Omnichannel Definition & Meaning

Omnichannel, also known as cross-channel, is a marketing content strategy used to improve user experience and drive better customer relationships across points of contact by putting the customer at the core. Rather than treating channels (onsite, social, mobile, email, physical, and instant messaging) as independent silos, omnichannel offers a customer experience within and between channels by being able to purchase in whichever channel a customer is in.

The experience in engagement across all channels is designed to be more efficient and pleasant than using a single channel. The boundaries between sales and marketing channels are removed to create a unified, integrated experience.

A common example of omnichannel marketing is that a company’s mobile app should match the message and design of the company website and be replicated in online ads and email communications, and should reflect the look and feel inside the brick-and-mortar store, with options to purchase in all those channels, if possible.

Omnichannel vs. multichannel marketing

Omnichannel marketing is similar to multichannel marketing, but it is not the same. While they both have multiple channels businesses use to communicate with customers, the center of the strategy differs. Omnichannel marketing puts the customer at the center, making sure the message is the same across all channels and that it adapts to each touchpoint a customer has with the brand. Multichannel marketing puts the company in the center of the strategy, with the channels working to deliver the unified message manually.

In most cases, customers prefer omnichannel marketing because the experience is seamless. With multichannel marketing, a customer would need to go to a specific channel to find the information they want, inciting frustration.

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