Click Frenzy wasn’t a disaster – in fact its a success!

Yesterday was a landmark day for Australian eCommerce – Click Frenzy had been promoted for a few weeks, aiming to replicate the successful Cyber Monday sales that take place in the USA. Grant Arnott brought the concept to Australia and rallied together several hundred retailers of all shapes and sizes and created a landing page for all the discounts and specials to be presented on – Click Frenzy was born. Now unless you live under a rock – you would be aware that shortly after 7pm last night the site crashed under the huge wave of demand – many taking to twitter and Facebook to vent their spleen and show their dissatisfaction with the site.

logo Click Frenzy wasn’t a disaster – in fact its a success!

Many may say I am going to try and defend the indefensible – and that is fine – but what occurred yesterday from an overall eCommerce point of view, big picture retail – shows why eCommerce is the future of retail and deserves to be taken seriously. The lead up to Click Frenzy saw copious media releases, TV appearances, and a hype this country has not experienced for an online event – unless of course you are a teenage girl who has tried to buy One Direction tickets.

Over a million people attempted to get into a site at one time – the sorts of traffic that bricks and mortar retailers at a shopping centre like Chadstone could only dream about. In many ways this is a good comparison to Click Frenzy – it’s a modern day one-off giant shopping centre – they do the promotion and marketing – the consumers pick and choose from the retailers on offer. The retailers who were involved in last nights event – which is still going until 7pm tonight – will be setting record sales figures I am sure – so many people buying online at one stage is a success.

What Click Frenzy highlighted was the huge thirst for online purchases – the public has completely embraced online. Our local retailers have moaned about the overseas threat, and our local retailers have been slow to really jump into the online space with both feet – tending to dab a toe into the ocean instead. And after last nights amazing display of interest and engagement with online – local retailers can no longer afford to just dab at the ocean – they have to dive in!

Some consumers definitely had a right to be disappointed with last night – after all the hype and all the interest – it is a shame that they couldn’t log on and see the deals on offer – the whole event outshone industry expectations. And whilst these consumers might have vented on Facebook or twitter last night – they will continue to shop online. It is for this reason that the Click Frenzy event will be an annual event and why the local retailers need to start seriously investing in online retail; this cant fail again – or more will go overseas.

Click Frenzy wasn’t the only site that crumbled under the load of interest, David Jones, who went it alone with the creatively named ‘Christmas Frenzy’ sale; Priceline, Myer, and Toys ‘r’ us websites also crashed. Many will say this a ‘fail’ an ‘epic fail’ even – but these unprecedented numbers show the demand and thirst for online shopping is huge and needs to be taken seriously. Overseas retailers know this – Australian retailers cannot afford to keep putting online in the too hard basket or not taking it seriously; the interest and desire to buy online is now too great to be ignored and will only get bigger. I know if you speak to any retailer about last night – they will tell you about the impressive sales figures they achieved; Click Frenzy is a success.

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  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Click Frenzy wasn’t a disaster – in fact its a success!
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Click Frenzy wasn’t a disaster – in fact its a success!
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Click Frenzy wasn’t a disaster – in fact its a success!
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Click Frenzy wasn’t a disaster – in fact its a success!
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Click Frenzy wasn’t a disaster – in fact its a success!
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Click Frenzy wasn’t a disaster – in fact its a success!
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Click Frenzy wasn’t a disaster – in fact its a success!
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8 Responses to Click Frenzy wasn’t a disaster – in fact its a success!

  1. I get your optomistic point about maybe getting Oz retailers to waken up, but what do they need up their behinds a rocket? It’s not as if online shopping was developed last week, they are just clinging on to overpriced sales methods of old. It’s sad, desperate and they are not competing in any way. Clearly they do not care enough.

    We are an embarassment for digital retail in Australia and the one attempt we make, has done nothing but push us back even further. Therefore only a success in making us look even worse.

  2. chris says:

    Thanks for the comment Stephen; the crashing of sites is never good especially after such publicity and warning. However what it displays is the huge desire from consumers to buy online – they are comfortable with it, it is part of their life. For local retailers to continually play it down only plays further into the hands of overseas sellers and that isn’t good long term.

  3. Kelly Brough says:

    Well said. It is certainly a wake up call that technology is important, that scalability matters and that perhaps it is time for the commercial and technical teams to sit next to each other and work together.

    There is loads of talent in Australia ready to help these businesses succeed when they are ready to embrace change.

  4. chris says:

    Kelly spot about the talent and experience – it is such a shame it failed at the start – but has been such a terrific highlight of the willingness of people to buy online – the comfort they have with online retail – that retailers and industry partners must start getting more serious about it.

  5. Mark Freidin says:

    A fantastic concept and wonderful effort by Grant. Why Magento though and why not use Amazon’s servers. Was there a budget constraint on the hosting cost?

    To me those are the two things that stand out. I think Click Frenzy got the wrong advice on platform, Ultraserve on the other hand are robust, I have worked with them in the past and they are experienced in high capacity traffic.

    Would realy like to know what failed so that we can all know what not to do next time.

  6. chris says:

    Hi Mark – yes the Magento choice was interesting – and in my experience Ultraserve have been more than capable.

    I am looking forward to the release of figures about the day on Friday by Click Frenzy – i think the stats and numbers will highlight what a success the day was for retailers – and next year will be incredible i am sure.

  7. Jim says:

    Great post Chris. It is easy to give these guys a kicking but I think looking at the bigger picture is more important. Obviously trying to move from Ultraserve to cloudfront after you launch is not a good idea. I was stunned by the traffic reports

  8. chris says:

    Thanks for the comment Jim; no doubt the organizers have learned heaps from the whole process – so the same mistakes wont happen – the traffic numbers are amazing, it is no wonder mainstream media are now talking the event up after slamming it on Wednesday.

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