Omnichannel commerce, sometimes referred to as omnichannel retail, is an approach to sales that encompasses both physical and digital shopping options. Today's customers expect a frictionless shopping experience, whether it is in a brick-and-mortar store or on their computer or mobile device. This omnichannel approach involves presenting a unified experience across multiple channels and platforms, online and offline.
The omnichannel experience aims to be holistic in its approach. By meeting consumers where they already shop and embracing unified messaging across platforms, brands can provide customers with a seemingly personalized experience. From a sale at an online store to an ad for that sale on their social media page to a text message reminder to their phone, unified messaging is key to being ever-present in the customer journey.
Customer experiences encompass more than just transactional data. From marketing to sales to customer service and repeat customers, omnichannel commerce plays a huge role in today's commerce climate. Most consumers do not shop through one single channel. Even if they are loyal to a single shopping channel, they have often done prior research on prices, sales, and competitors across other channels prior to purchase.
The omnichannel approach requires that channels supplement one another, interacting and sharing data in real-time. This gives customers access to relevant information from any location at any time (e.g. an in-store computer used to check if any nearby stores or warehouses have an item that is sold out or unavailable at that store). In this way, customer satisfaction and data-sharing come together to streamline the customer experience online and offline.
Fully integrating digital and physical commerce channels into a unified, comprehensive ecosystem is a core retail strategy in this digital age. Companies that leverage advancing technologies to improve their customer experience can further expand their competitive advantage through omnichannel commerce.