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Multi-Channel vs Omni-Channel: What’s the Difference?

Surely, we’ve all heard the terms Multi-channel and Omni-channel. What can these marketing strategies mean for your company? For an answer to that question, we need to know the difference between the two. In this short article, I’ll explain just what all the fuss is about.

On a typical day, we look at our mobile phones approximately 221 times. The growing use of mobile phones comes with more opportunities. These two buzzwords are all about how to use new channels, like Instagram Messaging, WhatsApp or Google's Business Messaging, to reach your customers and potential new ones. To understand the difference, let's start with a definition of each buzzword. 

Definition: Omnichannel vs Multichannel

Multichannel refers to using multiple channels to reach customers, such as having a presence on social media, a website, and a brick-and-mortar store. However, these channels are typically not integrated and may not provide a seamless experience for customers.

On the other hand, Omnichannel is a strategy that creates a seamless customer experience regardless of the channel. This is achieved by integrating all channels and ensuring the experience is consistent across all. For example, a customer should be able to start a purchase on a website, continue it on a mobile app, and complete it in a store.

In short: Omnichannel is a step further from multichannel; it's an approach where the overall customer experience is cohesive across all channels. In contrast, multichannel uses multiple channels but is not necessarily an integrated strategy.

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So if I was looking to purchase a pair of jeans on your website, you can promote this pair of jeans on my Facebook and make it possible for me to buy them via Messenger. But that's not all—time to take a closer look.

Is Omnichannel Marketing better than Multichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing can offer several benefits over multichannel marketing, including:

  • Increased customer engagement and satisfaction: Omnichannel marketing creates a seamless customer experience, which can increase engagement and satisfaction. Customers are more likely to return to a brand they perceive as providing a consistent and high-quality experience across all channels.

  • Better customer understanding: Omnichannel marketing allows for data collection from multiple channels, which can be used to create a more detailed picture of customers' preferences and behaviours. This can help businesses personalise their marketing efforts and create more effective campaigns.

  • Improved efficiency: Omnichannel marketing can improve efficiency by allowing businesses to automate certain processes and reduce the need for manual intervention. For example, if a customer starts a purchase on a website and then continues it on a mobile app, the business can use data from the website to pre-populate forms on the app, making the process faster for the customer and more efficient for the company.

However, it's worth noting that implementing an effective omnichannel strategy requires significant investment in time, money, and resources. It also requires businesses to understand their customers and preferences well, so they can effectively create a seamless experience.

In summary: Omnichannel is generally considered to be more effective than multichannel as it provides a better and more cohesive experience for customers, which can increase engagement and satisfaction. However, implementing an effective omnichannel strategy requires significant investment and an understanding customer preferences.

Personalisation in Omnichannel and Multichannel Marketing

Personalisation is tailoring messages and experiences to individual customers based on their preferences and behaviour. Personalisation can be applied to both omnichannel and multichannel marketing strategies, but it is typically more effective when used in conjunction with an omnichannel approach.

In multichannel marketing, personalisation can be applied to each channel individually. For example, a business may send personalised email campaigns to certain segments of their email list while displaying personalised advertisements to different groups of website visitors. However, since the channels are not integrated, the customer may not receive a consistent experience across all channels.

In omnichannel marketing, personalisation can be applied across all channels. For example, suppose a customer frequently purchases a certain product on a business's website. In that case, that business can use this information to make personalised recommendations when the customer visits the brick-and-mortar store. Businesses can also use customer data from one channel to inform their marketing efforts on other channels, like using purchase data from their website to create a personalised email marketing campaign.

Personalisation in an Omnichannel environment is, therefore, more powerful as it gives a holistic approach towards understanding the customer and tailoring the experience. It also allows for cross-channel analysis, providing more comprehensive and accurate information about the customer's preferences, behaviour, and journey.

In summary, personalisation is possible in both omnichannel and multichannel marketing. Still, it is typically more effective with an omnichannel approach because it allows for a more consistent and seamless experience across all channels and uses cross-channel data to create more accurate and personalised marketing campaigns.

Customer Experience in Omnichannel and Multichannel Marketing

The customer experience (CX) is the overall perception of a brand, including their interactions with the brand's products, services, and communication channels. Both omnichannel and multichannel marketing can impact the customer experience, but they do so in different ways.

In multichannel marketing, customers may have a different experience depending on the channel they are using. For example, a customer may have a positive experience when interacting with a brand's website but a negative experience when visiting a brick-and-mortar store. Additionally, customers may not have a consistent experience across all channels, as the channels need to be integrated and provide a different level of service or information.

In contrast, omnichannel marketing aims to create a seamless and consistent customer experience across all channels. By integrating all channels and using customer data to personalise the experience, businesses can create a more cohesive customer experience. As a result, customers may have a more positive and consistent experience with the brand.

Additionally, Omnichannel allows for a better understanding of the customer journey, which can lead to improvements in the customer experience in multiple ways, such as by providing personalised and timely service, addressing customer concerns and queries more quickly, and creating a more seamless and efficient experience.

In summary, customer experience can be affected by both omnichannel and multichannel marketing. At the same time, multichannel may provide inconsistent experience across channels; omnichannel aims to create a seamless and consistent experience that enhances the overall brand perception. Omnichannel also allows for a better understanding of the customer journey and can improve customer experience in multiple ways.

Leverage the power of Omnichannel Marketing

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Leverage the power of Omnichannel Marketing

Learn More
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