Retail World

What’s the difference between an omnichannel, multichannel and a crosschannel strategy?


Retail is already multichannel and we all know about it. In fact, the products have always been sold on different, changing places, with different delivery times. During the evolution of the ways of bringing the goods to the customer, the modalities of this distribution and delivery times have made the difference.

However, today’s context is accelerated and more multi-channel than ever. A makeup product, for example, can be purchased online and offline. Offline, then, can be sold in a pharmacy, in a small chain of perfumeries, in a supermarket, in a hypermarket, but also in drugstores. And online, the same product can be ordered in the shop of the brand, or in a store specialized in beauty products, or even on Amazon.

Therefore, if retailing means putting all the elements that enter the shopping experience into one place (physical or digital) and at a specific moment, the reality of today is obviously multi-channel.

Medium and large companies, today, have gone as far as possible to manage and control this overflowing multi-channel. In other words, they hav decided to build ever more omnichannel experiences for their customers.

Omnichannel is therefore a process by which companies try to give simultaneous information – commercial and non – to their users, with the aim of communicating a coherent brand identity in a smudge-free purchase process.

Cross channel is everything else. Cross-channel is above all “activity”. A company that is actively looking for new users, advertising on YouTube, bringing them to a physical store and producing new sales: this is a company that sets up a cross-channel strategy.

Crosscanale, then, is above all distribution and almost always promotion: the cross-sectional activities are in fact called drive-to-store, or gamification, or local SEO & local SEM. In short, they have to do with the search for incremental sales.

Cross-channel, above all, is the actual purchasing process that is carried forward, implicitly or explicitly, by today’s shoppers. When was the last you purchase a 100 € product in a physical store, without first checking its price online, without visiting the site of the brand in question?

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