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Omnichannel in e-commerce - integration of various sales channels

Have you heard of omnichannel? It's a sales strategy that combines various channels - brick-and-mortar stores, online stores, mobile apps - into one coherent shopping experience. This is important in today's e-commerce world, where customers expect a seamless and personalized experience.

Implementing an omnichannel strategy from scratch will certainly require changes in the management of the company. However, this is a very forward-looking trend - if you take advantage of it, your company will gain a significant advantage in the market.

Are you the owner of an online store or are you deciding on an e-commerce strategy in your company? Find out why you should bet on multi-channel marketing!

What is omnichannel?

Imagine that your customer adds a product to the cart in a a mobile app, and then goes to a brick-and-mortar store, where the salesperson immediately knows about their choice and prepares the product for try-on. After the purchase decision, the customer pays using the app, using the accumulated loyalty points. The entire process is smooth and consistent, with no need to repeat the same information every step of the way.

Omnichannel is a sales strategy that assumes that all available channels of customer reach and service should cooperate with each other – at every stage. All this to ensure a consistent and continuous shopping experience. The customer should have the same feeling whether they make a purchase online, in-store, over the phone or via social media.

Over the last few decades, e-commerce has undergone a real revolution. Omnichannel seems to be its next step. However, this time the focus shifts from the sale itself to the consumer and their experience.

omnichannel infographics

What are the differences between multichannel and omnichannel?

In a multichannel strategy, different sales and communication channels can operate independently of each other, offering customers a variety of experiences. This applies, for example, to online stores and brick-and-mortar outlets belonging to the same company.

In the omnichannel approach, on the other hand, all channels are integrated with each other. This allows for a smooth transition of the customer between them, while maintaining continuity of information and consistency of experience.

Benefits of Omnichannel Integration

A more consistent customer experience

Omnichannel integration allows you to create a unified shopping experience for customers, regardless of the channel they use. Here are some examples of what this looks like in practice.

  1. Online shopping with in-store pickup - the customer can start the shopping process in the online store and then pick up the product in person, which provides convenience and saves time.
  2. Consistent customer service - whether the customer is contacting via social media, online chat, or in-store, they get the same quality of service and information.
  3. Uniform pricing and promotion policy - prices and promotions are the same in the online, mobile and stationary store, and this builds customer trust.

Better use of customer data

With omnichannel integration, companies can analyze customer behavior across channels, allowing for a better understanding of their needs and preferences. The obtained data allows you to personalize the offer and communication – and this is already a big step towards improving sales results.

Improve operational efficiency

Integration of systems and business processes as part of an omnichannel strategy translates into increased operational efficiency. How?

  1. Integrated order management systems - faster and more efficient order processing.
  2. Customer service automation - theuse of chatbots and AI to quickly respond to customer needs, which at the same time relieves employees of some of their duties.
  3. Integrated warehouse management systems - always up-to-date information on product availability.

Increase sales and customer loyalty

Companies with a strong omnichannel strategy retain an average of 89% of their customers, which is a much higher rate compared to the average of 39%.

The CCC Group, which has implemented an omnichannel strategy, achieved sales of 25-30% in 2021, which translates into approximately PLN 2 billion. On the other hand, after implementing the omnichannel strategy, the LPP Group achieved an increase in e-commerce sales of 11.9%.

According to Accenture's research 72% of B2B companies said that omnichannel customers are worth significantly more to them than those using a single channel. What's more: 66% believe that B2B customers today expect them to implement this solution.

omnichannel graphic

Challenges in omnichannel implementation

The implementation of an omnichannel strategy in e-commerce is not only a step forward in the development of a company, but also a number of challenges that companies have to face.

Technological difficulties and costs

Omnichannel implementation requires advanced integration of IT systems, which can be a challenge - especially for companies that have so far operated in a traditional or multichannel model.

Integrating data from various sales channels, real-time inventory management, as well as ensuring seamless communication between online and offline platforms requires modern technological solutions and significant financial investments.

There is no single recipe here - a lot depends on the specifics of the store, the tools you currently use and the effect you want to achieve. Therefore, the first step should be to perform an audit and workshops with a technology partner, who will help you choose a good strategy.

Ensure consistency and quality across channels

A key element of an omnichannel strategy is to provide customers with a consistent shopping experience at every stage of interaction with the brand. This means that it is necessary to maintain a uniform quality of service, consistency of marketing communication and harmonization of prices and offers in various sales channels. This requires not only the right technological tools, but also the commitment and training of the staff.

Counter customer data fragmentation

The advantage of the omnichannel environment is based on the collection of data from various channels that allows you to understand customer behavior and preferences. However, collecting, integrating, and analyzing this information can be difficult due to its fragmentation.

Businesses will need advanced CRM systems and analytics tools that allow them to effectively manage data and use it to personalize their offerings.

Human Resource Training & Management

The implementation of an omnichannel strategy requires both technological changes and adaptation of the organizational culture and work model.

Employees should be properly trained to be able to work effectively in the new environment and deal with customer service in each of the channels. This applies to both the personnel who serve the customer directly and the management teams, which need to learn new ways of working and coordinate activities as part of an omnichannel strategy.

The future of omnichannel

In the future, advances in technology and changing consumer behavior will have a significant impact on omnichannel strategies.

The development of technologies and their impact on omnichannel

The development of omnichannel is intrinsically linked to the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT). It assumes access to information about the availability of products in real time, which is necessary to maintain market share and possibly expand the customer base.

Thanks to advanced algorithms, voice assistants and bots (e.g. Siri) will be able to tailor offers to the individual needs of customers even better, creating a more personalized shopping experience.

Predicted trends in consumer behavior

Changing shopping habits will have a significant impact on the further development of the omnichannel strategy. Customers are increasingly using different channels at different stages of the buying process, which forces companies to be even more integrated and consistent in their experiences.

Trends such as showrooming (looking at products in a physical store versus buying online) and webrooming (checking products online vs. buying in a brick-and-mortar store) will continue to grow in popularity, forcing companies to be even more flexible and adaptive.

Potential new channels and innovations

The future of omnichannel is also the emergence of new sales channels and innovations. The "phygital" trend, i.e. the combination of the physical and digital worlds, will be increasingly visible in companies' strategies.

Innovations such as biometric payments, the use of drones for deliveries, and the development of augmented reality (AR) technology are opening up new opportunities for creating unique shopping experiences. Companies that are able to take advantage of these innovations will gain a competitive advantage and better respond to the expectations of modern consumers.

omnichannel graphic

What does this mean for businesses?

Omnichannel is a strategy that is revolutionizing the world of e-commerce. It responds to the growing expectations of customers who are looking for a seamless and personalized shopping experience. In modern commerce, where the boundaries between the online and offline worlds are blurring, businesses need to adapt their operations to meet market demands.

To successfully implement an omnichannel strategy, companies should integrate various sales and communication channels. It's all about ensuring that the customer always receives a consistent experience: regardless of whether they make a purchase in an online store, through a mobile app, or in a brick-and-mortar store. This requires not only investments in new technologies, but also well-thought-out work organization and staff training.

If you decide to make this change, you can count on a number of benefits, such as:

  • increase sales;
  • improve customer loyalty;
  • strengthening your company's position in the market.
Consult your idea for a mobile app.

The challenge, however, is both the implementation of appropriate systems and the constant adaptation to changing trends and consumer expectations.

Increase profits with omnichannel in your company!

Understanding and adapting your omnichannel strategy is key to success in today's e-commerce world. As a software house that automates processes and creates dedicated IT solutions, we encourage you to explore this topic further.

Remember, we are here to help you on this journey. We'll provide you with the tools and support to help your business meet the challenges of omnichannel and turn them into entirely new opportunities. We can audit your current solutions and help you through the entire design process of integrating all channels.

Implement an omnichannel strategy in your company and reach your customers better than your competitors!

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