With a prefix stemming from the Latin, Omnichannel technically means “every channel”. It is used in strategic powerpoint decks across the land to emphasise how incredibly flexible companies are with the types of communication they facilitate for their customers (post, email, web, face to face, social media etc.).
Although the word technically means every, companies are rarely literal with this and usually wont turn up at your house or send a carrier pigeon with your annual statement strapped to its leg. Firms really mean “every channel which is convenient and economically viable for us as a business”. In Latin that roughly translates to et omnem canalis pertinet negotium nobis dispensative viable which is, in truth, a bit of a mouthful.
While lots of firms have developed omnichnnel approaches for new business acquisition, many fail to carry these strategies through for returning customer journeys and legacy business lines. There is also a lack of appreciation by many for the need to be able to manage a single journey across multiple devices at different times (cross-device journeys).
It is only in observing actual customer behaviour and utilising data collected on digital body language and interaction that firms can hope to develop holistic and competing customer experiences which go beyond the simple enhancement of a sales journey.
Disagree or want to add something? What does omnichannel mean to you?