Retailers today understand the power of the digital world, as many of them already are reaching their audience in multiple digital channels. Unfortunately most of them are based on outdated platforms that don’t serve their varied and challenging needs, and don’t have the appropriate tools to handle today’s complex business processes for modern online e-commerce systems.
First thing’s first, let’s define the differences between some of the hottest buzzwords in today’s retail world, “Omni Channel” and “Multi Channel”.
Up to about a decade ago, the only purchase process available was the “Single Channel” process, it concluded of a single purchase channel, which was the physical brick and mortar store.
When the internet came into our lives along with the option to purchase goods online, more purchase channels were created, including e-commerce sites, social networks, mobile etc.
This represents the creation of the “Multi Channel” communication process.
“Multi Channel” refers to a situation where a firm uses varied communication channels such as websites, social network pages, mobile applications etc.
Turns out that what’s important for the shopper is the way they interact with your brand, regardless of the channel they are communicating with you in. That is something “Multi Channel” doesn’t deliver.
“Omni Channel” refers to the integration of the different marketing communication channels, both physical and digital, with an integrated and constant communication between every channel to keep all of them updated, making for a simple and easy customer experience.
“Omni Channel” is not only used exclusively for making the jump from channel to channel. it is there to enable a better and more wholesome experience for the shopper with your product, and to allow your business to provide better customer service, keep in touch with your customers, collect data, and analyze all of the incoming data provided by all of your different channels.
“Omni Channel” is a multi-channel approach, that provides the shopper with an integrated purchase experience across platforms such as desktop sites, mobile sites, or in a physical store, while addressing shopper expectations for alternative products, purchasing, shipping, or on-site pickup.
What is the difference between “Omni Channel” and “Multi Channel”?
The answer is very simple – Integration depth.
Not every multi channel experience is “Omni Channel”, even if you have an incredible site, a great mobile app, and even a facebook page, as long as they don’t work together, in tandem, knowing what the other’s are doing, you can only go far enough.
Every company should develop their own unique “OmniChannel” infrastructure.
To achieve that, all of the relevant departments in the company have to cooperate tightly to understand the goals needed to get to the destination. Once they are all on board, we can start to plan the company’s transition to a successful “Omni Channel” model.
Case Study – OmniChannel User Experience
Here is a case study of the implementation process for Fisha’s “Omni Channel” product solution that is currently run with one of our clients, who asked for a club order solution for his 23 branch nationwide store.
The client has an ecommerce site based on a powerful Magento EE platform, alongside a great mobile app meticulously designed by UX/UI experts.
The two operated as two separated channels, this created issues like customer data duplication, stock problems, product availability issues, and high shipping costs for the company.
Combine the successful responsive website, mobile application, and all of the physical stores nationwide into a single purchase experience, where every channel knows everything the other one does in real time. This allows the customer to create an online order on their desktop, and complete it using a physical store, the site, or their mobile app.
Special cases that needed a solution:
- Offline Club member – is not a registered site user.
- Offline Club member – is a registered site user.
- Registered site user – not an offline club member.
When the user visits the site, the first thing that happens is a check to see if this user is a registered club member by asking him for his ID number.
In case the user is a club member, but still is not a registered site user, he will be prompted with all of his existing user information and will be asked to fill in the blanks on all of the data that is missing.
Once the user has updated the data, all the other outdated systems will be updated as well with the latest user information, and he will have a site user created for him.
This whole process is is presented to the user with a very simple 2 step process:
- Step 1 – Entering user ID
- Step 2 – Updating missing user data
For a user that is a club member and already has a site user, the login process will work by entering his ID number and sending the password to via SMS to his phone, connecting via Facebook Connect, or by using his email and password, depending on the user’s choice for a login method.
In case the user chose to login using Facebook Connect, as long as he is logged into Facebook, he will automatically be logged into your site.
If a site user wants to join the members club, all he has to do is to press a “join members club” button, as we already know all the rest of the required information. This will instantly create a club membership for the user, create a membership card and ship it to the user’s address. Note that in this example the company is not charging users for club membership, but in a situation where the company want to charge for club membership it can be easily added to the process.
In addition, if the user joined the members club in one of the physical stores, or through customer service, the ID assignment to the club membership will be done automatically using a daily scheduled action between systems.
Upon the user’s order creation, the new order is transferred to the company’s systems, and the user can check the product’s availability in one of the company’s branches for pickup.
If the user is using his mobile device, the nearest branch will be shown. If the user chooses a shipping company method for his order’s shipping, the user will be updated about his his tracking information and shipping status on every shipping status change.
Once the order has been picked up by the user, or delivered with a shipping company to the user, he will receive an SMS message that will offer him a coupon for his next order.
During the user’s visit to one of the physical store branches, in order to pickup an order or return an item, or in just an unrelated visit, he will be greeted by sales reps that will carry iPads with a Point of Sale system that we had developed.
The Point of Sale system allows the sales reps to get the latest information about the user’s orders, purchase preferences, amount of available member club points, alongside the most updated information about the company’s different products in the site and in other store branches.
Product returns have a clear and easy process. The user can return a product he had ordered online, and will be refunded through the same payment method he used to pay for the order, or through a different one, such as members club points, credit card, or paypal.
In Addition, the Point of Sale system we developed operates as a mobile cashier, meaning the shopper can make a full purchase from anywhere in the store, without the need to wait in line. Other features include the sales rep’s ability to create an order for the shopper on a product that is currently out of stock, while making sure the item will be sent to the shopper’s address when the stock replenishes, as if the shopper ordered on his own device.
The process we described here shows just a fraction of all of the numerous and varied features that “Omni Channel” and FiSHa has to offer.
FiSHa Services and Products
FiSHa is currently offering a variety e-commerce system solutions and their integration as an integral part of both the digital and physical worlds for market segments such as: Fashion, Retail and Grocery.
Our products combine diverse technical solutions for store shipping, store pickup, click n’ collect, pick and pack, returns services, order process management, order status, return order management, stock management, advanced PIM solutions and managing all types of sales and promotions.
Contact us today! We will be happy to work with you on your next step into today’s modern ecommerce world.
FiSHa is a software development company specializing in ecommerce solutions. FiSHa is offering a wide range of products for today’s most widely used open source systems including:
Magento is the flagship ecommerce system, used by large and medium size companies such as:
- And many more!
Our projects are carefully managed, from the first steps, all through the design and development phases, while providing full maintenance and customer service and making sure all of the client’s requests are being met.
If your business still hasn’t entered the world of ecommerce, our team at FiSHa will be able to help you in your process to find the solution that fits you best.
In case you already have a solution planned and you want to know more, we can advise on how to improve your business’s customer experience making for a more successful business.
Our FiSHa experts offer creative out-of-the-box solutions that will make your system’s quality better and more efficient, and most importantly will give your customers that special “WOW” factor.