Disruption To Retail: How OTD Has Navigated The Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic changed all of our lives - so how have we, a retail organization, managed to stay afloat?

Over two years later, Queen’s students have experienced numerous city-wide and school-wide closures that have interrupted casual outings such as shopping, clubbing, visiting restaurants, and other leisure activities. As a retail store, Oil Thigh Designs has been forced to close, re-open, close, and re-open again - so how have we managed to stay afloat?

Retail stores all around Kingston have had to resort to new strategies for steady sales in order to remain open. At OTD, we’ve prioritized using our social media to market our collections and sales to reach new audiences unlike before; using insights and previous engagement analytics, leveraging Instagram Story features, and more. As well, we launched our Tiktok to showcase a more lifestyle perspective of consumers in our merchandise, and utilized Instagram to regularly post about giveaways and sales. With this, taking on a more sales campaign approach has allowed us to establish a well-known presence in the Queen’s community.

From a technical perspective, we transitioned to Google Workplace to streamline communication through one centralized system, while also leaning on Shopify for sales and finance-related insights. This allowed us to have all of our essential communication tools in one place to ensure our staff was well in the loop with OTD events, new products, launches, etc.

Finally, we successfully launched OTDelivery throughout the 2021-2022 school year. Customers were able to select “OTDelivery” as an option when placing an order, which allowed local Kingston purchasers to receive their items on a specific date, usually sooner, as opposed to using regular Canada Post delivery or pick-up.

OTD is elated to be transitioning into the long anticipated fully in-person 2022-2023 school year, and we look forward to meeting everyone in person. Until then, we wish you an incredible wrap up of summer! #OTDLuv