Click Frenzy participants praise higher traffic, sales, despite downtime

Despite Click Frenzy having suffered hours of downtime on Tuesday night, several businesses have expressed their support for the endeavour, saying they experienced massive boosts in both traffic and sales.

Businesses including Myer, Deals Direct, Oo.com.au, Appliances Online and a range of smaller businesses have said the event was a success and they’d be happy to take part again next year.

The compliments don’t exactly line up with some other experiences. Businesses spent over $1 million on advertising for the site, and some, such as Adore Beauty, have said the venture was disappointing.

“We weren’t one of the big advertisers on it, but the entire experience delivered way above our expectations,” says John Pysing of appliancesalesdirect.com.au.

“We’re an island of 22 million people, so not everything we do is going to be on the same size and scope of what the Americans do. But we are very happy with how things worked out.”

Pysing says for a smaller business like his own, something like Click Frenzy is a great way to increase awareness.

John Winning of Appliances Online also told SmartCompany he felt the experience was a success, although high traffic strained the site.

A Myer spokesperson had similarly good things to say about the sale, saying the store was “thrilled with the customer traffic”.

“While there were issues for a short period of time as our home site ran slow with site access due to the popularity of the event, much like congestion through our front doors on Boxing Day, we redirected customers via Facebook and Twitter direct to our online shop to work around the congestion,” she said.

Department store DealsDirect also had good things to say “despite the challenges experienced by the Click Frenzy portal” – the company recorded its largest single-day sales for the whole year.

However, chief executive Michael McRitchie pointed out the incident shows how “preparation is key”.

“It is clear that the inexperience of some of the merchants cost them dearly,” he said. It’s a fair point – many of the retailers anticipated something would happen and had alternative strategies in place, like posting deals to Facebook.

Oo.com.au also said the site had its best ever evening of sales, with traffic increasing by 270% and beating by 20% its best night ever.

Its back-up plan was to have an email campaign ready to go at 7.30pm, which according to managing director Rolf Krecklenberg, reached half a million people.

Web experts have already pointed out the incident reinforces the need for businesses to have good hosting plans, and for management to speak with chief tech officers.

Other sites not even included in the Click Frenzy sale also said they recorded higher traffic, with David Jones and Catch of the Day reporting a good result.

But it wasn’t a positive experience for everybody. Kate Morris, chief executive of Adore Beauty, told SmartCompany yesterday that the entire sale was a “disappointment” and reiterated the current belief that Australian online retail isn’t ready to handle this type of event.

What are the web hosting and server lessons that SMEs can take from the Click Frenzy crash? Read David Markus’s blog and watch Jim Stewart’s video blog to find out.

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