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Omnichannel Retailing: Definition, Tips, and Benefits

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If you searched for omnichannel retailing to learn about omnichannel retailing from basics, then you are definitely at the right place. 

By the end of this blog, you will indeed have a better understanding of omnichannel retailing and how it differs from multichannel.

Moreover, you would also be well-informed about the benefits of omnichannel retailing and how PIM software paves the way to a successful Multi-channel approach. Are you ready? Well, let’s get started then.

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What is Omnichannel Retailing?

Omnichannel retailing is the process of integrating and leveraging a multitude of channels to influence a customer’s buying behavior.

Omni-channel is a multi-channel sales strategy that aims to give customers a consistent buying experience regardless of whether they’re shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, over the phone, or in an actual physical store.

What is the difference between Omnichannel and Multichannel retailing?

Many people get confused when they hear these terms, especially multichannel and omnichannel. However, there are slight but has very obvious differences between all these three types of retailing. In this section, we

Many people get confused when they hear these terms, multichannel and omnichannel. However, there are slight but very obvious differences between all these two types of retailing.

Let’s break each term one by one.

Single-Channel Retailing

Single-channel retailing refers to the sale of a product through only one channel. This could be your physical store right across the corner, your internet store, or an online marketplace such as Shopify.

This can be sufficient on its own. It all depends upon your scales of operation, type of business, and your future strategy of scaling up your business.

However, if you want to provide your customers with a complete experience with your brand, you should investigate different channels to offer your product.

omnichannel retailing

Multi-Channel Retailing

Multichannel retailing, as the word suggests, refers to the sale of the product through multiple channels. In multichannel retailing, a retailer might be selling through a physical store and also through online eCommerce platforms, such as eBay, Shopify, Magento, etc. 

multiple channels retailing

The main aim is to make it easy for customers to buy in the most convenient way for them.

Multichannel retailing allows a company to reach out and sell to potential or existing customers using a preferred channel at any point of purchase. The majority of companies with whom you interact use multichannel marketing, if not omnichannel marketing.

Omnichannel Retailing

Omnichannel retailing, like multichannel retailing, takes place over several channels. There is no omnichannel without multichannel. The most significant distinction is that omnichannel marketing links all channels. This guarantees that your customer’s experience is in a line across all platforms.

In omnichannel, all the channels are interconnected with customers in the middle, enjoying a smooth, seamless experience across all platforms.

Examples of Omnichannel Retailing

It’s okay if you didn’t quite understand clearly the difference between multichannel and omnichannel retailing. In this section, we will be looking at some best examples of omnichannel retailing, which will help you understand this concept more easily and clearly.


Everyone who loves Coffee loves Starbucks. Right? They have been the world leaders in the coffee industry for a long time. When it comes to their taste, they are in the successive league.

Take a glance through the Starbucks rewards app. It reveals why it is widely regarded as one of the best omnichannel experiences available.

user success

To begin, you will receive a complimentary rewards card that you may use every time you purchase. However, unlike other customer loyalty programs, Starbucks allows you to check and reload your card via phone, website, in-store, or on the app. Any changes to the card or your profile are reflected in real-time across all channels.


By employing its mobile app as the main instrument for brand communications, Walgreens has built an omnichannel pharmaceutical experience. Customers may check and refill medications using the app instead of calling their pharmacy. They can also set up reminders for customers to be notified when their prescriptions need to be renewed.

user experience

While the Walgreens app does not offer any innovative features, its core tools transform the shopping experience. Customers may do everything through the app rather than call and set up a prescription with the pharmacy. This avoids potential hold times and can cut down on in-store pick-up wait times.


Have you ever dropped an online order only to discover that the restaurant had not yet cooked your meal when you arrived? I should admit that I do not like it when this happens. What benefit is an online ordering system providing if I still have to go in and put (and wait for) my order?

Chipotle’s online experience aims to alleviate this frustration. You can order from anywhere with its online system and mobile ordering app.


Are you on the run and need to place an order quickly? By creating an account, you will save your favorite orders for a faster and more seamless experience. Do you want to take on requests from all over the office? Place an order for the entire team online, and it will be ready when you arrive.

It’s all about making the customer’s life as simple as possible using omnichannel. Chipotle does an excellent job of delivering that with its simple-to-use tools that allow for on-the-go ordering.

Also Read: How Can You Create A Rich Product Content Strategy?

Benefits of Omnichannel Retailing

Improves Customer Lifetime Value

An omnichannel experience prioritizes the customer. It’s no surprise that customers want to do business with companies that put them in control. It’s also not surprising that retail executives place a premium on long-term objectives. According to the Coresight survey, boosting lifetime customer value motivates pursuing an omnichannel strategy for 53% of major European retailers. Whereas only 34% of other businesses agree.

Reach New Customer Segments

Businesses profit from an omnichannel approach because it allows them to access new client segments. This benefit is virtually equal for both major merchants and ‘others’ (48 percent vs. 45 percent), but both figures should be higher because reaching new customers is critical for growth.

Increase Operational Efficiency

Retailers may enjoy increased operational efficiency and cost savings as a result of implementing an omnichannel strategy. Businesses that adopt an omnichannel strategy only gather customer data once rather than at each touchpoint.

Companies don’t have to worry about establishing and implementing plans for each channel when they provide a holistic viewpoint.

Increase Sales

Increased sales are a wonderful benefit for shops that are looking to enhance their earnings. According to Harvard Business Review research, multichannel clients spend 10% more online than single-channel customers. However, leading retailers (42 percent) aren’t as concerned about this as ‘others’ (57 percent ). Leading retailers clearly prioritize long-term success and see the benefits of an omnichannel approach as strategic and structural.

Improve Inventory Turnover

The days of shops losing money because of out-of-stock items may be coming to an end. Businesses benefit from an omnichannel strategy because it gives them a better picture of their inventory and can fulfill orders anywhere. Companies can use an omnichannel approach to optimize stock levels and build more innovative replenishment methods.

Why Does Omnichannel Matter?

The retail industry is constantly evolving. Due to technological changes, demanding customers, and changing buying habits, significant retailers realize that the market has become highly competitive. It is currently difficult for retailers to adapt and respond to these difficulties to grow and remain in the sector.

According to recent research on consumer expectations, 87% of shoppers desire a “personalized and consistent purchasing experience across all shopping channels.” They want an omnichannel experience, in other words.

Customers remember how they feel after encountering a company at numerous connected touchpoints, which is why an omnichannel experience is essential. Regardless of the time, place, channel, or amount of interactions, their entire interaction with a brand leaves them with a pleasant, lasting impression. This emotion is crucial since it motivates people to act, buy a product, or even tell their friends about it.

There are plenty of studies to back up this link between experience and action. For example, most consumers (56 percent) believe they are “likely to shop at a retailer that offers a shared cart across channels,” according to the same survey. Furthermore, 60% say they are more inclined to choose a store if inventory visibility across channels is available.


3 Tips for Omnichannel Upgrade 

At this point, I am sure, you might have a clear idea about omnichannel retailing, the difference between multichannel and omnichannel, its benefits, and the importance of omnichannel. So now, you might be wondering how to upgrade to omnichannel from multichannel or even single-channel retailing. 

In this section, we will be discussing three ways to get omnichannel for your business.

1. Use Insights and Analytics

Omnichannel retailing can gain vital insights into customer involvement with the integration of analytics, which is often lacking in multi-channel shopping.


These critical insights can help firms target clients with marketing messages that are tailored to their specific needs based on where they are in the buying process. Conversion rates are more significant in such targeted efforts.

2. Product-Channel Sync

If one of your goods isn’t selling as many units as you think it should, you may be selling through a channel that isn’t right for it. 


Your product will be able to reach its maximum sales potential once it is placed on the appropriate channel. It’s critical that your product is available on the sales channel that works best for your target consumer, one that they use frequently.

If you’re promoting a product to millennials, for example, make sure you’re concentrating your efforts on social media commerce channels to optimize sales.

3. Use a PIM Tool

With the use of a product information management tool, omnichannel retailers are able to collect, store, manage, and syndicate product information across multiple channels. A PIM tool makes it easier and simple for online retailers and vendors to share product data with each other and across multiple eCommerce platforms. There are a lot of PIM tools available online for retailers, such as Akeneo, Sales Layer, Salsify, and Plytix.


Apimio is a product information management (PIM) tool that offers a digital solution for managing product information. Now that we’ve established that this is the Apimio blog, it appears that we’re bragging. But I can assure you that our tool is up to the task. Use our entirely free version to give it a shot.

Free Signup to Apimio here


In this era of COVID-19, where every other customer is preferring online shopping over physical shopping, going digital and adopting an omnichannel retail strategy is necessary for every business and retailer. 

Therefore, being a digital marketer myself, I would highly suggest you adopt an omnichannel retailing strategy to level up your sales game in the business world.

Written by <a href="" target="_self">Arslan Hasan</a>

Written by Arslan Hasan

Arslan was a Content Marketing Specialist at Apimio. With a Bachelors's in Marketing, he writes Research-based guides for Ecommerce Managers.

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