You’ve probably heard the term “omnichannel” thrown around the business world, but what exactly does it mean, and why is so important?  

Defining Omnichannel  

The “omni” in omnichannel refers to a kind of customer omniscience, or perceiving everything in the customer experience. In less threatening terms, omnichannel refers to a comprehensive understanding of the various ways through which customers can buy a product. An omnichannel business model will recognize all the various modes, or “channels,” through which customers can engage with and purchase a good. For restaurants, sales channels can include in-house service, take-out, mobile order-ahead, and delivery. 

A restaurant with an omnichannel strategy will consider their product from the customer’s point of view. It will consider things such as how the customer found their restaurant, through whichat platforms do they tend to order food, and how do customer demographics differ across different service channels? A strong omnichannel strategy will provide a seamless customer experience by creating continuity across all potential sales channels.  

Multi- vs. Omni-  

The term “multichannel” is often used to describe a company’s marketing and operations strategy. “Multi” means many, and a multichannel model will provide support for the customer from beginning to end within one channel. Think of a multichannel strategy like a wheel: at the center of your strategy is the product – for restaurants, this is their food – and each spoke is a different channel through which you provide an independent, discreet path to purchase. 

An omnichannel business model will revolve around the customer rather than the product. While multichannel strategies acknowledge the various modern means of purchase, omnichannel strategies recognize that the customer will interact with multiple channels of purchase before reaching the final product.  

Leveraging Technology 

For your restaurant to execute a successful omnichannel model, it is crucial to know your customers. One way in which automation technology can streamline your operations is by providing deeper insight into business management data. By investing in technologies that help collect comprehensive customer analytics data, you can improve your ability to create a continuous customer experience.  

Omnichannel strategies are the future – as technologies continue to create new channels through which customer can make a purchase, it is important to understand the various means through which a customer can reach your product.