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Omnichannel vs. Multichannel: What’s the difference?


What exactly do people mean when they talk about Omnichannel and Multichannel? Although they may sound similar, there is more to it than simply ‘multi’ meaning many and ’omni’ meaning one. Understanding the difference between the two strategies is essential in order for a business to implement a well-developed omnichannel experience.





What’s in a name?

In this video Mark Thornton, Marketing Director at Maginus, discusses what he thinks separates Omnichannel from Multichannel, “it’s the difference between an experience and a process” highlights Mark. Omnichannel compels companies to place customer experience at the centre of their business strategy. Creating a seamless user experience at each touchpoint whether this is in store, online, a catalogue or through a call centre.



Mark comments that the “customer should be able to choose whatever method they want to deal with that organisation and feel that the relationship with that brand is a single one”. In contrast, Multichannel is “all about looking inside the organisation and pushing data out to consumers”. Being completely focused on customers, business strategy shifts from being process driven to experience driven. 


How to do it?

Take The Co-operative Electrical and their focus on optimising the customer user experience with the redevelopment of their eCommerce website with Maginus ( The company was determined to balance any enhancements in efficiency with an improved customer web experience. In implementing Maginus OMS and eCommerce, a key focus for The Co-operative Electrical was ensuring that the user interface and the overall customer experience combined to provide customers with a seamless experience across multiple channels, touchpoints and devices.


Consider also Argos and their ‘Want it today? Get it today’ approach. Home Retail Chief Digital Officer, Bertrand Bodson commented that:


“We have seen astonishing growth in mCommerce in the past three years. At Argos, we recognised this trend early on and invested in agile teams focused on optimising apps that work for customers.” With customers increasingly dictating what they want and how they want it, being omnichannel recognises this and puts agile technology in place to optimise a customer’s experience.



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