This definition is part of our Essential Guide: The essential guide to supply chain management best practices
Contributor(s): Karen Goulart

Omnichannel (also spelled omni-channel) is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store. 

What distinguishes the omnichannel customer experience from the multichannel customer experience is that there is true integration between channels on the back end. For example, when a store has implemented an omnichannel approach, the customer service representative in the store will be able to immediately reference the customer's previous purchases and preferences just as easily as the customer service representative on the phone can or the customer service webchat representative can. Or the customer can use a desktop computer to check inventory by store on the company's website, purchase the item later on with a smartphone or tablet and pick up the product at the customer's chosen location

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