Multi-Channel Vs Omni-Channel Marketing

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It is not a secret that shoppers today want personalized shopping experience. Every shopper journey has become unpredictable, with the attention span of a user coming down to 8 to 10 secs per ad, marketers are now utilizing every digital marketing tool from their arsenal to come up with strategies on how effectively and efficiently can they target users. 

Off late there is discussion happening which marketing approach is better- Omni Channel or Multichannel, but one important piece of information which gets lost is , “Omnichannel has evolved from Multichannel operations. 

What is MC and OC Marketing?

Multi-channel(MC) marketing can be defined as the use of two-more channels in isolation to interact with potential customers on various platforms. A channel can be a website, a retail outlet, a print ad or word of mouth. 

Omni-Channel(OC) marketing refers to a clearly orchestrated multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer a holistic and integrated shopping experience i.e. irrespective of which channel the customer uses marketers tend to focus to give a seamless experience. 

omini channel advertising

Omnichannel workflow focus is on time to time engaging users across multiple channels, it is the means of identifying the entire customer experience but not the customers’ individual experience across each channel. Omnichannel is more customer centric than channel which is the case with Multichannel.

To better explain the uniqueness of multichannel and omnichannel strategies, consider the below  differentiating factors:

  • Channel and Customer: Multichannel approach is mainly focused on spreading the word about the brand and its offerings through different channels. Its approach is primarily focused on the more the merrier. Alternatively, Omnichannel focus is purely on how a customer would react across every channel and how these channels can be inter-related to provide customers with seamless experience. 
  • Consistency and Engagement: Omnichannel marketing approach focus is on ensuring customers receive the same experience and messaging through each and every channel thus maintaining consistency.
  • Effort and Effortless: Assume that Customer A browses a product on a webpage and makes a note of a specific item. Later he visits the local store only to see that the product is unavailable. Empty-handed he leaves the store. Alternatively, assume that Customer B browses a product, adds it to his wish list, notification is sent to nearest local stores about customer B wishlist, customer B visits the local store, the store representative checks the wishlist, shows the same product, Customer leaves with the product. The effort that both customers have put in is the same, but the experience which Customer B has got was effortless compared to customer B. 
  • Analytics and smarter Decisions: Whenever multiple channels are involved, marketers should depend on Analytics for smarter decision making. Omnichannel helps to identify , understand, quantify and review analytics from different touch points. 
  • Greater Business efficiencies: With multiple channels speaking the same language, cross functional interaction is increased which is beneficial for the organization. 


Though Omnichannel has additional brownie points compared with Multichannel marketing, not all marketers are implementing this and the main reason for this restriction is data. Majority of the companies marketing team work in siloes or they are being dominated by internet giants. Connecting the right media to deliver timely messaging is what every marketer should focus on moving forward.  

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