Weir retail and omnichannel trends
Thursday, June 7, 2018

Weird Retail and Omnichannel Trends

As more retailers adopt omnichannel practices, it’s only a given that things in retail will get strange. Strange can be good. At other times strange are just unexpected consequences. Things are possible now that didn’t seem possible before. Evolution in retail tech has made new options a reality, and no doubt, there is more to come. Instead of talking about the dreary in retail, we need to talk about what stands out in retail, and why it’s so… weird. Remember, weird retail is not necessarily a bad thing.

Selling With… Smell?

Okay this one has to be my favourite. Stores have long recognized that certain scents instill emotions, and memories. These are triggers that entice customers to come back (presuming it is a good scent and experience). Abercrombie & Finch use this little trick by spraying their own men’s perfume, Fierce, around the store. The perfume itself, Fierce is meant to display a confident, masculine aura. Abercrombie & Finch uses it to sell both the perfume and the clothes. Since the perfume is marketed as sexy, spraying it around the store conveys the same brand feeling of confidence and sexiness, to the clothes. It can’t hurt to try. The added benefit is that it feeds into the “store as an experience” concept.

Vending Machine ApparelThe rel retail trend

Take this in. You’re running late for your flight and as you’re rushing. Then someone spills coffee on you. Darn! No problem, there’s always “Uniqlo-to-go” to save the day. Just chose the shirt you desire and pay. Ta-da, at the click of a button, you’re done. You can still make your flight while feeling fresh (or at least not stained). This quirky retail trend prioritizes the customer instantaneous need when timing or instant gratification is the key. Speed to customer truly comes first in this case.


Good job Adidas. Who would have thought that there would come a day when we could get customized sneakers? Using 3D printing, Adidas will make personalized and customized sneakers for their customers. It eliminates the need to settle for a certain fit and design. It creates a personalized omnichannel retail, with all its added benefits. Customers yearn for individualized experiences. Adidas is catering to this gap in the market.

Mobile Weird Retail

Another footwear giant is making weird retail waves. Nike decided to release their Sean Wotherspoon Nike Air Max 1/97 in a special way. It was sold out of a Solebox van designed to look like the shoe itself. Instead of waiting for customers to come, it brings the shoe and experience to the customer. Could this be yet an interesting new channel in the expanding omnichannel retail universe?


Will the Real OMS Please Stand Up Whitepaper


Walmart FTW

Walmart, as usual, makes it to our omnichannel list. As if Walmart’s mobile check-outs weren’t cool enough, they’ve now decided to pull another weird retail move. The future is here, as they’ve signed a patent to implement in-store assistant drones. Why talk to a real person when a drone can show you what aisle to get your product? Super cool, and straight out of the Jetsons.

Hybrid Retail

Behold, a weird retail-hotel hybrid!  Japanese fashion label Koe launched an exclusive hotel stay that matches the mood of their fashion designs. Downstairs is a bakery, and on the highest floor is a flagship store. This concept feeds of of a customer’s love for experience, and convenience.

Fake Knock-Offs

Does your brand have awareness about customer’s love for experience, and convenience?It’s a thing! Diesel is selling knock-offs of their own items, so therefore they aren’t really knock-offs. Yeah, weird retail. It is meant to give fans of the brands encouragement to wear whatever they want. Obviously, many fashion lovers cannot necessarily afford all the fashion prices. The view it to let them enjoy the fashion whether it’s bootleg or not. A VERY customer-first retail strategy, as historically, bootlegs have been frowned upon by the fashion industry.

Weirder still are that some of the ‘official knock-off’ prices. A pair of high end running shoes can sell for as high as $1000 US. What a great example of retail adaptation. Co-opt the problem, as a solution to the problem.

To sum things up, there are many weird things going on in retail. As far as understanding where to go with this, our motto is if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Make unique omnichannel and personalized experiences for your customers. If they think its weird or quirky… that could be your winning ticket!



Rida Talpur is OrderDynamics’ Jr. Marketing Coordinator, and resident retail-loving millennial. She has completed a B.A. from the University of Toronto, as a specialist in Journalism. Rida has interned with prominent names in Canadian journalism including The Toronto Star, and Canadian Living Magazine.





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