Why is omnichannel so popular now? What was wrong with multichannel?
Simply put, multichannel is like the original Game Boy to omnichannel's Game Boy Color. There is technically nothing wrong with the original Game Boy but it does have its limitations just like a mulitchannel approach does.
The main drawback in using this method is that each platform operates independently. This means that when a change is made on the company's website it has no direct affect on the app or in-store operations.This fractured approach makes for an uneven experience for the customer. On the other hand, omnichannel is a more unified method where changes on any level impact all platforms of operations providing a more cohesive experience for the customer.
In 2007 a partnership was announced between SPS Commerce, a cloud based supply chain management solution, and NetSuite, a provider of cloud based business management tools. The two companies partnered together to create an omnichannel approach to help retail companies and their suppliers better communicate. The hope was that this ultimately would save companies money. One way they hoped improved communication would save businesses money was by cutting back on human error. Mistakes are not only expensive to fix, but time consuming as well.
Through two separate announcements (both released on the same day) SPS Commerce and NetSuite indicated that not only are they further integrating their product sets (including shared point-of-sale analytics) but that companies have already seen notable cost savings with the use of their services.
With the standardized environment created by the SPS Commerce and NetSuite services, the ecommerce company expects to eliminate hundreds of hours of weekly manual labor. The services will save these hours by allowing for easy sharing of information, such as vendor UPC codes, as opposed to manually translating the UPC codes as well as internal Beyond the Rack codes and SKU numbers in Excel.
Using the services provided by SPS Commerce and NetSuite, the all-natural energy and protein bar maker is saving around 1,500 hours a year in order entry and transaction processing. In Q1 2014, Honey Stinger estimated saving 300 hours of entry time spanning 10,000 orders. This saved time enabled sales associates to focus on new orders from ecommerce sites and retail stores. The combined services saved 60 hours alone by removing costly chargebacks due to incorrect information.
Due to the SPS Commerce and NetSuite services, Zumba has been able to avoid hiring four full-time personnel to process between 500 and 800 daily transactions. Zumba has also been able to increase accuracy of its orders thanks to the elimination of human error.