Differences between Omnichannel and Multichannel

09.04.2020 Angelika Siczek
man holding a tablet with icons spreading out of it.

Have you ever wondered if there is a difference between multi- and omnichannel? Because both names sound quite similar, they are often considered to be the same. However, there are differences between the two terms. Although both sales and communication strategies in the company are based on using multiple channels of reaching the recipients, this is not a sufficient reason to classify them under one approach. See how the different strategies differ. Find out how the omnichannel was created from the assumptions of the multichannel concept and how to use the acquired knowledge in planning your company’s activities.


Omnichannel and multichannel


What is a multichannel?

At the very beginning it should be strongly emphasized that, as we have already mentioned, multichannel is not the same as omnichannel. Multichannel resembles a network that consists of activities carried out in many different communication channels. The goal of this type of activity, and therefore the whole idea of​​multichannel, is to reach the largest and widest possible audience with the help of media that their individual groups are interested in. Channels include social media, e.g. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, as well as websites, blogs, sponsored articles and other sites containing content. A separate strategy can be developed for each communication channel with the recipient. As a result, the messages transmitted and the manner of handling the recipient may differ depending on the medium. As a result of this action, despite the fact that the company is present in many places, it is not able to fully use its communication potential. It does not build relationships with its recipients. It does not accustom them to its presence, because it lacks the consistency of the message. Also, not providing the same experience regardless of the channel used by the client. For many recipients it can be disappointing enough that they will give up the services of the company, switching to competition.


What is omnichannel?

The omnichannel strategy differs from the multichannel approach primarily due to its holistic approach to all media used in communication. It can be assumed that omnichannel is a development of multichannel, and certainly that it was based on it. This strategy uses numerous communication channels, linking them together and guaranteeing users consistent brand experience. It can be safely said that omnichannel is the future of the e-commerce industry, without which building customer relationships will become very difficult or even impossible.


By choosing an omnichannel, you enter a higher level of customer care and satisfaction. It also cares about the clarity of the entire company’s message, thanks to the combined perception of marketing and sales activities. This ensures the same standard of services rendered. Multi-channel sales in the omnichannel approach offer many benefits. First of all, it guarantees an improvement in the company’s recognition on the market, building a group of dedicated clients and increasing trust among new customers, as well as increasing sales results.


After becoming familiar with the idea of ​​omnichannel and appreciating its numerous benefits, a desire arises to immediately introduce it into your company. However, remember that such a strategy requires a lot of work and it is not possible to implement it immediately. At the very beginning you should plan which channels will be used and how to create a common strategy for them to ensure their synergistic operation. Remember that if you do not do it at the beginning, you will need a huge amount of work for project activities.


The most important differences between multichannel and omnichannel

Apart from the holistic approach of the omnichannel idea, the difference between multichannel and omnichannel may not be noticeable due to the use of multiple communication channels in both concepts. Remember, however, that omnichannel is already becoming the standard in online trading, which helps increase sales and achieve the intended results. Therefore, learn about the most important differences between the two approaches and see why you should bet on the omnichannel, if you have not done so far!


Coherence of message and a separate communication strategy

The difference between the omni- and multichannel that comes to the fore is work on planning the strategy of actions. In both cases, multiple channels are used. However, their approach and service differ significantly. The multichannel concept assumes that you can treat each of the channels used separately. So you can develop independent communication strategies for all communication channels. By doing so, you will not connect them with each other. They will differ in language and sometimes even visual identification. The omnichannel approach does not assume this possibility. Under it, activities must intertwine and complement each other. Each communication platform used will be linked to others, ensuring consistent reception of the information provided. This will ensure synergy of action and highlight the values ​​that guide the company in its policy, promotion method and customer service. It will also protect against conflicting messages that simply don’t have space in the message. Remember that your client can be anywhere, and your task is to follow him with the same face!


Simplification of customer activities 

An important aspect in conducting online business is striving to minimize customer effort. The point is that during his shopping journey it does not encounter any difficulties on its way. In the omnichannel approach, all such situations are thoroughly analyzed and eliminated.


When developing store functions and strategies, you take into account the most important aspects and it seems that your design is well done. However, in practice everything is not always perfect. Intuitive page navigation, a well-structured menu, a meaningful division of categories and buttons showing what to do make it easier to navigate your store. Therefore, before launching the platform, you must allow it to be tested and merged with your other channels. For example, if you focused on cooperation with a blogger, under the presented product add the appropriate button that will redirect the customer to the site with its review. Post a button on your blog that will allow you to buy the product. Check if your customers are eager to shop online and if so, make it easier for them to use the shopping cart from any device. Remember also about communication and make sure that it runs equally smoothly via Facebook and email.


Building relationships with users

The multichannel strategy is primarily focused on reaching the widest possible audience thanks to various types of channels. In turn, in the omnichannel approach, the key is not only to acquire new customers, but above all to retain existing ones. Building long-term relationships with users guarantees satisfaction on both sides. Your because of regular revenues and customers because of contact with a well-known brand. Constant use of the same products causes identification with the company (brand) and the desire to recommend it to friends. Thanks to activities that increase the convenience of shopping, you meet the needs of your customers, letting them know that they are important to you and that you want to make them happy. What’s more, you give the user a sense of uniqueness that the solutions offered were created just for him.


Shopping from anywhere

Do you already know how your customers shop in your store? From a desktop computer, or maybe by phone? It’s worth checking out. However, the most important thing is to remember that you are dealing with a wide audience and that you should take care of every sales channel.


Before a customer decides to buy, he often browses the product. So it’s good to connect individual media, e.g. a Facebook profile with an online store, to facilitate the transfer from one place to another and allow for quick transaction finalization. This is not only convenience, but also the possibility of conducting remarketing activities. If your recipient is interested in the article, displaying the content again may lead them to make a purchase, which will be easier thanks to the connected platforms.



Why choose an omnichannel strategy? Remember that in internet marketing, the moments that you need to learn to use matter count. Too complicated information path discourages potential buyers who abandon their activities by moving to a competition store. So if you connect your channels and use the same communication strategy in them, which will also be easy and intuitive, you will gain an advantage, as well as show that you are a professional who knows how to present your company and create a coherent brand identity!

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