Knix’s virtual warehouse sale hosted 35,000 shoppers in only 10 minutes
Fashion and apparel
Multi-channel and omnichannel
In just eight years, Knix has established itself as an innovator in intimate apparel, crafting products for customers in every life stage with one goal in mind—to make them feel more comfortable in their own skin.
With two showroom stores and a broadening product set, the company was planning to expand internationally when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Knix took this in stride, quickly launching digital versions of traditional physical experiences, and with Shopify Plus has enjoyed:
- 35,000 people shopping at once within 10 minutes of the sale going live
- Handling 5,000 customers in checkout simultaneously
- The successful launch of virtual fittings
As a brand built on community, Knix had focused on creating comfortable products, providing educational content, and developing experiences where experts would help customers find their perfect fit—either in store or online.
But COVID-19 brought a new challenge for Knix. Its annual warehouse sale was approaching, an occasion that would traditionally see thousands of shoppers descending onto a pop-up location in Toronto for a two-day sales event. Lines would often extend around city blocks.
The company had secured its biggest space ever for the 2020 sale, but the world around Knix soon made it clear that it would not be possible to hold the event as planned.
How could Knix replicate its warehouse sale without a physical location to host it?
When COVID hit, we made an immediate decision to accelerate our virtual fitting to market. We wanted to maintain the experience our in-store team offered, connecting and educating customers to find the best fit for them.Joanna GriffithsFounder and CEO, Knix
Knix worked quickly to develop a low-fi version of a virtual fitting so that shoppers could still find their proper size without a store to visit. Customers selected a date and time for their 20-minute consultation, an appointment would be set, and on the day of the virtual fitting the customer would receive a reminder message introducing them to their “Knixpert”–Knix’s in-store associates who had been redeployed to help shoppers in this new digital way.
The Knixpert would take the call from their own home, where they had a rack of Knix items to show the customer. They would help the customer take their measurements accurately, and learn how to find their right size and fit.
Simultaneously, Knix worked with Shopify Plus to take its warehouse sale virtual. The company created an entirely new Shopify Plus storefront with distinct branding. Just as the physical warehouse sale focused on the experience of hunting for and finding great products, the new site for its virtual warehouse sale was designed to recreate this excitement. The company created mystery bundles of products by size and fit, and offered tens of thousands of items available for sale.
Knix used 100% unpaid social and email promotional tactics to let customers know about the virtual warehouse sale 48 hours in advance.
Retail is being disrupted, and brands need to find new ways to deliver experiences with trust and care. Thanks to Shopify Plus, we’re able to expand our product offerings and reach new audiences. The world’s next legacy brands are being built in real time, and I believe Knix will be one.Joanna GriffithsFounder and CEO, Knix
Knix’s virtual fittings have been incredibly successful, with 97% of all time slots to date having been booked by a customer. Knix now hosts thousands of virtual fittings per month.
Its virtual warehouse sale was a major win, too, with over 35,000 people shopping within 10 minutes of the sale going live. Knix was amazed internally that, at one point, more than 5,000 customers were in checkout simultaneously. The sale inventory was sold out within a day.
The sale helped Knix move inventory faster and more efficiently than its physical warehouse sale ever could have. In addition, the company saved the significant costs associated with renting a retail space for the event.
Knix has laid a foundation that will allow it scale virtually—well beyond the reach its two Canadian store locations can offer.
And Knix continues to invest in new ideas and tools with Shopify Plus. The team is exploring augmented reality and virtual reality capabilities to further extend what’s possible with virtual fittings, and is also considering new channels for sales, such as via Shopify’s partnership with Facebook.
We had over 5,000 customers in checkout simultaneously, which would be impossible in a physical sale. Can you imagine the kind of space and staffing you’d need to physically check out 5,000 people at the same time? We sold more in 10 minutes than we did in all of Black Friday, 2019.Joanna GriffithsFounder and CEO, Knix