Definitions for omnichannel and terms related to omnichannel vary and often create confusion. We provide these definitions to aid clarity for those in the marketing and digital worlds.

Content Strategy. Focuses on ways to meet the needs of content consumers, including how content is distributed, managed, and overseen. You can learn more about it at Content Strategy Alliance.

Multichannel. Provides content suited to a specific factor or channel, such as desktop, tablet, smartphone or in-store. In theory, mutlichannel considers more than one channel. An effective multichannel experience:

  • Strives to provide a collective content experience across all channels
  • Takes advantage of a particular form factor’s strengths
  • Cross-references experiences across all channels

Omnichannel Content Strategy. Is an approach to multichannel that provides content at every point in the customer journey (analog, digital, in-store). In practice, omnichannel strategy is a retail strategy that considers a user and their entire cross-channel journey with a brand, from the perspective of the user. Omnichannel content assumes the overall user engagement with a particular user journey, and serves up content for each step in the process, optimizing channel experiences.

The following image helps convey the difference between omnichannel and multichannel experiences:

Single Channel, Multichannel, Omnichannel Differences

[A recreation of the image by: originally created by Tyco.]

Finally, is it omni-channel or omnichannel? You’ll see both used, but we use omnichannel, unless we are referring to content that uses omni-dash-channel in their title.

Photo: Tulip Town Market Near Oak Ridge, TN. 1945.