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Customers have welcomed the concept of multichannel retail with open arms – the fact that nearly 50% of customers today are multi-channel purchasers tells us this. Why should retailers take note? Because the ones who’ve been successful in this space understand a couple of crucial aspects such as how their customers want to shop with them, and consistently take advantage of the opportunity of being able to present a single view of their brand, regardless of which touch point the customer is using to interact with them. Multi-channel retail also gives retailers more opportunities to present their products in front of customers whom they wouldn’t have been able to reach with a single channel.
The most important aspect of multi-channel retail, however, is that it is the gate-way to the concept of omni-channel retail. So what exactly is the difference between multi-channel and omni-channel? Like we mentioned above,
multi-channel means that your brand is present across key channels like brick-and-mortar stores, social media & mobile and still making sure that your brand can reach potential and existing customers on every channel does take a considerable amount of time, money and energy. Omni-channel retail takes this infrastructure to the next level: it links activities among offline shopping and the many digital channels so that a customer can begin an engagement on one channel and conclude the transaction on another. This is especially critical as shoppers are increasingly using a number of channels to complete their transactions, as a recent survey of US online shoppers done by PriceGrabber reveals, 45% of respondents said that they were choosing to combine online, brick-and-mortar and mobile shopping while just 12% said they shopped only in brick-and-mortar shops.