnichannel Ecommerce

Why should your brand consider expanding to the omnichannel model? Here are four key reasons.

Provide a Better Customer Experience

By breaking down the barriers between channels, eCommerce merchants can interact with consumers in a more natural, frictionless way. Think of it like sending a friend an email, and then picking up the phone to continue the same discussion. Omnichannel commerce lets the customers interact with the business through their preferred medium, and offers an easier and more pleasant experience for the shopper all around.

Gain Cohesive Customer Data

Since the channels of a business merge to create a continuous customer experience, they can paint a comprehensive and insightful picture of the customers’ needs, interests, and behaviors. With the right data and analytics tracking, you can gain powerful insights into your target audience and apply that learning to win more business.

Boost Your Traffic and Sales

Omnichannel eCommerce means brands can leverage the best of each of their channels. In other words, you’ll have the opportunity to appeal to consumers in a way single-channel retailers often can’t. One study found that customers who used more channels during their shopping journey ended up with larger order sizes than those who used fewer.

Increase Customer Loyalty

By engaging with shoppers on multiple platforms, merchants can provide a smoother, more personalized experience. Since 74% of customers say they feel frustrated when online content isn’t personalized to them, this factor can have a major impact. The more personalized their shopping experience, the more likely consumers are to buy from you again and again.

This has been Shypyard's guide to omnichannel commerce. If you’re a Shopify merchant who also sells products on Amazon, Walmart, or other eCommerce platforms, try Shypyard's unified analytics tool. It provides multiple, flexible connection options for you to easily integrate commonly used platforms together. Let Shypyard help you quickly and efficiently analyze the operating conditions and revenue of each of your channels. Register for your 14-day free trial now! And if you’d like to know more about omnichannel eCommerce, check out our article on the omnichannel brand Brain Dead.

What You Need to Know about Omnichannel Ecommerce

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