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What Is Omnichannel Marketing & How’s It Different from Multichannel Marketing?

Category: B2B News
What is omnichannel strategy?

Omnichannel strategy is a set of action plans optimizing the capability of a business to sell in the channels where its target customers are. In an omnichannel market environment, what matters is you know where your customers want to buy your products. And you can deliver the goods to them in real-time.

Today, you can no longer differentiate among eCommerce, mobile sales, and brick-and-mortar stores. Businesses must use an omnichannel approach to reach consumers successfully. So what is omnichannel marketing?

If a business can’t give what customers need when they ask for it ASAP, it won’t survive. Here’s where learning omnichannel marketing strategies come in. Below, you’ll learn the elements that go into an omnichannel infrastructure and its difference with multichannel marketing. You’ll also get to know some excellent omnichannel case studies to inspire your next planning session.

omnichannel marketing strategies

The consumer buying journey has become more omnichannel than ever. While 87% of all consumer spending in the US still occurs offline, digital channels play a crucial function in how people reach purchasing decisions.

Before buying something in a physical store, most people first search for product information online. Specifically, 39% would visit a company website, 36% would read reviews, and 33% would search for price options.

Where have global consumers purchased from in the last 6 months?



A physical store


An online store










Source: BigCommerce's 2018 Omnichannel Buying Report

Designed by

Have you ever wondered how your customers see your social media presence, your website,  and your mobile app? Do your channels have message continuity, consistent branding, and similar design? 

If your channels don’t, well, your customers might do business somewhere else. If some of your platforms are easy to use while some are difficult to navigate, you might lose customers as well.

Nowadays, more and more people are starting to shop using several different places at the same time. Maybe it’s high time that you adjust how you interact with customers using online and offline channels simultaneously.

What is omnichannel marketing?

Omnichannel marketing integrates the various communication channels that businesses use to interact with customers. This style draws from the interests and views of customers to guide the consistency of the marketing messages. 

This approach recognizes that customers engage with businesses in various ways and uses this to provide consistent user experiences. Omnichannel marketing makes certain that customers receive a personalized conversation with your brand.

By combining the strengths of every channel, an omnichannel marketing strategy can be used to deliver an effective and consistent brand content. The result is providing customers with a fully-integrated shopping experience across all channels.

evolution of sales channel

Who’s at the center of omnichannel marketing?

For an omnichannel marketing approach to be effective, it must be customer-centric. It should put the customer at the center of every marketing and other business activities.

Such an approach must accept that social and mobile have allowed customers to switch from one channel to another quickly. It has likewise enabled customers to use various channels at the same time.

In this setup, it’s common for a customer to check out product reviews on their smartphone while inspecting a product on a store shelf in a brick-and-mortar store.

What’s the main purpose of omnichannel marketing?

Omnichannel marketing methods are used to meet customers in their preferred locations. Technological advancements and consumers’ behavioral changes have created the need for businesses to be precisely where their audiences are.

Effective omnichannel marketing cannot occur in seclusion. If an omnichannel cannot provide a consistent, integrated, and seamless customer experience, it cannot successfully translate into sales. 

Because every customer is unique, an omnichannel approach may begin in a single channel. From there, it can transfer to another as both parties reach an agreed solution.

To be truly effective, businesses and customers should have unlimited access to both physical and online channels. Both should have access to digital technologies, as well. 

Using a robust marketing automation software will facilitate consistency across channels.

What is multichannel marketing?

Multichannel marketing pertains to the use of multiple channels to interact with customers, which allows them to respond using their preferred channel. It is based on the idea that using more channels to connect with customers increases the likelihood of sales.

These channels can be online or physical, direct or indirect. Also called cross-channel marketing, this approach involves at least two channels.

A remarkable thing about this concept is that it acknowledges that most customers have multiple options by which to communicate. Aside from the traditional methods, the internet has opened the gates to a wide array of new choices. These include email, social media, websites, blogs, etc.

How is multichannel marketing done?

Multichannel marketing requires the need to use branded content across multiple channels. It works best when you use an integrated marketing approach that consistently sends a single branded message on every channel. Using a content marketing software solution will help a lot.

To effectively use this approach, marketers must understand the reason why they are combining various channels instead of using one. This is because reaching out via more platforms will help more to catch the attention of the target audience.

You can combine mobile ads with TV and radio, or radio and podcasts with social media. TV advertisements can be integrated with content marketing, etc. The possible number of combinations can be limitless.

If you’re marketing products for the young, you should know the best marketing mix to reach them. Since young audiences rarely buy from physical stores, you should use more digital channels in your campaigns.

And don’t forget to include a mobile marketing software tool for good measure.

Does multichannel marketing have downsides?

The problem with multichannel marketing is that you must create each channel separately. Each campaign can be assigned to various teams or units in your company. 

Campaigns can be dependent on the channel used. This may result in differences in terms of objectives, tone, and appearance per channel.

Without continuity, customers may fail to recognize that one marketing effort is used in various channels. This can create confusion among your target audiences. It might even lessen their confidence in your brand.

Omnichannel marketing vs. multichannel marketing

Multichannel marketing happens when a brand reaches out on several channels using a single message. The purpose is to reach as many audiences as possible while keeping the channels separate.

Omnichannel marketing, meanwhile, occurs when a brand sends messages to a customer across channels. These channels interact with the customer and with each other. 

With an integrated approach, the entire family of channels functions together to respond to customer needs.

Multichannel Marketing vs Omnichannel Marketing

A tactical vs. strategic approach

The omnichannel marketing vs. multichannel marketing difference lies in the approach itself. In essence, one marketing method uses a tactical style. The other employs a strategic one.

On the one hand, multichannel tends to be based on an inside-out approach. On the other hand, omnichannel is more outside in; it considers customer experience from his or her vantage point.

What are omnichannel marketing strategy examples?

Many brands today are already providing some of the best omnichannel experience to customers. We’ve gathered the best omnichannel marketing strategy examples that are worth emulating.

Many brands today are already providing some of the best omnichannel experiences to customers. 


Apple is a worldwide pioneer in streaming and downloadable music. It boasts of a massive library of over 40 million songs that can be listened to using any gadget, both Apple and other devices.

By monitoring listening habits, the tech giant can recommend new releases that are within a customer’s interest. They can prepare personalized playlists, as well. To offer customized music suggestions, Apple uses real-time customer information.

Its iTunes Connect social platform enables artists to share upcoming releases and hot news with fans who follow them. This omnichannel approach is a robust direct marketing strategy. It empowers customers with an authentic means to communicate with their favorite artists as well.

For its retail operations, Apple has also done quite well in its omnichannel marketing efforts. The company ensures that its brick-and-mortar stores connect efficiently with its mobile and online apps to improve sales.

A good example is how the company advances customer support quality through its Genius Bars. Deployed in most Apple stores worldwide, the Genius Bar staff provides expert technical service to its product issues or inquiries. They can be reached via email, chat, phone, and by directly visiting a store.

Apple Omnichannel screenshot

Apple’s Customer support showing its omnichannel capabilities


Nike is another trailblazer in the omnichannel retail environment. The athletic wear giant has been using omnichannel strategies to satisfy its clientele, from its custom-made NIKEiD line to its Nike+ app tool.

Recently, the company has started revolutionizing the physical retail arena. Its brick-and-mortar stores are pushing the customer shopping experience several notches higher.

After opening its for-women-only stores, Nike had just opened its newest branch in New York.

Occupying 55 square feet of retail space, this five-story Nike store is simply a buyer’s shoe-and-apparel paradise. It has a mini soccer field, a small basketball court, and even areas for running simulations.

Throughout this store are dedicated staff who provide personalized assistance. After assessing customer performance, they recommend a training regimen and suitable products for every customer. Using the store’s app and mobile POS, they provide a frictionless checkout experience.


The Starbucks rewards app is a regular entry in today’s lists of best omnichannel use cases. The reason is simple. The coffee company does a great job of offering a seamless user experience in every customer contact point.

The company’s app simplifies every transaction since users can user can practically do everything using the app. With it, you can order your coffee, pay for it, and give some tips. You can also use it to check your rewards points.

Starbucks customers can view and reload their rewards cards in multiple ways. They can do so in-store, by phone, via the website, or with the app. With a song identification feature, the app can connect the mobile and in-store experiences. This saves the song a user liked to his or her Spotify account.

By offering various customer incentives, this app can collect large amounts of data. This wealth of customer information can be used for framing the company’s future marketing efforts. As of mid-2019, the total number of active Starbucks Rewards members in the US is 16.8 million.

Starbucks app for Android users

Starbucks for Android helps smartphone users easily transact with Starbucks stores. There’s an app for iPhone users.


Disney is one of the successful pioneers of omnichannel. The company has been doing it right for several years now. People can feel the Disney brand across all connected channels.

The great omnichannel experience starts when you visit Disney’s amazing, mobile-responsive website. The experience is sustained across all its platforms, right down to the smallest detail.

If you want to bring your family to a Disney park, its online trip-planning tool functions efficiently using any device. Even if you start planning using your laptop at the office, you can continue where you’ve left off using your smartphone. From any platform, you’ll get the same grand experience from this entertainment giant.

What are omnichannel marketing solutions?

Many marketing tools nowadays claim that they’re the best. But based on our stringent tests, here are the top 5 omnichannel marketing solutions that you can depend on:

Hubspot Marketing

  • If you’re looking for a proven, top-tier omnichannel solution for your business, HubSpot Marketing is an excellent choice.
  • It offers a sophisticated system that integrates all your marketing initiatives under one roof. This helps simplify your marketing management as your team focuses on growing your traffic.
  • This integrated marketing package is part of HubSpot’s Growth Stack bundle. This includes a dedicated free CRM and a Sales Hub.

You can test drive this industry-best omnichannel marketing tool without any cost.  You only need to sign up for HubSpot Marketing free trial here.

A screenshot of a Hubspot Marketing Dashboard

A HubSpot Marketing dashboard customized to suit a brand’s preferences.


  • Pardot is a smart marketing automation platform from Salesforce. It helps increase revenue generation and enhance team efficiency.
  • It allows marketing and sales teams to prepare, use, and manage online marketing campaigns easily.


  • SharpSpring is a complete marketing automation suite. It offers tools that marketers need for omnichannel implementation.
  • These include tools for planning, strategizing, creating, testing, monitoring, and measuring campaigns across channels.

SE Ranking

  • SE Ranking is a comprehensive cloud-based SEO and web-based marketing platform.
  • It offers robust features to help you optimize your digital marketing activities for better sales efficiency.

Active Trail

  • Active Trail is an all-in-one email and SMS marketing automation solution.
  • It gives businesses a robust omnichannel platform to plan, create, and deploy campaigns across multiple channels.

How to best implement omnichannel marketing?

Successful omnichannel marketing strategies have effectively engaged customers across different platforms. And every engagement yields a consistent user experience. Some of the best practices for omnichannel marketing include:

  • Personalizing user experiences
  • Offering convenient interactions
  • Listening and responding to customer-selected devices and channels  
  • Developing a unique omnichannel infrastructure built by every concerned business unit
  • Ensuring that your site is mobile-optimized
  • Using an intuitive marketing automation tool like HubSpot Marketing 
  • Integrating VR/AR experiences
  • Designing your social media sites to handle direct shopping 
  • Segmenting your market
  • Identifying every platform and device used by customers to reach the company
  • Delivering an integrated and consistent user experience across all channels and devices
  • Monitoring and measuring customer experiences and other aspects.

If there’s a single business reality that marketers must prioritize, that’s omnichannel marketing. To survive in this current environment, you will do well to keep up with emerging trends or risk being irrelevant.

In case you’ve decided to start implementing your omnichannel marketing, it’s also good to use smart campaign management solutions for that.

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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