What is omnichannel ecommerce?

Omnichannel refers to being able to reach your customers wherever they are.

Whether they’re on mobile, in-store or online, an omnichannel ecommerce strategy gears customers towards converting on whatever platform they’re using at the time.

Omnichannel should not be confused with multichannel. Omnichannel coming from the word “omni” meaning “universal” means to provide your potential customers with a seamless, integrated shopping experience, meaning everything looks and feels the same.

In order to provide a successful omnichannel ecommerce experience, you need to know how your customers think. In this blog we will look at:

  • How to know how your customers think
  • Problems with omnichannel
  • Benefits of omnichannel

How to know how your customers think

Think about it like this. You might go online and see a new kettle that you like. Perhaps the next day you see the same kettle in-store, decide you want to buy it and purchase it right then, on your mobile.

If the ecommerce store you’re buying from is offering a completely different experience online to mobile, it will slow down the process and the customer might not convert.

Problems with omnichannel

When thinking about omnichannel, you have to approach it in the right way.

Accuracy is key.

It’s paramount that if you’re implementing an omnichannel strategy that you’re considering how accurate the information is. If you have an item online for a certain price and somewhere else it’s listed as a completely different price, it will confuse the consumer.

A further concern with omnichannel is not knowing all the information.

For example, you have a loyal customer who buys from you month after month. Then one month they stop buying. You might email this person to ask if there is a reason why they stopped buying and if there is anything else you can do for them.

They might tell you that they’ve started buying the product in-store now, instead of online. This information would not be relayed to you. And so you might find it difficult to note how your customers are behaving when you implement an omnichannel ecommerce strategy. The nature and tone of your email might’ve been different had you known.

Benefits of omnichannel

Customers get more choice. If you implement an omnichannel ecommerce strategy into your marketing plan, you’re working towards giving your customers more choice in how they buy and where they buy from.

Say your store is only available in a web browser. This way you’re limiting the potential customers who might want to buy from you on their mobile. They might view your site on their mobile, but because it’s not optimized for the mobile, the user experience will be poor. Therefore, they won’t be likely to convert.

You get a fresh opportunity for new customers. Having your store or brand in as many places as possible, providing a seamless experience will give you the chance to sell to a whole range of customers you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to reach.

Argos is a company who do well to adopt the omnichannel experience. You’re able to buy online and pick up in-store, seamlessly.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 13.37.35 ecommerce omnichannel

Another store who have successfully implemented an omnichannel experience is Apple. The computer giants ensure that no matter what device you’re using, you’re receiving a familiar experience.

For example, you can use an app to book an in-store genius appointment. Or you can order an item on your computer to collect in-store and receive an email alert when it’s ready.

These forward-thinking companies are paving the way for the omnichannel experience.


If you’re thinking about adopting an omnichannel strategy for your ecommerce store, take into consideration some of the problems that can arise with doing that.

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