If you break down the actual word into parts, omnichannel is almost self-explanatory. In short, omnichannel businesses provide their customers with the ability to purchase goods and services through virtually all avenues, be it online, in person, by phone or through apps, among others. The overarching goal of omnichannel retailing is to synchronize the shopping experience so buyers have the same type of buying access in one medium they would have in another, whether physically in store or online.
Not only is omnichannel retailing beneficial for customers, but it's a business-friendly strategy as well, as studies have shown shoppers tend to spend more compared to those who only have one channel. According to the Harvard Business Review, omnichannel shoppers spend an average of 4 percent more than single-channel shoppers every time they buy, and 10 percent more online. Additionally, the more payment channels they use, the more they tend to buy, when compared to individuals who only have one channel available to them, such as in-store.
Omnichannel also refers to the ease with which the buying experience lends itself, or as Frost & Sullivan defines it, "seamless and effortless, high-quality customer experience that occurs within and between contact channels."