IT WAS supposed to be the sale that stopped the nation, and millions of us bought into the hype, but in the end the deals were as flimsy as the web infrastructure on which they were delivered.
If Australia's bricks-and-mortar retail giants think a marketing campaign and 24 hours of questionable deals is going to save them, they're in for a rude shock.
After frustrated Click Frenzy bargain hunters spent Tuesday night clicking the refresh button in their browser rather than scouring hot deals, they awoke on Wednesday morning to find that the promised bargains were slim at best.
In some cases the ''deals'' offered were more than 50 per cent higher than the price available from international retailers such as Amazon and ASOS. In other instances, the prices were no different to the regular prices offered by the Australian retailers, save for a few headline deals.
In the lead-up to the event, a PR and marketing blitz told Australians to register on the Click Frenzy site with their personal details or they could miss out, and a countdown clock on the site reinforced the sense of urgency.
It was a well-oiled campaign by Click Frenzy's organiser, Grant Arnott, who is the editor and publisher of a retail industry news publication and has edited other marketing journals. Certainly he'll cash in to the tune of millions after reportedly charging big retailers up to $30,000 per deal advertised on the Click Frenzy site, as well as raking in commissions on sales. He also gets a big database of personal details of consumers that he can market and advertise to in future (though he promises not to sell or rent the details to third parties).
While the retailers may not have been smart enough to figure out what they were getting themselves into - or even keep their websites online - consumers certainly are. They're increasingly going online to compare prices and voting with their wallets.
Meanwhile, Australia's large bricks-and-mortar players have had their heads in the sand hoping the online revolution would go away as online behemoths like ASOS and nimble Australian online stores like the Iconic and Kogan eat their lunch.
The online retail kingpin Amazon has shown increasing interest in Australia and in April was reportedly in the market for a local warehouse. If the likes of Myer, David Jones, Harvey Norman and others don't start thinking long-term, they will go bust within a few years - if it's not too late already.