Omnichannel seems to be the new, hot term that everyone is throwing around—but what does it mean and why does your business need to be scooping up on it? This article not only explains the basics of omnichannel, you’ll also get the seven words that form the best tip imaginable for implementing your new, successful omnichannel strategy. (Surprisingly, “Omnichannel” is not one of those seven words.)

What is Omnichannel?

First of all what is an omnichannel customer anyway? To figure this out, we can break the word down to its roots:

  • Omni means “all”
  • Channel means, in this context, the manner in which your customer interacts with you. Your customer may reach you through your website, the phone, your mobile app, in your actual brick-and-mortar store, etc.

Most of your customers in the modern day and age will be omnichannel customers, accessing every part of your business, whether on their computers, on their tablets, on their phones, or in your stores… and they’ll expect to have every item available, everywhere they visit you, every hour of every day.

In essence, an omnichannel customer is someone who wants it all.

Wow! Talk about a demanding customer!

Yup, and that isn’t even the half of it. Your omnichannel customer not only wants your entire stock to be available at the snap of their fingers (or the click of their keyboards), they also want everything else that goes along with getting that product. They want the right product, at the right price, and at the right time. Welcome to the nanosecond customer of 2014.

My customers want me to do what?!

As a fellow businessperson, I hear you. This is tough.

Company websites, social media, and smartphones have started a multi-media revolution that keeps you connected to your customers 24/7/365, but even though the technology is there, it is physically impossible for you to be available every time your customers want to do business with you, and that’s where this whole omnichannel proposition gets tricky.

Your customers have no idea why staying connected to them every second of every day would be difficult for you. Since your customers can literally be connected anytime and anywhere, they expect your business to be ready for them when they choose to look at you—and it’s important for you to meet their expectations, because those customers who are looking right now might not have the time or interest to spend on your company later.

Do I really need to cater to these omnichannel customers?

With research, I found that the omnichannel customers of today are likely to spend up to 15% to 30% more than traditional shoppers. I also discovered that omnichannel customers are showing brand loyalty that would be considered fanatical, and that omnichannel customers were likely to share their experiences (good or bad) with other shoppers to drive more customers to a given brand (or away).

If you cater to omnichannel customers, you’re likely to get:

  • More money (always a great motivator to business)
    • More customers (growth is only achievable when you provide something that your competitors do not deliver)

The increasing demands of today’s omnichannel customers can be downright scary for business owners to meet, but the real question isn’t what you’re going to do to serve your customers—the real question is “What will your competitors do to serve your customers?”

Now do you see the importance of delivering that omnichannel customer experience before some other CEO beats you to the punch?

Wait up, is omnichannel even possible for smaller companies like mine?

Now that you know why you want to chase after these omnichannel customers, your next question is: How am I going to pull this off?

Good news: I’ve got the secret.

Here’s how you tap into those fanatically loyal big spenders in exactly 7 words: “Supply Chain Management with the Right Partners.”

Your business will need to embrace the concept of supply chain management, and soon, or you will be left far, far behind. As a manufacturer or retailer, you will need to seek out partners who are constantly focused on the needs of today, but who have an eye for what is coming up in the future. One of the best partners you can have is MAPADOC EDI. MAPADOC will help you develop your perfect game plan and then deliver on your dream of providing a seamless and profitable omnichannel experience for your existing clients, as well as the new ones you’ll soon have.

The next move is yours. Who will you contact?