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Omni channel strategies: A cross-industry perspective

Written by
Saad Merchant
Published on
September 29, 2023

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, businesses across various industries are constantly seeking innovative ways to connect with their customers. Future-driven customers expect an integrated product experience, which they can seamlessly engage with across multiple channels and devices that they use. This strategy of integrating multiple channels - online and offline - into a unified customer experience is called an omni channel strategy. While omni channel experiences are now common in the retail industry, it is a common myth that it is exclusive to this industry. Data-driven and digital-first businesses successfully implement omni channel strategies across industries such as omni channel manufacturing, omni channel hospitality, omni channel healthcare, and omni channel banking.

How are businesses adopting omni channel across industries?

What is an omni channel strategy?

An omni channel strategy is an integrated multi-channel approach to marketing, sales, and customer engagement. The key difference is the complete e-commerce integraton of every channel that omni channel demands. Unlike a multi channel strategy that involves being merely present on multiple channels, an omni channel strategy involves seamlessly integrating all sales channels. This includes integrating - offline and online - sales, marketing, and customer support channels, which in retail, banking, or hospitality could include physical outlets, websites, mobile apps, social media, email, marketplaces, IoT devices, or any other touchpoint. However, for other industries such as manufacturing it can also involve integrating various supply chain systems, inventory management applications, and even EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).

An omni channel strategy revolves around the idea that customers should be able to continue their interaction or purchasing experience with a brand, regardless of what channel or device they interact with the brand on. In other words, customers want their interactions and history with the brand to be remembered across all channels. This strategy ensures that customers receive a consistent message and level of service across all channels, allowing them to switch between them without disruption.

Read more about how omni channel strategies actually work →

A cross-industry exploration of omni channel strategies

Ultimately, omni channel strategies aim to enhance customer satisfaction, drive sales, and provide valuable insights into customer behavior by creating a cohesive and personalized journey across various platforms.

Let’s explore how businesses are successfully adopting omni channel strategies across different industries:

The omni channel retail revolution

Retail is perhaps the first and most well-known industry to adopt omni channel strategies. Omni channel strategies have revolutionized the way consumers shop. It's no longer just about brick-and-mortar stores or online shopping; it's about seamlessly integrating both to offer customers a holistic shopping experience.

With omni channel retail, customers can research products online, visit physical stores to see and feel them, and then make their purchases through a mobile app or website. Whether it's browsing online, trying on in-store, or finalizing the purchase on their preferred platform, Omni Channel retail ensures a consistent and convenient shopping journey, ultimately boosting customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Most importantly, omni channel retail helps customer data from across all integrated channels and touchpoints, enabling businesses to provide more personalized recommendations and offers, enhancing shopping experiences.

Explore in detail the evolution and benefits of omni channel retail →

Omni channel manufacturing logistics strategy

Manufacturing companies stand to greatly benefit from the interconnectedness that an omni channel manufacturing logistics strategy entails. For instance, the Value Chain is a useful framework that manufacturers use to map out primary activities or channels such as inbound and outbound logistics, operations, marketing, sales, and custom service, along with support activities that include procurement, technology, infrastructure, and HR. To keep up in the digital age, manufacturers can benefit from integrating all these channels with application integrations, in order to accelerate digital transformation across the Value Chain. This helps ensure real-time data exchange and improve process automation across connected manufacturing channels.

While omni channel retail aims to build a more interconnected customer experience, Omni Channel manufacturing integrations entail more efficient inventory management and supply chain optimization, reducing operational costs and increasing profitability. An omni channel manufacturing logistics strategy can involve integrating ERP, CRM, WMS systems, and even SaaS solutions or new cloud applications to optimize the Value Chain. As such, an omni channel manufacturing logistics strategy can ensure improved procurement and efficient inventory management across all channels. This involves real-time tracking of stock levels and seamless coordination between production and distribution centers to ensure products are available when and where customers want them.

With an omni channel manufacturing supply chain strategy, businesses can enable synchronized logistics, order processing, and shipping processes to meet customer demands promptly. This ensures the efficient flow of products across their Value Chain and Sales channels.

Read more about why manufacturers need to build integrated data ecosystems →

Omni channel healthcare strategies

Omni Channel strategies are transforming the healthcare industry, revolutionizing patient care and communication. As a result of integrating various healthcare channels, patients can schedule appointments, access medical records, and consult with healthcare professionals via online portals or mobile apps. Pharmacies offer online prescription refills, automated reminders, and in-store pickup options, providing patients with flexibility and convenience. Most importantly, omni channel healthcare strategies enable patients to have all their healthcare data, medical history, and interactions consistently reflected in real-time across online portals, mobile apps, telemedicine, and traditional in-person visits.

Omni channel healthcare was particularly beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic when telemedicine became a lifeline for many patients. The integration of healthcare channels not only enhances patient experiences but also streamlines healthcare operations, enabling healthcare providers to deliver more efficient and personalized care.

Read more about how businesses can create seamless omni channel experiences with an iPaaS →

Omni channel travel bookings and hospitality

After retail, the next most common place to find omnichannel experiences in plain sight is the travel and hospitality industry. Now travelers book their flights and local travel from a website, travel app, or social media, get their tickets and customer support on messaging apps or SMS, receive discounts for local travel, accommodation, and travel experiences at their destination by email. And, they can book all of these from the same application or webshop with added offers and benefits. All of this is enabled by omni channel travel and hospitality integration strategies.

This approach eliminates the silos between online and offline experiences, ensuring that travelers receive consistent and personalized service, whether they're browsing online, making reservations, or enjoying their vacations. In a competitive market, omni channel in travel and hospitality is not just about attracting customers; it's about delivering an ecosystem of services needed for travel and hospitality from start to finish, from one service provider.

Explore more unique benefits of omni channel commerce for customers and businesses →

Omni channel banking and finance

The banking and finance sector has also harnessed the power of omni channel. Thanks to omni channel integrations, digital bank enables everyday customers to complete various banking transactions through mobile apps, websites, ATMs, and physical bank branches can all be counted as part of an omni channel banking strategy. The way customer data and interactions are reflected across each channel in real time is a core aspect of the omni channel strategy.

Another aspect of omni channel banking is how customers can seamlessly switch between banking channels while having a consistent experience. For instance, they can start a loan application online, visit a bank branch for in-person consultation, and then receive updates through the mobile app. Financial institutions, just like banks, can benefit from an omni channel approach by providing 24/7 customer support through various channels, including chat, email, and phone.

Discover how businesses can build seamless omni channel experiences with fast, flexible, and future-proof integrations →

In conclusion

Omni channel is not just a trend; it's a strategic approach that is reshaping how businesses engage with customers across various industries. From retail to healthcare, banking to travel, companies are leveraging the power of multiple channels to create a unified and exceptional customer experience. In doing so, they are staying competitive, driving customer loyalty, and setting new standards for customer engagement.

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