Click Frenzy 2013 will be 'simply amazing'
While Click Frenzy director Grant Arnott admits the unprecedented consumer rush was too much for their systems to handle, he denies the event was a failure, saying with more preparation, next year's sale will be 'simply amazing'.PT1M31S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-29pdm 620 349 November 21, 2012
Some retailers say their online sales jumped as a result of the Click Frenzy promotion, despite consumer complaints following the website's crash on Tuesday.
Retailers such as Woolworths and Windsor Smith said consumers bypassed the Click Frenzy website when it went down and shopped at their online stores instead.
Having to compete against iconic global retailers such Amazon teaches you a lot.
''We did phenomenal figures and we were very happy with it,'' said Jane Mance of Windsor Smith, a wholesale footwear retailer. ''We got what we would normally get in a month in one night as far as unique visitors to our website, and I have to attribute that to Click Frenzy.''
When the Click Frenzy site was down, shoppers just went straight to the participating retailers.
Ms Mance said unique visitors to the site reached six-digit figures on Tuesday night.
Benedict Brook, a spokesman for Woolworths, which manages two brands taking part in the promotion - Dan Murphy's and Masters Home Improvements - said their websites saw a spike in visitors, especially when the Click Frenzy website became unavailable.
''We had around 200 per cent more customers than usual,'' Mr Brook said.
'Prepared for the additional load'
Both retailers said they were prepared for the additional load, with Windsor Smith conducting repeated tests to its servers - managed by a Melbourne digital company - to ensure their site could handle up to 500,000 unique visitors at any given time.
However, Melbourne IT, which monitored the availability and response times for 153 websites that participated in Click Frenzy, said between 6pm and midnight on Tuesday night about ''about two-thirds of the participating sites had issues, which is not good''.
Woolworths and Westfield, another participating retailer, said they would always be keen to be involved in any promotion that would boost the image of their brands and clients to consumers.
Ms Mance said she was surprised to find that even items not on sale being snapped up.
''Even the day before, we were getting incredible sales on our full-price items. Last night, our full-price items sold neck-to-neck with our [sale items].''
Up to $30,000 to advertise on Click Frenzy site
Click Frenzy's owners would have made a tidy sum too, with the company charging retailers up to $30,000 for advertising space on the website.
On the low end, an "initial brand set-up and first listing" would cost a retailer $1500 plus GST, a Click Frenzy advertising booklet states. At the premium end, $30,000 plus GST would get a retailer featured deals on the homepage or site-wide advertising excluding the homepage.
Senior industry analyst Naren Sivasailam of IBISWorld said despite the technical problems, the Click Frenzy event was an opportunity for Australian retailers to acknowledge that going online represented the present and future of the industry.
''It's a testament to the fact that online retail is well and truly in the mainstream consciousness,'' he said, adding that Australian retailers should have shored up their online presence five years ago.
''I think it's an acknowledgement that this is where it's going and [Australian retailers] do have to get with the program, and participating in sales like this ... if the retailers have experienced a spike in sales, is a taste of things to come. Multi-channelling retailing to some extent is the future.''
'We were not prepared for the scale'
Click Frenzy said in a statement released on Wednesday that the number of consumers visiting its website was ''multiple times greater than the maximum capacity we had''. The company said it was prepared for one-million unique visitors within 24 hours.
Click Frenzy also stated that it had received ''very positive responses'' from retailers such as Booktopia and Chemist Warehouse.
''Phenomenal sales for Booktopia so far. Site never missed a beat. In the past hour we were doing 11 sales a minute with customers doing large orders,'' Tony Nash of Booktopia reportedly told Click Frenzy.
Julia Salter of EzyDVD said in a statement that its site saw ''a 550 per cent increase in sales and already trends suggest we'll do the same sales number in the next 12 hours''.
"Seventy-five per cent of all visitors are new to the site which bodes well for future sales especially around the key holiday period. We couldn't be happier.''
Continued growth of online retail
Craig White of Elan, which operates EzyDVD, said he believed the increased traffic and sales were set to continue.
''It will only get bigger and bigger and I believe the early mistakes customers experienced will be long forgotten given the scale of success we are seeing,'' he said. ''Having to compete against iconic global retailers such Amazon teaches you a lot. We were prepared for Click Frenzy but not for the scale of sales response.''
Mr Brook could not say if Woolworths would participate in Click Frenzy again next year, but added the retail giant would not be seeking compensation from the company following the website crash.
''Many, many customers came through to our websites and are coming through Click Frenzy. We saw a lot of customers and we are pleased with the result,'' he said.
Mr Sivasailam said online sales in Australia would continue to show double-digit growth, at the very least, for the next 12 months.