February 12, 2024

Omnicommerce: How to Bring Omnichannel Strategy to Your Small Business

Omnicommerce: How to Bring Omnichannel Strategy to Your Small Business


Want to get in front of more customers, create a great experience, and drive more repeat purchases? Omnicommerce is a great strategy for making the most of your business channels. While traditional retailers are typically the most common adopters, every commercial business, from restaurants to convenience stores, can benefit from working with an omnicommerce perspective.

What is omnicommerce?

Omnicommerce—or “omnichannel commerce”—involves creating a seamless experience across all customer touchpoints for a commercial business or retailer. These touchpoints—or channels—can include actual interaction within a brick-and-mortar location as well as digital interactions (on a website, through social media, and so on).

Omnicommerce vs. omnichannel

“Omnichannel” is a business strategy that involves using every channel available to engage with customers, and making the experience across those channels.

Since omnichannel can be quite broad and applies to various industries from entertainment to publications and beyond, omnicommerce specifies the strategy for commercial businesses.

Omnichannel vs. multichannel

If you’re researching omnichannel commerce strategies, you’ll likely also come across the term “multichannel.” The difference can be subtle, but it boils down to the fundamental approach:

  • Multichannel simply uses multiple channels to connect with customers.
  • Omnichannel implies that all of these channels are both in use and interconnected.

Omnicommerce examples
At its core, omnicommerce is about making all your channels work together to power sales and boost customer experience. Here are a few examples of what that might look like in different environments:

  • Taylor finds the Instagram page for your apparel store when their friend mentions it. From there, they discover a specialty sweater you sell and visit your website to learn more. They’re interested, but want to feel the fabric and see the fit in person. They drop by your shop, try it on, and decide to buy.
  • Billie is checking out their local dinner options while on vacation and sees your restaurant on the map. They click your website link to see what kind of atmosphere, food, and pricing you offer before deciding whether they want to eat there or not.
  • Hunter bought handmade soap from you online and opted in to receive emails from you. When you start stocking a new scent, Hunter gets your email alert and decides to visit in-store to try it out. While there, they find other products they love and decide to buy a whole set of your soaps.

Benefits of an omnichannel approach

Creating a seamless experience across multiple channels is complicated and takes maintenance, but there are an increasing number of benefits to taking this approach:

  • Meet customer expectations: Omnichannel is becoming the norm. Your customers have experience with other brands who successfully marry their digital and physical shopfronts and many are coming to expect this convenience and consistency.
  • Enjoy multiple opportunities to connect: Lead your customers through the buyer’s journey by providing support every step of the way. You’ll get your brand out and in front of prospective buyers multiple times and in multiple places.
  • Drive return business: If you’re meeting your customers’ needs, providing a great experience, and making it easy to remember your brand, you’ll naturally start driving more repeat business—and increase your sales.
  • Get more customer insights: A major component of omnichannel for many brands is the opportunities it provides to examine customer behavior and collect data that can drive future business.

Omnichannel commerce technologies

For a strategy to truly be omnichannel, it must create a unified experience for customers across channels. But what do interconnected channels actually look like for a retailer?

E-commerce website

Per Bloomreach, nearly half of consumers research products online before visiting a store. This means that your customers’ journeys are already happening across multiple channels. To serve the best experience, make this transition as smooth as possible by optimizing your website for omnicommerce.

A successful execution of web-to-store experience might be online features that accurately explain inventory available in-store so customers can first research online and then visit the store to see an item in person. Ensure that your website does not provide outdated or conflicting information with a customer’s in-store experience.

Digital customer support

Having a robust in-store support system should go without saying, but even stores that operate primarily in brick-and-mortar should maintain an easy-to-use online support system for customers using a website or app to explore your offerings. If possible, provide phone, chat, and email options to cover all communication preferences.

Delivery and BOPIS options

Making in-store and online shopping fit together requires some extra purchase options. Make shopping at your store as convenient as possible for customers by providing multiple ways to get their items. Delivery is a must for online purchases, but offer BOPIS—Buy Online, Pickup In Store—if you can.

Digital communications

Stay relevant to your customers by keeping in touch through email, text, and social media. Share information when you’re having a sale or special promotion and send out alerts when you get new items in stock. Aim to send out communications that are genuinely helpful—flooding a customer’s inbox with unactionable messages will result in an unsubscribe, rather than repeat business.

Integrated apps

If you have an app for your store—maybe you operate a franchise location for a large brand—make sure your local information is up to date, just as you would with a website. If your store doesn’t have its own app, there are still opportunities for you to take advantage of this channel by using QR codes in-store that enhance experience by providing special discounts or letting customers in on upcoming events or releases.

Data tracking

Many customers are more than willing to consent to cookies and other tracking features to make their lives more convenient. Data tracking features online can make it easy to get from an ad or a social post to a targeted e-commerce page. If a customer has trouble with an order, data tracking can help customer support figure out the issue without extensive back-and-forth. You’ll also be able to learn more about your customers and what they want out of their shopping experience.

Comprehensive, convenient payments

A frictionless customer experience involves the entire buying process, including payments. You’ll need to ensure both your online and in-store processes are smooth and convenient for shoppers. Not covering enough payment methods can lose you a sale if a customer’s preferred option is unavailable. Try to support as many options as you can for maximum convenience: credit and debit cards from multiple providers, chip, contactless, and one-tap payments, mobile options like Apple Pay™, and so on.

How to get started with your omnicommerce strategy

Creating a seamless ecosystem for your customers across multiple channels is no easy feat, especially if you’re managing other aspects of your business. But the benefits of omnicommerce can’t be denied. Our advice is to do what you can. Making small but meaningful changes will go a long way to boost your omnichannel strategy.

Here are a few initial steps to try out:

  1. Make your website a sales engine: Get your e-commerce game down. Make sure customers have access to all the information they need to visit your store and enable online ordering or a BOPIS program. If you’re in food services, consider a program like DeliverMe® for easy online ordering.
  2. Take charge of your inventory: Having up to date and accurate inventory data will make a huge difference for your website and in-store sales. If your POS can’t already do this, consider making the switch to a robust system like Exatouch® that can take care of your inventory management.
  3. Offer more convenient payment options: If you do decide to use Exatouch to improve your inventory strategy, you’ll already be well on your way to offering greater convenience. The Exatouch platform comes with a variety of payment features to make life easier for you and your customers, including easy integration with eGiftSolutions® to make gift card transactions simple.

If you’re just getting started, your first step should be to connect with an agent who has experience in retail and restaurant technology. Contact us and we’ll get you in touch with a local representative!