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.
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.