Click Frenzy is Back!

On the eve of the next Click Frenzy as many retailers prepare for tomorrow’s big day, we’re left wondering just how prepared they really are.

For those of you who can remember last year, Click Frenzy was positioned to be THE biggest 24-hour Internet sale, “the sale that stopped the nation”. And despite last year’s technological melt down sale fail and barrage of negative PR, it is back for round two, hoping to once again attract a “stampede”.

Let’s revisit what happened last year:

Just minutes after the sale officially went live; it was taken offline by an influx of traffic to the site.

Click Frenzy was supposed to be the first coordinated online retail event Australia had ever seen and the organisers did a superior job in creating hype and getting 180 of Australia’s favourite high profile retailers on board.

It would appear that every base was covered for the largest online sales event to hit Australia, but it all fell apart at execution. A PR disaster to say the least as Twitter erupted with hashtag frenzy as unhappy would-be shoppers displayed their disgruntled feelings on social media.

This year:

The sale is set to start at 7pm on Tuesday, 19 November, but have they learnt from the previous years shortcomings?

According to their website, they have, “We’ve listened, we’ve learned and we have been working extremely hard to put right any wrongs.”

Apparently the team at Click Frenzy has made a number of significant improvements to the site and pre-subscribers even have the opportunity to avoid the cyberspace stampede with early bird access. I would hope there are more perks to this sale than just that.

Looking at this years list of participating retailers, it’s no surprise that some of the smaller online retailers are not there, but some of the bigger brands are not their either – Dick Smith, Target, David Jones and Harvey Norman. It would seem that retailers are going into this one with a bit more caution.

Click Frenzy’s fail last year demonstrated that while many Australian retailers understand the need to drive traffic and sales online, they do not yet see it as a vital part to their retail survival and have not invested in the skills, infrastructure and preparation time to ensure that sudden spikes in traffic can be safely accommodated.

Retail is fast evolving into a multi-channel experience for shoppers, who now expect to be able to shop online, in-store and on mobile devices.

Our tips to you:
Even if your own online store is not part of Click Frenzy, it may be sensible to ensure it is prepared for above-average traffic as a sale like this could have a positive effect on all online retailers.

1. Inform your service providers

With enough notice regarding a potential spike in traffic, your service provider will be able to put the right steps in place to prevent a system overload.

2. Monitor your website

You should be monitoring your online store 24/7 regardless of nation-stopper sales. Always ensure that your site is running problem-free and at an optimum speed.

3. Set up a Content Delivery Network

Ensure optimal website’s performance by setting up a CDN – this will result in faster delivery of your website and a reduction in the load on your server and network.

4. Manage your Social Media

Make sure your social media team is ready to respond to all questions and conversations. This can be the difference in your brand being destroyed by the public or converting angry customers into happy return shoppers.

Based on last year’s results, there were nearly two million queries in the first minute, 1.6 million total unique visits and 22 million page views in 24 hours.

Only time will tell, and by tomorrow evening we will know just how successful this year’s Click Frenzy was. We can only hope that they have truly learnt from previous mistakes, planned ahead and will implement better, faster customer service should a crisis arise.

For more ecommerce and website tips, contact the team at Vividus.