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Cross-channel, Multi-channel & Omni-channel: What's the Difference?


Cross-channel, Multi-channel & Omni-channel: What's the Difference?

A cross-channel experience is a customer experience that spans across several communication channels. For example, customers identify a product on a brand website, try it in store but can’t find their size. They re-visit the brand's website to find their correct size and purchase the product from their smartphone.

There's been a rapid increase in the variety of channels offered online. Our use of the internet has changed, especially because we now use connected objects. Because of these changes, customers have the choice between thousands of different online shopping scenarios, giving brands no choice but to develop and adopt a cross-channel strategy that meets these evolving e-commerce trends.

Multi-channel and omnichannel are terms that go hand in hand with cross-channel tactics. We should consider them as strategic steps in the global promise made by brands in terms of customer experience. 


is a customer experience during which customers use one or more different contact points with a brand (physical store, smartphone, tablet, live chat, emails, social networks, messaging apps). These touch points are offered by the brand throughout the customer journey.


is a customer experience offered across all channels. In this case, all channels are complementary throughout the different stages of the customer journey. Each channel is deployed in connection with other channels to provide a smooth customer experience. Cross-channel is the next level up from multi-channel.


is when customers have the ability to use different channels at the same time (for example, using their mobile phone while shopping in a physical store). It suggests an even greater consistency between channels as customers navigate seamlessly from one to another.


Want to adopt these strategies but are unsure where to begin? Start with enhancing your suite of messaging apps, like Google's Business Messages, you offer to your customers. 


Google's Business Messages