Selling is an increasingly complex science, which requires refined strategies to deliver the best to the customer, with diversification and modernization throughout the entire purchase experience.
Therefore, a concept that has gained strength and brought good results is Omni channel Sales, a model that connects and integrates online and offline channels.
Do you know what this concept means and how it can be applied in your commercial management?
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What are Omni channel Sales?
The term Omni channel refers to the simultaneous and integrated experience of different channels throughout the shopping experience.
In fact, the origin of the word says exactly that: “Omni” comes from Latin and means integer, while “channel” comes from English and means channel.
In practice, you experience as a consumer an Omni channel sale every time you buy a product or service combining online and offline channels. For example, visiting the physical store of a shoe website to try the one that caught your attention, and you can complete the purchase online, within the point of sale.
Another example is the possibility of making an online purchase and withdrawing from the physical store. Or, while at the point of sale, check the online catalog to make your purchase of items that are not available locally.
The common point in all these examples is the integration of the virtual and in-person experience, reducing what can be an obstacle for the consumer to close a deal.
And what are these different channels that can be associated in Omni channel Sales? Here are some examples:
- Online channels: website, app, chats, social networks
- Offline channels: physical stores, sales booths, events, phone calls, meetings.
Omni channel Sales vs. Multichannel Sales
Perhaps, at this point, you remember another similar sales model, Multichannel or Multichannel. And, despite being similar, it is important to emphasize the difference between the two.
In Multichannel Sales, there are also different sales and communication channels with customers and potential customers. However, in this case, they are not integrated.
In other words, consumers can even choose between buying in the store, on the website or in the app, however their experience in each of these channels will be independent, finding no connection between them.
At Omni channel, on the other hand, the greatest value is in the integration, in the fact that the consumer is treated as unique and feels that this happens at every touchpoint.
Why is Omni channel on the business agenda?
We said at the beginning of this article that selling is an increasingly complex challenge.
There are numerous factors for this, such as:
- more competitive market;
- tight trading margins;
- Change in the profile of the consumer, who now arrives better informed and connected to the seller.
For this reason, delighting the customer is the watchword. But you can’t think that just being careful in the service is enough for that. It is necessary to reduce any friction that may exist along the purchase journey.
When we talk about friction situations, especially in the B2C segment, they can appear in multiple situations. A good example is something common for online home or clothing sales: experimentation.
How to choose a shoe without trying it on? How to buy a bed without testing its comfort? To this end, many online marketplaces have invested in Omni channel Sales, creating physical points of sale solely to reduce this friction, allowing consumers to try the available items, make a purchase through the website and receive the order at home.
Combining the best of the online experience with the best of the offline is, therefore, one of the great values of Omni channel Sales. Consumers undoubtedly see this integration as an excellent shopping experience!
To summarize what is best about implementing Omni channel Sales actions, we list below some of its main advantages for business:
- Using the best of each sales channel to promote an experience that best converts
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Business process optimization
- Better understanding of the persona
- Cost reduction
Of course, to make the most of any of these benefits (or, for that matter, a bunch of them), you also need to think about the bottlenecks of your own operation.
For example, if maintaining a large physical point of sale entails high costs, one solution is to maintain a smaller store, with only display items, purchase completed online and order delivered at home.
Does B2B sales work on the Omni channel model?
Throughout this article, you may have noticed that Omni channel Sales is already part of the B2C segment, especially retail. Even though there is still a lot to be developed, the model is certainly already more consolidated than in B2B.
This, however, does not mean that there is no possibility of channel integration in the operations of companies that sell to other companies. On the contrary, there are many opportunities in this regard. And they are waiting to be taken advantage of!
Just as in B2C the consumer wants to have a unique experience, the same happens in B2B. Even more intensely: in a longer negotiation process, a purchase journey closely monitored and mapped makes even more difference, regardless of which channel the interaction takes place.
An example? Companies that develop Saabs (Software as a Service). This is a business model that often allows for self-employment through the website itself.
But there is also the possibility of hiring through offline channels, such as connection, face-to-face meetings, among others. This is great for businesses that are finally able to offer a 24×7 service, even if driven by automation.
However, situations in the market in which the potential customer begins their shopping experience in the online environment are not rare and ends up preferring an offline contact (or vice versa), receiving different trading conditions. What a lousy experience!
In Omni channel Sales, therefore, it is important to offer the same conditions and the same standard of service. And this even refers to price, promotion and discount.
To ensure the successful implementation of an Omni channel Sales model in B2B, we recommend that the following steps be identified and followed:
1. Understanding your persona’s buying profile
Before transforming the sales model and building channel integration, you first need to know what makes a difference to your persona’s shopping experience when it comes to converting more and faster.
2. Mapping of sales and communication channels
No need to revolutionize your sales operation. Possibly your company already uses different channels to interact with prospects and customers.
Understand which ones are most effective for each step of the buying journey and identify gaps that can be closed with new channels.
3. Closing the gaps between online and offline
Finally, since we are talking about closing gaps, the most important ones are those that can arise between the online experience and the offline experience.
For this, an extremely important tool is the CRM system, with accurate records of both virtual and in-person activity.
Is it time to integrate your sales channels?
Answering the question if it’s time to integrate your sales channels is very simple: as soon as possible!
Your company’s interactions with potential customers already happen both online and offline, even if you avoid it, limiting touch points.
Furthermore, Omni channel Sales is undoubtedly part of the future (and present) of business relationships.