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What is omnichannel and what are its advantages?

It is a concept that is increasingly used, but not for that reason better understood. To understand the advantages of an omnichannel strategy, it is first necessary to understand the meaning of omnichannel.

In its 2020 report, Gartner defines it as the “synchronization of channels – mobile, desktop and stores – to support the buying process from discovery to conversion, along with fulfillment and post-sale.”

It is important to note that an effective omnichannel strategy must contemplate both digital and physical channels, additionally, emphasize the word “synchronization” which is not the same as “uniformity”, a common mistake when talking about omnichannel. Logically, it can be established that it is impossible to deliver a “uniform” experience through virtual and face-to-face channels, since there are elements inherent to the senses and relationships between people that cannot be replicated virtually and vice versa, but it is possible to synchronize activities to provide the customer with a cohesive experience and with a clear goal in all channels.

From the point of view of physical stores, they can be seen as fulfillment points, destinations for experiences or outposts, depending on the characteristics and format of the store. In this sense, brands with large volumes of inventory have already begun to establish pick-up or delivery as part of customer fulfillment; on the other hand, brands with smaller volumes seek to generate an in-store experience for consumers, commonly linked to luxury brands and more exclusive products, while other brands establish stores as outposts, often linked to logistical benefits, geographic coverage and proximity to customers.

As for digital channels, brands can take advantage of the information they have about their customers in terms of usability, location, interests and behaviors to interact in a much more personalized way using digital relationship tools complemented with specific digital campaigns, according to time of day, day of the week, geographic location and interests, among other factors.

As a third element, the device through which our potential customers access our content is decisive. In global terms, the use of mobile devices is increasing, however, there are industries in which customers use desktop devices rather than mobile devices in greater proportion, and campaigns must be targeted with formats optimized for these devices.

The advantages of omnichannel for your business

By having a synchronized activity of the different channels it is possible to minimize – or even eliminate – waiting lines. This immediacy is valuable for both the customer and the company, because on the one hand the customer experience improves and on the other hand it is possible for the company to receive direct feedback in real time. On the other hand, by proposing an omnichannel experience, it is possible to manage campaigns with integrated information from all channels, offering the customer a much richer experience and fostering customer loyalty.

On the other hand, the use of multiple communication channels of constant interaction with the customer generates greater visibility for the brand, positioning its brand image. Likewise, the presence in all types of channels can generate an increase in the company’s sales.

Disney: a bright example

When it comes to benchmarks of how to carry out a successful omnichannel strategy, one of the best is Disney. The American company has been able to generate a first-class experience through the synchronization of activities in its theme parks and its digital platforms. Through its application ‘My Disney Experience’ people can interact with the brand before, during and after the visit to the park, plan every last detail, get their FastPass, locate themselves inside the park and see estimated waiting times, among others. In addition, this allows Disney to obtain a huge amount of data from its users, which allows them to continue managing their experience with a data-driven approach.