“Omnis” is Latin for “every/all”
Omni-channel means establishing a presence on several channels and platforms like brick-and-mortar, mobile, online, catalog, telephone sales etc. and enabling customers to make transactions and engage across all of these channels simultaneously or interchangeably.
Omni-channel retailing focuses on giving the customer freedom to decide how the transaction occurs Eg: Giving your customer the convenience to purchase an item using your e-commerce portal, and then letting them pick up the merchandise in your store.
This approach is widely used in industries such as healthcare, financial services, retail and telecommunications. Government ministries and organisations are also developing web and mobile-enabled interfaces to engage citizens on various platforms.
It’s important to understand that omni-channel, as the name suggests, is not just about multiple platforms. It’s when a retailer brings all of these channels/platforms together and gives his customers a seamless experience.