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What Is Omnichannel eCommerce?

Kaya Ismail • 08 November 2022

Customers today don’t just shop in one place. In many cases, they toggle between devices and channels, from desktop to smartphone and then onto the mall. For instance, how often have you seen a product on Instagram on your smartphone, then didn’t remember it again until you saw it at the store? You’re not alone. 


McKinsey points out that around 70% of consumers shop both online and in-store, highlighting just how many shoppers do this kind of omnichannel shopping.

What is omnichannel eCommerce?

What is Omnichannel eCommerce?

Omnichannel eCommerce, or omnichannel commerce, refers to a sales approach where brands provide a seamless experience regardless of where customers shop. This can range from brick-and-mortar stores, social media platforms, and eCommerce websites, to mobile devices, laptops, tablets, and more. 


Omnichannel commerce is growing because modern consumers demand convenience from the brands they interact with. Over 80% of consumers have said convenience is important to them while shopping. They don’t want to go back to a store to pick up a product they just remembered or find a way to order it online when they’re only 5 minutes away from the store. 


Additionally, there are so many touchpoints to consider that brands need to find a way to cater to customers almost everywhere or risk them going to competitors. The way to do that is via omnichannel commerce. 


Omnichannel vs. Multichannel vs. Single-Channel Commerce

Before embarking on an omnichannel commerce journey, it’s crucial to understand how it differs from multichannel and single-channel approaches. 


  • Omnichannel commerce involves delivering a consistent brand experience across multiple channels. That experience shouldn’t vary as customers move from touchpoint to touchpoint. 


  • Multichannel commerce also happens across multiple channels. However, in this case, channels are often siloed and not easily connected. Customers may be able to make purchases online and in-store, but they can’t purchase online and pick up in-store because the two experiences are separate and distinct. 


  • Single-channel commerce means selling on only one channel. For example, if a brand only has an eCommerce website or store in the city without an online presence. 

Common Misconceptions About Omnichannel Commerce

Even though customers want brands to provide them with an omnichannel experience, many of them are hesitant to do so. We’ve outlined some of the most common misconceptions and potential solutions to alleviate the fears of embracing omnichannel commerce.


Too Complex to Implement

Many eCommerce brands may think that omnichannel commerce is too complex to implement, particularly if they are coming from a single-channel or even multichannel model. However, while omnichannel commerce can be more challenging if done incorrectly, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated once you have the right technology.


Solution: Businesses can use headless commerce to make implementing omnichannel commerce easier. Headless commerce separates the frontend customer presentation layer from the backend eCommerce platform. This allows storefronts to be created on any channel and provides a way for all of these channels to be viewed from one backend. Brands can see how customer actions in one area are impacted by actions in another and achieve a holistic view of the entire experience. 


It’s Too Expensive

Another misconception about omnichannel commerce is that it is expensive. Many view the need to replatform to a new solution or implement a bulky suite as the only way to properly achieve omnichannel commerce.


Solution: Modern approaches like MACH architecture, which enable you to create a best-of-breed ecosystem of technologies, ensure that omnichannel commerce doesn’t need to be expensive. Rather than replatform to a large suite, you can select only the tools you need to help complement the omnichannel experience, such as a headless storefront builder and headless CMS. Plus, the return on investment of implementing headless commerce will allow brands to offset any of the initial costs of new technologies. 


The Same Results as Multichannel

Businesses already using a multichannel approach may argue that it accomplishes the same as an omnichannel one since they already provide a shopping experience at various touchpoints. 


Solution: Merchants can again leverage headless commerce to seamlessly connect the buyer’s journey. By embracing omnichannel commerce and not simply multichannel commerce, brands can create a more consistent experience for their customers and open the door to greater personalization. 

Benefits of Omnichannel Commerce

Some of the benefits of omnichannel commerce include:


Improve Customer Experience

Customers have repeated time and time again that they want an omnichannel experience. Omnichannel commerce allows you to deliver more consistent and cohesive messaging to your customers. If you can meet them on their channels and do so consistently, you can significantly improve the customer experience. 


Boost Traffic

Omnichannel commerce can yield an increase in traffic. Since your brand no longer operates on just one channel, you can reach more customers. 


Increase Customer Loyalty

Customers who engage in omnichannel shopping tend to spend more money and be more loyal. By providing them with more options and answering their call for convenience, you can deliver a better experience and win their loyalty. 


Better Understanding of the Customer

With omnichannel commerce, you can learn about customer behaviors and interests. Data collected from one channel, for example, social media, can be used to inform other channels within the customer journey. 


Improved Personalization

You can improve personalization efforts with a better understanding of the customer. Instead of simply sending an email with a few promotions, you can leverage the data you found about a customer to provide product recommendations on the main website or a mobile app.

Omnichannel eCommerce Platforms for 2023

If you’re considering omnichannel eCommerce for your current eCommerce store, you need the right technological support. These platforms support headless commerce, which you can use to deliver a complete omnichannel commerce experience. 


Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is a cloud-based eCommerce platform for enterprise companies. It allows you to sell wherever your customers are and subsequently convert them on any device. Whether customers shop on the website, social media, or another device, Shopify Plus enables you to create a seamless experience across channels, even in-store. 


BigCommerce

SaaS-based eCommerce platform BigCommerce provides you with the tools to meet customers on any channel. With the help of Feedonomics, BigCommerce can help you optimize your entire product catalog across multiple channels, from marketplaces to social media platforms and search engines. 


Commercetools

Commercetools is a MACH-based platform that allows you to sell products on any channel you desire, even a car or a plane. Commercetools enables you to deploy commerce experiences on any device. 


Read More: 8 Headless Commerce Platforms for 2022

Build Omnichannel Experiences With Instant Commerce


Creating omnichannel shopping experiences doesn’t need to be complex, nor does it need to be expensive. With the benefits of an improved customer experience and more customer loyalty, not embracing omnichannel commerce with the help of headless commerce would be a missed opportunity for any eCommerce brand.


Instant Commerce is a headless storefront builder that makes it easier to create unique shopping experiences and embrace headless commerce.

With our platform, you can build and launch omnichannel headless storefronts up to ten times faster and cheaper than traditional solutions. 

Does your online store suffer from any of these problems?:

  • Frontend design limitations

  • Slow site speed across devices

  • Low conversion rates

  • Hard to manage multi-language and multi-currency stores

  • Developer dependencies

Then headless commerce might be the best next step for you. eCommerce brands using our platform to build headless storefronts see on average: 38% higher conversion, 70% increase in site speed and 10X faster time to market. 

Interested in learning more about what the Instant Commerce storefront builder has to offer? Request a live demo and get all your questions answered by one of our headless ecommerce experts. 

Get a live demo 👉 here!

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Author / Writer
Kaya Ismail
Content Marketer

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