The Click Frenzy online sales event, which disappointed participants last year due to massive technical malfunctions, returned again last night – and the results are more positive.
The 24-hour sale has so far run smoothly from the main site, although some individual retailers have been struggling with slower than usual websites due to the hordes of shoppers.
Sites such as Peter Alexander and Surf Dive ‘n’ Ski have reported an increase in traffic.
The first Click Frenzy event last November was criticised heavily by consumers, participating retailers and advertisers when the site crashed during the sale period from too much traffic.
Since last year’s sale, Click Frenzy co-founder Grant Arnott said it had “listened and learned” and made improvements to ensure the success of the event and to avoid any similar issues this time round.
Arnott told SmartCompany he had engaged with global leaders in web services, Akamai and Amazon, in order to help users browse, search and navigate the site quickly.
“Our priority was making sure we got the absolute best hosting architecture you can get. If you look at how it’s been running so far, it’s fair to say that it worked,” he says.
However, Melbourne IT has tracked page load times for the participating retailers in this year’s sale and found for the worst 10% of sites the response time was 5-6 seconds.
The executive general manager of enterprise for Melbourne IT, Peter Wright, told SmartCompany this is too slow.
“The bottom 10% were peaking at page load times of greater than six seconds and at this point you’ll see about a third of consumers leave the site,” he says.
Wright says the top performing websites have scalable infrastructure, effective content delivery systems and scalable applications.
“You can’t partially invest in the web. You either do it and you get the infrastructure right and make it scalable, or there’s no point to it. The stats show with these things you’ll get a fantastic user experience,” he says.
Despite the traffic volume, Arnott says the numbers are down on November’s sale, but he didn’t expect them to be as high.
“Traffic is constant, but not as freakish as it was in November. At the moment it’s more continuous, without as many ebbs and flows as we saw last year,” he says.
Click Frenzy works by aggregating the different sales and acting as a portal, directing consumers to other retailers’ sites. Because of this, Click Frenzy does not have a record of how many sales take place, but many of the participating retailers have been reporting good numbers so far.
“Bing Lee is doing really well, Bevilles has had less traffic, but more conversions. Everme has also contacted us and said it’s had a fantastic result,” says Arnott.
Some retailers have turned away from the Click Frenzy event this year, such as Adore Beauty and Priceline, but generally Arnott says he’s been surprised by the high retention rate of retailers considering last year’s debacle.
In line with the Click Frenzy sale, some retailers, such as David Jones, have opted to stay separate from the event but have their own sale instead.