The Rise of Omnichannel Platforms

eCommerce; Retail


As digitalisation dominates, customers are looking beyond the quality of products and services, seeking seamless and consistent experiences across all channels, platforms, and devices. This is where the concept of omnichannel, or omni-channel, comes in handy. 

Omnichannel covers the integration of all available communication channels and touchpoints that a business has with its customers. The aim of adopting this approach is to offer an ideal user experience across online or offline channels. Customers are able to access products, services, and support on their desired omnichannel ecommerce platform or channel, without being affected by disruptions or inconsistencies. For instance, a customer might browse products on a business's website but only decide to call the customer service helpline for further enquiry. The omnichannel approach ensures the same level of service and information a customer experiences, despite the channel they choose to use.

Implementing an omnichannel strategy involves fully rethinking a business's customer engagement and lead nurturing approach. It allows businesses to provide support on their desktop website, live chat, email, phone, and Facebook Messenger. Businesses can then provide customers or prospects with access to their offers, products, and support services on any channel, including online sales channels, ensuring greater and more convenient interaction with customers. 

Furthermore, an omnichannel approach can help businesses streamline their sales, marketing, and service strategies, leading to a more efficient and cost-effective approach. One such application lies in the use of data analytics and customer feedback to determine the channels that are most effective at converting leads into customers or boosting customer satisfaction. This enables businesses to easily prioritise their resources and investments in the channels that offer the best ROI. 

As a whole, omnichannel fosters stronger relationships between businesses and their customers, which contributes to higher levels of trust and loyalty. This, in turn, improves customer retention, stimulates repeat purchases, and promotes positive word-of-mouth referrals. In this article, we will take a closer look at how these are achieved alongside the rise of omnichannel. 

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2.1 Features of omnichannel platforms

Features of omnichannel platforms-website builder

An omnichannel platform refers to a software solution that helps businesses manage customer interactions across different channels and touchpoints. These platforms may include cross-channel integration, centralised customer data, automation, customer analytics and reporting, as well as real-time communication.

1. Cross-channel integration

Thanks to this critical feature, managing customer interactions across all channels seamlessly is made possible. This integration allows customers to move freely between channels without the risk of losing important information. For instance, a business that sells cosmetics online may receive feedback from a customer via social media messaging, email, or through a phone call. However, with an omnichannel platform, all interactions are well recorded and consolidated into a single customer profile in one place. 

2. Customer analytics and reporting

Businesses can capture and analyse customer data from multiple sources by making use of omnichannel platforms. They are provided with insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and pain points. By performing data analysis, businesses not only can determine areas for improvement and optimise customer engagement strategies, but also facilitate an effective decision-making process regarding their marketing and sales activities.

3. Centralised customer data

Omnichannel platforms can serve as a central repository for all customer data, allowing businesses to access and manage customer information from a single location. Whether you are using a channel or touchpoint, this feature ensures all customer interactions are recorded, offering a full view of the customer journey.

4. Automation

As a centralised platform that integrates multiple channels, omnichannel offers automation for businesses, in terms of customer engagement workflows, process streamlining, and efficiency. For example, businesses can set up ecommerce email automation to drive sales from potential and existing customers, by sending the right messages to the right people at the right time. In addition, omnichannel allows businesses to send abandoned cart emails, order confirmation emails, and shipping updates to customers automatically. 

5. Real-time communication

Responsiveness has become one of the main concerns when it comes to seamless customer service. By having omnichannel integration, real-time communication is made possible, allowing businesses to provide better customer service with prompt and personalised responses regardless of channel. This plays a huge role in boosting customer engagement and loyalty, contributing to greater sales and revenue.

2.2 Advantages of omnichannel platforms

Advantages of omnichannel platforms-website builder

Today, business-customer interactions have undergone a significant transformation due to the emergence of omnichannel platforms. These platforms ensure a more convenient and consistent customer experience across all channels, leading to several benefits. Read on to learn more:

1. Better customer experience

Customers today expect businesses to communicate with them through multiple channels such as chat, phone, email, and social media. Omnichannel platforms have become the means for businesses to meet these expectations. When customers’ needs are attended to in a timely manner, customer satisfaction and loyalty is enhanced.

2. Improved customer insights

Customer insights allow a business to better understand their customers’ demands and preferences. This makes collecting and analysing customer data from multiple touchpoints critical as it empowers more personalised experiences for customers. Imagine a business that sells clothes online, they can use omnichannel platforms to track how customers navigate their website and determine the communication method, and types of products or services customers are interested in. The data can also be leveraged to send targeted offers or promotions based on a customer's previous purchases or interests.

Learn more: How to set up a fashion e-commerce store

3. Greater efficiency

By centralising customer data and streamlining processes, omnichannel platforms help businesses to achieve greater operational efficiency at lower costs. Most of the time, customer data is scattered across different systems or departments, making it time-consuming to access and analyse. By consolidating all customer data into a single, centralised location, processes can be streamlined to help businesses achieve greater operational efficiency. As a result, businesses can then deliver products and services faster, as well as respond to customer inquiries more promptly for increased productivity and better overall performance.

4. Greater revenue

Wondering how to start an online store? Keep in mind that a successful online business goes beyond the setup. Fostering customer satisfaction and loyalty is equally essential, contributing to sales and revenue. With omnichannel platforms, you can boost your revenue by retaining your customers through personalised customer services. This is done by collecting customer data to make product recommendations tailored to different customers, based on their previous interactions and preferences. Thanks to this benefit, businesses can set themselves apart from the competition. 

5. More effective targeting

Audience targeting refers to the process of identifying a specific group of people who may be interested in a product or service, based on demographics and other criteria. By allowing businesses to better target their audience via customer data and insights, omnichannel platforms empower more customised marketing campaigns to drive customer engagement, and sales revenue. 

2.3. Best practices to deploy omnichannel platforms

The rise of digitalisation has revolutionised the way customers shop. Hence, more businesses are adapting and evolving to meet their changing expectations. They are increasingly turning to omnichannel strategies that integrate all customer touchpoints into a cohesive system, in order to create a seamless shopping experience for customers. However, implementing an effective omnichannel platform is no small feat. The next part of this article will explore the best practices for deploying such platforms to ensure their smooth execution later.

1. Focus on mobile

A mobile-first approach is crucial for any omnichannel strategy nowadays, as the number of mobile shoppers increases. There are several ways to add merits to this approach, from creating a mobile friendly website and facilitating overall optimisation, to setting up smooth mobile payment methods. Payment gateways in Singapore play a significant role in expediting online transactions for businesses and consumers alike, leading to a seamless payment experience.

2. Create buyer personas

A buyer persona refers to a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your current customers. As part of an effective omnichannel platform strategy, creating buyer personas helps you to get a clearer picture of what products and services your customers are looking for, allowing you to tailor your omnichannel experience to their specific needs. On top of that, you can determine your target audience and develop suitable marketing strategies across all channels. Understanding customer profiles is vital for any omnichannel strategy.

3. Improve customer relationships

Serving as a well-built knowledge base holding customer insights, omnichannel platforms enhance customer relationships by helping businesses tailor their marketing and sales efforts to the specific needs of each individual customer. Social commerce platforms also work in a similar way. These platforms often include features such as social sharing, product reviews, social proof, and personalised recommendations to enhance the overall customer experience. In addition, social commerce platforms integrate social media and ecommerce, providing businesses with an opportunity to reach a larger audience.

4. Enhance self-service options

Inventory and ecommerce integration are essential for an omnichannel experience, including buy online pick up in-store. From providing visibility with regards to aspects such as order status and inventory to creating and displaying FAQs on various communication channels along with self-service options, omnichannel platforms empower customers to self-solve problems, facilitating a time-saving and hassle-free shopping experience. Meanwhile, ecommerce order management  is valued these days in terms of capability, from the time a customer places an order online to the time the order is delivered. It encapsulates several tasks such as inventory management, shipping and order tracking.

Provide real-time and updated stock information-how to start an online store

5. Provide real-time and updated stock information 

When customers view a product on your website, they should be able to see if it's available in a nearby brick-and-mortar store. Real-time and updated information like this is essential to meeting the expectations of today's customers. It also eases store associates’ workload as they can now assess real-time inventory levels at other store locations. 


3.1. Foundation of Omnichannel Commerce

Customer engagement has become one of the driving factors for businesses’ sales. In today's digital age, customers may use social media and other touchpoints to stay connected with brands. By creating an omnichannel platform, website builders pave the way for businesses to engage with customers and create a cohesive customer experience. This section will identify a few types of areas omnichannel commerce is centred around:

1. Social media

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook,and Twitter are often used to reach new customers and retain existing ones. Deemed as the foundation of omnichannel platforms, social media platforms offer a variety of features and tools that businesses can use to drive customer engagement and interactions. This can range from sharing product information and promoting sales and discounts to responding to feedback.

Social media-online sales channel

2. Business websites

Business websites provide a comprehensive platform for customers to make purchases, browse products, and compare prices. As the central hub of a company's online presence, a business website is integratable with other channels in an omnichannel strategy. Customers can either receive an email promotion about a new offer, or buy a product seen on social media through the business website. In essence, there may be ‘subsets’ in business websites and B2B ecommerce platforms are one of them. These platforms focus specifically on facilitating transactions between businesses.

3. Mobile apps

Omnichannel platforms, which are increasingly implemented by businesses today, operate as a cohesive and interconnected system. As mobile apps have become more popular, businesses have realised the importance of incorporating mobile apps into their omnichannel strategy. Mobile apps provide a direct and personalised connection between businesses and their customers, allowing businesses to send push notifications, collect data about customer behaviour and provide targeted offers and discounts. The data is then applied to optimise the customer experience across all channels. 

Mobile apps-social commerce platform

There is no denying omnichannel commerce’s ability in providing an integrated shopping experience across a number of channels, thus, transforming the way businesses interact with their customers. Nonetheless, it has also brought some challenges that must be tackled to ensure a business’s competitiveness in the digital landscape. Below are some of these hurdles.

1. Data management

The proliferation of channels and devices has rendered the need for businesses to gather and analyse vast amounts of customer data to gain insights into their preferences and behaviours, when using omnichannel platforms. However, data management is easier said than done. It is always important to implement a robust data management strategy for effective and secured data collection, by leveraging advanced analytics tools and technologies. For instance, machine learning and artificial intelligence can be applied to manage data, in the process of creating a free website.

2. Integration issues

Omnichannel commerce encompasses the integration of various systems into a single cohesive platform. As each system comes with its own unique architecture and requirements, it is a must for businesses to ensure a seamless integration for smooth performance. Most of the time, the integration requires careful planning and coordination among different departments within the organisation, as well as a deep understanding of the technology involved.

3. Consistency of brand identity

An omnichannel strategy allows customers to interact with a brand through various touchpoints. Hence, having a clear and well-defined brand identity is vital in ensuring effective communication across all channels. A brand identity should include consistent messaging, tone of voice, visual elements, and overall brand experience.

3.2 Development of omnichannel platforms

An  omnichannel ecommerce platform’s development depends on the infrastructure. Generally, a comprehensive approach is usually required to unify customer data and enable seamless communication across different channels. It may include the following elements:

1. Data integration

This involves combining customer data from different sources for a unified view of the customer, which can be achieved through middleware platforms, data warehousing solutions, or API-based integrations.

Data integration-website builder

2. API development

An application programming interface, or API, refers to a set of protocols, routines, and tools adopted by software developers to build applications. An API allows different systems to communicate with each other, specifying the types of requests and responses that are available, apart from the rules for exchanging data between applications. Businesses can either use software development kits (SDKs) for API development, or hire developers who specialise in API development. Meanwhile, there is a close relationship between omnichannel and POS integration. API provides a standardised way for different software applications to interact with each other. It can be used by a POS system to communicate with other systems, such as inventory management software or payment processing platforms, to facilitate real-time data exchange for a smooth sales process.

Learn more: How To Track Customer Behavior? Experience First Dibs On SHOPLINE’s Integration With Facebook Conversions API!

3. Cross-channel analytics 

Cross-channel analytics provide analysis of customer data across different channels to produce insights. Businesses may want to understand what customers prefer and demand, to deliver customised services. This can be accomplished by using business intelligence tools, data warehousing solutions, or custom analytics solutions.

Cross-channel analytics-sell overseas

3.3 Measuring the success of Omnichannel commerce

By allowing retailers to integrate their online and offline sales channels, omnichannel commerce has emerged as a powerful strategy for retailers to drive growth. Measuring the success of omnichannel commerce may sound daunting but with the key metrics listed below, this process can be made easy. 

1. Conversion rate

Conversion rate is the percentage applied in digital marketing to evaluate performance of website traffic, conversions and marketing campaigns. To calculate conversion rate, take the number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors. A conversion can refer to any desired action that you want the user to take. 

Learn more: Build Your Single-Page Website To Improve Conversion Rate and Boost in Revenue

2. Average order value (AOV)

Average order value (AOV) tracks the average dollar amount spent each time a customer places an order on a website or mobile app. To calculate your company’s average order value, simply divide total revenue by the number of orders.

3. Return on investment (ROI)

ROI can be used to assess the potential profitability of a particular investment. You may also apply it to evaluate the development of business plans. The ROI formula is: (profit minus cost) / cost.

4. Sales revenue

Tracking sales revenue allows businesses to identify the effectiveness of their omnichannel strategy in generating the desired results, and make adjustments as necessary. This is because the primary goal of an omnichannel strategy is to increase sales revenue through a seamless shopping experience across all offline, online sales channels. 

Sales revenue-online sales channels

5. Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is a great way to measure the success of an omnichannel strategy, determining whether an omnichannel strategy meets customer expectations. Satisfied customers indicate the strategy’s effectiveness in providing the desired level of convenience and personalisation.

3.4 Differences between domestic VS international online sales 

The rise of ecommerce has allowed businesses to expand their reach beyond domestic borders and tap into the global market. However, there are still differences between domestic and international online sales to take note of, before a business enters foreign markets.

1. Target market

Domestic online sales are focused on customers within a single country, while international online sales target customers in multiple countries. There are unique needs and preferences of customers in different regions. That is why suitable marketing strategies and product customisation should be implemented for each country.

2. Shipping and logistics

Shipping processes are usually simpler and faster for domestic sales and products are typically shipped within a single country. On the other hand, international sales involve more complex logistics solutions due to international shipping regulations, customs clearance, and longer shipping times. It may also cover the use of global ecommerce logistics solutions.

3. Payment and pricing

A single currency is used for domestic sales whereas multiple currencies are involved in international sales. Always be prepared to handle currency exchange and fluctuations in exchange rates.

4. Legal regulations

Whether it is domestic or international sales, laws and regulations in each target market should be complied. This prevents legal issues and penalties. Specifically, international sales require compliance with tax laws, consumer protection laws, data protection laws, to name a few.

3.5 Questions you may have

1. Is omnichannel marketing worth the investment?

Investing in omnichannel marketing makes it possible to share your brand message consistently online, offline, in-store, and on mobile. Creating a seamless experience across all of these relevant channels boosts your brand’s visibility.

2. What does a good omnichannel marketing strategy look like?

An omnichannel marketing strategy is made up of consistent messaging, visuals, and positioning statements across all platforms, channels and devices. It creates a seamless brand experience for customers.

3. What are the essential components of an omnichannel infrastructure?

The essentials of omnichannel infrastructure include social selling, digital marketplaces, ecommerce POS systems, ecommerce stores and mobile applications. 


All in all, omnichannel marketing and sales have become an essential strategy for businesses to provide customers with a seamless and personalised experience across various channels, particularly online. As online shopping grows and the reliance on mobile applications increases, it has become more critical than ever for businesses to integrate all touchpoints and provide customers with a consistent experience. With the advancements in technology, the future of omnichannel may involve greater use of AI and automation to enhance processes and provide customers with even more personalised experiences. It is critical for businesses to start adopting the omnichannel experience to meet customers’ evolving needs and expectations, securing their success in the future. 

Shopline is a powerful platform that enables the sales of products in multiple languages, currencies and payment gateways. We boost your ecommerce growth through the establishment of free websites for your business or charity initiatives. Keep in touch with us now to take a leap into the future with omnichannel commerce. 

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