We now find the words Omni-channel, omnichannel and omni channel
sprinkled haphazardly across the web. Each version of the spelling is
attached to prestigious brands and is being used on blog posts, press
releases, and other marketing materials. Instead of arguing about the
correct spelling, we will just wait and see if one spelling emerges and
becomes used most by the masses. More important than the actual
spelling of the word, it is fair to say that there are many different
understandings of the term. In truth, it is rather challenging to
understand the difference between omni, multi, and cross channels.
What is the difference between Omnichannel, Multichannel and
Omni comes from the word Omnis which can mean all or universal.
Multichannel from the Latin word Multus, meaning multiple or many.
Crosschannel, derived from the Latin word Crux, meaning to go across.
marketing of multi-channel retailing, but is concentrated
more on a seamless approach to the consumer experience through all
available shopping channels, i.e. mobile internet devices, computers,
brick-and-mortar, television, radio, direct mail, catalog and so on.
Some people believe that omnichannel is actually cross channel being
Examples are often that a mobile app should match the
design of the website which should thematically reflect the
look and feel inside the store. All elements of the retail environment,
product information, and social discussions should be universal in every
It is important for
clothing stores to understand and implement omnichannel retail
methods into their business strategy. Vertically integrated channels
and faster fashion are merging to reshape the industry faster than some
apparel retailers are able to respond. How retailers overcome these
challenges will be the key differentiator between those who are winning
and losing market share.
Retailers are meeting the new customer demands by deploying specialized
supply chain strategy software. To use all channels simultaneously, and
retailers using an omni-channel approach will track customers across all
channels, not just one or two. In the brick-and-mortar channel,
digitally-savvy consumers are entering stores already well-informed
about a product’s features and prices and expect store employees to know
more than they do. Using omni-channel retailing while working with the
"Connected Consumer", all shopping channels work from the same database
of products, prices, promotions, etc. Instead of perceiving a variety of
touch-points as part of the same brand, omni-channel retailers let
consumers experience the brand, not a channel within a brand.
Merchandise and promotions are not channel specific, but rather
consistent across all retail channels. The brick-and-mortar stores
become an extension of the supply chain in which purchases may be made
in the store, but are researched through other "channels" of
communication. With omni-channel retailing, marketing is made more
efficient with offers that are relative to a specific consumer
determined by purchase patterns, social network affinities, website
visits, loyalty programs, and other data mining techniques.
What is omnichannel?
Omnichannel is about true continuity of your experience. The brand
you are shopping for should be a continuous experience. We should
be able to research shoes, shop for shoes, buy shoes, communicate about
our favorite shoes, and do all this on any device or in a store.
Responsive web design
(RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an
optimal viewing experience (easy reading and navigation with a minimum
of resizing, panning, and scrolling) across a wide range of devices
(from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors).
For more in-depth education in emerging multi-format retail concepts or
information about other
apparel industry topics, you can return to the
fashion terms main page to browse our other areas of interest.